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TODD SMITH — What sources do journalists trust most?



In a fast-paced digital society, companies have an ever-expanding platform to build a compelling brand story – and to resonate with a rapidly changing public.

While public relations, advertising and marketing all have their place in building credible brands, survey after survey shows that editorial coverage generates better trust between a brand and consumers.

Recently, Ogilvy proved this point again in the Ogilvy Media Influence survey. In this survey, Ogilvy asked more than 200 journalists and bloggers what sources they trusted when it came to doing company research.

Their answer?  The information they trust the most is the information written by their own colleagues.  Even reporters trust reporters more than they trust any other type of content!

When you combine this information with the results of Nielsen’s 2013-14 studies showing editorial coverage is the most trusted content that consumers refer to when making business and personal decisions, interesting trends emerge. The role of editorial coverage is much more important than any other marketing content an organization can create.

Let’s take a closer look at the Ogilvy study:

» Reporters consume most of their news via social media (50 percent), traditional newspapers (20 percent) and newswires (18 percent).

» Reporters believe that earned and paid media (55 percent) are the most influential medium for driving purchase decisions followed by social media updates and marketing (45percent) content.

» Based on their experience, reporters overwhelmingly trust editorial coverage (72 percent) vs. company content (27 percent).

Now let’s look at the Nielsen Inpowered Trust Survey released in 2014:

What is the impact of content types on purchase consideration, affinity and familiarity?

In each of these instances, it was expert content that moved people into the marketing funnel the furthest. Why? Trust.  More than 60 percent of respondents said they were less likely to trust brand-created content due to perceived biases vs. editorial coverage, which was seen as content created by impartial writers.

If editorial coverage generates higher trust, stronger brand recognition and product alignment, why are companies continuing to eschew public relations for marketing?

Never underestimate the power of PR – that unsolicited third party endorsement that often times is more powerful than the best advertising – and certainly drives better trust and credibility!

Monitor social media success through a central platform

Do you manage multiple social media profiles for your business?

Looking for an easier way to keep an eye on key social media metrics?

Setting up a customized dashboard lets you monitor and report on the performance of your social media platforms in one convenient place.

Here’s how to set up a dashboard to track key social media metrics for your business, according to Social Media Examiner:

1. Choose a Dashboard Tool

There are a number of dashboard tools available. To select the right one for your business, you’ll want to consider cost, make sure the tool integrates with the platforms you use, and explore the interface for ease of use. Here are four for you to consider:

» Dasheroo – Dasheroo lets you create customized dashboards to view everything from Facebook and Twitter to Google Analytics and your email marketing metrics, all in one place. It integrates with more than 27 applications like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, PayPal, Survey Monkey, Google Analytics, and more.

With Dasheroo’s free plan, you can monitor up to 12 metrics (also known as insights). One of the cool things about Dasheroo is the ability to monitor individual insights. You can also use any of the tool’s popular templates or data mashups to compare channels. If you want more dashboards and insights, upgrade to a paid plan starting at $19 per month.

» Cyfe – Cyfe goes beyond social media to connect all of your marketing channels in one robust platform. Cyfe lets you use pre-built widgets for advertising, blogging, email, social media, SEO, and more. It natively integrates with 68 applications.

Cyfe’s free plan includes up to five widgets. It’s perfect for individuals or small businesses that need to track only basic analytics. There’s also a premium version that gives you access to unlimited widgets starting at $19 per month.

»Klipfolio –With Klipfolio you get real-time access to your business metrics and analytics and can connect to all of the services you use every day. Starting at $24 per month for up to five users, it’s a great option for small- to medium-sized businesses.

» Raven Tools – A great option for small- to medium-sized businesses, Raven Tools lets teams collaborate seamlessly on SEO, social, PPC, and content marketing campaigns all in one place. Reporting is easy and automated. With prices starting at $99 per month, it’s an affordable and effective option for campaign managing and reporting.

2. Tie In Facebook Metrics

With Facebook, monitor your page impressions, fan count, new fans, and overall clicks, shares, likes, and comments. Also look at your average daily engagement rate and your most engaging posts. Add these Facebook insights to your dashboard: overview, engagement rate, and highest engagement.

