One Small Thing: A Simple Feature for Better Online Meetings

Like many of you with “laptop jobs” that have been working remotely for the bulk of this year, I’ve been spending a ton of time on Zoom, Webex, Microsoft Teams, or whatever other flavor of video calling the calendar is calling for. It seems like in addition to every meeting become a video call, half of all phone calls became video calls too. (If we need this many video calls, with “Zoom fatigue” creeping in on us, is a question for another day.)

With this change, we find ourselves doing a ton of virtual presentations. As screensharing has evolved over the years, we’ve thankfully grown from only being able to share the whole screen, to being able to exclusively share an application window. Fantastic, nobody has to see our messy desktops and awkward notifications.

But in our line of work, as a marketing agency with a lot of presentations and multimedia content to share, that still isn’t quite enough. Exporting presentations as PDFs and showing them in Preview is fine for sharing some reports, but if we want to run a presentation with builds and animations, we were stuck running Keynote and sharing our whole screen. It works, but then we lose our ability to keep notes in another application, research answers in a browser, chat via backchannels, or even see our audience. It would get even clunkier when you had to admit guests from a Zoom waiting room.

Thankfully, Apple’s latest version of Keynote has solved this pesky nuisance with a simple feature: “Play Slideshow in Window.” Find it in the “Play” menu up top, and then the application does just that, plays your presentation as if it were full screen, but in a separate window that you can select for sharing. Animations work, videos work, interactivity works – and there is no “chrome” around the window with titles or buttons to get in the way of your message.

Keynote Doodle

Here’s a little doodle of how I organize my space now when I give a presentation on a video call. This lets me see everybody’s reactions, access questions and comments in chat, and keep notes organized in Evernote. Beyond meetings, I’m also excited to use this setup for teaching class when we get back in the fall, and running virtual events like our next Queens Tech Night later this year.

Was this the biggest problem facing humanity? Of course not. I recognize how fortunate we are to even be able to do our work with everything going on. But we’re also grateful to be able to do that work just a little bit better with things like this.

Better Position Your Brand by Mapping Your “Territory”

Like a football team, every brand has to compete to win. But not every team is the best at everything – some have better quarterbacks, some are studs on defense, and yet others might even have the best placekicker in the league. Each team competes on a different attribute to try to win the day.

A smart, well-defined brand does the same. It competes on having the best product, coolest mystique, or even the most righteous morals. But, like how you can’t have all the best players in the league, you can’t compete on every attribute. Just as with the brand personality, the strongest brands choose to play on one or two areas.

One of the best frameworks to help you conceptualize where your brand competes is the “brand territory” model, outlined by marketer Scott Lerman in his fantastic book, Building Better Brands (which we ourselves use, in part, to guide our branding processes). This mapping exercise helps you visualize where your brand competes on a spectrum of tangible to intangible territories: Assets, Offer, Approach, Skills, and Mission. Let’s start at the top and review each one of these territories.

Assets

Assets

The most tangible attribute on which you can compete, Assets are things you can own and control. You are the best choice because you are the only one with thing X. This could be a piece of equipment, real estate, intellectual property, supply, or something else entirely.

Poland Spring is a favorite example of a brand competing on Assets. It’s claim is at the heart of their slogan, “what it means to be from Maine.” Poland Spring is the best water because they have the best springs – springs that nobody else has, and nobody else can compete on. Disney+ does this with their characters and franchises – nobody else has Mickey Mouse or Luke Skywalker. And nobody can compete with the real-estate-driven convenience of Starbucks on every corner.

Offer

Offer

Taking a step more intangible, brand that compete on Offer competes on their goods and services. Do you have the best selection, most unique flavors, or even the most attractive packaging?

The Container Store offers the widest selection of, you guessed it, containers. And here in NYC, the Strand Book Store boasts of “18 miles of books.” La Croix is the sparkling water with the most instagrammable cans, and only Volkswagen has the iconic Beetle.

Approach

Approach

Brands centered on Approach are grounded in “how we do things.” Is there an attitude, outlook, or process that is different between your brand and the competitors? This could be a difference in style, like better customer service, or it could be a difference in the very foundation of your business, like ecommerce-first brands.

