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YouTube Launches New Ad Formats and Measurement Options

Screen Shot 2018-10-08 at 12.18.35 PMYouTube recently announced some new ad formats that will allow viewing audiences to learn more about, and even buy, products and services without leaving the platform. Additionally, new tools are on their way that will allow for brand lift studies to be conducted on the Google Ads platform in real time, similar to a feature that Facebook has offered for a while.

The announced updates will work much much like they do in the search format with new “extensions” coming soon that will allow viewers to identify the location of a business and submit lead details from within an in-stream ad.

Read more after the jump…

Sabbatical Life Lessons

IMG_6790This summer, I had the amazing opportunity to take a four-week sabbatical following 10 years of employment at GroundFloor Media. For our part, team members are asked to take the time to regroup, recharge and reflect during their sabbaticals – with the ideal goal being that we come back refreshed and reenergized with insights to share with our team members that will ultimately help us all to live a more balanced, productive and abundant life.

It was, of course, amazing to have four weeks off – time to look up from my laptop and really be present in the world around me, spend treasured time with my family and friends, travel (to Hawaii!), and address long-ignored elements of my “other” jobs at home (stacks of mail, overflowing closets, etc.).

Read more after the jump…

Changes In Your Instagram, Twitter and Facebook Newsfeeds

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Instagram and Twitter are making it easier for users to find the content they want, while Facebook is tightening up security measures for the upcoming elections in an effort to weed out fake news.

Instagram

Social Media Today: Instagram’s Testing an Option to Add Hashtags Without Having to Include Them in the Caption

Instagram has been testing out a non-intrusive way to add hashtags to posts through a separate field outside of the main caption. This would give Instagram more ways to categorize and showcase relevant posts in Explore. Read more after the jump…

Apple’s Winning Twitter Strategy

During this month’s Apple Event, when Apple announced new product releases for the world to drool over, Twitter felt more like a farmers market than a social media platform. As a Project Fi advocate, images of a sleek phone with a technicolor screen didn’t do much for me. What did catch my attention was Apple’s use of Twitter advertising strategies to promote and ultimately own their #AppleEvent.

Apple’s Paid Media Wins   

The most impressive aspect of their recent media push was their paid strategy. Instead of buying placements across multiple platforms, they picked one digital platform that’s highly relevant to tech lovin’ early adopters and focused their paid social efforts there. According to Digiday, they purchased a promoted trend, “like a reminder” custom placement and promoted tweets. This single platform focus demonstrates confidence in both their audience and the platform, which is prime advertising real estate for events, trends and conversations.

They also took time to create promoted tweets in 12 different languages, like the example below. This further indicates that they know their target audiences and want to connect with them through a relatable experience.

Apple’s Owned Media Misses  

In my opinion, a big missed opportunity for Apple was its continued organic silence on Twitter. They have never tweeted and an #AppleEvent didn’t change that organic strategy. Over the years, organic social media content has seen a decline in reach, causing a decrease in engagements. Typically when we run digital advertising campaigns, we see an increase in profile traffic and engagement, indicating that the most engaged members of the audience want a place where they can engage with a brand immediately after seeing an ad. By not tweeting organically, Apple missed out on organic reach and engaging with superfan conversations.

Apple’s Earned Media Love

Last week’s paid strategies directly impacted their earned media love. Promoting a trend was a brilliant idea, which gave #AppleEvent extra exposure and probably greatly impacted usage and engagement, like this user’s tweet:

What did you think of Apple’s Twitter takeover last week? Did it inspire you to join the conversation, or better yet, pre-order an iPhone XS? Let me know in the comments below!

Olivia Ward is a Director of Digital Strategy at CenterTable, where she creates digital marketing strategies that make client dreams come true. She has more than 10 years of experience helping brands find and target their audience IRL and digitally.

When PR Disasters Aren’t Really Disasters

emergency-planWe live in an age of instant analysis, a world where our Attention Deficit Disorder culture means that we rarely take the time necessary to understand the long-term impacts of current events.

That certainly applies to our political landscape, but it also applies to the business world. In an environment in which investors only care about the next quarter’s earnings, it can be hard to step back and focus on the long-term implications of opportunities and challenges.

This is especially true in the world of public relations. Each December, I present a list of the year’s biggest PR disasters. Some are almost a year old, and others are only months – or even days – old. Truth be told, that is not nearly enough distance to understand what the full impact will be on a company.

Having something negative happen is just one piece of a complex public relations puzzle. How quickly and effectively a company responds to that challenge can be as or even more important than the actual issue that has arisen. Equally important is how much trust a company has earned in the past helping insulate it from long-term damage.

The Value of Responding to a Crisis Quickly and Effectively

Southwest Airlines is a great example. It recently announced that it lost about $100 million in revenue due to a decline in ticket sales because of the death of one of its passengers. That is an enormous short-term figure, but what is the long-term damage to the company? From an investor perspective, the company’s stock dropped a little more than 7 percent in the aftermath of the incident, but it has rebounded and is now up more than 12 percent compared to where it was before the incident.

