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Digital Communications

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Digital Marketing - Study Notes:

Influencers and advocates

Like traditional PR, digital PR enables you to gain an influencer base where you’re actually getting people to write positive notions about your product and services online. It involves spreading the word in a digital way.

Influencers

An influencer is an individual whose actions and opinions carry more weight with the general public than other individuals. So, for instance, in the marketing sphere you may have key influencers like Seth Gordon or Simon Sinek for example, and what they say about marketing theory and trends is probably more valued in the marketplace than perhaps Joe Blogs on the high street. So getting to them and being able to target them to become an influencer for your organization could be very important in gaining traction.
 
The other major benefit of having these influencers on board is simply that they themselves have massive networks online. So take, for example, the number of people that they have in terms of ability to tweet out to a base or the number of Facebook likes they have. All of these things in essence helps you to generate greater awareness and actually gain new markets as a consequence of your influencers.

Advocates

An advocate is a person who’s highly satisfied with your services and they are more than happy to promote your brand to others. Now, these individuals play an extremely important role. So, for example, everyone talks about word-of-mouth marketing being some of the most important aspects of marketing. This is because advocates have close groups of friends who are trusted and they highly trust. So, if an advocate tells you that a product or a service is good, the likelihood is that you will value their opinion more than any sort of advert out there. So being able to target these key influencer groups is a really vital thing.

What is digital PR?

The main element of online PR is maximizing favorable mentions of an organization, its brand, products and websites on third-party sites, which are more likely to be visited by the target audience. In essence, it’s another way to get the feelers out and to spread the word.

Sites that do this very well would be people like econsultancy.com. They are a thought leadership site which enables people in the digital marketing space to get access to some of the current thoughts or tools and techniques that can be used.

Benefits

Digital PR brings a number of benefits:

  • Easy shareability: In a world of social it’s so easy to share different views comments in this landscape particularly when you’ve already built up a particular base of fans that you have.
  • Influencers and advocates: These influence and advocates become a key way for your organizations to be able to move ahead and penetrate in the marketplace.
  • Utilize network: You should utilize your network as a means to actually reach out further because that is a very cost-effective way to get your marketing voice heard.
  • Cost-effective: You don't have to spend a huge amount in either traditional or digital comms, so it has become cost-effective.
  • Measurable results: You can get key data and measure results.

A growing force

There is a great quote by Jeffrey Rohrs from Salesforce in his latest book The Audience that really encapsulates the power of social media and digital PR:

“The moment you begin flipping through these pages you became a READER. I’m hoping you’ll soon purchase a copy and graduate to a CUSTOMER audience. And if the subject really strikes a chord with you perhaps you become a website VISITOR an email SUBSCRIBER or a FAN of the book on Facebook. Who knows you may even become one of my FOLLOWERS on Twitter LinkedIn or Google+.”

What Geoffery was trying to encapsulate by that quote is to talk about the various ways that you can interact with the content that he’s providing, but also contribute to the fan base that he is building with the insights that he’s developing. There are so many different sites that he mentions there and so many ways for consumers to become advocates of his brand, as well as being able to play a role in shaping for the content for the future. So that not only does it become an advocacy thing, it also becomes a user generated content type of approach as well.

A great example is Econsultancy – they’ve built up a great user base of bloggers as well as avid readers who contribute constantly to their knowledge section on their website. It’s really valuable piece for any digital marketer.

Word-of-mouth marketing

Word-of-mouth marketing has three key elements:

  • Engage: It enables engagement. Get people talking to each other, get people talking about your brand in the digital space, and then get them to spread the word.
  • Equip: It gives them the key tools and techniques to be able to use, to be able to then go on to engage more with your product or service.
  • Empower: It puts them largely in the driving seat. It empowers your customers to actually take charge of the key things that are valuable to them which hopefully is your brand and service.

Amplifying the message

How can you amplify your message in the social media and digital PR space?

Think about these four key ways:

  • Connect with your influencers: Don’t think that they come easy, and don’t think that you can just put out messages and they’ll pick it up. It’s important to have a two-way dialogue with them and constantly engage them in that process. First Direct set up a First Direct lab. First Direct is a bank in the UK and they set up a lab which connects directly with influencers getting their views comments. And, in fact, Google is a great example of doing beta test where they integrate the influencer comments or give the influencers priority when actually rolling out new products.
  • Post valuable content: The most valuable content is really important for influencers to latch onto as well as people that constantly share with other people.
  • Promote landing pages: You’re promoting a landing page as a consequence. Often, when you’re posting content, it leads on to a page which has further information. A key consumer trend is wanting to have small snippets of information, which is important for, things like email marketing campaigns. But then that leads on to a landing page, which has more information for those who are avid readers.
  • Social to email conversation: Once you strike up a good two-way dialogue on a social channel, actually trying to take them on to a separate channel, say email, is a great way to grow and foster that relationship in a more in-depth way.
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Richie Mehta

Ritchie Mehta has had an eight-year corporate career with a number of leading organizations such as HSBC, RBS, and Direct Line Group. He then went on setting up a number of businesses.

Richie Mehta

Data protection regulations affect almost all aspects of digital marketing. Therefore, DMI has produced a short course on GDPR for all of our students. If you wish to learn more about GDPR, you can do so here:

DMI Short Course: GDPR

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ABOUT THIS DIGITAL MARKETING MODULE

Digital Communications
Richie Mehta Richie Mehta
Skills Expert

This module begins by covering the benefits and challenges associated with digital communications and the importance of researching and selecting the most appropriate digital channels to reach and engage with your target audience. It covers the tools and digital PR activities you can use to extend your reach on social media, content management, the factors to consider when creating a budget for a digital campaign, resourcing a digital team, and the importance of aligning digital metrics with customer service metrics to review the performance of a digital campaign. 

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