How a background in journalism can give you an edge in PR and Marketing

Ever since I was a little girl, you could say I’ve loved writing and photography — it started out with my first disposable camera, ramped up with joining a scrapbooking club and culminated in creating “The Powell Times,” my version of our family’s very own newspaper with details about birthdays, field trips and visits to our grandparents’ house. It was the start of being in touch with media, and although I can cite slightly more impressive bylines now, I’ll never forget the smaller-scale creative projects I came up with.

It only made sense to attend Kent State University to get a journalism degree, so in the fall of 2014, I moved from Pennsylvania to Ohio to pursue a career in magazine journalism. Momentarily I considered switching majors, but in my heart, I always knew that reporting, editing and content-creating were the things I was best at. Having one year in post-grad under my belt, it’s wild to see how my eyes have been opened to even more possibilities as a result of this diploma.

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As my relatives would say, journalism is evolving — and I would have to agree. Structurally, media people have to think on their feet to present the news in new ways. Our society, specifically my generation, might respond to online content with more enthusiasm than they would a print publication. Although a sweeping generalization, we have to recognize that information can take on many different forms: an email newsletter, a longform article, a tweet, an Instagram caption, a press release, a broadcast story, a piece of citizen journalism captured on an iPhone. The media landscape is becoming wider and longer and deeper. And so it goes with the job market for those in communications-related fields.

When I graduated college, I never imagined sitting in FACTEUR PR, a PR and marketing studio in Ohio City nine months later, whose founder also has a journalism background. I didn’t think journalism and public relations were polar opposites, but I also wasn’t sure what aligning the two looked like. Today, I can say with confidence I do now! Studying and working with the art of fact for so long (since the days of the high school news magazine) has given me a deeper understanding and appreciation for the public relations “side” of this line of work. Here’s how:

Story ideation:

In almost every writing-intensive class I took, story ideas were the first step to a healthy semester. Some would use whiteboard brainstorming sessions, others would use prompts and others would assign beats to each student. It was always our responsibility to establish the “why,” narrow the “what” and find the “who” willing to help us craft an authentic, fair piece. This was a challenging process! A grade would depend on someone in authority getting back to you with a phone call, email or text, approving your request to meet with them and setting up a time within their oftentimes busy schedule.

I believe in the integrity of this system — it has produced some of the most wonderful stories I have had the pleasure of reporting. But as a trained journalist and an emerging public relations person, I see there’s no harm in letting public relations help guide your pitches. If you’re a journalist who receives an email from a communications person, it’s easy to be wary of their motives: are they selling me something? Are they persuading me to do something? Is this ethical?

If the public relations person is doing their job in a truthful way, they will present you with only the facts, operating as a messenger to inform the journalist about something engaging going on. They will act as an ambassador for a brand, event or organization to not only inform you, but to assist with art, logistics and communication. They act as a liaison from one busy person to another busy person, syncing up calendars, details and email addresses.

I used to get nervous when a public relations person would set up a conference call with me and my subject — now I welcome it! They are there to help things run smoothly, especially in something as complex as a phone conversation, where timing and intonation are key in asking questions and expressing the right message.

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Social Media:

In my photojournalism minor, I was taught photography primarily from the perspective that it would later be joined with an in-print or online news article. While this type of straight-out-of-the-camera photography is essential to the market, there’s something to be said about planned shoots. They serve different purposes, but their heart is the same: to notify you!

Social media, particularly Instagram and all of its mechanisms, has become a great short form way to tell people what’s going on — whether from your publication’s headquarters or on-the-go. There should be no shame in using this platform as a way to get your message across.

What’s phenomenal about social accounts is the adaptability they offer. If the demographic for your product, event or message is the baby boomer generation, it may be more wise to utilize a Facebook post to get the word out. If you’re looking to engage with millennials, Twitter or Instagram might be the preferable route to take. One realization I’ve had since working with trained public relations people is that this practice is not manipulation — it’s communication, and it’s a two-way street. The correct distribution of information is simply important in reaching the greatest number of people with your message you’ve worked hard to put together.

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Messaging:

Timing is everything! Whether you’re a journalist or a public relations professional, it’s important to set and meet deadlines. And when you’re a public relations professional, those deadlines should be created with the journalist in mind.