Southwest suffered a “PR disaster,” but because it responded effectively and had already earned trust from the flying public, it has weathered the situation well. The management team may be on a shorter leash, but even $100 million in lost revenue is a momentary blip, at least to long-term investors.

Next time you hear that a company has suffered a PR disaster, understand the context. Usually it means that a company has experienced a terrible incident. It doesn’t mean that all hope is lost. Philosophers have argued that the measure of a person is not whether they face challenges, but in how they respond. That is true with companies as well. Like Southwest, Toyota, Sony, Netflix, Apple, Volkswagen, Wells Fargo and United have all suffered “PR disasters” in the recent past, and all have managed to climb their way back. That is the power of having a strong crisis plan and responding quickly and effectively.

Jeremy Story is a Vice President at GroundFloor Media, where he co-leads the firm’s Crisis, Reputation and Issues Management practice. He has more than 20 years of experience helping companies ranging from start-ups to the Fortune 100 prepare for, manage, and recover from crisis issues.

How to Speak Designer: 5 Phrases to Avoid When Speaking With Creatives

How to speak designer: 5 phrases to avoid when speaking with creatives | By Ben Hock at CentertableIn March I wrote about basic graphic design terms that clients should know before speaking with their designer. I’m always impressed by clients who use design terms appropriately, because, more often than not, people use graphic design terms incorrectly, which can lead to projects that go awry. In this follow-up, I’ve compiled a list of phrases that make designers cringe, along with advice on alternatives so your next creative project starts off smoothly. Read more after the jump…

How To Implement Google’s Responsive Search Ads

Having a hard time deciding what to put into those three Headline fields in the recently updated Expanded Text Ads in Google? Tired of running manual A/B tests on your ad copy? Responsive Search Ads (RSAs) may be the solution you’ve been searching for.

How Responsive Search Ads Work

RSAs are dynamic search ads that adapt to a user’s query through machine learning. Advertisers can enter up to 15 headlines and three descriptions and Google will test out various combinations, learning which perform best over time. Read more after the jump…

The Value of Authenticity – Ft. Rebecca Black

Social media has given users the power to create extensions of themselves within a virtual environment, but at what cost? When the entire world is given a public platform, the lines between reality and perception become increasingly blurred. On episode 2 of Creating Conversations, we examine the darker side of Internet fame and the value of authenticity when dealing with a crisis.

Special Guest: Rebecca Black

Rebecca Black is a renowned artist and YouTuber who unwittingly became an Internet sensation when she was thirteen years old. She has since played an important role in shaping the conversation around cyberbullying and the viral nature of social media.

Read more after the jump…

Our Growing Connectedness: Changes in the Tech Space that you Need to Know About

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rachael-roark-weekly-reads-centertable-our-growing-connectedness-changes-in-techIn this age of being constantly connected, people have come to expect that the information they are looking for is at their fingertips. This edition of Weekly Reads covers how technology giants are continuing to push the envelope in terms of the amount and type of information that is accessible and where it is accessible. We as users are also raising our expectations around the level of transparency that these giants are providing.

Marketing Land: Google Expands Google Assistant Integration

Google announced a slew of new capabilities and integrations for Google Assistant. It will now be able to switch interchangeably between languages and Google is partnering with new third-party smart display and smart speaker companies. There are also a wide range of new connected home devices that will support the assistant such as thermostats, security devices and vacuums. Google is doing this in an effort to continue to increase the advantage that it already has in international markets. Read more after the jump…

3 Tips to Leverage SEO & UX to Rise to the Top of Search Results

SEO and User Experience Best Practices

Search engine optimization (SEO) has become more and more complex over the years. There are hundreds of factors that are taken into consideration within Google’s algorithms. Google is the 800-pound gorilla in the search space – and for good reason – it is the best at providing searchers with the most relevant content as quickly as possible.

At a very high-level, Google rewards those sites that provide searchers with a great user experience (UX) and relevant content. Below you will find tips on how to use the combined power of SEO and UX to rise to the top of the search engine results page (SERP) and compel your audience to complete your desired action(s).

1. Create substantial, valuable, accessible content

  • Target Audience: To dominate the search space within your respective industry, it is critical to understand your target audience’s needs and wants.
    • Content should answer the questions that they have in order to guide them through the buyer’s journey and ultimately complete your desired action(s).
  • Keyword research: Researching popular keywords is an important data-driven way to understand how your target audience is searching for things. Make sure to use this research to inform your content strategy.
    • This process will help create guide posts around the content creation process to ensure that content is centered on relevant topics in the vernacular that users are searching for and ultimately help people find your content.
  • User Experience (UX): It is important from a UX perspective, that key pieces of content along the user journey are easy to find and the layout of the page makes the content digestible and engaging.

Read more after the jump…