direct to consumer brands

CPG brands have seen a lot of success in recent years, and PR is a big part of that. But it’s important for CPG brands to set goals with their PR agencies.  

Brands looking for CPG PR agencies may not know where to start or might have had an unpleasant experience with a PR firm before. For the best CPG PR results, we recommend starting with clear goals. 

Lifestyle publications are always looking for the next hottest CPG product and PR has driven much of that awareness. Here are three goals CPG PR agencies should pursue in order to maintain that success:

  1. Increase brand awareness among key demographics

    For increasing brand awareness, PR agencies should focus on key demographics. These are the groups of people that are most likely to be interested in the CPG brand’s products, and targeting them with well-crafted messaging can cause more conversions.

Work with your PR agency to identify ideal media outlets and podcasts for your target audience. Prioritize the efforts and understand that there will be some easy opportunities, and there will be some larger goals to set. 

Discuss your big hairy goal with your CPG PR agency too. Understanding the ultimate definition of success – it might be acquisition, or investment, for example – will help define the long-term strategy

  1. Increase conversions through targeted content marketing campaigns

Content marketing is another important tool CPG PR agencies can use to increase conversions. By creating targeted content that speaks to the interests of their target audience, CPG brands can convince more people to buy their products. And when it comes to garnering media attention, there’s no better way to achieve success than by getting featured in top lifestyle publications.

Let your PR firm help you if there isn’t enough capacity in-house to create owned content. Even if your PR firm doesn’t offer content creation services in-house, they’re guaranteed to know an entire range of outstanding media creators from blog posts to video. 

  1. Garner more media attention for successful CPG campaigns and products

Media relations is a critical service for CPG PR. Many companies think these media relation is the only service of a PR firm. That’s not true, but it is often one of the driving KPIs for brands, especially CPG brands when hiring a PR firm. 

Each of these goals is important in its own right, and pursuing them all will help CPG brands reach new heights. However, it’s important to note that they shouldn’t be pursued in isolation; the CPG PR agency should always work towards integrating all three goals into a cohesive strategy.

These goals are important for CPG brands, but someone must pursue diligently and consistently them if they’re going to be successful. The CPG PR agency should always work towards integrating all three goals into a cohesive strategy. Only then can CPG brands reach new heights and continue their success.

 

Read more about our CPG experience and our proud CPG case studies.  And if you’re looking for a CPG PR agency, we’re happy to talk with you about our distinctive approach to PR success.

In a competitive market, launching a new product is crucial for brands to stay relevant and maintain their current customers.

Before you launch your next CPG (consumer packaged goods) product, consider the following PR strategies:

8 Months Out

Select the Right Digital Channels 

Not all digital channels are right for every launch. Look at places where there are deep community wells, instead of hugely broad channels. Once you’ve identified those channels, spend some time engaging and listening to find out who the top  tier influencers are – watch who they partner with to get an idea of whether they align with your product launch, and pricing. 

Have customers use hashtags to engage in product-related conversations, which can be tagged on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. When customers tag your product on social media, it creates a sense of product engagement and excitement for customers that both current and potential customers can see. 

6 Months Out

Embrace Influencers of ALL Types 

We typically think of influencer marketing as a form of product promotion that allows product marketers to leverage the audiences of social media influencers to reach prospects and drive product sales. On Instagram, there are more than one million product review accounts with product-related hashtags, which is where product marketers should look for product endorsers.  Outreach should start 6 months out to ensure a collaborative, effective campaign. 

Social media influencers are popular on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook because of their large followings, so it is important that product marketers find product reviewers who have similar customer demographics as their target prospects. Influencer tips: – Look at product influencers’ follower demographics and product reviewer content to ensure it aligns with product messaging. – Engage product endorsers by asking them questions on social media, which helps you learn more about their product preferences and how they use your product. – Reach out to product reviewers via direct message on Instagram or Twitter, as well as on Facebook. Remember, product marketers should work with influencers six months prior to product launch.