If you’re pitching to a newspaper journalist, it might be easier to notify them in a more last-minute fashion. Employees of newsrooms are well aware that our communities are constantly telling stories, and their job is to be on high alert for emerging details that will better serve their readers.

However, if you’re interested in pitching to a magazine journalist, a message well in advance will be appreciated. I never knew how real this was until I began working for Ohio Magazine. The Cleveland-based publication, which covers all things Buckeye State, operates on a month-ahead deadline schedule, often researching and writing stories for about two weeks, then fact-checking and finishing stories for the next two. I remember being assigned a piece about holiday lights shows across the state — I was calling people near the beginning of November for information. I felt like it was Christmas time for about two months.

Larger scale publications work even further in advance to create their lookbooks, articles, Q&As and round-ups. If you take a look at the editorial calendars for Better Homes & Gardens, Woman’s Day and Town & Country, you’ll find deadlines for June occur in mid-March. It’s helpful to take a look at these pages, typically available on brands’ websites, to get a better understanding of their pace.

For every single journalist, there are six PR professionals who are at the ready to help guide a story. Having experience now on both sides has definitely offers an edge: insight into how to best collaborate together. We’re excited we get to do that each day at FACTEUR PR.

Pinterest just might be that one thing missing from your marketing plan

Since its launch in 2010, Pinterest has seemingly fallen in and out of popularity over the years. However, all of us at FACTEUR think it is back, and in a big way. Time has proven that Pinterest is a very successful, yet rarely used, marketing tool. They have a great variety of users, mostly made up of millennial women. However, according to Pinterest, 50% of their new sign-ups this year have been men. If your targeted audience is included in this demographic, Pinterest is perfect for your brand! Whether you’re an influencer, blogger, business, etc. you should be using Pinterest in your marketing efforts to drive traffic to your website, increase sales, engagement, and credibility, among other things. Here’s why:


More People Use Pinterest Than You Think

Pew Research Center assembled research in January of 2018 which indicated that 29% of U.S. adults are users on Pinterest, third only to Facebook and Instagram. That is not an insignificant chunk of people.  And, if you’re not on Pinterest, you are missing out on that whole marketing segment.

Picture via SOCIALBARRELL.COM

Picture via SOCIALBARRELL.COM

Pinterest is more than Wedding Mood Boards and DIY Inspiration

Pinterest is essentially a search engine. People go there to find things they want, so why wouldn’t you put yourself out there for them to find? Once you break in and establish yourself, your experience is totally curated to your relevant fields of interest. Basically, you won’t have to fight with 50 “wedding dress” mood boards if you’re a personal chef, and vice versa! The OG Pinterest user, The Blogger, used Pinterest specifically to drive more interested traffic to their website, and so can you!

Pinterest Will Increase Your Visibility

Specifically, Pinterest can contribute to your site’s ever-so-important SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Newly launched in 2018, there are four different sections of Pinterest that your pins can be found on, making even more opportunities to connect with people. They are:

  • The Hashtag Feed

Relatively new to Pinterest, hashtags allow users to search for specific feeds showing current real-time posts containing their desired content. Adding all relevent hashtags to your pins will get your posts included in each one of those hashtag feeds.

  • The Smart Feed or Home Feed

This is where Pinterest assembles posts from a user’s interests. They are found using a new algorithm that looks at saved, related, and pins relevant to each user’s interest, and assembles a feed that prioritizes “best” over “newest.”

  • Search

The Search Feed shows the best of the best pins in the relevant category. In order to appear near the top in this feed, you need domain, pin, and pinner quality. A good way to get these things is to add as much information and legitimacy to your pins, personal website, and profile as possible.

  • The Following Tab

In the Following Tab, users see content that the people they follow are pinning. This is a one-stop-shop for recommendations from your own curated feed. A good way to appear on this is to increase your presence and consistency in pins to gain followers.


Appearing in all of these feeds will increase your SEO overall, and will lead to increased trust and visibility for your brand. Read here for some more ways to “win” at Pinterest.


You Can Create a Free Business Profile

Because Pinterest will let you create a free business profile, you will be able to see analytics and trends for all of your content, making for easy and streamlined monitoring of your efforts over time. If you already have a Pinterest profile, you can also convert it to a business profile at any time! Follow this guide to learn more.  

