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Sinclair and Ruiz is a consultancy that creates integrated local, national and international marketing strategies


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Lesson: How Social Media Organizations Market Themselves

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Having a social media strategy is essential. However, it is important to understand the role social media plays in an organizations marketing campaign in order to use it effectively. Social media is a valuable tool, not an inexpensive alternative to integrated marketing. Social Media companies themselves offer the best example.

A few months ago, we attended the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions seminar hosted by LinkedIn, at the Vancouver Convention Centre. This was a great event that shared insight into social media user behavior, how consumers use LinkedIn, as well as the products offered by the company to assist organizations in reaching these consumers.  The sales portion of the presentation was informative, direct and very effective in changing the perception that the platform should mostly be used for personal professional networking purposes and employment searches.  Linked In certainly offers many other valuable tools for organizations wanting to reach their valuable membership. The curious thing about LinkedIn’s brand awareness and sales strategy is that it transcends social media. That is, the tools were promoted via an event that allowed face to face communication, the event was marketed via BC Business (a business magazine and e-newsletter), and the collateral material distributed at the event was a hard copy report. This is a great example of an integrated marketing campaign.

Facebook also promotes product awareness via events. Brooke Oberwetter, associate manager for policy communications at Facebook, spoke at a Vancouver Board of Trade Event in June of this year. Furthermore,  Twitter is using traditional network building strategies in Canada by “developing partnerships with creators of TV and Web programming”, according to the Globe and Mail in an article that suggests they work with traditional media outlets to promote their public relations message.

This is an important lesson, as it showcases the fact that in order to build their valuable membership and customers, they draw on multiple marketing tools. Thus organizations must take advantage of what social media offers, as a tool to be used in a wider strategy.

Contact Sinclair and Ruiz today at info@sinclairandruiz.com to find out how we can integrate social media in to your organization’s marketing strategy. www.sinclairandruiz.com


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Advertising vs. Public Relations

Advertising and public relations are both different and integral parts of the marketing whole. However, there are plenty of people who take sides and passionately believe in one over the other. For example, the anti- PR camp may agree with the statement in a recent article that  “…Anyone who announces anything is a fool because nobody cares unless they’re Apple or Google…[and] many people still don’t get that public relations is no longer public relations. By many people, I don’t mean just PR people: I mean the companies that hire them and demand they do it a certain, familiar way.” On the other hand, I’ve also heard executives say they stay away from advertising because they don’t believe it is effective. For them the best and only valuable promotional strategy is to earn media coverage.

Public Relations

Public Relations includes much more than press releases and media coverage. PR also includes creating networks (not limited to virtual ones), hosting events, participating in trade shows, corresponding with existing and potential clients, and of course social or new media. The right balance and ensuring your message is directed to the correct audience should result in interest and therefore people caring about what you have to say.

In the case of social or new media, its applications are still in the development phase and currently change. The phenomenon has created much excitement in the PR camp. Yet, not everyone is enthusiastic about the challenges new media represents. As the head of a well established PR company closing its doors explained “…Ad firms are having mixed success with their early forays… and jumping in because their clients expect it…” while on the other hand “Companies have no budget line for this. They don’t know how to measure it. They struggle with balance between responding to customers, over-compensating small issues, or being too ‘corporate’ in their responses. There is no measurement tools that make me go, ‘Snap!!’ that’s who is listening to us.”

It is important to recognize that social media opens the door to endless possibilities. The key is not to become consumed by the options, and as with any strategy, stick to a plan that reaches the company’s objectives. Also, don’t forget that social networks are not limited to Facebook and Twitter. Networks are formed through business, partnerships, and memberships. The main goal of PR is to get people talking about you according to the image you want to portray – one that encourages people to become clients.

 

Advertising

Common comments from those who do not like advertising often mention that a) they prefer not to pay for coverage if they can get it for free and b) that people believe what the media says more than what advertisers say. It is important to take into consideration that earned media does not guarantee full control of the message nor does it control exact timing. In addition, it is up to the company to transmit the right message through their advertising and make the necessary information available to people researching the product in order to satisfy consumers. An ad can include specific information and calls to action that may not be conveyed in earned media. In addition ads can be repeated frequently to maintain the message current while- for example- a columnist is not likely to write about your company 3 times a week for an entire month repeating your message. In fact, even Apple – a company that earns more media attention than most- resorts to advertising to communicate specific information about their products.

Balance
The use of Advertising and PR requires a balance that depends on the company, its goals and the situation. An integral and effective campaign should implement both in a complementary way, especially as people choose multiple media through which to research products. The balance may shift according to the needs of the company and must adjust to new developments. The most important element is to know what you want to achieve and have a clear plan as to how you will achieve it.

Contact us to learn how Sinclair and Ruiz can help design the right strategy and balance for your business.

www.sinclairandruiz.com

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@sinclairandruiz


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DIY Marketing – Is it the right option for your business?

Many businesses are opting to develop and implement their own marketing campaigns. Some decide to hire in-house staff to take care of this side of business and others just go at it alone with the idea of saving money.  In both cases, businesses can benefit from professional assistance, albeit for different reasons and to different extents.

