A Modern, Sophisticated Approach
to Improving Conversion

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Adding Playlists to a Blog Post? HOW FUN!

Using musica embed code in content marketingLet’s try an experiment… Click the > button on the playlist below, then pop back up and read this blog post while it plays.

Sure, reading keeps your eyes and brain busy…. but what about your ears?

Sensory branding is an emerging marketing tactic that helps create emotion using more than just one sense – it creates an emotional reaction that is linked to that brand. It doesn’t have to mean adding scent to a direct mail piece that people inhale when opening the envelope or handling out tchotchkes they can hold in their hands – it can also include audio.

And who doesn’t love music? Everyone does.

Like a jingle in a commercial that sticks in your mind, audio can be powerful.

Adding a playlist to a piece of content probably isn’t exactly what some have in mind when they think of sensory branding… but why not? It’s fun! And I think it’s a teeny tiny bit outside of the box, maybe?

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Is Content Marketing Training Us to be Jerks?

Are our expectations shifting to be unrealistic?
Do we expect too much for nothing?

It’s eight o’clock in the morning, I’m still making coffee and haven’t had a chance to swill down a single drop yet, and my phone rings. I answer it.

“Hi! My name is ___ from ____! (Said in way too chipper of a voice for the sadly non-morning person that I am.) Thanks for attending our webinar last week! What interested you about it??

Grrr. “I’m afraid I wasn’t able to attend but look forward to listening to the recording,” I say.

“Do you know what marketing automation is and have you used it for your clients,” he says?

“I’m really not interested in any kind of software but just wanted to learn something new. Great topic.”

…. He goes on to babble something in Swahili (no coffee, remember?), I quickly say I’m not interested and hang up. Pissed off.

Wait – why did I get pissed off? He was perfectly polite and the company clearly expected the webinar to generate leads. Is that so wrong? Did that poor sales guy deserve my irritation?

I was mildly offended that he asked if I know what marketing automation was, sure, but where did the anger come from?

Expectations. As we become more sophisticated in how we create and consume content, we are teaching ourselves to expect everything for nothing.

Marketers are also more likely to get angry or annoyed than your average consumer, because WE KNOW there is not (and should never be) a direct line from content to sale. It just doesn’t work that way.

Even when a company tries to force it.

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The Simple Truth Behind Measuring Content Effectiveness

How to Find Your Most Popular Content…. So You Can Create More!

How to find your most popular blog postOne simple task that significantly improves the success of your content marketing is the ability to identify what pieces of content are driving results and which are not.

Once you know which ones are resonating, you can CREATE MORE content centered around high-interest topics.

How can you do this? GOOGLE ANALYTICS. It’s free, and it’s the single most effective way to measure effectiveness of any content you create, assuming the goal is either to (1) drive traffic to your website, or (2) drive traffic to your website.

Yup, that’s included twice on purpose. No matter what your secondary goal might be – email subscribers, sales, customer service forums, eBook downloads, conversion of any kind – it’s a pretty safe assumption that you need them on your website before it can happen.

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How PR Pros Can Build Epic Personal Branding For Corporate Leadership

How PR Pros Can Build Personal Branding for Corporate LeadershipLike fluffy yellow chicks marching in line after their mama, many companies are stuck in push marketing tactics of the past, favoring carefully crafted, conservative external messaging and expecting their executives to rigidly follow corporate directives when it comes to having (or not having) a digital voice.

“It’s too risky!” “We don’t know how to manage or monitor it!” “DESIGNATED SPOKESPERSONS ONLY” might as well be a sign slapped on every monitor.

Perhaps they don’t have an internal  brand ambassador program of any kind (a what?), and they are terrified at the very THOUGHT of giving employees online freedom and autonomy. Their content marketing and brand journalism has not yet evolved to a place where they are comfortable letting employees take the spotlight, allowing independent voices to ring out with options, truth and expertise.

For some companies, it’s by choice; some lack internal vision and progressive marketing expertise; and for others, it’s the result of compliance issues and legal directives.

So what’s a PR pro to do?

Consider ways to expand editorial placements with personal branding campaigns for c-suite leadership and your subject matter experts! It’s easier than you think, it bulks up your editorial placements, leaving clients thrilled with you, AND you earn bragging rights for launching their very first brand ambassador program.

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Content Marketing: How to Get Ridiculously Awesome Reach With Minimal Effort

Repurposing PowerPoint Presentations10,908. That’s the number of eyeballs I’ve reached with the eight presentations I’ve uploaded to SlideShare.

Not too shabby for a niche vertical and a couple of hours time, right? It really didn’t take me any time at all, because I uploaded presentations that I created for speaking gigs, webinars or other events. A few of them needed minor tweaks or changes to give context, but it was fairly minimal.