Engage your existing customers on social media so they are engaged during launch. To create more customer loyalty, consider including your most engaged customers to help with the launch. And look beyond “social media followers” when you identify your most engaged customers. Cutting through the noise today often means authentic recommendations to a small, but targeted group COMBINED with other efforts to create social proof. 

Look for product experts—people with large social media followings who are experts in the product category. – Pose open-ended questions to product experts on how they use your product, what their favorite features are and why; this is likely to garner organic product-related content on social media

Re-Think Launch Parties

 In the post COVID world, there are so many ways to launch a product. Yes, traditional events launch parties with influencers may work. But when you identify who aligns with product messaging, look at your influencers with a digital lens.

 

Approach Bloggers to Post about Your Product

Bloggers often get overlooked in the age of social media influencers – but bloggers create extremely sticky content. Be creative with bloggers for your product launch. Product marketers can partner with bloggers who have product review blogs by providing them with sample products and product information. This allows product marketers a chance to get their product messages into the hands of product reviewers well in advance of product launch. It’s best to include product-related information in the product shipment package, along with a personal message from product marketers asking for product reviews and product mentions on social media channels.

Blogger tips: – Look for product reviewers who have similar customer demographics as your target prospects. – Create an outreach list of bloggers who have positive sentiment or product-related product reviews on social media channels. – Reach out to product bloggers via email with product information and a personal message asking for product reviews before product launch.

Hire a Public Relations Agency

Public relations firms are able to manage all aspects of brand product management from product messages to product campaigns. PR firms have experience in product launch field and can navigate product marketers through the product launch process, as well as manage product review blogger outreach efforts.

PR agency tips: – Look for a public relations agency that specializes in building brand equity with product launches. – Reach out to a product-centric PR agency six months before product launch to build product buzz and product hype.

4 Months Out

Create Compelling Content

CPG businesses should put out compelling free content well in advance of the launch—about two to four months before the product is available for sale— to create a buzz about the product among their current and potential customer base. Ensure to have a strong call-to-action, so interested users can easily find out more information on where they can buy the product once it becomes available. Share this content on social media and on product-specific landing pages. Keep in mind, you should publish your content 4 months out, so you may need to begin creating the content 6 months or more, out. 

3 Months Out

Offer Limited Edition Products

Offering product variations and limited edition items can help brands stand out and create product buzz. Consumers ultimately want to be the first to own new products, and they want others to know that they were able to get their hands on these product releases before anyone else. While each product release comes with its own product description, it’s important to include words such as new, limited edition or exclusive.

Include a Product in Customer Surveys

Customer surveys are a great way for product marketers to measure customer sentiment around product features and benefits, as well as product satisfaction rates. 

Sending product surveys to current customers about their product experiences can be beneficial because product marketers will learn how customers use the product, as well as product changes that might be needed. 

Question tips: – Focus on product features and benefits to solicit product-related feedback from customers before product launch. – Use questions such as: “What do you like most about our product?” “What product features would you like improved?”

1 Month Out

Create a Product Landing Page 

A product landing page is a long-lead product promotion that provides product marketers with the opportunity to create hype and product buzz online before product launch. The product landing page is a lead source for future product marketing efforts, such as webinars or product announcements. Landing page tips: – Partner with product review influencers to provide product information, product images and product videos to build excitement on product landing pages before product launch. – Create webinars to introduce the product to the marketplace.

 

Conduct Product Demos 

Product demonstrations are an easy way for product marketers to share product product information. Host product demo for your influencers and journalists, giving them a chance to ask questions live. Product marketers should gain product product knowledge before product demos in order to answer product review blogger questions about product features and benefits. Question tips: – Provide product demo websites that will provide product information when product review bloggers want to learn more after the product launch. Record your launch demos for use in future outreach campaigns. 

