I’ve recently attended training by experts from the worlds of video, social media and PR. Here’s nine great tips I picked up and thought I would share on this marketing blog.
PR – tips from Mark Ragan, Ragan Communications
- Engage readers with snappy and informative headlines. This may seem like an obvious one, but Mark showed us the stats for PRdaily.com and the most-read articles had some sort of number in them, e.g ‘Top Ten Tips for Getting a Job’, ‘5 Things You Need to Know About China’. Though this technique is most commonly used in teen magazines, he showed many other examples where it has been used effectively in business communications to liven up a topic.
- Use simple and clear English. Again, a truism that we all repeat but seldom apply. Take a look at the last report or press release from your company – how could it be put more simply rather than using words like ‘synergize’ and ‘leverage’? You really should action this deliverable.
- Read back your copy out loud and refine it. Good writing is like a good speech, it should roll off the tongue. It should not, be laborious, to read.
Video – tips from Drew Keller, StoryGuide
- Practice, practice, practice. Technology has made making videos simple. I’m intentionally using the slightly antiquated word ‘video’ here as we are not all film makers. The only way to qualify as such would be to hone your craft, one video at a time.
- Draft a visual storyboard before you begin. Drew showed us an example of cooking an omelette in real-time… it felt like forever! Take two minutes to sketch out each shot of the story that you need to capture and you will notice the difference.
- Try a new perspective. If shooting with a flipcam or iPhone you will typically be shooting from shoulder level – so try mixing up the angles. Drew described how his videos of his children growing up, all shot from their eye level, gave a great insight into their world. For B2B marcomms, where you typically have a lot of ‘head and shoulders’ shots of executives – consider having a different environment than the boring conference room to give context to the piece. Perhaps in a busy lobby to give the impression that your leaders are more in touch with employees.
Social media – tips from Yumi Wilson, LinkedIn
- The power of pictures. You can now upload images from your phone straight into a LinkedIn status post. Yumi shared some stats about how much more visited a Profile is if it has an image (40% more likely to be contacted) – and this goes for updates too.
- Don’t dismiss your employees. Employees are 70% more likely to engage with anything you post about your company on LinkedIn. You may sigh dismissively at this fact, in that you feel like you are not reaching your customers. Think again! Each employee may have hundreds of connections throughout all levels of your client’s organisation and a simple ‘Like’ will publish in their feeds – hugely expanding the initial reach of your message.
- Tagging your contacts. I should actually credit Mr Ragan with this tip, as he almost jumped out of his seat to share it, and seems to be a power user of LinkedIn. The idea is that if you make 20 new LinkedIn contacts at a London Beer Convention, you can then ‘tag’ them in LinkedIn as ‘Beer buddies in London’ and find them again by filtering by that tag on your Network page. To be honest, I’ve never used this functionality, and I can see it’s only really useful if you’re a consummate networker like Mark, but it shows the hidden power of the tool.
So there you go, 9 tips from much longer but very interesting sessions. One comment from the audience was ‘I always open those list articles, but tend to feel disappointed at the end’, here’s hoping you don’t feel the same!