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Getting personal, getting blocked

AI and other technologies that can be used to track and analyze data are harnessing info from the likes of social media accounts and online spending habits like never before. Algorithms are helping personalize newsfeeds, advertisements and much more. However, a significant range of Internet users are coming to think of this trend as less of a convenience when shopping and more of an invasion of privacy.

 

Give the people what they want

 

Although the differentiation of audiences and matching of client preferences with various products and services has long been talked up, the actualization of this phenomenon has only really heated up in recent years. Reception has been mixed, as consumers start thinking of how much privacy they are willing to give up in return for the discounts and promos that come their way. A new survey shows that almost half of respondents who use ad blockers would choose not to visit a website if they knew that it was personalizing advertising to visitors.  Moreover, the harvesting and use of information by advertisers is viewed by over six out of 10 people as inappropriate.

 

Digital natives are more okay with it

 

The strongest aversion to the use of IT to target audiences with specific material, perhaps not surprisingly, comes from generations that did not grow up with the Internet or were introduced to it later in life. No matter what comfort levels may be, though, the bottom line is that brands will need to work to keep trust among target audiences and long-term fans alike, as big data works to combine information like never before, and digital marketers grapple with how to best to use make use of it.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

Our award-winning communications team blends human interactions & digital engagement seamlessly to produce results for brands.

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The rise of brand storytelling

Stories are more easily remembered than statistics and facts alone. Stories stimulate our neural activity. Stories also impact the brain’s sensory cortex. Such are just a few facts related to how stories do a better job than facts alone (but, of course, still very much need them). The union of facts and heart-stirring narratives is called brand storytelling, a phenomenon rapidly gaining currency among digital marketers, aka digital storytellers and content marketers.

 

The future of marketing

 

Brand storytelling capitalizes on and represents the nearly inevitable outcome of several trends, including buyers trusting information coming from fellow customers than from companies, the tendency to edit out advertisements from daily news feeds and streaming sites, the quest for authenticity in brands, decreasing brand loyalty, and the nature of the trend-setting, digital-native Gen Z.

 

Sponsoring values, not products

 

Advertisers are rebranding themselves as value-focused, which has always been be a tough sell. Creating interest in goods and services without blatantly looking like you’re selling them may not be a new challenge, but is an increasingly relevant one to meet in a world awash with information and multiple channels for exposure. Influencers are found attractive by their followers for their character and integrity, not their over loyalty to particular brands, let alone for being mouthpieces for sales and specials of the day.

 

There’s no publicity like free publicity

 

If the best stories write themselves, the most unscripted of plot twists can have the happiest of endings in terms of PR value. Which is to say, the best things in life are free. When a very obviously 21st-century coffee cup looking like it was from Starbucks worked itself into a bar scene from the premium streaming series “Game of Thrones” the gargantuan error generated for Starbucks what one industry expert valued to be no less than US$2.3 billion in free advertising. Some stories are too good to be true, and the great ones are too serendipitous to have been made up.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

Our award-winning communications team blends human interactions & digital engagement seamlessly to produce results for brands.

Best PR Agency Delivering PR | Social | Digital. 

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Waiting for information alignment

Many key trends look ready to coalesce in ways that should make data more easily accessible and better organized. Only that for every innovative step forward, more questions and disruption is caused as well. What’s new? Well, plenty, actually. Voice search, led by the rise of Alexa and Google Home, is ready for big-time liftoff and will have interesting ramifications for SEO – which remains something both unquantified and essential for businesses. The same goes for video, which is becoming more popular on websites but is just as susceptible to the unpredictable, shifting nature of SEO.

 

A world of opportunity for storytellers

 

For public relations professionals, this presents the usual challenge and opportunity: for those with the right message and networks for amplifying messages, the rewards are great. Deeper, better content that connects meaningfully with buyers, in particular niches, remains essential and is more important than ever. Beyond the reach of big data and reaching target audiences, developing a rapport still matters, and remains built on trust and experience. This takes a proven track record more than algorithms and mere potential. What matters is data maturity: it takes time and energy to isolate trends and optimize today’s great opportunities for message sharing and profit.