JetBlue approaches air travel in a friendlier, more human way than its competitors. Casper and Warby Parker disrupted stagnant industries with direct-to-consumer sales and no-BS pricing. Costco brings a “warehouse club” model to groceries. Apple makes the “most beautiful” personal electronics.

The list of brands that compete on Approach can go on and on, partly because this slice of territory is tied closely with innovation, making it an attractive play for many consumer brands.

Skills

Skills

Competing on Skills means your brand brings the best stuff to the table, every single time. You have the smartest people, most experienced team, most caring staff, or some other attribute about your brand that makes it the expert.

A lot of service brands will be found competing here: Memorial Sloan Kettering are the experts in cancer care. McKinsey and Company are the sharpest consultants. Culligan are the water pros. SNL hires the funniest sketch comedians.

Mission

Mission

Finally, on the most intangible end of the spectrum, you’ll find brands which compete on Mission. These brands are saying that the ideals that drive us are different, better, and ultimately the reason why you should choose us.

With Mission, most non-profits will be jockeying for position, from the American Red Cross to the Natural Resource Defense Council. But don’t discount this territory for your business branding – you can find both explicitly conscious brands like TOMS or Ben and Jerry’s, and some “big idea” players like Airbnb, Figma, and TED, competing in this space.

 


 

It’s tempting to say your brand is going to be the best at everything. But as the old saying goes, “if you chase two rabbits, you catch none.” Find a space on this spectrum, stake your claim, and then back it up. That’s how you compete to win.

The Best Design Brief I’ve Ever Read

Close your eyes, and think of Coca-Cola. What comes to mind? Probably the bright cherry red or Spencerian script of its swooping logo. Maybe it is the caramel fizzy product itself, or even Santa Claus. Or, for billions of people around the globe, the first image to materialize is the infamous, iconic, contour bottle.

This bottle is so elemental to Coca-Cola that a recent campaign by the brand featured just a red field with the script logo “wrapped” around an imaginary bottle. You don’t even need to see the bottle to immediately connect the dots. The ad’s minimal-yet-evocative copy completes the magic trick: “Feel it.”

And beyond the success of the end product, the process which got Coca-Cola here is a work of art in its own right. Early in the company’s foray into bottling, there was no singular package design – just a succession of off-the-rack straight-sided bottles with a diamond-shaped label affixed to the side. This generic treatment led to a slew of copy-cats and weakened the brand’s position.

That changed in 1915, when the “Trustees of the Coca-Cola Bottling Association” issued a challenge to glass manufacturers across the country to develop a uniquely Coca-Cola bottle. And here is where we meet the simplest, most effective design brief that I’ve ever seen: “design a bottle so distinct that you would recognize if by feel in the dark or lying broken on the ground.”

That’s it. There was no laundry-list of specifications and pre-prescribed half-solutions. There was just a challenge – make something so recognizable you could fish it out of an icebox or see in shards on the street and immediately know what it is.

Original Coca-Cola Bottle Patent

Eventually the Root Glass Company in Indiana would develop the iconic contour bottle and win the competition. The first patent was filed for it that same year, and before the decade was out nearly every Coke sold in a bottle was housed in this striking design. After the patent expired, the shape was so elemental to Coca-Cola’s brand that it was then recognized as a trademark in 1961. Today, over 100 years later, the bottle in your local vending machine looks a whole lot like that first prototype.

Obviously, this is a resounding marketing success, and it is at least partially due to the clarity and simplicity of that initial brief. As you are starting your next project, try to learn from this example – speak first about needs and goals, and then let the solutions come from there. Don’t walk into your next website design, branding project, or marketing campaign with all the ideas fully formed. Set the parameters of the challenge and let the process and creativity develop something great.

3 Takeaways About Social Marketing During Sprout Sessions 2020

During these unpredictable times, pressing questions loom over the heads of social marketers and clients alike: “what now, and where do we go from here?” Living in the era of social distancing presents unique challenges, and learning how to navigate these roadblocks becomes of even more importance.

