5 PR Trends to Watch for in 2019


Public Relations is a field that is constantly evolving. While the goal of building trust and relationships with audiences, journalists, and clients is still the intention, the trends to help to reach those objectives shift over time. Staying on top of the latest trends puts you on track for a successful PR campaign.

Check out our predictions for 2019 PR trends below!

More Influencer Marketing

Expect the continued rise of Influencer Marketing (and also the rise of their pricing). 2018 brought a lot of light to the impacts and value of influencer marketing and businesses can expect to see those relationships evolve even more in the new year. Additionally, we can expect to see PR agencies forming more influencer partnerships who will act as loyal advocates for clients.

Rise of Content Marketing

Content Marketing has always been hanging around, but expect to see it employed more intentionally with Public Relations in 2019. Content Marketing enables businesses and brands the opportunity to create trust among their audiences through blog content, newsletters, website copy, email marketing, and social media campaigns. When used in conjunction with PR, content marketing helps to build trust with your audience.

Focus on Media Metrics

With an increase in measuring digital ROI, both clients and PR pros will focus more on the performance of the pitches that are sent out. With PR pros being aware of the goals of the editors and media contacts that they are sending content to (think page views, social shares, etc.), they will increase their chances of not only getting a placement but also building a relationship with media contacts.

The Challenge of Fake News

The unfortunate reality of 2019 is that it is challenging for the media to gain (and keep) the trust of their readers. By continuing to recognize the pressure that journalists are under, understand what audiences are looking for in the sources that they trust and use storytelling to humanize brands, PR pros will be able to ease those trust pain points as we head into the new year.

Increased Focus on Authenticity & Corporate Social Responsibility

In 2019, PR pros should be paying attention to promoting positive initiatives for the brands they represent, such as social and environmental issues. Audiences want to feel connected to brands and businesses that care about the issues they care about. Additionally, in a world of automation and tech, audiences crave authenticity from the brands and businesses they support.

Are you ready to create a robust PR plan for your business in 2019? Contact us to start the conversation!

4 Simple Ways to Build Your Email Marketing List in 2019


This may come as a surprise, but email marketing still has one of the highest ROI of any marketing channel. It takes time and patience (and good content) to grow your email list. Check out some of our tips for 2019 below!

1. Add signup forms to your website

Include a link to your email signup form on multiple pages on your website to make sure visitors don't miss it. A good place to start is your Homepage and About page since those people have most likely already shown interest in your business. Make sure to include a call-to-action as well!


2. Use a feature box on your homepage

Another alternative to an entry pop-up (which may interrupt people from scrolling through your website) is a feature box. A feature box is a full-width email opt-in box. It usually offers some kind of lead magnet to encourage people to sign up for your list.


3. Run a contest on social media

Social media is a great platform to run a contest because of how many people it can reach. For starters, you'll want to create an eye-catching graphic and an incentive (giveaway). Incentives should align with what your followers are interested in. That can be company swag, products, or tickets to an event. Use tools like Heyo's Facebook Sweepstakes Template to create contests that link up the opt-in form with your email marketing platform to easily manage Facebook Contest opt-ins. A contest countdown is also a good idea to keep users engaged!

4. Take advantage of current email subscribers

Encouraging your current email subscribers to forward your email to friends and colleagues can help you gain access to a wider network. It isn't as easy as a quick share on social media but giving them the option to click a link to compose a message online (since all email programs are designed differently) allows for a quick and easy way to forward your email to people directly. Below is a great example of the options!


Do you want to learn how to use email marketing to get more sales in 2019? We can help. Shoot us an email to start the conversation! 

5 Important Steps to Great SEO Content


Do you want more traffic from Google? Quality content is the number one driver of your search engine rankings.

Discover the easiest ways to improve SEO ranking of your website almost overnight below.

1. Write Great Headers

Aside from your body content, the most important piece of content for SEO is your header. A header tells people what the piece is about, grabs reader attention and gives a general overview of the topic.