In the case of in-house marketing staff, personnel is very useful in terms of implementation and follow-up as they are knowledgeable and can absorb some of the more time-consuming aspects. However, rarely can one person know everything. Professional marketing agencies can provide specialized assistance and direction  that complement your marketing staff’s plan of action – and they may be able to secure preferential pricing not available to individual businesses.

They case of DIY for company’s with limited marketing experience is more complex. Some companies shy away from investing in agencies if they feel they can buy media on their own and choose the right place to advertise from listening to buzz about delivery options (like Search Engine Marketing). Some companies shy away from professional help because they have chosen a method of advertising – lets stick with Search Engine marketing – and spend a substantial amount of money on Google AdWords only to find they are not getting the return on investment expected. In these cases the missing link is a sound strategy.  DIY involves expensive trial and error if a company is not familiar with different media options and how they connect with specific markets.  Furthermore, as with many other media, Google AdWords are an excellent advertising option, but rarely are they the sole answer to a company’s marketing needs – a combination of media with a strong message are needed. These features, along with a budget and clear and realistic goals,  make-up a sound strategy.

We do not claim that DIY should be considered a write-off. DIY marketing is not for everyone, but the reality is many companies will take this route and if done properly it will produce the desired results. The DIY approach can especially work for small businesses.  I wouldn’t recommend it for large and complex campaigns; for companies that cannot invest the time required for implementation and follow-up; nor do I recommend DIY for event planning (save yourself the time and stress).

However, DIY marketing  can be used for setting a solid foundation in branding and lead-generation. Most companies do DIY social media marketing as well. They key, as noted before is having an effective strategy, and this is where professional help is extremely important.

S&R understands that companies have different needs, budgets and take different approaches accordingly. We also know everyone needs a sound strategy.  This is why we are launching a new set of cost-efficient marketing packages designed especially for DIYers. The packages include all the tools and coaching companies require to launch effective strategies from the start. If you would like more information and pricing for these packages … or would like to know if this is an option for your business email us at info@sinclairandruiz.com.

CIS

carolina@sinclairandruiz.com

www.sinclairandruiz.com/marketing


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5 Tips for Using Social Media to Market Your Business

I recently attended an event that addressed different topics of social media (new media) for business. The event was hosted by a media publisher, and attendees ranged from entrepreneurs from different industries and marketing companies, to large well established businesses.

It was clear from the crowd’s questions, and from speaking to people at my table that everyone engaged social media at a different levels. Although almost everyone personally used atleast one social media platform, the majority of guests were still unsure how this phenomenon could be applied to their business. Two recurring questions were:

– How to use social media to make money?

– How can it be used without taking up too much time and cutting into productivity?

I’d like to offer a few tips and considerations on how to use social media for business:

1) Have a strategy: Just as any other type of marketing, in order for your efforts to work, you must have a clear notion of what you want to achieve: branding? communication with existing clients? generate new business?

2) Choose a combination of platforms that are preferred by your target market, and can facilitate your goals.  Review statistics regularly to measure effectiveness of each platform and of your strategy.

3) Use one tone. Unless you are yourself the brand being promoted, it is best to keep the company’s voice separate from your personal voice. Decide what kind of a tone you wish to use and stick to it throughout your posts.

4) Know your clients. It is important to know your clients. Not all companies target markets that are equally knowldgeable of social media platforms. If your audience is younger, your strategy must be able to engage an audience that keeps up and invents new media. If your audience does not fit the cutting-edge criteria, your strategy must be  friendly to the user you aim to attract. 

5) Acknowledge its importance as well as its limitations. Social media is now as basic as having a website. Businesses need to accept its importance. However, one must have a balanced  and comprehensive approach to a marketing strategy. It is unlikely that social media on its own is going to fulfill the needs of any one company.  You have to put yourself in the line of vision of your target market- wherever it chooses to look. More often than not, this means taking your company’s message to a combination of outlets.  

In conclusion, you can make money from social media, but it depends on the strategy you implement according to the results you expect. That is, you won’t generate business just by setting up a facebook page… but you can certainly  make it work to your benefit once you set out a clear plan of action.

On the other hand,  in order to keep control of social media so it doesn’t take over your life, be sure to choose a specific combination of social media that will work for your goals and be appreciated by your market. Also, choose a tone and message that you will implement as consistently as possible.

CIS 

carolina@sinclairandruiz.com

www.sinclairandruiz.com/marketing


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S&R: a consultancy for integrated marketing strategies

Sinclair and Ruiz is a consultancy that creates integrated local, national and international marketing strategies. www.sinclairandruiz.com/marketing

Here are a few facts about our work:

  • We analyze markets, assess progress and business processes in order to improve performance.
  • S&R designs highly targeted campaigns that focus on ROI, marketing-for-leads and branding.
  • Our experience includes working with private companies, tourism boards, associations and public-private sector co-ops.
  • S&R campaigns reach Canada, Mexico and the U.S.
  • Our team’s client retention average is 4 years +.

In the following blogs we will discuss different marketing topics and address frequent questions about event management, new media, design and others. We’ll offer tips and provide anecdotes you might relate to.

But for today, I say welcome to our blog!

www.sinclairandruiz.com/marketing