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Weekly Scripts:  Vetted links across PR and marketing. 
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Sword and the Script Media, LLC
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Dear  <<First Name>>:

What's the first thing folks like you and I say changed as a result of COVID and the ensuing recession? Chances are the instinctive answer is messaging.  

So what's working?  

According to a study of advertising by the B2B Institute and LinkedIn, messages that are “set in the past,” celebrate betweenness,” and “form a strong connection to place and community.”

And what isn’t working? Marketing to fear. 

Another article by LinkedIn says, “Fear is a familiar emotion in [traditional] marketing campaigns…to prompt people to take action: fear of missing out, fear of failure, fear of being overtaken by the competition.”

I’ve always disliked marketing to fear. It’s manipulative. It feels unethical. And in 2020, it’s not working. 

“Feelings of worry are everywhere – and marketing that attempts to provoke additional fear is likely to be shut out. People are already feeling overwhelmed by these emotions.”

That leads us to a pair of articles about messaging in a recession that are the top features in this edition of the Monthly Scripts.    

Yours in marketing and communications,
Frank Strong

PS: Looking for an agency partner with the content chops to build a sound strategy and execute? Give our services a try.

The Must-Read Articles

Every month I peruse hundreds of articles about marketing and public relations. Near the month’s end I analyze those metrics with technology and human judgment to find the most important stories. 

Featured

1. What Should Ads Look Like in the Time of Recession? (LinkedIn Marketing Solutions) A study finds, “there has been no reduction in advertising’s ability to connect with people”  .

2. The 5 Most Important Emotions in B2B Marketing (LinkedIn Marketing Solutions) “In 2020, the relationship between fear and marketing is different. Feelings of worry are everywhere – and marketing that attempts to provoke additional fear is likely to be shut out. People are already feeling overwhelmed by these emotions.” 

Leadership and the CMO

3. Cost Optimization With In-House Marketing Agency (Gartner) “CMO Spend Survey cites marketers surveyed brought 32% of external agency work to in-house teams within the last 12 months.” [Note: I think Gartner is late in realizing this trend. This has played out the last several years and is now slowing. Why? Headcount. Healthcare. 401k matching]

Marketing

4. Marketing Psychology: 5 Powerful Principles of Human Behavior (Marketing Magnified by the CMO Council) Priming; reciprocity; social proof; scarcity and anchoring.

5. Which Channels Do Marketers Find Best for Reaching Top Target Audiences? (Marketing Charts) Among the top-rated: events (including virtual); direct mail; SDR; email; content syndication; and search. (Note: I’d caution great marketing isn’t about which is better, but how these work better together).

6. More than half of tech companies may pass on 2021 trade show circuit (Bulldog Reporter) “49 percent of respondents said their companies are unsure whether or not they will attend trade shows in 2021, while another 7 percent have already decided not to.”

B2B Marketing

7. B2B Buyers' Top Challenges With Their Current Vendors (MarketingProfs) Some that stand out: slow to respond; inconsistent pricing; lack of transparency; insufficient product info. 

Public Relations

8. How PR can adapt to the shrinking media market (Mumbrella) “the focus of PR must become earning the consideration of customers, rather than media coverage.”

9. How to Get Better Quotes for Press Releases (PR News) This a high-risk approach...but try talking to the person being quoted. 

10. Code of PR Ethics? The Gray Area of Communicating a Point of View (Sword and the Script) Do PR professionals present accurate and truthful information? A survey of 300 PR pros found 95% say “often” or “sometimes.” 

Content Marketing

11. Google: Heading Tags are a Strong Signal (Search Engine Journal) "And when it comes to text on a page, a heading is a really strong signal telling us this part of the page is about this topic." 

12. Marketing Content: A Decision Matrix for Reviews and Approvals Done (Sword and the Script) Does the legal dept. need to approve every social media update? Does the CMO need to review every blog post? No. Here's a technique the Army uses to delegate authority: develop decision matrix for marketing content.

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Email Marketing 

13. 11 Types of Lead Nurturing Campaigns (Salesforce via AMA) Welcome campaign. Re-engagement. Promotional nurturing. 