I’ve gained a wealth of information during Sprout Sessions Digital 2020 through insightful, timely, and refreshingly candid conversations about how marketers can approach the unfamiliar terrain of social marketing during COVID-19. Among the plethora of actionable strategies and next steps that were discussed, I want to share with you my top three takeaways.

Keep it human

While metrics are important, these are difficult times, and beyond the hard facts, people will remember most how you made them feel. The role of empathy cannot be overstated in social marketing campaigns. More than ever, people are turning to content that is relatable and makes them feel understood. Your content should be conveying the message that “I care, I see you, and I am here for you.”

Rather than being “tone deaf” to what’s going on in society, be sensitive to what your audiences are thinking and feeling. Try to sound more human when crafting content, and avoid sounding scripted or robotic. Instead of trying to allude to the idea that life is normal, be real, and be willing to acknowledge that for many people, it’s the exact opposite. It’s okay to be honest about that.

Listen first

Now is an opportune time to create a safe, supportive space on your social platforms for audiences to ask questions without fear, share how they feel, and discuss their frank thoughts. Be especially attentive to your clients by practicing social listening and responding when they choose to engage. Interact as much as you can, as frequent communication is the key to building a successful brand.

The question to ask is not “what do we think about this issue?” Rather, ask this question: “how are customers talking about an issue?” Stay plugged in to social channels during off-peak hours, and be cognizant of what your audiences are talking about on weekends and evenings. By staying informed about what topics are generating the most buzz, you’ll have the knowledge to accurately tailor content and marketing strategy to your audiences’ whims and wants.

Tailor your strategy

The changes in the political environment should be reflected in your marketing strategy. To stay relevant, your messaging and content must evolve with the shifting needs, sentiments, and preferences of your audience. To determine the direction of your strategy and keep it customer-centric, utilize tools and metrics such as social listening and customer engagement.

For example, monitor what topics are frequently discussed in the comments section on social platforms and assess which topics generated the most favorable customer reactions. What approaches worked, and what didn’t? Use the data gleaned from metrics to adjust and determine the next steps in order to create an effective marketing strategy.

You may discover that you need to take a new approach entirely, but embrace this uncertainty by staying flexible. Be aware of who your audience is, such as clients living in specific geographic areas who may be experiencing the current situation differently than others. By taking the time to understand these audiences, you will be primed to customize your strategy to pinpoint and precisely meet their unique needs.

Don’t use the Coronavirus to Sell Your Stuff

It should go without saying, but please for the love of all that is good, do not use the Coronavirus to make your marketing cute or topical. You may think it’s a good idea, but it’s not even close.

Making a witty or quirky Coronavirus post, ad, video, or email has very little upside, and very high downside. Every single year, you see roundups of tasteless tweets from brands around 9/11 or Pearl Harbor – and you don’t want to be on top of the inevitable listicle of crass content.

While we have not yet reached Contagion-level threats, you do not want to be seen as making light of a serious health concern. Congressman Matt Gaetz of Florida mockingly wore a gas mask on the House floor, and then within days a constituent died and the Representative himself was put under quarantine. It’s a bad look.

If you sell goods that people are stocking up on, don’t raise your prices to the stratosphere – that’s price gouging, and in addition to being illegal, it’s a very quick and effective way to destroy any brand trust.

Don’t advertise your cheap flights, hotel rooms, or concert tickets. Don’t hold new meetups or networking events. Don’t advertise “fun” quarantine activities.

Marketers should sit this one out. Stay the course with your big projects and plans, but stay away from trying to make a quick buck here.

The 3 Most Important Sentences in Marketing

Every now and then, you come across an insight that is just so disruptively, spot-on accurate that it lodges itself in your skull, grabs a hold of your brain, and attaches itself so deeply that your entire worldview changes. It’s the sentence that makes the entire book, or interview, or movie, or blog, or whatever worth it. Hell, it’s the type of thought that makes the entire concept of reading worth it.

As I’ve been working on new projects and teaching a new semester the past few weeks, there are three of these golden nuggets recently banging around in my head. And the more I dwell on them, the more I start to believe that almost everything else is noise, and that understanding and internalizing these three ideas would put you ahead of 90% of other marketers and change makers in the world.