 

Product launch timelines can be extended and compressed, but keep in mind, successful product launches require collaboration and creativity, so giving yourself the time to have a successful launch pays dividends. Contact us regarding the specifics to your product launch.

Hyper growth DTC brands appear to have some things in common. If you’re a DTC brand or the CMO of a DTC brand, the future looks bright. We also wanted to connect a few dots about emerging industries we think are going to be increasingly important.

  1. Average Order Value (AOV) is a Key Indicator of Hyper Growth DTC

    RetentionX has discovered the fastest growing DTC brands have a 55% higher AOV than everyone else. They attribute this high AOV to customer loyalty. Customer loyalty is a holistic and multi-discipline objective.

    But this is where DTC PR really shines.

    Brand loyalty comes from trust. Trust in the product and trust in the brand values. If you’re the CMO or founder of a DTC brand, customer loyalty is your key KPI for revenue growth. One strategy for increased customer loyalty is premium branding, and PR delivers. According to Morgan Stanley’s research, Apple’s premium DTC branding came through a sustained PR campaign that helped deliver  90% brand retention.

  2.  Voice Search: DTC’s Premier Opportunity

    55% of American households own a smart speaker in 2022, according to Juniper research. And according to Navar, slightly more than half of consumers use voice-activated search for things like groceries, and by 2030, the global AI-based and voice recognition market should reach $27.3 billion (insightSLICE).

    Voice activation is likely to take advantage of a multitude of signals, just like SEO. A great start, if you haven’t already gotten there, is making sure your product FAQs include “how,” “why,” and “what” questions. The type of questions your buyers are likely to ask in various stages of product consideration.

    While you’re at it, look at Google’s Review requirements, because these types of reviews are likely to play into voice search, at least on Google. From a trust perspective, combining your owned content with trusted third-party reviews is a home run. Also, remember the added benefit of media coverage is stickiness – what Google can count on when creating its interpretation of your online reputation, which will undoubtedly play into your voice-activated reputation as well.

  3. Partnerships For the Win

    From collabs to join placement and pop-ups and the metaverse, DTC brands can double their exposure by partnering on campaigns. These campaigns can get a huge amount of lift from PR initiatives like media relations and events.

    Forgetting the PR component of these opportunities really misses the chance to secure customer retention and new acquisition. While social media, especially social advertising, is a must-have for DTC brands, DTC brands can look at the PR around partnerships as an opportunity to decouple their dependence on social media.

Google once again updated its Product Review Update for 2022. Google’s Product Review Update and consumer PR are closely tied. Yet, for many CMOs and PR people, this update falls below the radar, but it has big implications for consumer products, consumer tech and household goods PR, SEO, and marketing, so it’s important to pay attention. Last year, we covered Google’s views on product reviews too, so if you read last year’s piece, some of this may sound familiar.

[5 minute read]

The April 2021 Google PRU provided these guidelines for reviews and consumer PR:

  • Express expert knowledge about products where appropriate? 
  • Show what the product is like physically, or how it is used, with unique content beyond what’s provided by the manufacturer?
  • Provide quantitative measurements about how a product measures up in various categories of performance?
  • Explain what sets a product apart from its competitors?
  • Cover comparable products to consider, or explain which products might be best for certain uses or circumstances?
  • Discuss the benefits and drawbacks of a particular product, based on research into it?
  • Describe how a product has evolved from previous models or releases to provide improvements, address issues, or otherwise help users in making a purchase decision?
  • Identify key decision-making factors for the product’s category and how the product performs in those areas? For example, a car review might determine that fuel economy, safety, and handling are key decision-making factors and rate performance in those areas.
  • Describe key choices in how a product has been designed and their effect on the users beyond what the manufacturer says?

 

What Will Google’s Product Review Changes Mean for 2022?

No doubt, Google’s PRU and consumer PR play in the same sandbox. Savvy editors will look at their product coverage with fresh eyes because this can be a huge impact to large publications with lots of reviews content. Today’s editors are more than content strategists, they’re expected to incorporate SEO considerations into their coverage as well. In the April 2021 Google Product Review Update (PRU), Google announced it would reward in-depth review articles that showed extensive knowledge of the product and context on its usefulness.