14. The Cliff Notes to 19 Email Marketing Studies (Sword and the Script) A quick view of email marketing benchmarks and statistics. [oldie but a goodie]

Creativity

15. How Marketing Creatives Can Enjoy Using Data (Target Marketing) "Data can be overwhelming — try to narrow down to what really matters"

16. People with creative personalities really do see the world differently (The Conversation) "Open people may have fundamentally different visual experiences to the average person." 

17. How Marketing Creatives Can Enjoy Using Data (Target Marketing) "Data Can Be Overwhelming — Try to Narrow Down to What Really Matters." 

Conversion and CRO

18. 20 Tips To Optimize Your Landing Page To Boost Conversions (MailMunch) Structure and format your content! Yes. Yes. And Yes. There is an aesthetic to text. 

Media

19. Americans See Increased Media Bias (O’Dwyer’s) Gallup poll: "Nearly three-quarters of Americans said they now consider media bias to be a 'major problem' (73 percent), up from 65 percent in the 2017 study."

20. A PR View of Media Bias [Survey Data] (Sword and the Script) What stands out to me is that most of the answers fall somewhere in the middle. Very few respondents selected and absolute such as “always” or “never.”

SEM and SEO

21. How to Use Google Search Console to Drive More Search Traffic (Content Marketing Institute) Easy and practical advice. 

22. Google: No Such Thing As Too Many Outbound Links (Search Engine Roundtable) "there is no sort of penalty for linking out too much. In fact, outbound links are not a ranking factor" 

23. How to Optimize PDFs for SEO (Ahrefs) The first tip? Try to avoid PDFs. if you must use them the optimization is similar to images.

24. Google extends lead forms to YouTube, Discovery campaigns (Marketing Land) “...advertisers can use the lead form extensions in YouTube and Discovery campaign ads as well.”

25. Google: Heading Tags are a Strong Signal (Search Engine Journal) "And when it comes to text on a page, a heading is a really strong signal telling us this part of the page is about this topic." 

26. Sorry, press releases don’t help your SEO (Sword and the Script) There are still plenty of good reasons to use a press release, but SEO isn’t one of them anymore.

Social Media

27. Scribd acquires SlideShare from LinkedIn (TechCrunch) “The two products always had kind of similar missions… The difference was, [SlideShare] focused on more on PowerPoint presentations and business users, while we focused more on PDFs...and long-form written content…”

28. What Happens on the Internet Every Minute [2020 Infographic] (Social Media Today) “Facebook users upload 147,000 photos; Twitter gains 319 new users; Instagram users post 347,222 Stories; YouTube creators upload 500 hours of video.”

29. How Brands Can Leverage 'Dark Social' (Media Post) A recent study by RadiumOne found that Dark Social accounts for over 80% of all shares globally. 

Marketing & PR Technology

30. Earned Media vs. Media Relations [PR Tech Sum] (Sword and the Script) Earned media is sexy. It’s larger than media relations, but only in the abstract.

Measurement & Analytics

31. The Correlation-Causation Taboo (Discover Magazine) “...it is sometimes possible to draw inferences about causation from correlational evidence, if we have enough evidence to rule out non-causal alternative explanations.”

32. Too Much Creative Marketing is Stifled by Attribution (SparkToro) “We accept that much of marketing is non-attributable, that investments in detailed measurement often cost more than they’re worth....”

33. How people decide what to buy lies in the ‘messy middle’ of the purchase journey (Think with Google) "People loop through these twin modes of exploration and evaluation, repeating the cycle as many times as they need to make a purchase decision."

34. What Is Share of Voice? How to Measure It Across Channels (Ahrefs) "Share of voice (SOV) is traditionally a measure of your advertising share compared to competitors." 

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---------------------------------------------
Frank Strong, MA, MBA
Founder & President
Sword and the Script Media, LLC
www.swordandthescript.com
PR | Content Marketing | Social Media
LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook 

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Hi <<First Name>>,



Read more:

Here are several other posts you might have missed recently:


Thank you for reading! 

Yours in marketing and PR, 
Frank

--------------------------------------------------
Frank Strong, MA, MBA

Founder & President
Sword and the Script Media, LLC
www.swordandthescript.com
PR | Content Marketing | Social Media
LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook
frank@swordandthescript.com


* Sword and the Script Media, LLC is a verified veteran-owned business.
 
**  Subscribe to the monthly newsletter or the weekly blog by email.
 
*** Local in Atlanta? Join the 3,000+ member Alpharetta Business Networking Club.
 
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