#EarthDay2015

Earth Day is an opportunity for brands to spread awareness for important causes and make a difference. And there is an even bigger opportunity for connecting with fans and consumers, because, well, who doesn’t loves the Earth?

This year was quite successful, with more than 570,000 Earth Day-related tweets posted by noon Eastern Time on Wednesday, according to the social network. (WOW!)

Let’s take a look at how some brands demonstrated their pride for the planet on Twitter:

What was your favorite #EarthDay tweet?

Read more, here.

Forget Half of What You’ve Learned. Mastery of Google is Key to Public Relations Succes

Google GIF

via Giphy.com

There is a growing dependence on search for information in the digital world. In fact, 89 percent of consumers use Google and other search engines to find information about products, services, and businesses prior to making purchases. And of those people, 87 percent won’t scan past page one of search results.

Google continues to improve its search engine so that users receive the most relevant content to their searches. Public relations professionals need to recognize the importance of having an SEO strategy and integrating Google Tools, such as Google AdWords and Google Analytics into that strategy.

OVERVIEW

Google AdWords is a pay-per-click marketing service that allows you to create and run ads for your organization. You can bid on the keywords you want to generate your ads appearing in the search engine results page. Google decides which ads are displayed and in which position based on each user’s maximum bid and quality score. Having a high quality score lowers your cost-per-click and leads to more impressions. You can improve your quality score by implementing relevant landing pages and keywords throughout your content.

Say that you work for Lego and want to set up a Google AdWords campaign. While current Lego customers are likely to search for the business by name, prospective customers are more likely to search by topic. So, you want ads to appear when people type in keywords and phrases related to Lego. Words and phrases like toy blocks, educational toys, minifigures, building blocks, and family owned toy company are just a few that come to mind.

It is important that the keywords and phrases describe what the organization actually does. It wouldn’t make sense for a Lego ad to appear for the search term “Star Wars,” for example, even though Star Wars is Lego’s most licensed toy set. It wouldn’t be smart for Lego to limit its brand to just its Star Wars sets. When in doubt, use Google’s Keyword tool to help you find relevant keyword ideas.

AdWords comes equipped with plenty of metrics that help you measure what is working in your campaign and what is not.

Google Adwords dashboard

The service will give you detailed reports on where and how often your ads appear, how many people click on them, which search queries drive the most visitors to your site, which keywords are most effective, and how many AdWords visitors actually order a product or service on your site.

If AdWords helps people get to your site, what happens when they arrive? This is where Google Analytics comes in. Google Analytics allows you to keep track of the unique people that visit your website, exactly when they visit, how they got there, what they do once they’re there, and how they interact with your content. This applies to blogs and other sites, too. By understanding the user interactivity, you can work the content around your users — an incredibly valuable strategy to the commercial success of your organization.

Suppose your marketing / PR campaign isn’t as successful as you’d have liked. Google Analytics will provide a real-time report with information about audience engagement and conversion activity to show you where your campaign is lacking. The service tracks which pages retain users the longest and when there is a spike in traffic, so you can better tailor your content.

Google Analytics Dashboard

Google Analytics shows you exactly which sites and search engines refer visitors to your website, as well as the search terms they used to get there.The platform also tracks what people search within your site. This shows you what exactly it is your buyers are looking for, that way, you can provide your audience with the content they seek and convert one-time users into loyal customers.

In addition, by tracking the type of people who visit your site, where they are from, and how loyal they are to your organization, you can understand the real origins of your traffic and find the best places to invest in new opportunities.

Google Analytics will save you time and money and provide you with valuable information to help reach your goals. It is perhaps the best measurement tool for public relations practitioners and communications professionals. To ignore Google and its powerful tools would be a huge mistake. Instead, you should embrace it, learn it, use it and master it. It is the key to public relations success.
Related Posts:

Uber vs. Lyft

The competition between Uber and Lyft has been rough–I might even say cutthroat–but it hasn’t stopped Boston consumers from using these car-sharing services. So, I asked students at Boston University which they prefer, Uber or Lyft. See their hilarious responses, reasons, and interesting experiences, here.

What side are you on?? Comment here!

Best Holiday Advertisements of All Time

The holidays are all about spreading good cheer to the masses. They are about delighting, entertaining, and moving others. The holidays present an invaluable opportunity for brands and marketers, not just for selling, but storytelling. The holiday season is a fitting time for companies to show people their culture, values, and principles.

Here are some brands that did it right, delivering the best holiday advertisements of all time:

This John Lewis ad just might make you tear a little. It tells the story of friendship between a boy, Sam, and his penguin friend, Monty. They play together all year, but as the weather turns cold, Monty begins to feel sad, and only Sam knows the problem. Monty the penguin is looking for love.

Hershey’s uses no words in this 1989 holiday commercial. The ad is short, sweet, and so effective. It’s also Hershey’s longest running product advertisement to date. Ogilvy & Mather succeeds with this charming, whimsical and simplistic advertisement, setting it apart from the rest.

Apple’s Emmy award-winning “Misunderstood” ad spot is about a kid who is seemingly too preoccupied with his iPhone 5S to engage with his family for the holiday. Later, however, it is revealed that he is, indeed, just misunderstood. Really nicely done, Apple.

This 1996 “Faint” advertisement by M&M has endured through the years and become a beloved holiday classic. The commercial features the meeting of two iconic “mythical” creatures. It’s cute, effective, and still elicits a chuckle after all these years.

What are your favorite holiday ads of all time? Share them here!