This year, it also strongly suggested that it will favor coverage that includes the writer’s own experience with the product – this could be a photos, videos, or other evidence to reinforce the product review expertise and authenticity. Google ALSO wants reviews to provide multiple sales links so the consumer can purchase at the merchant of their choice. This is reasonably good news for DTC products since they will now have a higher likelihood that they will include their URL alongside other purchasing options.

 

Earned Media: Help Journalists and Influencers Be Product Experts

The more you can do to make a journalist or influencer an expert, the better your earned media will be and the happier editors will be to include your products. For CPG companies or consumer tech companies, this means product samples should include in-depth tips that highlight product features and use cases so the reviewer can get to work quickly by experiencing the product. It’s tempting to just throw a product into a shipment the same way you do with consumers – but keep in mind, your customers have already researched your product. Developing B-roll for the product is key also, this allows your reviewer to create high-quality product video quickly. Your customers probably already KNOW the features and comparisons, but a journalist or influencer may not. We’re recommending that companies with a PR sample program get really smart about their PR sample kits. Media kits should also include several links, including major sites with affiliate programs, like Amazon. Take advantage of Google’s Product Review Update for your consumer PR.

 

Paid Coverage: Don’t Lean Too Heavily on Thin Affiliate Content

In April 2021, Google warned that thinly reviewed affiliate links would have even less authority than before – site reviews have proven. Yes, links matter, but if the entire site’s SEO depends on low-quality links, then their content and the site will not receive the much-coveted Google authority. For CPG or consumer tech or household goods brands, this is really important, because historically, your SEO and PR team would work together for affiliate links and product placement. But affiliate links will continue to be relevant for media outlets looking to diversify their revenue streams, so if you haven’t already, make sure you’re providing journalists with an affiliate link too.

Owned Media & Paid Media: Comparison Charts for the Win

It might seem counter-intuitive, but the more you can provide content as to how your product compares, the more likely your product is to be included. This is especially important for consumer product companies who are up against major household names. And if your product is well-suited to a particular niche, this is the time to exploit that. Remember, providing the context saves huge time for the journalists and makes it much easier for them to create multiple product reviews for your product.

On your website, consider these tips for your product pages too. You can’t be too helpful for Google.

Paid Media: Incorporate Branded Content Accordingly

For both your earned and owned media, keep these updates in mind to ensure your content stays fresh in the eyes of Google. Whether that’s a press release or a blog post or sponsored content, do yourself a favor and incorporate both 2021 PRU updates. And think ahead. What Google is trying to do is ensure search results match intent (informational vs. buying, for example), match the searcher’s desires. Take the high road on content – make it useful, contextual, and keep your buyer’s customer journey in mind. If your content is for those on the early side of the buying decision, then make sure your content answers common questions for early-stage buyers, if your content is for those who are ready to buy, be sure to incorporate those keywords as well. If you think ahead and remember your customer’s intent matters a lot to Google, your content can pay dividends for years to come. Regardless of who is creating the content, be sure you include keywords and the overall strategy of the document to the writer. A decade ago, SEO content could be reasonably low-quality content, so long as it was jammed with keywords. Since then, Google has been signaling its desire for high-quality content, and it’s been doubling down on that every year – product pages and product reviews are no exception. Now isn’t the time to take a shortcut.

 

2022 will be a big year for a lot of consumer products as the supply chain (hopefully) loosens up, so stay attuned to Google and make sure your SEO and PR are coordinating intentions and content. Contact us today to incorporate these important digital considerations into your PR.

5 Ways to Leverage Media Coverage

Leveraging media coverage is the key to maximizing PR outcomes for hyper-growth brands and emerging industries.