To make your header as interesting as possible, include your keyword and focus on writing a header that asks a question or addresses your readers' fears. Create headers that are irresistible and make your readers want to click.

2. Don't Overuse Keywords

This is a dangerous practice that will get you in trouble with search engines, decreasing your site's rank and making it harder for users to find you. When you're writing your content, try to use keywords naturally. They should be in your header (if possible) and they should appear a few times throughout the body content. According to experts, you want your keyword density under 3% for everything you write.

3. Have High Word Counts

Did you know that word count can play an important part in SEO ranking? To provide the most value to your audience and rank, write long-form content between 1,500-2,500 words. 


4. Include Citations

Find and mention industry leaders throughout your content to back up your content. Google cares about your sources and to rank well you'll want to link to industry leaders. Additionally, in web content, you'll want to link strategically throughout your own text back to the most important pages of your site.

5. SEO Tools


SEMrush is a powerful keyword tool that allows users to optimize their sites for SEO, create pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, and conduct social media and video advertising research. 


Wordtracker is another keyword research tool that allows users to search multiple sources for effective keywords. This tool can help you find keywords that nobody is competing on and will be an essential tool for SEO success.


Buzzsumo is an effective tool for finding key influencers that can help you promote your content and get it noticed by a wide audience base. It can also help you find trending content topics and take inspiration for audience related content. 

5 Ways to Repurpose Your Blog Content


Knowing the best ways to repurpose your top social media content is key to getting consistently good results. Find out how to make the most of your existing content to save your resources below.

Different Formats

Turn the key facts of your blog post into checklists, graphics, slideshows, videos, or podcasts to get multiple content formats. Your pieces of spin-off content can be cross-promoted on social media or within specific communities. Make sure you experiment with a mix of content types and lengths to maximize reach.

Refresh Old Content

Update your evergreen content with current information or new statistics to extend the lifetime of your post. You can also:

  • Republish your post with a current date

  • Reshare your refreshed content

Use Google Analytics and find articles that performed well at the time, but are now slowing down in traffic.

More Graphics

Visual content is more likely to get shares, likes, and comments than basic text-only messages. Turn your key data into:

  • A stellar infographic

  • A meme for a striking statement

  • Motion graphics to add some fun to get more attention for your post

Follow-up Series

The best types of serial posts are the ones that take an in-depth look at a topic, with each post dedicated to a specific aspect of the topic. Take a successful piece of content and create a series focusing on major aspects or a follow-up story. This should link back to your original post.

Share Your Content

Share each piece of content and each format on your social media pages and link to your original post to get more reach. Tailor the message for your posts to fit each social media platform and audience:

  • Share your post on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn

  • Share your blog post images on Pinterest, Instagram, and Flickr, using your focus image with your introduction, hashtags, and a link to your post

Essential KPIs for Your Social Media Marketing Strategy


Do you need help measuring the ROI of your actions on social media? Not sure how to present this? Read on to look at the principle KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) that can be used to manage and monitor your Social Media Marketing strategy, and ultimately calculate your social media ROI.

Brand Awareness


Number of re-posts and mentions of your brand on social media: shares, retweets.


Number of times a message or post is seen online.


The total number of individuals who can see your posts on social networks, blogs, and press websites.


Number of visits to your website and blogs from your own social media.

Customer Acquisition


Number of fans, followers, or subscribers per social channel.


Growth rate of fans and followers on social media platforms.


Number of fans, followers, or subscribers compared to your competitors.


The number of views on your website(s) and blog(s) generated via social media.



Number of interactions (likes, retweets, shares, re-pins, comments).


Number and growth statistics of hashtags citing your brand or related to your brand. Number of official re-posts of your campaigns/events hashtags.

Client Satisfaction


Feelings associated with your brand and percentage of positive messages, compared to those of your competitors.


Growth rate of positive feelings associated with your brand.


Feelings associated with your brand expressed in Shares of Voice.


Rate of response to demands and requests on social networks.


