Social Ape Launches Support Your 704 Campaign

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We’re taking a different approach with this week’s blog post to announce our newest campaign!

We’re thrilled to announce that we’ve partnered with several local creative businesses to launch Support Your 704, a charity campaign that will present two local nonprofits with a full marketing plan including Marketing Consulting, Photography, Videography, Graphic Design, Print and Website Design.

There are more than four hundred nonprofit organizations in Charlotte, N.C. and many have not been able to create a full marketing campaign due to budget constraints or lack of resources. For each nonprofit selected for Support Your 704, Social Ape Marketing is donating a half-day marketing and public relations consultation workshop; Peter Taylor Photography is donating a professional photography package; Spiracle Media is donating a full-day video shoot; Charm Creative is donating either a brand new logo or a logo design, as well as a brand style guide, social media templates and a direct mail piece or flyer; Allegra Southend is donating a banner or a sign, brochures and envelopes and Arya Creative is donating website design and build. The combined total value of donations is just shy of $40,000 dollars resulting in a $20,000 campaign for each winner.

Applications for Support Your 704 will be accepted until Feb. 20 and winners will be announced on March 4. To apply for the campaign, please click here.

Do you know of someone who works in or is the founder of a nonprofit organization in Charlotte? Please share this post with them and encourage them to apply! We love spreading the word of doing good things in our community.

Image File Formats Marketers Need to Know

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The vast selection of image formats can be pretty overwhelming, but there's a method to this madness.

When creating or manipulating graphics, it's important to learn how the different image formats work. These are the most widely-used images formats today.

JPEG aka Joint Photographic Experts Group

Benefits

  • Feature 24-bit color, with as much as 16 million different colors and color combinations

  • Most widely recognized and accepted image format

  • Works well for most operating systems and is extremely web-friendly

  • Nearly every digital camera uses the JPEG format

Downsides

  • Tendency to shed off a great deal of information

  • May develop artifacts following a compression

  • Cannot be animated

Why Choose JPEG?

JPEG is the go-to format for online photos. It supports a full spectrum of colors, and almost all devices and programs can open and save to the JPEG format — making it the most universal of the three formats. JPEG files are ideal when you want to keep the file size down and don’t mind giving up a little quality to create a very small file.

GIF aka Graphics Interchange Format

Benefits

  • Supports transparency

  • Performs modest animations

  • Features lossless quality

  • Works well for graphics with restricted colors

Downsides

  • Limits graphics to only 256 colors

  • Considered to be somewhat outdated compared to other formats

Why Choose GIF?

Use GIF for simple web graphics with limited colors. GIF files aren’t recommended for files with a large range of colors, like photographs or other detailed imagery. But if you’re working with small graphics, like banners and charts or animations, GIF is the best format for the job.

PNG aka Portable Network Graphics

Benefits

  • Open-source

  • Created specifically to be patent-free

  • Features lossless compression

  • Arguably the best option for photos going through the editing process

Downsides

  • Unsuited for standard photographs

  • Produces extremely large files that require a lot of space

  • Unable to support animation

  • Unsuited for all browsers

Why Choose PNG?

Use the PNG format when you need a small file that maintains its original quality. PNG files support millions of colors, plus varying degrees of transparency — so they’re perfect for graphic image files, like logos, charts, and infographics.

Choosing the right visuals also means saving photos in their right format. This is crucial if you want to spruce up the image by changing its color tones or adding text. It's also important to note that licensing is a consideration you must look into.

4 PR Software Tools Your Business Should Be Using

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A successful public relations strategy includes a variety of moving parts. Whether you’re conducting research, building out a media list, or pitching targeted stories, segments, and ideas to journalists, you likely have a lot on your plate.

Consider these tools when planning for, creating, and implementing your next public relations campaign.

Meltwater

Meltwater offers quality media intelligence and social monitoring to users through a variety of customizable plans. Not only can Meltwater be used for media list building, social media monitoring, and reporting but also for press release distribution and analysis. They also have a mobile app for when you’re on the go!

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BuzzSumo

BuzzSumo allows users to create better content by understanding what type of content is working, what type of content is being searched for, and what influencers are making an impact in the industry. Users can also conduct competitor analysis to see what’s working for those in a similar niche or industry.