3. Include Twitter Metrics

If you’re using Twitter, be sure to monitor your total number of followers, following, and tweets. Also track your average daily retweets, replies, mentions, and likes, and your most engaging tweets. Add the same Twitter insights to your dashboard.

4. Set Up Pinterest Metrics

For Pinterest performance, you’ll want to monitor engagement rate by board, best-performing pins, and overall engagement rate. Also track total repins, likes, and comments, and the total number of followers, boards, pins, repins, likes, and comments. Add these Pinterest insights to your dashboard: overview, engagement, engagement rate, best-performing pins, and engagement rate by board.

5. Connect Instagram Metrics

For Instagram performance, monitor your total number of followers, following, and posts. Also track your total number of likes and comments, most engaging grams, and (potentially) your most engaging hashtags.

Add overview, engagement, highest engagement, and hashtag leaderboard to your insights.

6. Incorporate LinkedIn Metrics

For LinkedIn performance, keep these metrics on your radar: your overall engagement rate, most engaging posts, and total likes, comments, shares, and clicks. Add total followers, engagement, engagement rate, and updates with the highest engagement to your insights.

7. Integrate Google Analytics

With Google Analytics, keep an eye on your total sessions, top pages by sessions, top sources by medium, and top referrers. If you’re more advanced and have set up goals within Google Analytics, track goal performance as well.

Add these Google Analytics insights to your dashboard: total sessions, top sources by medium, top pages, all traffic, goals comparison, and goal performance.

8. Integrate Email Marketing Metrics

If you’re measuring your email marketing performance, keep an eye on your email open and click rates, as well as the health of your email list(s).

Add these email marketing insights to your dashboard: engagement (last 30 emails), engagement by list, list health, and health by list.

Dashboards are a great way to keep a finger on the pulse of your marketing channels.

Whether you’re working alone or as part of a larger marketing team, dashboards help you get more done and improve your marketing efforts. It’s all about finding the right tool for the job.

Golden Mic | Michael Phelps’ legacy & brand are golden

When Michael Phelps trademark sinewy lighting fast butterfly took the men’s medley relay into the record books – with an Olympic record and yet another gold metal to galvanize his certain legacy as the greatest swimmer ever, his brand yet again stood taller than any others.

What began in Sydney in 2000, when Phelps was just 15 years old, ended in Rio at age 31, older by 16 years but exponentially wiser. It ended as it should have ended, with Phelps on top of the world.

It was an unforgettable Olympics from an icon, who added five golds and a silver to his remarkable career totals — 28 medals, 23 gold. We’re used to that kind of Olympic showing from him. But it was different for Phelps this time.

He wasn’t the rambunctious kid he was when he made his Olympic breakthrough in 2004, nor was he the cocky star at the dominant peak of his sport that he was in 2008. He certainly wasn’t the depressed version of himself in 2012 in London, when he was on what he called “a downward spiral” as he struggled with depression and alcohol. The bong hit that went ‘round the world in a viral storm, showed an Olympic champion with less than sterling character..

Fast forward to Rio, where Phelps was in an altogether new place – clear-eyed about himself personally and professionally. He’s a new Dad, with a loving fiancé – and a new lease on life atop the sports world, and no one can touch him! Talk about golden reputation management! The Spin Cycle can’t wait to see what he does with this new platform, and his new place in life!

Michael, please call Donald ASAP!

Each week, The Spin Cycle will bestow a Golden Mic Award to the person, group or company in the court of public opinion that best exemplifies the tenets of solid PR, marketing and advertising – and those who don’t. Stay tuned – and step-up to the mic! And remember … Amplify Your Brand!

» Todd Smith is president and chief communications officer of Deane, Smith & Partners, a full-service branding, PR, marketing and advertising firm with offices in Jackson. The firm — based in Nashville, Tenn. — is also affiliated with Mad Genius. Contact him at todd@deanesmithpartners.com, and follow him @spinsurgeon.


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