Zaful has created promoted pins with click through purchasing that aren’t an eyesore for the feeds they appear in

Zaful has created promoted pins with click through purchasing that aren’t an eyesore for the feeds they appear in

You can Create Promoted and Buyable Pins

You can also purchase promoted pins, which bump up your placement in feeds, and are shown to increase total engagement.

Pinterest also allows users to create pins which have a feature allowing products to be bought within the Pinterest app itself. This feature is now available to every Pinterest user, via Shopify. Pinterest has indicated that 1 in every 2 people will make a purchase after seeing a promoted pin, and why not make it easier for them with this cool new feature?

Still not convinced? Read on to learn about recent success stories from businesses who have embraced Pinterest.

ThirdLove, an indie bra retailer that makes the “perfect bra” started using promoted pins with one-click access to a landing page from their own website. After six weeks of consistent and new content in promoted pins, they saw a 26% increase in traffic to their site, and a resulting 14% lower cost per acquisition.

Wayfair, a wildly popular furniture retailer, found huge success by creating buyable pins for every single one of their products. Since launching this campaign they have seen increased traffic and revenues, and decreased advertising costs.

Moorea Seal’s Pinterest Boards

Moorea Seal was a recent graduate, who wanted to launch her own business. She gained popularity on Pinterest because of her curated boards. Each one was thoughtfully curated and housed enough appealing content to gain her a mass following. Since joining Pinterest, she has gotten two book deals, opened an online store, and opened a store front, all of which she attributes to her Pinterest success.

Seems pretty easy, right? Pinterest might just be what you’re missing to get your marketing plan really working for you. If you have experience with Pinterest or are going to give Pinterest marketing a shot, let us know how you get on in the comments below. And of course, share this post with your business hustling friends!

Tips to ignite excitement around a product launch: what we learned from Fashion Week

It is always exciting to share new products with your consumers. Along with all of the effort put into external promotion, however, we can’t forget about creating content for our own platforms. As we always say at FACTEUR PR, “own your story to share your story!”

Want a tip for approaching your social media in a potentially different way? Treat the drop of a new item like an event! Who wouldn’t want more customer anticipation building up to the release?

The concept:

A good source of inspiration for this kind of strategy is in the fashion industry, specifically how luxury brands engage followers during the release of their collections each season at Fashion Week. An easy way to look at the shared content is in three parts: before, during, and after the event. Instagram, and particularly Instagram Stories, are becoming increasingly important and utilized for brand engagement. Here are some examples of what to look for and share.

Luxury brands are often known for being the least transparent in the industry, so any glimpse into the process is widely welcomed. The desire for transparency is growing in consumers at all market segments, so it is a good thing for small businesses to keep in mind as well!

Pre-Show:

  • Instagram Story Takeover (example: a show attendee shares the process of getting ready for the show.)

  • Small Detail Posts (example: sneak peeks of the show venue, inspirational quotes or images that contributed to the designs, and glances at the production process catch the attention of followers.)

  • Attendance List (example: if someone cool is showing up or is otherwise involved, let viewers know.)

During the Show:

  • A Garment in Motion (example: choosing a few of the strongest or most unique looks from the collection works well when shown on the model in video or photo form.)

  • The Finale Video (example: even a fraction of the moment when all of the garments can be seen at once provides the observer with a good grasp on elements of the collection.)

Post-Show:

  • Attendees’ Responses (example: a candid interview occurs to capture the emotional responses of a variety of viewers.)

  • Edited Visuals (example: the sharing of final images and/or videos of the looks occurs after they have been sorted and edited to meet the company’s level of quality and aesthetic.)

An elegantly applicable brand to observe is that of Dior, one that is often acknowledged for their extensive social media content. On September 24, the luxury fashion house showed their Spring/Summer 2019 RTW collection in Paris. Its Instagram account utilized the story feature throughout the day. Instead of following the pre-show preparation of a well-known influencer, they featured a fresh-faced model describing each part of the fashion show she experienced (shown above). Luxury brands are often known for being the least transparent in the industry, so any glimpse into the process is widely welcomed. The desire for transparency is growing in consumers at all market segments, so it is a good thing for small businesses to keep in mind as well!