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HARO

Help a Reporter Out (HARO) is a part of the Cision family and allows both journalists and sources to engage to create compelling stories using this free service. Register and receive a plethora of targeted pitch opportunities daily. Utilizing this service to pitch and secure relevant mentions can drive ongoing awareness to your brand or business.

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CoverageBook

One of the final steps in any solid PR campaign is to take a step back and evaluate performance. CoverageBook allows users to create coverage reports in a quick, no-nonsense manner. In a matter of minutes, get real-time data on the impact and quality of earned, paid, and organic coverage in one clean, customizable, and shareable report.

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Eager to figure out how to put these tools into practice? Contact us to learn more about creating a PR campaign to achieve your 2019 goals.

Why Your Business Needs Influencer Marketing

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It’s no secret that social media has forever changed the PR and marketing landscape. On top of enabling brands and target customers to directly interact, the rise of influencer marketing has also allowed these same companies to develop loyal brand advocates out of the internet’s favorite bloggers and influencers.

Businesses are taking note of the power of influencer marketing and adjusting their marketing budgets accordingly. Here are a few reasons your business may want to consider investing in an influencer marketing plan in 2019:

Builds Credibility and Trust

People follow their favorite influencers and bloggers for a reason. They trust in and respect the content they’re seeing from them. This allows for a more authentic experience and puts the brands they partner with directly in front of an extremely engaged audience.

Easy on the Wallet

While it’s true that the cost of influencer marketing is on the rise, it’s still relatively budget-friendly compared to other marketing strategies. Instagram stories, in particular, are an effective way for your business to utilize influencers when you may be working with a smaller budget.

Allows for Niche Marketing

Brands know that content will be placed directly in front of their target audience if they’re finding the right fit for partnerships. The influencer has already done the work in curating the ideal audience for their particular niche, so it’s a given that the brand’s message is relevant and will provide value.

Improves SEO Ranking

Blog posts written by influencers are effective in boosting a businesses’ SEO. Influencers have built up libraries of relevant content containing appropriate keywords. Blog posts can also create strong backlinks that assist with SEO efforts while also driving website traffic.

More Effective than Ads

The beauty of influencer marketing is that followers have opted into seeing content from their favorites. The perk here? Collaborations, when executed properly, feel authentic and organic and bypass the jarring nature of some traditional advertisements.


Are you ready to see how influencer marketing can positively impact your business’ growth in 2019? Let the Social Ape Marketing team help. Contact us to get started!

6 Google Chrome Extensions to Make You More Productive

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The right Google Chrome extensions can have a big impact on your productivity, helping to better manage your browsing, your planning, your content creation efforts and more. Take a look at the best extensions suited to what you need below!

Manage Your Email

Inbox When Ready For Gmail - Snooze an email to temporarily remove it from your inbox and return at the time you set it.

Hiver - Enables collaboration on shared email accounts through notes, labels and assigned tasks.

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Hiver

Browsing The Web

Just Read - Removes distractions like page styling, ads, pop-ups, and comments, allowing you to focus on what you wanted to read.

Stay Focused - Restricts the amount of time you can spend on time-wasting websites. Once your allotted time has been used up, the site will be inaccessible for the rest of the day.

StayFocused

StayFocused

Manage Your Tasks

Todoist - An easy way to create task lists with reminders, allowing you to set due dates and even recurring deadlines.

Google Calendar - Gives you access to Google Calendar to add events without navigating away from your current webpage or opening a new tab.

Todoist

Todoist

Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!

5 PR Trends to Watch for in 2019

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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

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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

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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. 

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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

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 

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

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

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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

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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

MENTIONS

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

IMPRESSIONS

Number of times a message or post is seen online.

REACH

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

TRAFFIC/VISITS

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

Customer Acquisition

ONLINE COMMUNITY PERFORMANCE

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

GROWTH OF ONLINE COMMUNITY

Growth rate of fans and followers on social media platforms.

SHARES OF VOICE WITHIN YOUR AUDIENCE BASE

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

VISITS/TRAFFIC

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

Engagement

ENGAGEMENT PERFORMANCE

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

HASHTAG PERFORMANCE

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

BRAND PERCEPTION

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

PERCEPTION DEVELOPMENT

Growth rate of positive feelings associated with your brand.

REPUTATION SCORE

Feelings associated with your brand expressed in Shares of Voice.

RESPONSE PERFORMANCE

Rate of response to demands and requests on social networks.

CUSTOMER SERVICE PERFORMANCE

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