Here they are.

“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”

This takeaway from Simon Sinek’s famous TED talk and ensuing book is at the core of all great branding. You start from the authentic why and everything follows thereafter – build a brand essence that resonates with the values of your audience and everything else flows from the center. Sinek best expands on this with “The goal is not to do business with everybody who needs what you have. The goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe.”

“People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole!”

That’s the whole ballgame. Effective communication is not about features, but benefits. What can I accomplish with the thing you are selling me? What itch can it scratch? To take this insight from legendary Harvard professor Theodore Levitt to the next level: people don’t even want a quarter-inch hole, they want a family photo on the wall, and they want that snapshot up because they want acceptance and belonging.

“People like us do things like this.”

Blogger, author, and marketer Seth Godin made this early insight the foundation of his latest book, This is Marketing. It’s the elemental truth behind all of his best-selling books: people are moved to action because they are part of a tribe, and that they are fulfilling a narrative of themselves that fits their mental image of who they are and how they’re supposed to be eating, buying, donating, or voting. This insight ties in with the principles of commitment and consistency best explored in Robert Cialdini’s Influence.

 


Everything I’ve learned about marketing, in school, in a book, or in the field, comes back to these three ideas. For me, they are permanently lodged in my cerebral cortex (which I’m thankful for!), good luck on forgetting them anytime soon.

To Succeed on Social Media, Ask Yourself This One Question

Ask anyone working in a digital marketing agency what email they’re most likely to get from a client when a new social network or tool hits the scene, and they’ll likely tell you it’s this:

“Hey, platform X seems like a big deal. Let’s get on it!”

As TikTok has exploded over the past 18 months, I can’t tell you how many clients have emailed me saying we need to “check this out” and “put some viral content up there.” Their enthusiasm is awesome. It’s great to have clients that are excited about the evolution of digital marketing and willing to experiment.

It’s also a real pain in the ass.

Trying out a new social network isn’t just a matter of claiming a username and repurposing past content. It involves research, design, and experimentation. Participating in TikTok is one thing, winning at it is another. And when we chase the shiny red ball (the newest social network) instead of focusing on the cash cow (wherever you’re currently converting your audience), you risk blowing up your entire social strategy and effectiveness.

So if you want to succeed at social, I always recommend you ask yourself this one question:

“What stories can I authentically tell?”

That’s it. That’s the question.

When a client comes in and reviews a social strategy and sees a popular network omitted, they ask why. We tell them the answer is quite simple—they can’t tell the types of stories or create the types of content that would make a presence on that platform effective. Attempting to would divert resources from the networks where we can tell meaningful stories and connect with audience members, harming the efficacy of those efforts.

Instead, orient around what you already have, and what you already do best. If you are a strong creator of video, then focus on YouTube, TikTok or Instagram and forget Twitter. If you can create rich food photography of your at-home meal creations but don’t have the capacity for video, skip out on the YouTube channel and aim for Pinterest or Instagram instead. Create a social strategy that exists at the synergy of your strengths, a network’s preference, and your audience’s interests.

Best of all, people can sense when you’re speaking your truth, and they respond to it with attention. There’s a palpable difference between the blog post written from the heart from the Instagram Story video you begrudgingly produce on the way to the office, and no amount of acting or editing can hide that. When you do the former and share a piece of your authentic self, you’ll be rewarded with that well-deserved attention.

So as you’re designing your social strategy and social channel portfolio, consider asking yourself the following to understand the authentic stories you can bring to your brand platforms:

  1. What content am I already creating? Are there any networks where these are valuable?
  2. What resources (time, money, relationships) am I willing to invest in content creation?
  3. What platforms have a synergy between my content/story and my target audience?
  4. Where am I willing to experiment and fail?
  5. What stories are hidden in my business, waiting to be unearthed (e.g. customer successes, case studies, how-to guides)?

How to Increase Your Email Click-Through Rate

Real talk: how many promotional emails do you receive on a given day? Now tell us, how many of those do you open, let alone click-through to learn more? We’d have to guess the answer to that is, well, not too many.