 

This post originally appeared in Authority Magazine

Welcome to another installment of our PR Strategy Series, where you can learn directly from top industry experts on how you can leverage media attention to grow your business.

I’m your host, Kage Spatz — here to help entrepreneurs, coaches, and service providers save more time, build more trust, and serve more customers. Today I had the pleasure of talking with Tara Coomans.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?

I did a lot of different marketing and PR roles before I started this agency, and I think that’s what makes my strategies and perspectives so valuable; I really do see things in a 360 degree way. When I was 26 years old, I started my first agency, it was an event marketing agency, from there I went into publishing and co-owned a few magazines, and then after working in sponsorship promotions for brand and nonprofit partnerships, I started my own communication and PR agency. My background really allowed me to work with a broad range of clients and appreciate the benefits of integrating marketing and PR levers.

When I first started this agency, social media was just taking off and we specialized in guiding companies, brands, government agencies, and nonprofits in integrating social media into their overall communication, so social media is really integral to Avaans’ PR roots as is integration with other marketing initiatives. Today, Avaans Media excels at integrated communication strategies with a special emphasis on earned media.

In your opinion, what separates your agency from others in the space?

I’ll share with you what we hear from our clients who have had PR firms before. They tell us we stand out as effective, strategic across channels, and able to move fast.

We really pride ourselves on our earned media success, we get multiple hits per month on an ongoing basis. We know how to get your company, your executive, your brand, in the press — and we know what to do with it once it’s there. We’re extremely proactive and we work shoulder to shoulder with our clients.

Our team is another differentiator. Our team is experienced and extremely effective and we have very little turnover. I’m also personally engaged with all our clients because we know brand consistency is the name of the game with PR. And our team really taps into their own emotional intelligence to provide outstanding strategy and positioning because we’re hyper-aware of the cultural and media mindset.

We also move incredibly fast, we pick up complicated technologies, business changes, cultural changes, or communication challenges and can very quickly determine the best course of action.

Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success up to this point?

  • Empathy-As an agency CEO, empathy is vital. I feel it makes us a better collaborator with our clients, and it’s really what allows me to keep a pulse on changing cultural conditions. I also think it’s why our team is so effective, because I truly hear and see what they’re experiencing and I work very hard to integrate their feedback. Empathy has allowed me to steer clients clear of potential pitfalls, and it’s allowed me to build a really talented team. Although empathy is something I’m proud of, we all have blind spots. Several years back, I usually addressed an email to an all-female team with “Hi Ladies,”. One of my team members told me that made her extremely uncomfortable and that she felt there was no reason to call out anyone’s gender at the top of an email. To be clear, this wasn’t a pronoun issue, but it did make me consider my own perspectives. You see, I’ve made a big point of hiring & supporting women in my agency, so I was proud when we had an all-female team. But her perspective brought something else to light: the way we address teams, especially those of us in leadership roles, can be perceived as one of elevation or diminishment, depending on the person’s own experiences. We now call our internal team the “A-Team,” and it seems to work better for us.
  • Know When To Say No — Another thing I’ve learned over the years is the type of client we work best with. We work really well with people who are invested in success and will be part of our village to raise a brand. We work best with clients who want to actually move the needle. Knowing when to say no has been pivotal to our growth. Our team is excellent and professional, but nothing takes the winds out of someone’s sails faster than knowing their advice, work, and recommendations are falling on completely deaf ears. It leads to less than desirable results and it weighs down my team too. I can’t have that, because it affects everything. I’ve gotten really good at identifying clients who are a good fit for us, as a result our work is outstanding, our team members are happy, and our day-to-day existence, while it can be stressful, is satisfying because we know we’re making a difference. I will say, this is a constant battle. I’ve developed an internal plan on managing these situations so I have guidance for myself and the team the next time we have a less than ideal client fit.
  • Resilience-Resilience is probably my superpower. As an entrepreneur, I’ve been through 3 major national crises (9/11, 2008, and the COVID pandemic). Not only have I survived them, but our clients also. I’ve developed plans and strategies for hyper-growth within and in the aftermath of these situations. I’m incredibly proud of that. That doesn’t mean I’ve never experienced failure, because like anyone, I’ve failed, but, I always look for the lesson learned and then move on.