 

In search of truths

 

This need for authenticity and balance in a world more marked by chance is well represented in the rise of the digital platforms for many traditional media that now have more online that hard-copy subscriptions. The successful shift has solidified and raised the standing of classic institutions such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post. Classical influencers still have their role in times threatened by fake news, and big data, which gives even larger importance to the need for veracity.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

Our award-winning communications team blends human interactions & digital engagement seamlessly to produce results for brands.

Best PR Agency Delivering PR | Social | Digital. 

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The shifting but significant nature of SEO and social media

Recent research shows that while almost two-thirds of small businesses have social media accounts, just over half of them have a social media marketing strategy. While that may not be as dangerous as buying and driving a car without getting a driver’s license first, there is plenty of room for more prudence on behalf of firms of any size attempting to make best use of their online potential. Even when you don’t know all of the terrain that lies ahead, roadmaps are useful.

 

Social media marketing coming of age

 

Over 55% of these businesses with a social media presence have an in-house team managing these webpages, while 37% of them use social media software to help maintain their social media accounts. The most popular ways in which these firms are tracking the success of their social media presence is engagement (24%), leads/conversation (24%), clicks to other websites (18%) and audience growth (16%). There remains significant reluctance to jump into new waters without a sense of what lies beneath.

 

Don’t forget SEO, even if it’s mysterious

 

Even more perplexing than attempting to optimize usage of social media is managing your website’s SEO, since, well, we’re not quite sure exactly what it is or how it works, actually. Over 60% of small companies place greater importance on social media marketing than SEO planning. Just over a third of small businesses have an SEO strategy, although about a quarter of them plan to have one by the end of 2019. This lack of planning is perhaps understandable when considering the shifting, unreliable nature of what SEO is, and how search engines like Google define it. But it pays to pay attention and be ready for what comes next, when some kind of calm and standardization comes about after the stormy conditions defining the online world of today.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

Our award-winning communications team blends human interactions & digital engagement seamlessly to produce results for brands.

Best PR Agency Delivering PR | Social | Digital. 

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Gen Z streaming and spending up a storm

Next-gen digital natives dubbed “Generation Z” are getting more out of the online experience than anyone ever has, finding movies and series to stream, a growing array of products and services to buy on cashback-friendly sites, and wanting orders delivered ASAP. Beyond the communications revolution triggered by email and then chat-friendly social media, today’s online landscape is more like the conveniences-loaded world of tomorrow that’s been talked of for so long.

 

Focused and female

 

A few new major international studies out this year show how Generation Z is coming of age, even savvier in navigating the online world than Millennials, and driven by females. Nearly two out of three female Gen Z members in the US bought clothes from Amazon in recent months, and rank speed and convenience higher than brand and even price. Digital marketers out to cultivate relationships with them will have to showcase their best incentives to cultivate lasting relationships with these young women online, who are also more willing to experiment with less-known brands, and have less association with brand loyalty.

 

Getting informed by social media

 

Current events are learned of on social media by at least a quarter of the online population, studies show. Beyond the friendship groups that online communities bring together, the news aspect of social media is growing and becoming more standard, for learning of what’s on, performing the role of listings magazines with greater frequency and efficiency.

 

It’s “Generation Z”

 

Google Trends stats show that “Generation Z” is the name most associated for now with anyone born during the last 20 years or so. Marketers, take note.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

Our award-winning communications team blends human interactions & digital engagement seamlessly to produce results for brands.

 

Best PR Agency Delivering PR | Social | Digital. 

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In search of SEO

The calculus of optimizing a company’s online potential seems simple enough: get more people coming to your website and engaging in activity there that will boost profits. Only that there are many hurdles to overcome, due to lack of prepaedness for optimizing the great potential of SEO. And the fact that the rules of the game are subject to change.

 

Staying atop the digital dogpile

 

Getting and remaining listed highly on Google’s first page of search results is getting more difficult, as companies are becoming increasingly competitive in making sure their online presence is as good as it gets, led by attractive, relevant content in synch with what big search engines are asking for. Similar challenges, competitiveness and expense limits the effectiveness of click-baiting people into visiting your website. Good SEO comes down to an effective deployment of winning content, and good use of meta tags and keyword targets. A new study of small businesses indicates that the number one SEO metric used by small businesses is traffic from the likes of Google and other major search engines, while also significant are conversions and leads, as well as use of backlinks.