Here’s the silver lining: you’re not the only one with click-through rate (CTR) woes. Across all industries, the average CTR is about 2.6% – but we want to help you change that. The click-through rate is one of the most important metrics to watch in your email campaigns. After all, if your open rate is high, but your click-through rate is low, it could mean that your subject line brings them in, but your content isn’t converting. That means you’re delivering a false promise.

But there are things you can do to increase your clickthrough rate, and it all starts with understanding your audience. Sounds simple enough, right? The mistake most marketers make is that they include their entire email list when they send email campaigns. Think about it: Is your entire list really interested in that new niche blog you just published? Instead, maybe you’ll send the niche blog to prospects who’ve previously showed interest in that topic. It’s all about understanding your list and realizing that marketing to everyone the same way is as effective as not marketing at all, which brings us to our point:

Email. Segmentation.

How to Segment Your List

Segmenting your audience and sending targeted email campaigns is one of the most effective ways to increase engagement and drive more sales.

You can segment by:

  • Creating targeted landing pages
  • Looking to previous engagements on social media
  • Offering free downloads that speak to specific audiences

If you have multiple signup options on your site with different calls-to-action, you should segment your subscribers based on where they signed up. For example, if a user signs up via a landing page for a free guide, they should be segmented to understand where this new sign-up came from, and how you can best communicate with them.

Be sure to do some light maintenance on your lists, making sure to clean them up and remove any inactive subscribers. Consider sending an email asking people to opt-in for certain types of updates. This could help improve your open and click-through rates.

Have Your Contacts Opted In?

You may have heard of the ever-present debate among digital marketers: to double opt-in, or not to double opt-in – that is the question. Using a single opt-in will certainly grow your list quicker because people don’t have to verify that they do in fact want to subscribe. But you could argue that going the single opt-in route means that your email list won’t be as high-quality than if you used a double opt-in. Decisions, decisions – we know. While it’s true that you do make new subscribers jump through an extra hoop with a double opt-in, it ensures that they really do want to receive emails from your company – and that’s an easy way to increase  open rates.

Humanize Your Email Marketing

We live in a world where everything is scheduled, automatic, and triggered, but in the email world, you’ll want to keep a human – and personal – touch if you want your readers to click-through.

Storytelling and humor are both great ways to incorporate more of that in your sends. Have a funny anecdote that relates to your send? Throw it in there. Received feedback from a reader? Share that, too – your click-throughs will be better for it.

If you need some more ideas, considering sharing the story behind your book, case studies or testimonials, or rapport building stories to humanize your brand or book.

While we’re talking about humanizing your email sends, make sure you double check your “from” address. No one wants to read an email from “no reply.”

The (Preview Text) Must Go On…

If your subject line is the star of the show, your preview text is the supporting role. Once your reader’s attention has been caught by your subject line, the preview text might be what convinces them to open your email or not. If you don’t write preview text for your email, the first sentences of your email will appear as the preview text. Yawn.

Use your preview text to play off the subject line, and don’t be afraid to get playful with it. Remember, give the people what they want: humor.

Write a Great CTA

Email is your chance to have fun with CTAs (and we might argue everywhere else, too). The “Learn More” or “Shop Now” CTAs are so 2008, and we’ve evolved, thank you very much. These CTAs may have worked once upon a time, but now people want to know: What’s in it for me? Why, with my limited time in a day, should I click this link?

First off, don’t use the same CTA for all your emails. If your emails always look the same, include the same type of content, and has the same CTA, your readers will grow tired of it and stop clicking through or even read your emails. By changing your CTAs in every email, you keep it interesting and people are more likely to engage.

Send Your Email at the Optimal Time

The age old question: what is the optimal time to send that email (or Tweet, Facebook post, Instagram…). You may have noticed that there’s plenty of contradictory information out there. If you have 1,000 or more followers, you could try running an A/B test, splitting the list in half. When deciding exactly what time of day for your additional tests, it’s important that you put yourself in your subscribers’ shoes. Think about what a typical day would look like for your ideal buyer. Ask yourself: what time might they wake up in the morning? When are they most likely to check their email? Is there any potential period of downfall during the day when they might be checking their email?

