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COMSTRAT 310 Syllabus - Spring 2019

COMSTRAT 310 - DIGITAL CONTENT PROMOTION (3 CREDITS) Instructor:  Brett Atwood                                EMAIL:    batwood@wsu.ed...

WEEKS 9, 10 & 11: SEO Basics, Mobile Optimization and Social Media Marketing Basics

SUMMARY:

Over the next few weeks, we will:
  • Continue to work on our primary Wix-based campaign website including optimization for mobile devices
  • Continue to optimize content for search engine rankings on our media campaigns via Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
  • Learn about social media marketing plans and begin work on the creation of one with the goal of driving traffic and awareness to our campaign website.
  • Learn about the importance of monitoring your business reputation on Wikipedia
HOMEWORK:
  • Continue to revise your work-in-progress website.
  • Begin to work on your Social Media Marketing Plan (final version due April 25)
  • Continue to work on and revise your campaign website, including modifications to help optimize your content for search engine indexing and rankings.
  • Run an SEO audit on your site using the Wix SEO Wiz tool.
  • OPTIONAL: Read Chapter 6 “Integrated Digital Campaigns: Planning, Execution & Metrics"

Social Media Marketing Campaigns



Here is a handy "Creating Valuable Content" checklist that you can use in consideration of your content development strategy (courtesy of the Content Marketing Institute):

What should be in your social media marketing plan?

Your final social media marketing plan should include the following sections and elements:
  • Executive Summary/Overview
  • Social Media Presence
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Goals
  • Strategies
  • Target Market
  • Tools & Implementation
  • Monitoring & Tuning
  • Budget & ROI
In addition, your Social Media Marketing Plan should include documentation of the research and planning of your campaign, including:
  • Branding research (logo/name survey results)
  • User Personas
  • SWOT Analysis
  • Wireframe(s)

SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING PLAN RUBRIC

Using elements of a “Research, Writing, and Creativity” rubric – your work will be evaluated using the following criteria:
  • Research and Preparation: Student demonstrates thoughtful preparation and research
  • Content: Meets all the criteria for the assignment. All content is in the students’ own words (or cited appropriately) and is accurate.
  • Complete and Thorough: All aspects and sections of the assignment are completed in full with no holes. Demonstrated the ability to research to complete all tables, templates or outline requirements
  • Creativity: Students demonstrate creativity and innovation in completing the assignment content and any layout or design elements. The final product is unique, powerful, effective, and compelling.
  • Conventions: Document is easy to read and all elements are very clearly written, labeled. The document has no misspellings or grammatical errors. All template elements or outline sections are complete and thorough.

Semester Project Overview

For the duration of the semester, we will be creating fictional brands that the class will use to generate original social media, PR and advertising campaign elements. Rather than use “real” brands or services for each campaign, you will orchestrate your campaign around a single fictional brand that you create.

The types of fictional products or services will vary, but some examples of categories include:

  • Non-alcoholic beverage (e.g. soda pop, sports drink, coffee, etc.)
  • Energy Pill
  • Airline
  • Internet-based music company
  • Shampoo or Hair Grooming Product
  • Stylish clothing line
Each student may identify other brand categories to be considered, but the above is only meant as a starter list for consideration. For each of the above soon-to-be-created brands, each student will research varying brand names and logo treatments as they consider the competitive positioning of the brand in the presumed marketplace.

When naming your brand, it is important that students NOT use any existing or "real" brands for these projects. However, you will use a trademark search engine to investigate whether your suggested brand names already exist. You may also use Adobe Photoshop or, alternatively, a free online tool to generate an original logo for your "fictional" brand.

Your campaign prep work also includes user persona research and a SWOT analysis to help determine brands strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Remember: You are inventing the brand and the attributes that define it! This is the perfect chance to examine the competitive landscape of your product to identify "opportunities" or under-served niches that you can aim to reach with your campaign. It's a clean slate!!!

Your initial research helps to define your brand, messaging, audience and its position in the marketplace. This is all essential to the second phase of your campaign: the actual social media marketing, advertising and public relations outreach that will help bring awareness of your campaign to the masses.

Over the duration of the semester, students may create some or all of these elements:
  • A social media marketing plan
  • An SEO-optimized campaign website
  • Social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.)
  • A performance marketing campaign
  • A targeted e-mail campaign
  • and more!
Examples of Previous Semester Campaign Sites:
Examples of Previous Semester Social Media Marketing Plans:

    Optimizing your Campaign Site for Mobile Smartphones

    How does your campaign site look on a mobile device or smartphone?

    One should always think about how their site appears on multiple types of screens. A mobile device has smaller screen real estate than a full-sized computer monitor associated with a desktop computer. Given the rise of smartphones, some people even have a "mobile first" strategy where mobile is prioritized over desktop access in the design choices. One option is a "responsive" design:



    Did you know that your existing Wix.com website content can be modified slightly so that it displays more correctly on mobile devices? Watch this video to learn how:




    Related Links:

    Wikis and PR/Advertising Campaigns

    Wikis and PR/Advertising Campaigns


    Wikipedia.org has become one of the most popular information Web sites – despite the fact that it is a nonprofit, user-edited resource. Many people use the site for research and many companies are monitoring how they are represented on their respective entries on the site. This week, we will take a closer look at the Wikipedia format -- and the role it might play in PR and/or advertising campaigns.

    To become familiar with the wiki format, register with the site so that you will have permission to edit and/or create an entry. There is a “Create Account” link at the upper right-hand side of the homepage or you can simply click here.

    Once you are registered, you can use the search box to find an existing entry on your selected topic.

    On that page, you will find an “edit” link that allows you to add your text or image to the existing page.

    To create a new entry, there is a page that will help you establish a new entry topic here

    If you want to add an image, click here for information on uploading.

    Does your client already have a wiki page? If so, make a contribution to it. If not, find a related theme or topic and make a valuable contribution to the wiki entry.

    Here is a great Wikipedia "cheat sheet" for formatting of your text.

    CONTENT GUIDELINES:

    If you do edit or create any wikipedia entry, it is important to remember that each article is meant to document existing research -- it is not meant as a place for "original research" and/or opinions. The voice and tone should be neutral and all information presented should be verifiable with attribution.

    Click here for a downloadable "best practices" guide for PR professionals using wikipedia (.pdf file)

    CONTROVERSIES:

    There have been many controversies over use of wikipedia for PR and/or political purposes. Here are a few articles that documents some of these issues:

    Additional resources:
    • Looking for even more tips on "best practices" for wiki creation and campaigns? Click here.
    • A complete online tutorial to creating your own wiki page is here.
    • There are also some general tips to help you here.  
    Related Links:

    WEEKS 7 & 8: Website Creation & Optimization - Workshops, SEO & More

    SUMMARY:

    Over the next couple of weeks, we will:
    • Continue to use a website creation tool, such as Wix or Wordpress, to build an original campaign website.
    • Learn ways to improve search engine rankings of content for our media campaigns via Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

    HOMEWORK:
    • Continue to get familiar with and use your chosen website builder (e.g. Wordpress, Wix, etc.) to work on your site.
    • Publish your work-in-progress website and send me your link so I can review it no later than midnight on March 8.
    • Run an SEO audit on your site when it is ready using the Wix SEO Wiz tool. 
    • OPTIONAL: Read Chapter 5 "Digital Marketing Metrics"