My favorite part of every day is scrolling through LinkedIn and seeing my colleagues, former colleagues, and industry experts espouse the topics that matter most to them. It’s how it starts and ends, and it significantly impacts how I approach strategies, campaigns, content, and media for our clients. Often, I want to “double click” to learn more and/or ask a follow up question, but outside the quick, pithy back and forth the channel is designed for, it’s not possible.
Alas, Greenough’s Inside the Moments that Matter Series was born. It’s a place where we, as leaders, strategists, and practitioners, can “double click” on important topics, get advice, and collaborate with subject matter experts that sit outside the walls of our agency. Every month we’ll tune in and bring our learnings and ah-ha moments to you!
Our first guests joined us from G2: Jenny Gardynski, Director of Communications, and Natalie Hill, Senior Social Media & Communications Specialist. These two powerhouses were able to answer all the questions we’ve been dying to know on what it’s like on the “other side” as both former “agency insiders” (I was fortunate to work with them in a former role) and now, in-house experts.
Even more importantly, they’re from a company – the Yelp and future Google of software – that is wildly influential in our industry. Their marketplace, at its core, helps buyers make informed decisions on what technology is best for them. For the brands being reviewed, it’s a deliciously helpful tool when it comes to harnessing reviews for SEO and a truly authentic and economical way to drive pipeline as it hits every stage of the funnel from awareness to intent.
We hit the jackpot. We had a PR and a social media professional in our mits, AND they were able to impart best practices for G2 that we can bring back to our clients. We also had the opportunity to celebrate a company milestone of 2 million+ reviews and hear how they will commemorate the occasion. As a campaign-obsessed, news-triggered audience, we were gripped.
Here are a few hot takes that stood out:
The devil is in the details: This is an important life lesson. And when it comes to client service, it’s the most critical piece of the puzzle. The polish and sophistication will differentiate your agency from all the rest.
It’s also a critical element for any brand looking to take it to the next level. Sure, you can do all the right things, be in all the right places, and have all the meaningful conversations to build and amplify your presence. However, there are details at every stage that make you uniquely YOU – and can drown out thecompetition.
· Have you defined your brand tone and do you consistently use it across all your communications?
· Does your website grab visitors’ attention and immediately express your brand’s value?
· Could your last three press releases have more impact if communicated through a different vehicle?
· Do your executives have a compelling point of view and make a point to share it on their platform?
Prioritizing what is most important: This was a layered piece of advice. Initially targeted at what activities are visible to leadership, it dovetailed into excellent questions and banter on identifying the activities that have an impact and how to make more time for them. When it comes to brand marketing and PR, it’s best to ask yourself the following questions when moving a program forward.
· What is on the C-suite’s agenda? Specifically, what do they think is working and not working, and what are the challenges (large and small)they’re looking to solve in the coming year?
· Yes, marketing and PR can be important drivers for all company goals and objectives, not just the ones targeted at the specific department.
· Do the activities in your current program achieve, influence, or support these initiatives?
· How and when is success measured?
· Are the activities being done out of habit, or are they customized to the brand and what they want to achieve?
· Did you leave room for magic? (Thanks for this advice, Meghan Markle!)
Not all brand content on social media is created equal: This one is a bit more granular than the other two. But after years of carefully curating trends and thought-provoking industry articles for brands to react to on their company pages, we have learned this type of content is not always the best performing. While we certainly measure and counsel based on success, it was still startling to hear the head of comms say that a trend jacking post may get decent engagement, but it typically pales in comparison to a post promoting something uniquely G2’s.
A brand’s social channel is the one place you can grandstand and be rewarded. The followers know why they’re there, and it is to hear from you. Give them what they’re looking for. (Shameless plug: follow Greenough here.)
Lastly, they advised us to keep our relationships with our clients and each other honest, human, and professionally casual, which I clearly took to heart when drafting this post.
Thank you, Jenny and Natalie, for joining us! And stay tuned for next month’s session.