Some email providers, like Mailchimp, offer an “optimal send time” function, but you can also look up recent industry charts to see what time might work best for your audience.

To find the right day to send your emails, you need to send emails on different days of the week but at the same time of day. It’s all about testing, testing, and more testing in order to find the sweet spot.

Q&A with John Paul Farmer – Queens Tech Night

This week, we’re excited to be joined by the visionary John Paul Farmer for our second Queens Tech Night meetup. John has had a diverse range of experience in civic technology, a path that has included stints in the Obama administration and at Microsoft, and now he serves as the Chief Technology Officer for New York City. In advance of his keynote, we had a chance to discuss a few of the topics he’ll be covering, as well as his thoughts on some tech topics more broadly.

 


What is the one innovation, investment, or policy that New York City will live or die on in the next decade?

We want to close the digital divide, which is why we introduced the New York City Internet Master Plan earlier this year. It frames the City’s goals for the next generation of internet technology, identifies the partnerships and infrastructure required, and sets a course for ending the digital divide in New York City. This is a policy initiative that must live and flourish over the next decade.

Are there any other municipalities that you look to as a model for what you can and should implement in New York City?

We look at cities around the world and leverage best practices when it comes to smart cities and Internet of Things deployment, closing the digital divide, protecting digital rights, and implementing digital services that serve everyone. We’ve been lucky to have cities like Seoul, Berlin, London, Paris, Copenhagen, and others help promote our Challenges to quality applicants. Our NYCx Cybersecurity Challenge captured 169 proposals for 77 cities representing 18 countries from around the world.

It was recently announced that Seattle is running a mobile voting pilot program. In what ways do you see technology helping increase civic engagement, either at the polls themselves or in the day-to-day work of government beyond election day?

It is also important that we convey that democracy doesn’t just happen on the first Tuesday in November. Democracy happens every single day. I’m excited to have the opportunity to work side-by-side with Commissioner Sarah Sayeed and the Civic Engagement Commission. People like Columbia’s Dr. Hollie Russon Gilman are working on civic engagement in forms such as participatory budgeting. Institutions like Civic Hall are leading the civic tech movement, meaning the use of technology for public good. And non-profits like DoSomething.org are joined by newer groups like DataKind. Each is using technology to bridge divides and involve people in the daily work of our communities.

What are the most overrated and most underrated trends in tech today?

One of the most exciting things about working in technology is that the field is always changing and sometimes those changes happen very quickly. Generally, people grab onto exciting ideas and take that excitement too far or, at the very least, too far too soon. Current candidates for being overrated include chatbots, autonomous vehicles, and smart home technologies. That doesn’t mean they won’t be transformational, but it does mean that transformation won’t happen overnight. I’m not sure if it is underrated, but in terms of misunderstood, I would say diversity in tech. The conversation focuses on increasing diversity in tech as the right and moral thing to do, and that’s completely true. While some progress is being made, we have a ways to go. The piece of the conversation that I don’t see or hear enough of is the acknowledgement that diverse teams perform better. And in a day and age when teamwork is increasingly how work gets done, there is no better way to increase your odds of success than ensuring you have a diverse team of people working with you.

You’ve had an impressive career that has taken you from the baseball diamond to the White House. What is the biggest lesson you’ve taken away thus far, and what advice would you give to those just starting their careers?

Talk to strangers. It is terrible advice at age 8. But fantastic advice at 18, 28, or even 58. I can attest from my own personal experience, because some of my best friends and even some key professional opportunities in my career arose from being curious enough and open enough to strike up a conversation with a total stranger.

If you were master of the universe for one day, what pipe dream initiative would you institute in New York?

If I could snap my fingers, I would make sure every New Yorker has affordable, high-quality, privacy-respecting broadband at home and on the go. The internet is foundational technology that empowers people to access opportunity, education, healthcare and so much more. Of course – as the NYC Internet Master Plan makes clear – universal broadband is not just a pipe dream. It’s an achievable challenge. And it’s our job to make it a reality.

