We’re often confronted by this question, especially when we’re meeting with The Boards of Trustees in hospital conference rooms.  There are some people who misconstrue our stance that ‘social media management alone is not enough’ as condemning the use of social media. This is a misconception; social media is a communications strategy that should not be ignored by any company.

So, what do we say when we’re asked, “Why Should we invest in Social Media?”

We respond:

 “It may be helpful to review how social media differs from traditional communications strategies.Continue reading

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After two decades of watching clients develop amazingly sophisticated website metrics, we’ve learned there are two rules for designing website key performance indicators:

  1.  Keep them clear.
  2. Don’t have more than three on the C-Level Dashboard.

We love Big Data.  Nothing else in history has given us the ability to make such informed decisions. Yet an unstructured data funnel leaves client teams with information overload.  In order to handle the overwhelming amount of data, the data shuffling department staff numbers grow.  Information that drives decisions becomes bogged down, secondary to data acquisition, analysis and report generation.  You’re back to missed deadlines and sloppy information management.

What works for most of our clients, especially those without impressive content analytics teams?* Continue reading

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You’ve heard the statistics before: Social media posts with visuals receive 94% more page visits and engagement than those without; businesses who market with infographics grow traffic an average of 12% more than those who don’t; and 60% of consumers are more likely to click on a business whose images appear in search results.

Still not convinced? Take a look at this blog post for an infographic on the growing importance of visuals, which have been taking over the social media landscape in the past few years. To catch the eye of an audience increasingly inundated with media and information, we must feature unique and striking visual content on a frequent basis. Continue reading

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Throughout history, people have always had a natural attraction to stories. Around a campfire, over a phone call, to coworkers, or at the request of a child before bed, we spin tales of suspense, imagination, wonder and hope. It’s no surprise then that people are far more likely to connect with a brand that uses stories and relatable characters to reach their audience. This study finds that when humans relate to a character on an empathetic level, they experience increased levels of oxytocin. In other words, when we connect with a storyline personally, it makes us feel good, and we are more likely to associate the tale, and thus the brand, with positivity.

Image: www.prtini.com

Image: www.prtini.com

We’re also more likely to remember stories than, say, purely factual messages. Think back on the commercials you actually remember–is it an insurance ad telling you about their fabulous rates or Budweiser’s Super Bowl ad about one soldier’s unforgettable homecoming? The emotion we feel for this soldier is an involuntary reaction that connects us to the character on a visceral level, leaving an imprint on our minds that ordinary words, facts and images cannot.

While storytelling is an age-old tradition, dating back all the way to drawings on a cave wall, the increase of social media and digital forms of communication has created a society of ever-increasing information sharers. The information we convey to one another over Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr is likely highly personal, and we have become accustomed to knowing the inside details of everyone from our close friends to our favorite food bloggers. These days, if something doesn’t tap into our natural inclination for connection to the individual lives of others, it becomes uninteresting, drab and irrelevant.

Telling a story, whether uplifting, funny or outrageous, is a clever way for brands to tap into a desire old as humankind: the desire to connect.

How does your brand tell its story? Let us know in the comments!

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There’s no denying that the use of quality content is important to any marketing plan. Producing 3 times more leads than other online advertising mediums, content marketing can bring inbound traffic to your website, generate natural link popularity and build brand awareness through engagement.

Here are 5 of our best suggestions to increase search engine rankings and sales through engaging content.

1. Create mobile-compatible content. Almost half of web traffic is from mobile users. Make sure your website is mobile-compatible, and that the format looks just as good on a smartphone as a computer. Since Google is now taking into account mobile users when ranking websites in search results, it’s more important than ever to make sure you’re not missing out on these potential customers.

2. Make one-of-a-kind content. Ever see the same topics covered countless times across different platforms? So much of the Internet is clogged with overused, mediocre content that circulates quickly and has a short shelf life. Focus on topics that haven’t been covered–or tackle old subjects in a new way, such as using an InfoGraphic. While various content may come and go quickly in the digital age, good writing, thorough research and eye-catching graphics are always the best way to captivate an audience.

3. Don’t be afraid to tell your story. It’s not a secret that the easiest way to connect with an audience is through personal interaction. While your brand may not be comfortable with overly casual content, adding a special on an employee’s story or a tidbit on how your company got started can work wonders for adding a real, memorable touch to your brand.

4. Remember: Quality, not quantity. Posting to your brand’s blog 10 times a day might seem ambitious, but your followers are more likely to tune you out than pay attention if all of your content is mundane. You want to be seen as a savvy industry leader who can be turned to for up-to-date, reliable information, so keep your posts timely, relevant and informative.

5. Don’t be overly wordy. Remember that classic marketing writing tips still apply: Try to use accurate, to-the-point language that packs a punch without losing your audience’s interest. In an age of shortened attention spans, overuse of adjectives and adverbs will turn viewers off; instead, try action verbs and concrete nouns.


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