Number of customer support issues resolved within a given period. Increase or improvement in the number of support issues resolved within a given period.

10 Tips to Generate Conversions From Your Website


Generating conversions is no easy feat. But putting these strategies into practice will help you begin monetizing your website and capturing those potential e-commerce customers.



Want to know the identity of your website visitors? Reverse IP lookup software will tell you who is browsing as they browse - so you can reach out immediately.


Create custom landing pages for different user types, for different search terms, and for different traffic sources. Your customers are looking for specific things, and they want to find them quickly.



It's extra website real estate, and a perfect opportunity to promote your social profiles, share your contact details, and reinforce your call to action.


Don't overcomplicate. Users rely on consistent placement of conventional web features, like a company logo in the upper left corner of your site and a search box in the upper right.



Less is more. Have a single CTA (not multiple competing ones), make your call-to-action stand out, and limit the number of available links and options.


This should go without saying, but a responsive design makes for a better user experience which, in turn, translates to better conversion rates. Also, black text on a white background works well. As well as being easy to read, it's what our eyes are used to - both online and offline.

Personalized Engagement


You can't give customer care if you're not there. To offer instant support to visitors as they browse, you need a live chat platform on your website. 


Tracking software can tell you things like visitor location, traffic source, and the number of previous site visits. Use this data to display targeted ads, relevant to the user.

General Tips


Don't make the mistake of lumping them all on one page. Instead, use them in relevant places across your site to reinforce trust. Each page of your website should be designed with a single goal in mind - not with many.


Emphasize the authenticity of your business by placing logos of your prominent customers on your homepage, showcasing the recognizable publications you've featured in, and the award you've won.

5 Simple Tips For Making Professional Looking Videos


Plan Your Content

Outline your goal - What are you looking to achieve? Are you trying to get visitors to your site? Or teach them something new? Define your goal before moving on.

Identify your target audience - Your audience will determine the way you write your script, shoot your video, how you edit it and where you distribute your videos online.

Use the power of emotions - Emotions are what drive viewers to follow your call to action, whether that's subscribing to a channel, sharing your video or buying your product.

Pick the Right Background

The background you choose will depend on the type of video you're producing, your goals and your audience. The main two types are:

Real backgrounds - These include a real-life environment such as an office, a living room or an outdoor location. Just make sure it contributes to your message.

Fake backgrounds - These include green screens, curtains or papers. These are great for consistency.

Composition Rules

Follow the rule of thirds - When you divide the frame into a 3 x 3 grid, it creates intersections that are ideal areas to place your subject.

Mind the head - Don't have too much space above the subject's head, but don't cut the top off of their head either!

Use the Right Lighting

It's best to shoot in any of these three conditions as the natural light is soft and cinematic:

  • Outdoors on a rainy day

  • An hour after sunrise

  • An hour before sunset

If you need to shoot indoors, natural light is still your best bet. Pick a room that gets a lot of natural light through big or multiple windows. You can also add additional sources of light like ceiling lighting or table lamps.

Film in Small Segments

Film short takes - This way, you'll have fewer things to remember and more opportunities to reshoot something you didn't like.

It will also give you more flexibility in post-production to eliminate takes and it won't come out looking choppy.

Meet Communications Specialist: Anna Rich

We’re thrilled to announce the latest addition to the Social Ape team, Anna Rich. Anna is our newest Communications Specialist and will be working closely with clients to help increase their brand awareness through public relations and events.

We asked Anna a few questions so that you can get to know her a bit better. Welcome to the team, Anna!


Where are you from? How long have you lived in Charlotte?

I was born and raised in Charlotte. My parents still live in the same house that I came home from the hospital to. I've been away for about a decade, in between college at Wake Forest University and living in Washington, D.C. for the past five years after graduation. I'm excited to be back! I love Charlotte because it has all the offerings of a big city but still feels like the comfortable, homey place that I grew up in. 


Who is someone you admire, and why?

