Friday, 14 October 2011

How to get the word out about your new service or product using all marketing and PR tools

The Think Tank conference call takes the format of an open discussion that allows for everyone to share best practices and experiences relating to a relevant topic.

The call was facilitated by Andrea Lamarsaude, with BrightBlue Marketing and was Co-Hosted by Candace Miller with BrightBlue Marketing and Narciso Tovar from Big Noise Communications. Also on the call was Melissa Bourestom (BrightBlue Marketing), Diana Christensen (BrightBlue Marketing), David Royce (US Department of Commerce), Amy Vercruysse (BrightBlue Marketing), and John Cullens (Prism Group).

With an increasing number of brands now creating innovative, fresh and unique social media campaigns alongside their new product launches, it is important that the focus remains on ‘utilizing’ social media as part of a wider strategy, rather than ‘relying’ on social media to launch the product. Social media certainly presents companies with a fantastic opportunity to extend and compliment the impact of their more traditional marketing and online PR activities. Interestingly, the most success is often seen by those brands that are able to effectively integrate their social media, marketing and PR efforts into a focused, innovative and overarching narrative - creating engagement, interaction and consumer ‘buzz’ across multiple platforms as a result. -George Guildford - Account Manager at digital PR agency Punch Communications

Discussion questions:

What are some traditional marketing and PR tools you can use to create early buzz about a new service or product offering?

  • Mail and email are still strong: Some people do still read mail and since there is less now, it can stand out more
  • Traditional methods are especially good for the initial stages of a campaign.
  • Email is more cost effective as mail does have postage costs
  • Should be used in unison with traditional supporting the newer social media tools
  • Keep messages brief when using traditional methods

What are some examples of new service or product launches you have seen that successfully enhanced their marketing and PR campaigns with social media?

  • Membership drives – use social media to promote contests and incentives; early bird gets the worm, discounts for joining as a member, etc.
  • Bonus offering for those that re-tweet; Such as: room discounts at conferences, etc.

Is it possible to be sending out too many communications via PR, Marketing and Social Media? What is a good number of activities to go by?

  • Yes, you can send out too many communications
  • Be routine so people know to expect something from you – once a week or once a month
  • Do 6-8 over a period of time
  • Takes a minimum of 7 “touches” to be top of mind with someone through communications
  • Send communications from multiple channels; partner with another company or association to cross promote
  • Tell your contacts that they will receive so many communications in the weeks to come; they will expect to see something and they see consistency
  • Days of the week are important; not Monday as people are trying to catch up over the weekend and have a lot in their in-boxes

How do you choose and narrow down which marketing tools to use when there are so many choices?

  • A lot has to do with your audience
  • Where does your target audience go for their information
  • Use the tool or tools that best communicates with your audience
  • Twitter tips: start by following others that relate to your industry, then see who they follow and start following those that would be in your target audience; you can have more than one Twitter account to focus on different parts of your business
  • Facebook tips: It is very time consuming and you need to make sure this audience is your target; tie your promotions to a good cause – a donation will go to a charity when they purchase what you are promoting

Have you seen examples of trying to integrate social media into a campaign that missed the mark? What were they and why did they?

  • Issues are normally caused by a bad list or an unclean list
  • If you purchase a list you have to go through and clean it to your target audience
  • Make sure your own lists are updated and cleaned periodically
  • There has to be follow up to all of your campaigns or you will lose the momentum
  • Be sure you are targeting the correct contact person in an organization

How have Press Releases helped or not helped the launch of a new product or service?

  • Press Releases seem to be becoming less popular as a marketing tool
  • For them to be effective you have to aim at the right outlets to create the right buzz
  • You do get a lot of SEO from Press Releases which is always good
  • Should still send them out, but they probably shouldn’t be a huge focus of a marketing campaign
  • It has to be well written with compelling content
  • You need to use the paid PR sites to post your release; the free ones won’t do much
  • Paid services usually give you some type of report so you can see what is happening with it
  • Partner with sponsors or partner organizations to work together on each others Press Releases

How do you activate your database to help you market your new product or service?

  • Use your core “fan base”; those people in your database that are always your greatest cheerleaders
  • Give incentives of some sort for them to talk about your new product or service
  • Come up with a fun “gimmick” that will get people talking (like ETrade babies)

Can you cite some successful ways social media has been integrated into email marketing campaigns? Not so successful ways?

  • Adding the icons for FB, LinkedIn, and Twitter into emails that people can click on and go straight there

What are ways that marketing/PR and social media can successfully work together to promote an event or conference?

  • Gets the word out to a large group of people
  • Find some sort of story related to your event/conference (how it helped someone, something funny that happened previously, etc.) that the media will pick up
  • Every time you add a sponsor send out a Tweet or FB post giving them special notice and they will share it with their database
  • Use milestones for what you are sending out; call for sponsors, call for papers, announce list of sessions that will be at event, announce keynote speakers, etc.
  • Remember, social media can’t really be completely controlled so you have to be prepared for the negative comments as well as the positive. There tends to be more pros than cons in the long run

Further Reading

Four Ways Brands Can Use Social Media in New Product Launches

Using social media as a marketing tool

The New Rules of Marketing and PR - How to Use Social Media, Blogs, News Releases, Online Video, and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly

Ways to integrate social media you're your email marketing

How to integrate social media you're your live event

Integrating social media into PR teaching and practice


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