How to apply it:

Each of the kinds of content described can be translated and pared down to your specific products or services before, during, and after a launch. Post a sneak peek of the cool packaging or a video talking through your sources of inspiration. After the product is released, maintain its new position in the market. Though your business likely does not have the ability to make the volume of content that a brand such as Dior has, sharing a handful of quality visuals in the following days is already a significant reminder to your audience! At FACTEUR PR, we can’t say enough about the importance of continuing on after a big brand moment has happened. Keeping up public relations both online and off is a constant endeavor, so keep it fresh and creative!

Looking for assistance with your public relations and social media strategy ahead of your brand or product launch? We can help! Head to our Contact page to get started!

Instagram Story images c/o @dior. Cover image c/o Cleo Glover.

Our newest clients will adorn you!

There is always a multitude of changes going on as transitions between seasons occur, and FACTEUR PR has been along for the ride! In the last month, we have been excited to have added four new clients to our roster of brands we love, deepening our commitment to the creative community! We’d like to introduce them to you here on our blog!

Avarelle Cosmetics acne patches

Avarelle Cosmetics

This company was founded just over a year ago and sells their line of products exclusively on Amazon. The Avarelle Cosmetics skincare line currently consists of acne cover, treatment, and spot patches, as well as an acne treatment spot solution and rejuvenating herbal infusion sheet masks for every skin type. Based in New Jersey, the brand sets itself apart in its use of all-natural ingredients to combat acne, as well as the diversity in its products, particularly with its level of coverage and variety of sizes. Avarelle is made with Tea Tree Oil, Calendula Oil & Hydrocolloid Dressing. These treatments can be applied day or night, are easily concealable with or without makeup, and can be snipped to size to heal acne and its scars quickly and safely. Avarelle aims to ultimately boost confidence while solving skin and blemish issues.

VersaSpa Sunless Tanning Products

VersaSpa

Sunless, Inc. is the global industry leader in healthy, UV-free tanning and the power behind the well-known, most in-demand home and salon-applied spray tan brands: Mystic Tan, VersaSpa and Norvell. With its headquarters in Cleveland and an office in Nashville, Sunless’ mission is to help its broad range of consumers not only look better, but feel more confident in their own skin. Its products are not only safe, but easy to apply in four minutes or less.

Liza Michelle Jewelry Collection

Liza Michelle Jewelry

The essence and beauty of objects found in nature is what inspires the designer behind Liza Michelle Jewelry. Liza Michelle Jewitt Rifkin creates handcrafted fine jewelry and objects, utilizing a method of casting natural objects in solid metal. Founded in 2013, the company produces with a commitment to craftsmanship of the finest quality and environmental sustainability. Inside her Ohio City studio, each item passes through the designer’s hands and carries the story of her process and the clients.

Shannon Michael Style

Shannon Michael Style

Shannon Michael Style is an Ohio-based beauty consultant and retailer, primarily focused on hair and makeup artistry in the bridal and celebrity industries. Led by Shannon Dyer, the company contracts artists for numerous events throughout the year and most recently expanded to include a premium makeup line to offer both its online and in-person clients. This fall, Shannon Michael Style will begin a new chapter in its business by aligning fashion with its beauty brand. Bridal gowns designed Dyer, thanks to her background in design, will sell direct to consumers in several bridal boutiques. Utilizing her business strategy to incorporate fashion into the beauty brand positions Dyer’s company as a industry leader and offers a full experience for her consumers. 

We look forward to all of the creative projects ahead!

How to take on event planning & marketing to college students

marketing to college students

I recently took over the marketing department at my university’s bookstore. As a primarily commuter campus, our store’s goal for marketing was “outreach, outreach, outreach.” This meant creating and executing events that would bring more students into the store and create an elevated awareness of our presence in the university population.

When you throw an event for a company you work for, whether you’re in charge of the marketing department or were just given the opportunity to pull something together, there are a few things to keep in mind that could help you to go from just throwing an event to succeeding at it.

There is no event if no one shows up.

Merely planning an event is not enough, you have to effectively market the event to your audience for it to be truly successful.

In my experience, trying to captivate the attention of anyone, especially college students, is very difficult. More than ever, people are moving and sifting through messages faster and faster. The American Marketing Association reports that people’s attention is the most scarce resource of any modern marketing plan. Whether it’s email, signage, flyers, or even word of mouth, people are capable of seeing and instantly dismissing any message. This means that whatever message you are putting out there has to be something worthy of their extended attention.