What 3 media strategies are typically most effective in generating more business for a national brand?

National brands should be thinking about PR all the time. PR should have a seat at the table for any national or nationally ambitious brand. From partnerships to product development to 360 campaigns and internal initiatives, to leveraging media coverage, there are so many great ways for national brands to stand out with PR insights. And national brands need to be more and more focused on authenticity and the importance of internal communications too.

  • INTEGRATE — Integrating programs together so they activate one another is a great example. We worked with a client a few years back to bring PR into their events programs. For one of their major events they sponsored the press box, although this was a paid sponsorship, it was a true media relations move, particularly for their target audience. This elevated the brand’s exposure to the press in a positive way since the press box was a refuge and always had food, phone chargers, and private space for interviews. The Avaans team was onsite to ensure the press opportunities flowed and in the end, the ROI was truly remarkable –and sustained itself well past the actual event. It was a great activation of PR and paid sponsorship.
  • OWN YOUR CONTENT, OWN YOUR REPUTATION — Owned content is another fantastic PR opportunity. National brands really need to make sure their PR and SEO teams are working together and that owned content bridges those two worlds. This includes any kind of owned content from websites to videos. A few years ago, we did a Clio-nominated video for a CPG client and we scoured the script to make sure that the content was not only a beautiful example of storytelling but also engaged keywords that were aligned with the brand. The video was a masterpiece of storytelling and branding, but I’m also really proud of the behind-the-scenes work that ensures the video would attract traffic to the website because of the way it was scripted.
  • PR DURING PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT — I think something else important for national brands, is to consider PR during product development. It’s such a great opportunity to really consider how the product will stand out. PR can also help product development with insights into customer and culture trends and state of mind. There are PR opportunities during the design and testing phase that are really exciting. Something as simple as color choices on a consumer product: does the color pop off a page? Something like what the product will be named, many times a PR person can provide insights into things like that.

We’ve worked with clients to develop press-worthy products and we’ve used PR to help develop the product itself. We worked with a client years ago who was beta testing a platform aimed at parents. We developed a community of parents in social media to provide feedback and insight. We were engaging this community in a sustained way — not just in a focus group setting.

In the end, some of the feedback ended up radically improving the product and especially the messaging. Most exciting for the brand was the number of these parents who were defacto influencers during launch, they were the company’s earliest brand ambassadors and really made a huge impact at launch.

Would your PR strategy change much if a client is selling a physical product or has a service-based solution? B2C versus B2B? If so, please share an example or two that might demonstrate any differences.

Sure, there are big differences, including different expectations from the target audience. For example, a B2C brand might want to earn press in national consumer lifestyle outlets, but for B2B, it might be more relevant to focus on industry outlets. With consumer PR, having big reach numbers is important, but for a B2B outlet, it’s about aligning with quality over quantity. Also, how you leverage your media coverage will be different.

We have a technology client with a retail B2C product line and a B2B product line. One of the benefits for the brand is our B2B and B2C efforts are aligned, even though our PR strategies were different for each. The B2C side was heavy on earned media coverage, the B2B side was heavier on owned content, data, and trust-building within the industry and potential customers, which meant aligning with industry-specific opportunities.

There was is an added benefit for the B2B product line though: B2C PR added trust and awareness for the brand overall. When we secured a Today Show review of one of the B2C products, the B2B team used that an opportunity to start or re-engage conversations they were having and the B2B side was able to piggyback off the trust of one of America’s most trusted morning shows.

For Direct to Consumer (DTC) products, it’s important to remember the media landscape is changing and lots of publications are radically changing the way they do product reviews.

