With constant changes in the algorithm of social media platforms, you might be wondering what actions you can take to help you get more visibility for your campaigns?
Here are five tips to help you optimise your communications plans for your next campaign beyond the ‘usual advice’ of:
- posting strategically at times and on platforms where your audience is
- being prepared to pay to promote your content with social advertising
- or expanding your reach through influencer marketing.
Think Mobile First
Don’t plan your communications for desktop consumption. As at August 2018 globally mobile market share was 52.54% compared to 43.33% for desktop and 4.13% for tablets according to StatCounter.
Make sure that your press releases are easy to read on a mobile screen and enable documents to be viewed without having to download them as PDF’s.
I find this happens most often on public sector websites making documents available for download – from press releases to detailed reports through to job descriptions on their career sites.
In my experience, this is particularly important for users of Android devices. When I open PDF documents in a link, the document downloads to my mobile. This going to demand data, and not everyone is on an ‘all you can eat’ contract. I know many people have to be prudent with their use of data because of their mobile contracts. It also means that the document then takes up storage on the device until it is deleted. I personally have not had this same issue with my iPhone.
There are other ways that you can display yout reports and documents on your site with an invitation to download the PDF should someone choose to do so.
I also recommend that you break up dense copy and make the press release content easier to scan, using short paragraphs and supporting your story with relevant images, animations and videos. Ditch the free stock photography as they do not help you build your brand – additionalsly, people will be easily identify that it has been used on many if not hundreds of sites (this is easy to do with a reverse image search).
There are lots of good inexpensive sites for high quality stock images and videos and I often invest in image and video credits with no expiry date so that I can use them as I need to.
Support Your Communications With Video
Are you integrating video into your communications?
It has become increasingly easier to create high quality branded video content both on desktop and mobile to supplement the content you have developed by your media agency.
If you follow my content online you will know that I constantly share tools I use and recommend to help you create and publish video content both from your desktop and using your mobile device.
The choice of video technologies continues to expand, including tools that can help you create captions to embed into your video content which means that the content can be understood, even when people are scrolling through their social media feeds with audio turned off.
And don’t dismiss vertical video. This year we have seen the launch of Instagram TV which is optimised for vertical video. And recently YouTube updated their desktop video player so that it automatically adapts based on the video’s size (aspect ratio) and your computer’s screen and browser size. This means you no longer have to see black bars alongside the video when watching content that is not a 16:9 ratio.
Bring Your Brand To Life With Live Streamed Audio And Video
Over the last two years we have seen an explosion of live streaming platforms and tools, including being able to live stream audio on Facebook and Periscope through to hosting live video streams on Instagram.
Live streaming offers the opportunity to connect in real time with your community and can help you share your story and respond to questions. Facebook themselves have reported that live video can generate six times more interactions than regular video.
There are new tools that allow you to schedule live streams of previously recorded content.As an example you can view this tutorial about scheding pre-recorded vdoes as livestreams that I created which you can access on YouTube.
Facebook themselves recently launched Premieres (currently rolling out to Facebook Pages) which allows you to stream pre-recorded videos as live content so you can interact in real-time with viewers.
Optimise Your Content For Voice Search
Surveys predict that the number of homes using smart speakers will dramatically increase in the next 2 years and that 50 per cent of all searches will be voice searches.
But not everyone is reviewing their content plan for their campaigns to ensure that it is optimised and adapted to reflect these trends. In addition, the voice revolution goes beyond voice search or even the resurgence in the popularity of branded podcasts.
It is now even easier for us to create content for platforms such as Amazon Alexa with just a smartphone or even using free desktop tools. I include how to create Amazon Alexa Flash Brefings in my digital communications workshops for PR professionals and I will be starting a new voice content series later this year.
In the meantime, if you have questions, just reach out to me to explore the options that are available for your organisation to support your communications goals. I have already seen that early adopter use of voice for campaigns is giving brands an advantage in terms of traditional media coverage.
There are however some really poor executions of voice skills, and the question we nreally need to ask as communications professions is “how do we develop a communications plan that will provide entertaining, enriching and even educational content which will mean that your target audience will want to access it on their devices as part of their daily and weekly routines”.
Enhance Your Workflow By Embracing Artificial Intelligence
From automatically transcribing your content through to using Messenger bots to provide personalised answers to customer support questions, there are immense opportunities for us to become more productive and provide more timely responses by using AI tools.
This is another topic that I have been including in my digital communications workshops for about two years and I have been testing numerous tools myself so that I can share best practice examples with delegates to inspire their thinking or how to integrate AI into PR and marketing.
Every day new technologies are launched that can help us automate processes.
However, we need to be vigilant in how we use these to help rather than hinder our role as communicators in building trust and nurturing relationships with the audiences we are connected to.
It’s an exciting time to be in the communications profession with such a wealth of resources to help us create compelling communications.
What new approaches and technologies are you planning to boost the success of your social media and digital campaigns in 2019?