When I am marketing for the college campus community, I keep those statistics in mind. Because of the fact that my college student target audience have lives where they are constantly busy and merely skimming through every message they see, my goal is to get my message to them in as many ways as possible.

It is only because I have identified the habits of my target audience that I know this works best for my brand. You should take time to do the same; identify who your audience is, and then, how, when, where, and why they consume their media.

Every student has different media consumption habits; some delete all their emails and spend all day on social media, some will only ever see an email, some will only see signage, etc. So, I will do my best to cover all of those bases, repeatedly. (This includes any social media, the university weekly Events Calendar email blast, paper signage/handouts, and digital signage which is projected on screens around the Student Center.) I find that if I update every single possible place with messages about my event (starting about a month to three weeks beforehand) the majority of students will see it, and I will have the most success. Because I repeatedly hit up these things with posts and graphics, they will see my message more than once, driving some familiarity and curiosity about it.

This tactic of coming at the consumer from all possible angles is not the best for every target audience. In fact, with some target audiences it might drive annoyance more than anything. It is only because I have identified the habits of my target audience that I know this works best for my brand. You should take time to do the same; identify who your audience is, and then, how, when, where, and why they consume their media.

When you are faced with the task of getting the word out about an event, come up with an exact plan that you can see through to the end. Identifying your target audience will help you compile a list of every place you want a message to be. Finalizing this list should be your first step.

This list turned into my most critical organizational tool as it kept me focused and aware of every outlet I wanted during my entire planning process. Once you have identified your outlets, your message should be finalized. Customize the message for each outlet and then track progress in your original list. The more places your message appears, the more likely people are to start recognizing it and gaining interest in attending, which, leads to my next point:

Incentivize

College students often are looking out for number one: themselves.

In order to get people interested in coming to my events, I create some sort of incentive. People, and students especially, are extremely busy, so they won’t come to an event unless they benefit or they see the potential to benefit.

The most effective incentive for a store event is a discount on your merchandise. If your company is able, offer anywhere between 5-15% off one item when they come to your event. If this doesn’t apply to your company or brand, consider having guests be able to enter a drawing when they attend an event. I recently had success doing a giveaway for a $100 gift card to an upscale restaurant which brought people in because they wanted to win, and then ended up staying for the actual event.

If giveaways aren’t your thing, bring something to the event which will benefit your guests. As crazy as this sounds, one of my most successful incentives was when I brought in dogs from a local animal shelter for a stress relief event. My target audience go crazy for adorable dogs so I knew having some at my event would inspire a lot people to come. The best part about having something out of the ordinary like this is that word-of-mouth marketing comes into play. People texted and Snapchatted their friends when they saw an opportunity to play with some adorable puppies and encouraged their friends to also enjoy the experience. Therein lies your success: When people step into your space and see what you have to offer them and they like what they see. So, make sure what you’re offering is clear, obvious, and noteworthy. 

Interaction

Interaction with guests is absolutely critical to building a clientele and leading to more success in the future.

When you throw an event, introduce yourself and your colleagues to new faces and old. Whether you’re representing a large corporation or a small family-owned business, connections between people make a huge impact. Customer interaction is now more important than ever, with 54% of some companies rating customer interaction as being in their top 5 list of priorities, and half of those rating it their #1 priority.

You build trust when your guests can identify a face, voice, or attitude that they automatically can associate with your brand. One successful event will only lead to more successful events if you have made your attendees want to come back. This doesn’t mean leaving them happy, but leaving them happy AND wanting more.

Measure your success and identify your weaknesses.

Once you’ve thrown your first event, you will have a much better idea of what to plan for in future event planning. I’m not ashamed to say my first event didn’t go over that well because it enabled me to identify what I was doing wrong. If your attendance is low, you didn’t market or incentivize enough. If people came but seemed less than impressed, you didn’t plan or interact well enough.

With each event you plan, what works best will become more and more obvious and you will be able to expand and focus on those things that will create effective and successful events for your brand. And remember, marketing is an ever-changing field, so always try new things in order to be more successful.


Hannah Krisinski is a junior at Cleveland State University, where she studies Journalism and Promotional Communications and minors in Digital Design. She currently handles marketing, promotional work, and event planning for the CSU bookstore, where she is able to use creativity and innovative ideas to engage in campus life nearly every day.

