Council Post: Five Areas Of PR And Marketing To Focus On 2021
Ronjini Joshua is the Founder and CEO of The Silver Telegram, a technology PR agency focused on brand leadership through media relations.
1. Diversify the format of your content.
While I believe my original thoughts on public relations and marketing during a crisis are still highly relevant, there is a lot to expand on and learnings to apply from 2020 that marketers can arm themselves with this year. Ultimately, marketers will need to be incredibly nimble and resourceful in 2021 in order to stand out, maintain momentum and grow among a new digital flood of content.
You’ll need to focus on some key insights taken away from 2020 that will help you strategize and focus your marketing and PR efforts. Below are the five major areas I suggest focusing on in 2021 to help support your growth and set your brand up for success:
Content is king. While this is true for any year in question, content is especially important in 2021. That being said, it’s not just about what content you’re delivering now, but the format. The more you can diversify the format, the more interesting it is for your audience and the wider reach you can have.
Make sure to push your limits past the norm and find your voice, whether it be on podcasts, webcasts, videos, livestreaming or writing. People are engaging with content in every way imaginable, so I believe you can’t lose.
To get started, try doing a social media audit. It can be a slightly tedious process of comparing and contrasting your activity on your various platforms, but this audit is also very useful to see where your audience is engaging with you the most. Check views, comments and likes from each platform.
After doing this myself, I saw that while it took a few episodes to get going, I received positive engagement on a podcast I launched last year. This ended up being a format that I really loved, and I was able to give actionable tips to my audience.
2. Humanize your messages.
You might consider doing the same in order to test new formats. Try publishing a couple of podcasts; they are relatively simple to pull together and test on a podcast publishing tool. Or, try recording a short video and posting it on LinkedIn. I’ve found video posts do significantly better than text.
Most importantly, don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone. With all the tools and accessories available, you have no excuse not to try something at least once. My recommendation is to try it at least three times to see how it goes. With things like podcasts, don’t give up too early; do at least 10 episodes to see how you feel.
There are always fun catchphrases and clickbait, but what I’ve seen through my PR agency is that there’s been a new type of spam fatigue over the past year. Humanizing your content — while being genuine to your brand and your audience — is essential.
3. Focus on your niche.
Make sure you are addressing real pain points in your messaging on a human level. If we are “all in this together,” no gimmicks are the way to go. Take a dive into your customer’s shoes, and go through your customer journey. Who are they, and what questions are they asking? What is the problem they have that you’re solving? If you don’t know offhand, maybe you’re asking the wrong questions.
Most of our clients struggle with getting into the media, mostly because we work with many technology startups that can’t simplify their language to be conversational. Our messaging to them is very simple and straightforward: “We help customers find you next to their favorite brands in the media.”
If you’ve ever been in any type of business coaching, you’ve likely heard that you should focus on what you’re best at and outsource everything else. This resonates with PR and marketing as well; focus on customers you have the best relationships with, and elevate their experience. What would make their campaigns wildly successful (in their eyes), and what does it take for you to support their goals?
In my experience, focusing on your niche will give you a few key advantages, including:
* Driving your brand message with pinpoint focus.
* Playing big in smaller ponds.
4. Expand your creative horizons.
* Creating brand loyalty and ambassadors.
* Giving you better direction and focus.
5. Never stop learning.
Similar to expanding your content creation, creativity is a new must in business. While educational content is well respected and received, creativity gives anyone a fresh take, especially in traditionally noncreative industries. While time and money are always considerations, the test field for creativity right now might give you a new perspective on your brand and brand message. You might even attract new audiences.
To start, you might want to dip into online classes or subscriptions to explore ideas. There are also a number of free webinars you can attend in order to get better at something you’re already a little familiar with. For example, I’ve been polishing up my social media graphic skills.
While focusing your attention and skills is important to run a business, it’s never too late to learn a new skill. With digital learning at its peak, you can learn almost anything at any time. Taking some online courses might even give you a fresh perspective on your role in your organization or new ideas and strategies for PR and marketing.
Offering access to online learning is also a great way to offer benefits and incentives to employees as remote working continues. It’s a positive way to create brand loyalty and build useful skills within your organization and individually.
There’s always a silver lining, and from my perspective, 2020 wasn’t a total wash. This past year pushed everyone out of their comfort zones socially, physically and mentally, and it taught entrepreneurs, founders and marketers how to be even more resourceful. Now that we are armed with newfound resources and skills to beat adversity, it’s time to buckle up and create feverishly.
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