Marketing

Influencers

San Antonio’s Top Influencers and How They Can Help Your Lifestyle Brand

Influencers have become an essential part of public relations strategy, not just for large brands, but for EVERY brand. In fact, the influencer industry is worth $5 to $10 billion according to Social Media Today which is even more amazing because the word itself was just added to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary in 2019. But, regardless of how new, its ‘influence’ should be taken seriously in helping your lifestyle brand to get noticed. Here’s how they can help, along with 10 of San Antonio’s top influencers.

How Influencers Can Help Your Brand

Early on, influencers were primarily celebrities. But celebrity endorsements can be hard to come by and can be expensive. But there are plenty of ‘regular people’ who have built a rapport with their followers as experts on specific topics or in specific categories through their blogs or social media posts, for example. As such they are seen more like trusted friends or peers with credible recommendations on products/services that they actually use. Influencers can help your lifestyle brand by:

  • Improving content strategy – With more avenues for fresh content that showcases your brand.
  • Improving brand awareness – Through word-of-mouth which still has high engagement even when advertising is too often tuned out.
  • Strengthens brand credibility – Because you’re associated with influencers your target audience trusts.
  • Creates hype – Influencers are walking-talking endorsements that know how to attract attention.
  • Boosts your SEO – With additional links to your targeted keywords.

San Antonio’s Top Influencers

Certainly, you want to find influencers with a strong following, but they don’t need millions to make an impact. Often, it’s those on a smaller scale (less than 500K) who have the most engaged followers which are perfect for lifestyle brands targeting specific niches or locations. Here are our top 10 San Antonio influencers (in no particular order). 

1. @s.a.foodie | 274K Followers


San Antonio native Amanda Spencer has won Best Instagram Influencer in the Current’s “Best of San Antonio” reader poll. She posts about food, travel, and more. 

2. @quemeanswhat | 9,023 Followers

A 7th Generation Texan, Melanie Mendez-Gonzales explores Latino identity in and around San Antonio focusing on education, entertainment, and family life.

3. @stine.eats | 6,989 Followers

Through her gorgeous photos, you can explore local eats and drinks with San Antonio foodie, Christine Wong, who also can’t resist the occasional fur baby shot.  

4. @getfitwithashley | 134K Followers

This fitness guru, Army veteran, and mom of three is here with fitness and food tips to help others get fit and be their best selves.

5. @SATX-Rated | 17.6K Followers

 

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Self-described “San Antonio’s Food & Fun Ambassadors,” follow them to learn about all the fun things to do in SA along with where to eat and drink.  

6. @sanantoniostephanie | 14.1K Followers

 

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A finalist in MYSA’s "2022 Your SA Readers' Choice Awards" for Local Social Media Influencer, she posts about food, drinks, and fun in San Antonio.

7. @alamofoodie | 36K Followers

 

 

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Her bio promises “Experiences, bites, booze,” and that’s exactly what you’ll find on this influencer’s Insta.

8. @flicksandfood | 5,457 Followers

 

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Johnnie is always up-to-date on the latest goings on in San Antonio and beyond.

9. @liveitupsa | 30K Followers


This influencer explores all the cool stuff to do in San Antonio, as well as sharing delectable eats and boozy treats with some fashion and art mixed in to boot.

10. @goodtastetv | 14.3K Followers

 

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Emmy-award-winning journalist and one of our fave clients, Tanji Patton, shares food, wine, and restaurant tips not just in San Antonio but all over Texas. 

11. @siempre_sanantonio | 13.9K Followers


One of the top TikToker’s in Texas (2,200,000 likes!!), you can always tell when she on your FYP sharing the next spot to check out when you hear “Hey, friends”!

12.@sanantoniomunchies  |45K Followers

Come to his page for the tasty food finds and stay for the memes and hot takes.

13. @salovelist |15.2K Followers

From coffee to cocktails, Gabby’s tried it all and shared it on their page. Sometime their chi-oui-nie, Quebec, makes a guest appearance who has their own Insta too, at @badweenie.