 


Hear more from John on Wednesday, February 5 at the Museum of the Moving Image for Queens Tech Night. We’re proud to host this event alongside our friends at Kaufman Astoria Studios, Plaxall, and the LIC Partnership, and we’re excited to have further support from LaGuardia Community College, NY Designs, New York Hall of Science, Pursuit, QEDC StartUP! Competition, Queens College Tech Incubator, Tech:NYC, Sac’s Place, SquareWine, and Capitol Foundry. Tickets are nearly sold out, so book yours ASAP.  And don’t forget to join the ongoing community on Meetup. See you there!

Making the Most of Media Hits: 6 Tips for Amplifying Your Interviews

We live and breath digital at Digital Natives, but we’re no fools: an appearance on TODAY or The Rachel Ray Show or even a segment on your local news will still be one of the best bang-for-the-buck moments for your business or brand.

But those moments don’t come in isolation. It’s often because of a digital interaction, be it a singular viral Tweet or a large and faithful following, that your brand or word has credibility. This might be why that you were able to earn that media hit in the first place.

And thanks to digital platforms, you can now make that moment even more meaningful and generate further traction. These are six tips for how.

Before your appearance

The best defense is a good offense. If you want to get ahead of the wave, you need to begin laying the groundwork for your appearance as soon as you’re allowed to. This helps prime your audience, but also helps drive eyeballs to your hosts and makes you a more attractive booking in the future.

Offer to do a Twitter Chat or Instagram Live on the outlet’s social channels

Giving viewers a taste of what they can learn from your upcoming segment may entice them to tune in to see what the actual appearance may end up being. It’s an opportunity to also solicit questions and learn more about what this outlet’s audience may be interested in.

Script out some soundbites

We’ve only got about six seconds, if we’re lucky, to hook someone in a video. After that, viewership drops off significantly and folks tune out of your content. Knowing that, spend time before you go on-air developing 1-2 soundbites that will hook someone viewing or listening to your conversation online at a later time. Think of these with social in mind, asking yourself if this snippet would make sense out-of-context for someone experiencing the clip on their Instagram feed or in a Tweet.

Create an exclusive

Impressions may lead to a surge in search or social chatter, and you need to be ready to convert on this moment so it has maximum effectiveness. For instance, if you’re a health author and you’re going on a podcast to discuss the importance of nature exposure, prepare a 5-step guide that listeners can download with tips for getting back to nature. If you own a hardware shop and you’re going on local TV to discuss spring cleaning repairs, have a coupon available to access on your website. Whatever your specialty, design some incentive that will live on your website and relate back to the content you’ll discuss in the interview. Put it behind a form that asks for a user’s email address, and you’ll start to build your list thanks to the effort.

After your appearance

Now that you’re off the air, its time to rapidly take action in order to capitalize on this great PR. In a fast-paced news cycle, your glow might fade fast, so be prepared with these items before you ever step foot in a studio.

Prepare a blog post

We all need content, and it’s hard for us to produce enough of it. The same goes for those media outlets you may be appearing on. There are just not enough hours in the day to produce all the content we need. Offer to fill the gap for the outlet you’re appearing on by guest-writing a blog post on your subject matter. Not only will you get additional exposure, but the SEO boost with the back-linking to your own website is an added plus!

Offer to do a live follow-up chat on social

Just like you did before the discussion, offer to conduct a follow-up chat on social media with the outlet’s audience on their networks. This can be done from a show’s page or an anchor’s, as either is a way to continue exposing yourself to a fresh audience.

Send share content to partners and allies

If you listened to the tips above, your interview came prepared with some soundbites ready to be shared for social. Once you’ve gotten access to the clip and have been able to make some sharable assets (think quote cards or videos with subtitles), share them around with friends and allies with some suggested copy and ask them to share on social. This is THE time to call in all those favors and goodwill you’ve been building up. And remember to always supply a link for them to drive traffic to!

As for earning those media opportunities in the first place, well, that’s something we’ll let our friends in PR speak to.