Takeaways and trends from SXSW

Marketing trends from SXSW

Every year, South by Southwest (SXSW) springs upon us, and feels like it flies by. During each conference panel, festival, exhibition and networking opportunity, there is greatness that happens, and new ideas and trends that we in the creative fields need to be aware of!

This year from March 9 through 18, SXSW dedicated itself to helping creatives achieve their goals, whatever they may be. Throughout the conference, there were some definite trends that were talked about that we need to keep our eyes open to and consider so we can stay relevant in this crazy world that we live in.

SXSW covered some of the trends that they thought were most relevant from this past conference, and I want to highlight some that I think are the relevant when it comes to marketing.

The Maturing VR Market

We’ve seen Virtual Reality enter our world fast and mighty, but throughout this past year, it’s really making a name for itself. What may have been thought of as a trend or a fad, was wrong. SXSW reports VR has really matured into a potent tool in the arts, medicine, business and entertainment fields and is really accelerating into mainstream technology now.

So, what’s next after VR, you ask? It’s MR, which is Mixed Reality.

Mixed Reality is going to allow you to created environments and overlays. It is going to give you a really immersed feeling and becoming more of a mainstream technology tool.

Inclusion in Business and The Arts

During a time where the country has never felt more divided, we have seen a rise in inclusion in brands and throughout marketing. It’s 2018, so we should expect this, but now it’s actually happening and is going to continue!

We are seeing a rise of empowerment of women, people with disabilities and people from various backgrounds. It is part of our jobs in PR/marketing to further these messages.

The Rise of the Short Documentaries on Social Media

Social media is the new form of journalism. We get our news and learn new things from social media. For example, on Facebook, there is a page called 60 Second Docs. These short documents do a story about someone/something in 60 seconds.

With our short attentions spans, these short documentaries are a quick way to learn a lot about something! In PR, we are constantly looking for a way to grab someone’s attention through all of the noise, and video content is the way to do it!


Danie Minor is a recent graduate of Kent State University, where she studied public relations. She is passionate about all things having to do with social media and influencer relations.
 

Friday Q&A: Your PR and marketing questions answered

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This new year is off to a busy start, but we want to make sure we take the time to give back with a bit of what we know and have learned! Every Friday on the @FACTEURPR Instagram Stories, we answer a PR or marketing question you've asked. That includes media relations, advertising, social media, influencer engagement, blogging, content marketing, planning, pitching, SEO, etc. The videos will stay live on Stories for 24 hours, and we will add the most recent ones to our Instagram page Highlights. 

To ask a question, send us an email, drop a comment below or leave a comment or DM us on Instagram.  

We look forward to connecting with you and hope you find this series valuable. And as always, we're always here to help with your specific public relations, social media, content marketing, and digital creative needs! Contact us here.

Holiday marketing: quick tips to help you grow this season

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The 2017 holiday season is officially upon us! While most of us are happy to survive the rush that the month of December brings, there is an immense opportunity to still reach new audiences and ultimately grow your business. Below you'll find a few quick tips to get you started. Need extra support? FACTEUR would love to help!

Involve your staff

Your staff can help boost any marketing campaign. Have them repost content to their social-media platforms, post in groups they belong to and share with friends! They are your greatest ambassadors. Don't forget to introduce them on your own social media channels, too. (Instagram stories is particularly valuable for that.) Related: Five ways to use Instagram Stories for your brand or business

Get emotional

The holiday season carries a lot of meaning for most people. People aren't just buying gifts, they are hoping to make someone smile or perhaps even make their loved ones' lives easier or better. Harness that emotion and share the 'why' behind why your offering makes a great gift. Sharing testimonials is a great way to do that.

Invest in paid social

If you've never invested in your social media strategy, now is the time. Instagram and Facebook are especially 'pay to play.' Look into boosting posts to reach your ideal audience. The audience insights alone are worth the cost. 

Generate a sense of urgency

Tell your customers why they should buy from you RIGHT NOW. Is it free shipping, a holiday bonus gift, or just that there is limited product so act quickly! Create a time sensitive offer to increase the chances of an impulse buy from your customers.

Online deals

Don’t have an online store? No problem. You can still post coupons or special promotions to your social media sites to draw customers in. For example, “show this post on Instagram in store and receive 20% off one item today and tomorrow only!” (Need assistance creating your online marketplace? We can help!)

