Online brand success tied to consumer engagement

Successful PR campaigns require a well-planned, multi-tiered strategy that is innovative and engaging.

Successful PR campaigns require a well-planned, multi-tiered strategy that is innovative and engaging.

In the past, companies hired PR professionals to promote their products or services via third party endorsements. Securing editorial placements or broadcast coverage for clients was our bread and butter, as just one glowing review in a top publication or a positive mention by the host of a national talk show can reach countless consumers and result in record sales.

Well, times have changed, and so have the ways we can reach potential consumers.

The Internet is surpassing print as a means to deliver information, leading many brands to focus on online outreach and social media. Brands can now attract and actively engage an online audience and can directly interact with potential consumers on their own.

Clients frequently ask how they can best incorporate top social media sites into PR and marketing campaigns in hopes of quickly establishing a strong online presence. When faced with this challenge I recommend that my clients focus on creating strategic interaction using multiple outlets.

For example, work closely with respected bloggers to increase a brand's online presence and personality on top blogs. Post how-to or behind-the-scenes videos that allow viewers to feel a level of exclusivity. Encourage consumer discussions by prompting visitors to become fans of the brand and to leave comments, post photos, or upload videos detailing their personal experiences with the product or service.

The more connected a consumer feels towards a brand, the larger the halo of positive feedback and the greater the number of new consumers. Thanks to loyal fans, online consumer endorsement is the new word of mouth and is swiftly approaching the loyalty ranks of traditional editorial endorsement.

Ari Goldstein is CEO of Goldstein Communications.

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