Why Google Plus Matters for Marketers

google plus logo

I’ll admit when I first heard about Google+, I wasn’t thrilled. I thought: no, please, not another social networking site. It began to feel like every other day something new came out, and they pushed and pushed, and they were all going to be the next big thing.

Plus (no pun intended), I already had Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest accounts, which took loads of effort, time, and commitment to stay active. I didn’t need another social media site—or so I thought.

I will tell you: Google+ is necessary for brands and marketers. Here are a few reasons to get on Google Plus:

  • 359 million monthly active users are on Google Plus. This is huge audience your company could be reaching, but isn’t because it’s not on Google+.
  • 70% of business brands have a presence on Google Plus. Who are these brands? Oh, they’re just your competition.
  • Google favors Google+ Pages in search engines results. This could mean a higher ranking for your company on Google search results.
  • +1 is clicked more than 5 billion times a day. Consider a +1 a “vote” for your company, like a favorite on Twitter or Like on Facebook.

P.S. Take a look at the ranking factors for Google search

ranking factors on Google search

  • Google+ is growing at 33% per annum. This is an incredible statistic for a platform just three years old. It’s also beating Facebook.
  • Google+, Twitter, and Facebook are the top three social media sites used by marketers. You should be on all three.
  • Brands’ Google Plus posts generate nearly as much engagement per follower as their Facebook posts and almost twice as much engagement per follower as their Twitter posts.googleplus interactions
  • 20 million unique mobile monthly users are on Google+. If you haven’t heard, mobile is everything.
  • Authorship (your picture + link next to search result) helps improve click-through rates. This helps you build influence.
  • Circles make it easy to group different people into categories and share the right content with the right audience.
  • Google Hangouts. These integrated video chats allow multiple users to “hang out,” or connect, in real-time. Think of all the opportunities to interact and engage.

And in case you’re not convinced, here is an awesome video about Google Plus that should do it for you:

So, next time you tell someone about Google+ and get a reaction like this….

G+ Mean Girls

…you’ll know exactly what to say.

Join me on Google+ and let me know how you like it!

Use The Best Colors For Your Website: color psychology

A lot goes into creating a website, and some aspects (like content) are certainly more important than others (such as color). But that doesn’t mean color is not important. Color is important. 

Many marketers know that color psychology has a huge impact on how people will perceive a business and how they interact with a company and its products.

So, do not carelessly pick your color scheme just to get things done. This is true for your website and your products. A study called Impact of Color on Marketing found that 90 percent of snap judgments made about products are based on color alone.

Another study found that 42 percent of shoppers form an opinion of a website based on design and color scheme, and 52 percent of shoppers don’t visit a website again if they don’t like its aesthetics.

It’s all about brand recognition. Colors play a substantial role in branding and have a big impact on how your brand is perceived. In fact, color increases brand recognition by about 80 percent. Color is important.

Did you ever wonder why there is an overwhelming amount of blue in logos and websites? It’s because it is universally appealing. Blue is honest and trustworthy; blue is safe. Any shade will do. Research shows that blue is the favorite color of the majority of the population, regardless of age and gender.

Favorite Color

Photo found at http://bit.ly/1xIM7oN

least favorite color

Photo found at http://bit.ly/1xIM7oN

A lot of sites go with this approach:

Facebook homepage

Twitter_homepage

Skype

PhotoShop

Maybe blue is even a bit overused, but it is safe and it appeals to most everyone. When to use blue:

  • Does your company succeed off of a high level of trust, like a bank? Choose blue.
  • Does your company appeal to consumer intellect? Choose blue.
  • Does your company appeal to both men and women? Choose blue.

Quick tip: it is important for new brands to specifically target logo colors that ensure differentiation from competitors (if the competition all uses blue, you’ll stand out by using purple).

Another common color used is green. Green symbolizes growth. Think of trees and plants—they grow. Green also signifies health and peacefulness. When people think of green, they think natural, calm, fresh, and full of life.

It is understandable then that big brands like Starbucks and Whole Foods use the color green.

Whole Foods and Starbucks use green to promote their values.

whole foods

starbucks_shared_planet_home_page

Another upside of green is that it’s one of the easiest colors for the human eye to process. Here are a couple of companies that make use of this:

Spotify

Android

When to use green:

  • Does your company want to advance the idea of health? Choose green.
  • Does your company want to create a feeling of wellness or freshness? Choose green.
  • Does your company have anything to do with food, health, or nature? Choose green.

Take a risk with orange. Although orange is on the list of least favorite colors for women, it works for some companies, especially those associated with risk-taking. Think Harley-Davidson motorcycles. The danger is the appeal.

When people think orange, they think energy, vibrancy, excitement, and some risk. Orange also symbolizes confidence and friendliness.

Here are some brands that are successfully using orange:

Home Depot uses orange to appeal to an adventure-taking crowd of DIYers.

Home Depot

Payless uses orange because of its association with “cheap.”

Payless

And some others:

Hubspot

Hooters

When to use orange:

  • Does your company want to inspire a sense of adventure? Choose orange.
  • Does your company want to encourage risk taking? Choose orange.
  • Does your company want to emphasize inexpensive products? Choose orange.

Conclusion: Once you select your color scheme, it’s hard to change it. Give it a lot of thought and get a lot of different input. Be sure you’ve chosen the color most appropriate to your brand, or else people will not make the proper associations and brand recognition, or worse, they won’t return to your site.

Here are some helpful articles:

What color does your online business use? Why?