E-mail your subscribers weekly

Up your emails and communicate with your subscriber list on a weekly basis. Make sure your communications are thoughtful and relevant with each send (meaning: don't send the same email over and over again!). Related: E-mail is not dead: why you need to build a list to build your brand or business

Print postcards

Score! You attracted new customers. Now how do you get them to return? Your opportunity at the cash register might be the only time to connect with them. Drop a postcard in their bag with either a special offer during the months of January-February, sign them up for your e-mail newsletter, send an invitation to an upcoming event, or a follow on social media to stay engaged.

Personalize campaigns

Take your ads to the next level. Find a way to incorporate customers into your brand story. Office Max saw a huge boost with their “Elf Yourself” social-media campaign. The more innovative and fun the better!

Streamline channels

If you're a small business and do not have a full-time social media person on staff, we can't stress enough the importance of scheduling your holiday posts out. Take a few hours one day after work each week and create your content and schedule your communications. Keep a consistent theme throughout the season and across all social-media channels. Don't forget to also spend extra time monitoring your comments and answering questions, too! 

New Instagram Stories features, Pinterest rolls out hashtags, and e-commerce tips to build customer loyalty

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Welcome to the 12th edition of Three on Thursdays, a series here on our blog devoted to sharing a few of latest marketing and PR insights and tips to help grow your brand and business. Every week, we'll handpick three good-to-know tips or resources that can help educate and inspire your own efforts. Be sure to sign up for our weekly newsletter below to get these and other tips delivered to your inbox every month!

Here are this week's highlights:

1.) Instagram releases three new Stories features.

Instagram has unveiled three new features for Stories this week: a sticker to poll your followers, plus a color picker for text and brushes and an alignment tool for text and stickers. Learn more on the Instagram blog

Related: Check out our five tips for using Instagram stories to build your brand or business.

2.) Pinterest rolls out hashtags.

While you could have always hashtagged your Pinterest posts, it was just recently that hashtags became clickable and searchable as a feed on the platform. This is huge for the platform which has long been used for its search capabilities. Pinterest is recommending not more than 20 hashtags per post at this time. Read more on the Pinterest blog.

3.) Eight e-commerce trends brands need to incorporate to ensure customer loyalty

Here at FACTEUR, we are big fans of PR Couture. Currently we're reading this article on e-commerce trends, which actually sound less like trends and more like actionable advice to us! It's all about the sensory and simplicity. Read on!

Related: PR Couture features FACTEUR PR


FACTEUR PR is a boutique integrated marketing and communications studio based in Cleveland, Ohio. We work alongside independent businesses, nonprofits, creative brands, and agencies in making the most of their public relations, social media, content marketing, creative projects, and more. Get in touch to learn more!

The benefits of content marketing, Instagram reveals new comment features, PR spending on the rise

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Welcome to the 11th edition of Three on Thursdays, a series here on our blog devoted to sharing a few of latest marketing and PR insights and tips to help grow your brand and business. Every week, we'll handpick three good-to-know tips or resources that can help educate and inspire your own efforts. Be sure to sign up for our weekly newsletter below to get these and other tips delivered to your inbox every month!

Here are this week's highlights:

1.) The measurable benefits of content marketing.

The Content Marketing Institute just released survey results from its recent study on content marketing habits and results. The survey showed that 65% of content marketing programs in 2017 were more successful than in 2016? What is credited for this success? A documented content marketing plan, commitment and delivery, for starters. 

Related: Learn more about our content marketing services.

2.) Instagram announces new comment controls.

Instagram just announced two new ways to control the comments on your posts, whether your account is public or private. This will be particular of use for your business account in helping to block spam bots from posting unrelated or self-promoting comments on your photos and videos.

Related: Check out our five tips for using Instagram stories to build your brand or business.

3.) PR spending will be on the rise for the next five years.

Adweek just reported that based on a recent study, PR and marketing will not only become more closely joined together, but that PR spending will specifically increase over the next five years. Read more.

Related: What is PR, and how can it help your brand or business?

Compiled by Reena Goodwin, Anna Huff, and Julie Hong.


FACTEUR PR is a boutique integrated marketing and communications studio based in Cleveland, Ohio. We work alongside independent businesses, nonprofits, creative brands, and agencies in making the most of their public relations, social media, content marketing, creative projects, and more. Get in touch to learn more!