 

SEO, s’il vous plait

 

The study shows that only a third of small businesses have a fully developed plan for boosting SEO, but that by the end of this year, roughly half of all companies will have such a strategy. Over six out of 10 of the small businesses surveyed say that social media marketing is the most common SEO booster. Also important to the small firms was having a website that was easy to interface with smartphones, and investing more heavily in digital marketing.

 

Putting the O in SEO

 

As if all that wasn’t challenging enough, some observers say that by the end of next year, half of all online searches may be voice-activated. This is one more area in which many small businesses need to play catch up in, if Internet searches related to their products and services are to be anything close to optimal.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

Our award-winning communications team blends human interactions & digital engagement seamlessly to produce results for brands.

 

Best PR Agency Delivering PR | Social | Digital. 

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News designed to confuse and mislead

Misinformation has always been with us, but has never before had so many many real chances for liftoff.

 

Skeptical thinking and critical reasoning have taken a hit in an era when trust is just as important as ever, yet taken for granted when so much information is presented authoritatively. We’ve become lazy at fact checking – not that it was ever easy. Truth and lies mingle on digital platforms brimming with immediacy and confidence, working to state with authority that the information they help get across is accurate. Although we know this is not always the case, seeing is often believing. Over 60% of respondents in a recent survey expressed difficulty distinguishing fact from fiction in the news that they are consuming. Another report finds that seven out of 10 times, fake news ends up being retweeted than verifiable stories. Even when we try to distinguish what’s real, fiction ends up being more entertaining and worthy of sharing.

 

Freedom of expression and censoring where needed

 

YouTube is widely appreciated for its usefulness in providing free entertainment, though often raises concerns related to intellectual property and profit. The video-sharing site is also awash in conspiracy theories that can get users thinking at best, and believing in mistruths and engaging in dangerous activities at worst. Misinformation is everywhere, and it takes a lot of effort to get to the truth sometimes. Facebook’s iffy algorithms may end up isolating posts when they are found to be based on inaccuracy, but ignore posts more deserving to be taken down. Then, of course, there are grey areas.

 

Even though censorship was anathema to many of the founders of social media platforms, these modern venues for exchanging ideas need more guidance and regulation if their more dangerous roots are to be weeded out.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

Our award-winning communications team blends human interactions & digital engagement seamlessly to produce results for brands.

 

Best PR Agency Delivering PR | Social | Digital. 

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5 Reasons to Work in PR

With disruptive technology, digital marketing and the explosion of content, the evolving world of public relations is promises greater career openings than ever before. If you are considering a move from say journalism or marketing into PR or this is a whole new field, then here are 5 Reasons to Work in PR.

 

PR is a boom industry

Everybody wants content and the main drivers are the growing needs of digital media from social media platforms to blog content and online PR platforms. In the US, official statistics predict a 6% rise in PR jobs in 2024 compared to 10 years previously.

 

PR is creative

In PR you can create a narrative and are involved in brand innovation and adding your input into the whole marketing process with clients; using your skills to shape a story for a specific goal.

 

PR is positive

Press releases and PR in general is often about promoting a special offer, introducing a new product or service or spreading a positive message. It is about targeting great results.

 

PR is measurably rewarding

Working across many traditional and digital media channels and platforms, you can see the efforts of your hard work in PR clearly and the reach and successes can be measured.

 

PR is about choice

You can work for a big-brand PR agency, opt for a boutique or niche firm or become part of a start-up or an agency focused on NGOS. A career in PR offers endless possibilities.

 

 

Call or email us if you want to know more about working at Vivaldi PR : Contact Us

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Why marketing and PR needs data science?

Regular LinkedIn users who often check the classified job ads may have noticed an increasingly common trend among marketing recruiters – jobs requiring some expertise in data science (or “Big Data scientists”). Big Data and digitally applied skills jointly provide better analysis of business/ consumer results (or any shortfalls in this area); and, such skills also help to extrapolate and zone in on those who are likely to be interested in the client’s products and service offering. Several tech magazines have identified this type of job role as being “better paying than medicine” as a career path, with a future focus in app creation to look for pattern-seeking and data crunching knowledge: “This trend for data scientists mimics the trend for digital specialists that happened earlier at the turn of the millennium.” (Wired US).

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