New[s] This Week! | Social Media for PR, Snackable Social Films, You’re Only As Good As Your Content, & Instagram Adds Video Replies

This week’s Digital Marketing News has a noticeable social media bend to it, but we still managed to catch interesting topics that you likely wouldn’t have seen amidst some of the larger news stories this week. No matter. We’ve got your back!

The first entry comes from John Boitnott at

5 Ways You Should Be Using Social Media as Your Top PR Platform

The Evolution of Public Relations

Before digitalization, public relations professionals primarily engaged with the public after a major change. They announced new offerings, minimized reputation damage, and reacted to industry changes as the face of the organization. With the blossoming of social media, that’s evolved. Now many public relations professionals play a much more nuanced role. They may proactively engage in reputation management activities, counsel leadership, and identify potential problems in a business’s relationship with the public.

Social media eliminates the walls between members of the public and a brand, shortens the time a company has to react to relevant stories, and blurs the line between marketing and public relations. Often, public relations’ and marketing professionals’ roles overlap on social media.

Crafting and maintaining a positive public appearance requires a balance of engaging content and a careful awareness and reaction to public opinions. For brand reasoning, explanations, and crisis response, modern public relations professionals may look to social media as the first line of defense in an increasingly connected world.

One of the great parts of social media is the ability to interact directly with your customers. This brings with it the need to manage your public relations more clearly. In some cases, brands and marketers will forget about the PR aspect because “it’s not a press release or talking to a journalist.”

The flaw with that thinking is public relations isn’t about journalism. It’s about the perception of your brand by the public. The same public that brands are engaging with socially on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and others every single day.

See how Hilton Honors is using video marketing at ShootOnline:

Matt Pittroff of Station Film directed this “Digital Key” piece that is among those kicking off Hilton Honors’ “Snackables” series of 15-second social films. From independent, women-owned agency HZDG, the Snackables campaign began airing last week on Hilton Honors’ Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and will roll out on in-flight TV and other digital media channels in upcoming weeks.

The :15 “Snackables” social films are funny and informative, covering a range of topics about the benefits of being a Hilton Honors member, from the ease of using Digital Key to the joys of Free Wi-Fi.

“Digital Key” opens on a couple who misplaced their key card. As they stand outside the unopened door to their hotel room, another visitor enters his room with a cell phone command, a Digital Key feature that is available to Hilton Honors members.

Brands are getting more and more crafty when it comes to creative content, especially with video marketing. In this case, these “snackable social films” as they’re referring to them, are more accurately described as ads. How they are used becomes to crafty part. These ”

These “Snackables” are being embedded with any related content that’s published online. Press releases, guest blog posts, on-page knowledgebase or FAQ sections all have the option to receive the piece. Why? Because it’s immediately informative and entertaining.

Pivoting to how content is used on social media, Larry Alton over at AdWeek makes some sense:

Your Social Media Marketing Is Only as Good as Your Content

Why Content Matters

Have you ever thought about what exists at the core of social networking? When you trim away those extra features—likes, games, profile bylines, advertisements, etc.—what are you left with? Essentially, you have individual users accessing a website in the hopes of communicating with one another. And what do you find at the heart of online communication? Content.

If social media is a marketplace, content is your currency. You can use it to buy likes, followers, website traffic, conversions and even brand loyalty.

Greek mathematician Archimedes once famously said, “Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world.” While clearly hyperbole, his point was that anything is possible if you have the right tools.

In digital marketing, you can move the world—drive conversions, build brand loyalty, etc.—so long as you have the right content for your audience.

In essence, content is the critical piece in the social media puzzle. If you can nail the content aspect of the equation, then you’ll be successful.

Unfortunately, this is much easier said than done. If creating stellar content that thrives on social media were easy, every brand with a Facebook profile would be raking in the success.

The classic saying, “Content is King” will remain true for years to come. Google builds their algorithm around quality content. Social Media creates viral photos and videos, ie: content. Hell, Netflix is a company that’s built on content. The point is that you need to make wise choices about how your content strategy will unfold in every marketing channel you plan to use.

Expanding on the idea of social media and content comes an announcement about a new product to a major player in social media picked up at NetImperative:

Instagram adds photo and video replies to Stories

Instagram is adding a new feature that lets users reply to Stories with a photo or video.

The Facebook-owned social network a added a camera button at the bottom of the screen when a user plays an Instagram Story. The button lets a user snap a pic, record a video or take a Boomerang.

Users can also move and resize the original Story image and insert that in the reply photo. The recipient will get the response in their Direct message inbox, along with the thumbnail of the original Story.

Instagram Stories continues to be one of Instagram’s most successful features. It now has 250 million daily users, which far surpasses the numbers on Snapchat, and it also has Live video, which its rival lacks.

Instagram’s Announcement Post:

Starting today, you can reply to stories with a photo or video. From selfies to Boomerangs, now you can be even more fun and playful when you respond to friends. To reply with a photo or a video, tap the new camera button while you’re watching a story. You can use any creative tools in the camera, including face filters, stickers and Rewind. Replies also include a sticker of the story that you can move around and resize.

When a friend replies to your story with a photo or a video, you’ll see it in your inbox. You can tap to view it and also see a sticker of the original story that’s only visible to you. As with disappearing photos and videos in Direct, your friends will know when you’ve taken a screenshot or replayed a reply.

This moves Instagram closer to a messaging platform, but also affords brands and marketers the option to better personalize their engagement strategies. By responding back with video messages of their own brands will create a more human interaction that has been missing with call centers and AI chatbots.

And there you have it. A sampling of some headline stories this week in digital marketing news!

Author: Rob Sloan

Rob Sloan is an experienced marketer and content strategist with more than a decade of digital marketing, content strategy, and video production experience under his belt. He founded The Contemporary to work with small businesses that needed help breaking into the online marketing world.

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