HALF of that reach was from a single presentation. If I did a better job of creating content, it could be even better!

One person business – not enough ours in the day – you know how that goes. I think I do pretty good with the resources I have, for an indie. A business with more support could do far, FAR better.

Can you imagine the fantastic reach you could earn for your content if using SlideShare with dedicated time and energy – backed by a specific, focused content strategy? AMAZING things would happen, thanks to SlideShare’s large, built-in audience! It’s just waiting for you to tap into it.

Here are a few examples of insanely successful decks. The first has 55,000 views and growing – a few of these have far less reach, but are still are highly successful because of their tight targeting within a specific industry or audience.

Take a look…

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My Top Do’s & Don’ts For Pitching & Writing Guest Blog Posts

guest post bloggingIt’s raining outside and I’m feeling lazy, like curling up with an afghan, a full french press of coffee and a great book. Trust me, I have hundreds of books to pick from. So…. in my haste to wrap up work for the day, I think I’ll bang out a quick listicle!

Content marketing is on my mind quite a bit this week, for a variety of reasons, so we’ll use that as our topic.

Busy week! I landed a new digital agency client for strategic work in repackaging what they package, sell and deliver to their clients as they change from link-building services to content marketing – so my mind has been tackling some of their major issues in preparation for launching work.

A second client tasked me with building a list of recommended next steps to move their content marketing forward, AND I’ve been working on my own 2015 content marketing strategy for Rock The Status Quo.

See why it’s top of mind?

Don’t Overlook Its Importance

When I think of content marketing, one of the primary tactics that comes to mind is guest blogging. It’s critical and, as bloggers now outnumber journalists, it’s a public relations tactic that can’t be ignored.

That being said, here are a few dozen “do’s and don’ts” to help you in your pitching and writing efforts.  

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Content Marketing: Can You Use Other People’s Blog Posts?

Content Marketing: Can You Use Other People's Posts?Maybe you were reading through your email this morning, or checking your Twitter stream, and you came across an article with an interesting headline. So you clicked it. Eureka! It’s like it was pulled straight from your own brain! You have to share it with your readers!

So you copy it, paste it into your own blog, give the author a line of credit in acknowledgement for their great work, then hit the publish button. Check off “write post” on your to-do list, pat yourself on the back and move on to the next task. Right?


That’s content theft and I’ll tell you why.  

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How to Choose the Best Blog Syndication or Guest Post Opportunities

Apples to Oranges: Guest Blog Post SyndicationThere’s a lot to love about having your posts syndicated. More visibility. More reach. More traffic. More influence. More social sharing.

Same goes for writing guest blog posts – if content marketing is your strategy, mastering website selection for where to place that content is essential. Otherwise, you’ll be creating content, but not results.

If you are a public relations professional, post syndication and guest posting are absolutely critical tools in building digital influence for your clients.

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Sprinkles or Frosting? Dress Up Your Content Cupcake With These 12 Fantastic Blog Plug-Ins.

Content CupcakeWithout plug-ins, a blog is a simple vanilla cupcake.

No frosting. No sprinkles. No glorious fudge center that makes your taste buds explode in joy.  Your nice looking theme makes a pretty paper wrapper, but that’s it. It’s like content cake sitting alone, in desperate need of TLC to make it delicious and irresistible. Readers won’t love it and clients won’t love it.

But with plug-ins!? You can do glorious things, all at the click of an “activate” button.

What are plug-ins? Small pieces of code that adds new functionality to your blog. Want to add SEO? Use a plug-in. Allow people to sign up for a newsletter? Plug-in. Send anyone that leaves a comment for the first time a quick thank you email? You got it, a plug-in.

Free blogs do not allow use of plug-ins, you must have a self-hosted blog. Use of plug-ins are best suited to intermediate to advanced WordPress users, not beginners, due to the customization most of them require.

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SEO For PR Pros: How Keyword Research Transforms You Into A Visibility Rock Star

honeybeeI have a beehive in my garden shed. Hundreds of honeybees zoom in and out of a crack in the floorboards all day long, frantically collecting nectar and bringing it back to the hive.

Sadly, instead of producing a beautiful honeycomb of golden deliciousness, the end result of their hard work is something that can’t ever be enjoyed. The honey is tainted from azalea and oleander nectar, which results in toxic, inedible honey.

In a way, this reminds me of many people’s blogging, content marketing and SEO for PR efforts. They put in great effort to write and publish content, only to have it stagnate.  What’s the point if it isn’t seen?

What makes content MOST LIKELY to stagnate? Lack of SEO and social sharing.

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