For one, Google is changing the way they view these types are articles, so savvy publishers are looking to dig a little deeper into the products and the reviews, so be prepared with a thorough FAQ that’s specific to press when you send product samples.

Along these same lines, I highly recommend an affiliate program, ad revenues continue to decline and major publishers are prioritizing products that offer affiliate links. When your brand gets a review, be sure to share the article with the affiliate link.

If a business is already investing monthly in PR, what other marketing strategies would you recommend they invest in that best compliments that work to bring in the most amount of business?

This really depends on what else they’re doing and who their audience is. Broadly, I would say take a deep look at your owned media for enhanced trust and reinforcing your brand; see what’s working and integrate those insights into leveraging your media coverage.

Hypergrowth companies sometimes underestimate the benefit of these two strategic objectives in PR and owned media’s role in these objectives.

If someone has already been covered in the media, what are the best next steps after that? What are your “5 Ways To Leverage that Media Coverage To Dramatically Grow Your Business”?

  1. CELEBRATE WINS — Make sure your employees know about your press coverage, celebrate it internally. CEOs can use it as an opportunity to remind the company that you’re a team and celebrate your efforts. You don’t need to ask your employees to share the press, if you’re creating a great culture, they’ll do that already. But it’s important to use press coverage as an opportunity to congratulate your internal team on a job well done and to reinforce your brand’s growing influence. Share your press with customers and clients too. Everyone likes to know that they’ve made the right choice and earned media reinforces that choice. It’s also an awesome opportunity for customers and clients to share it with someone else and say “this is the product/service I was telling you about.” Don’t be shy about empowering your existing clients with good news worth sharing. Make sure you’re pitch decks are updated regularly with your top 3 pieces of content. Your earned media and press is useful for biz development or capital raises. If you’re unsure which to select, as your PR firm, they’ll talk it through with you and point out what’s most relevant for your objectives.
  2. REPURPOSE YOUR EARNED COVERAGE — One of the beauties of earned media is it has a long lifespan. Be sure you’re highlighting your press coverage in ads and on your website. This is appreciated by the outlet and also increases the social proof to new audiences. While we’re at it, celebrate your earned media with your email list too. Resurface earned media when it’s relevant or right in social, in email, and in newsletters.
  3. USE YOUR PR FOR INDUSTRY ADVANTAGE — When you receive positive press think about doors it can open for you. Great brands always take PR seriously, this is especially true for companies using technologies like AI or drones, or other emerging industries or hyper-growth companies like fintech, blockchain, or cannabis. For emerging industries, it’s really important to focus heavily on trust-building initiatives. Emerging industries need to keep in mind that even people who aren’t their customers are early stakeholders in things like regulation. If you’re in an industry that’s likely to be or already is highly regulated, and you’ve received a business profile in a great publication, that’s a great opportunity for the CEO to introduce themselves to local political figures and representatives and start a dialogue about the industry or the business.

One more before we go: If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?

I’d love for us to celebrate and reward kindness more. There are millions of small acts of kindness daily, everything from holding open a door for a stranger to writing letters of recommendations.

If I could do anything it would be develop a true kindness economy. I envision tracking kindnesses in a way that people could see the ripple effects of their kindness.

Thank you for sharing your story and so many valuable insights with us today!

-This article originally appeared on Authority Magazine.

PR for Direct-To-Consumer (DTC) Brands

[Reading Time: 5 minutes]

Direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands are increasingly growing in popularity. While the industry itself is hardly an emerging industry, many DTC products represent a disruption in the status quo.  Instead of buying from a third-party retailer, customers can purchase products or services directly from the company. Businesses with successful DTC brands typically have one thing in common: a strategic and effective way to reach their target market.

Using targeted public relations and social media campaigns for DTC brands can create brand awareness, reach your ideal audience, and engage with current and potential customers. However, it’s not merely about posting things on Twitter or Facebook, and suddenly your business makes more money and grows. Creating a successful digital marketing plan means knowing when and how to use PR and social media for DTC.