My parents. When they first married, they lived in Indianapolis and then Denver, far from family, and just had each other to rely on when raising two young kids (my older siblings). They've been married 40 years and have set a great precedent for my own marriage as we just crossed the one year mark. 


Finish this sentence. On Sunday mornings, you can usually find me...

During the fall, you can find me sipping coffee while watching college football highlights and prepping for the Panthers game. When it's not fall, my routine is pretty much the same - just add Food Network into the equation. Pancakes, too.


Your top 3 favorite Podcasts/Books?

-Harry Potter series (Cliche I know, but I re-read the whole series at least once a year and find new details every time)

-Jane Eyre (There's a reason it's a classic)

-The Devil in the White City (Or any good historical fiction) 


Outside of work, what do you do in your spare time?

Hang out with my husband, Graham, and our chocolate lab, Nola. We enjoy getting out and exploring, whether that be hiking, going to a museum, or visiting a local fair/festival. I'm also a big football fan (Go Deacons and Panthers!) and love traveling and trying new recipes in the kitchen."

You can read Anna’s professional bio HERE.

4 Simple Word-of-Mouth Marketing Tips to Boost Business


Consumers are always interested in hearing about new and interesting products. Before making a purchase, consumers pay attention to what people are saying about it. Here are four must-have tips for word-of-mouth marketing.

1. Encourage User-Generated Content


User-generated content is content created and shared by consumers about brands or products. It's honest, builds trust, and gives marketers extra collateral to work with.

How can you get users to generate content?

  • Have a unique hashtag to identify content created by customers

  • Incentivize creating and sharing pictures, videos, and GIFs on social media. Offer a free gift, discount, or feature

2. Share Customer Testimonials


Customer testimonials and reviews can help reassure the performance, quality, and/or value of your service and product and can make consumers feel more comfortable doing business with you. Testimonials can be hosted on your website or pulled from review sites like Yelp & Angie’s list.

3. Offer an Incentive


Giving your customers a reason to share with others can increase your word-of-mouth marketing as well. Big or small, people are always willing and likely to do something if they receive some sort of value in return. Consider giving your consumers a discount or a free gift in exchange for referrals.

4. Connect With Industry Influencers


Influencers are exactly what their name suggests: individuals with a strong following and power to influence the behavior of fans and consumers. Because of their already established reputation, word-of-mouth marketing from an influencer is extremely valuable. According to Social Media Today, 40% of people say they've purchased an item online after seeing it used by an influencer on Instagram, Twitter, or Youtube.

20 Amazing Marketing Tools to Help You Grow Your Business


Are you looking for new tools to add to your arsenal? Whether you need them for account management, automation, analytics, or to just enhance your social media presence and investment, it's never a bad idea to learn about the tools available.

Stay ahead of the curve and check out this list of amazing tools to help you grow your business.

Schedule Posts

1. Sprout Social - Schedule social media posts and analyze performance

2. Later - Plan and schedule Instagram posts

3. Tweet Deck - Manage multiple Twitter accounts

Organize Your Work

4. Trello - Set and organize tasks

5. Station - All your web applications in one

6. UberConference - For conference calls and meetings

Find Keywords

7. Display Purposes - Hashtags for your posts

8. BuzzStream - URL meta tag extractors returns title tag, keywords, description

9. SpyFu - Competitors’ most profitable keywords

Manage Your Social Media

10. EmbedSocial - Embed social media feeds on your website

11. Tweriod - Learn when your Twitter followers are online

Get Publications

12. Expertise Finder - Find journalists interested in a comment

13. Smedian - Find platforms to publish your articles

Write Better Copy

14. Grammarly - Check your text for mistakes and readability

Manage SEO

15. Serprobot - Check your search engine ranking position

16. Screaming Frog - Audit your website from SEO perspective

Send Better Emails

17. SendGrid - Send emails, notifications, and password resets

18. HubSpot Email - Professional signature for multiple email services

Use Design Tools and Editors

19. Crello - Static and animated templates for social media posts, web, ads

20. TinyPNG - Compress images