 

Why Brand Awareness Is Crucial for DTC Brands

If you have a DTC business, you need to implement a marketing strategy that focuses heavily on brand awareness. In the beginning, your main goal isn’t as much about making sales as it is about garnering attention from potential customers, so they know who you are and the types of services or products you offer. These are the people who might encounter your brand again down the road and decide they want to buy something.

Building brand awareness begins with online advertising. Your target audience should be served interesting and unforgettable ads. It’s about creating a lasting impression in the minds of potential consumers and building trust. The more ads they see from you, the more they will feel comfortable with your business. Online shoppers are more likely to trust a brand they’re familiar with than one that doesn’t seem legitimate.

 

Using Social Media to Engage With Customers

Once you’ve established yourself as a brand, you need to maintain that awareness throughout various digital marketing platforms. An effective way of doing that is by using social media. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube are excellent forms of marketing to target a specific demographic or communicate with current customers.

 

You can increase your followers, attract new viewers, and engage with the people who are actually purchasing your product. The share feature within many social media accounts also allows users to quickly and easily spread the word about your brand to others. It’s basically like word-of-mouth advertising but via the internet.

 

One of the best features of social media marketing is customers’ ability to buy things through links included in the posts. If you incorporate relevant links in each post connecting to your products and services, it creates a hassle-free experience for consumers to make a purchase directly from your Instagram page or YouTube video.

 

Don’t Forget About Your Public Relations Plan

The right public relations strategy can inform the public about a company’s brand, build and maintain reputations, and gain credibility with a target audience. It’s not just about letting people know you exist, but also about letting them know exactly who you are. You’re trying to create an image, and the way you go about doing it can have a positive or negative impact on consumers.

 

Some of the most common PR strategies include:

  • Brand identity – Choose a logo, determine how you want your website to look, pick the tone you want to convey when communicating with customers, and pick visuals to use for your social media campaigns.
  • Messaging – You should include a backstory about who you are and how you got started. You should also incorporate your company’s values and mission. It’s critical that your tone remains consistent throughout all PR and social media for DTC. If you regularly change the voice conveyed through your marketing, customers will have difficulty trusting you.
  • Events – You can host an event or sponsor one where you know your target audience will be. Potential customers will see that you’re a legitimate business and learn about the products or services you sell. You will also have the opportunity to speak with them face to face and build trust.
  • Media – Press releases are an excellent way of notifying the public about the launch of your new brand, releasing a new product, or a sale or giveaway.
  • Partnerships – Partnerships can be a significant part of promoting your business. You should stick with people and companies that are relevant to your brand. For example, if you sell hiking gear, it wouldn’t make sense to work with a restaurant. Instead, you might want to partner with a sporting goods store and stock their shelves with your product.

 

Combining Social Media and PR for DTC Brands

 

Your brand could benefit from integrating your social media marketing and public relations campaigns, since both can complement each other.

Common examples of integrating social media and PR campaigns are:

  • Influencer Outreach – Social media influences are an excellent source for promoting someone’s brand. They typically have hundreds of thousands or millions of loyal followers who trust them and purchase the products they promote.
  • Digital Press Releases – Traditionally, companies send press releases to journalists to convey information about their brand. However, in the digital age, you can publish your own press releases on your social media accounts, through email, or as a blog on your website.
  • Forging and Maintaining Relationships with Journalists – You can use social media to create relationships with journalists in your industry that benefit your company and achieve your marketing goals. It doesn’t take much effort to gain their trust and support – if you take a genuine approach by following them on social media and sharing their posts, they might be willing to do the same for you.

 

Contact Avaans Media

If you’re looking for the right marketing agency to expand your digital audience, increase your return on investment, and successfully grow your business, Avaans Media can help. We have over a decade of experience creating and implementing effective PR and social media campaigns for DTC brands.

 

Schedule a call or complete our online form if you want to discuss your goals and determine the most effective strategy for improving your online presence.