14. @socializesanantonio |25.3K Followers

influencers

Jesse’s Instagram is puro San Antonio! Celebrating the city’s events and culture through food and fun, he shares all the exciting things happening around town.

15. @jesselizarraras |10.1K Followers

 

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The former Food + Nightlife Editor for the Current and now the Executive Producer at MySA, Jessica has her finger on the pulse of all things San Antonio.

16. @christina_coker | 23K Followers

 

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This mom of four and life and style influencer shares the latest style trends along with tips for staying beautiful and fashionable on a budget.

17. @saraharoundsa | 2,672 Followers


Some of the best spots and best food photography can be found on Sarah’s feed. The San Antonio native knows where to find the hidden gems and local faves.

18. @jazzexploring | 6,787 Followers

 

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Looking for some travel or fashion inspiration? Jaslyn shares her journey’s via IG, also while dressing really cute!

19. @letsbinge | 4,365 Followers

 

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Feel like one of the Castillo sisters with all the shenanigans that goes down on their feed and in Instagram story’s.

20. @twentysomethingsa | 27.2 Followers


Supporting local is what Twenty Something SA is all about! Through socially impactful content they highlighting businesses, creatives and the city’s unique beauty.


For R help with using influencers as part of your public relations strategy, Click HERE to schedule a FREE Discovery Call Today!


Cause Marketing

Case Studies in Cause Marketing: 3 Examples of How To Do It Right

Cause MarketingCause marketing is becoming more and more popular among brands. Yes, because they want to do good in the world, but there are also a number of other benefits as well. However, for maximum impact (for your brand and your cause) there are some things you need to keep in mind. Check out these three case studies for examples of cause marketing done right.

The Benefits of Cause Marketing

By definition, cause marketing is a cooperative effort between a for-profit brand and a non-profit for the mutual benefit of both. The benefits include increased:

  • Sales for the brand
  • Money contributed to the non-profit
  • Connection with consumers 
  • Awareness of the cause

Keep in mind that cause marketing doesn’t have to focus on just national or global causes. It can and should focus on local causes as well.

Cause Marketing Case Studies

Cause Marketing

These examples showcase some of the recent cause marketing campaigns we’ve done for R clients.

1. Local Moves Studio’s Partnership with NAMI San Antonio

20-year fitness trainer and endurance athlete, Thomas Roe (T.Roe), whose techniques and expertise have benefitted clients all over Los Angeles, and have been featured in People, LiveStrong and Active, brought his passion for training, teaching, and inspiring change to San Antonio, Texas last fall when he opened Local Moves Studio. As part of the grand opening celebration, R team helped Local Moves partner with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), San Antonio, to donate all proceeds made from classes during that weekend to the organization in addition to a $1,000 donation from the studio. NAMI was also onsite to offer information on mental health as well as their services.

This cause is particularly important to Roe as his life has been affected by mental illness in his immediate family. In fact, his approach to fitness at Local Moves is unlike any other circuit training because it also fosters community in order to support mental health by having clients partner with a buddy to motivate and keep each other accountable during workouts and outside of the studio. Roe encourages stepping out of your comfort zone not only physically, but also socially so you can meet others in the community and create bonds with each other to show support while working out, as well as through everyday life.

2. The Gentle Barn Turkey Guardian Campaign

This past fall as we approached the Thanksgiving holiday, R team helped The Gentle Barn, a national non-profit animal rescue group, with a campaign asking consumers to protect turkeys rather than serving during the holiday season. Their Turkey Guardian program provides the opportunity to sponsor one of five turkeys – Romeo, Sun, Luke Skywalker, Heather, or Smudge -- for a one-time donation of $35. Other options include sponsoring the entire Flock for a one-time $150 donation, or The Flock Plus sponsorship, a $1,000 one-time donation, which includes a special Zoom event with the founders. 

These funds support the organization’s efforts to rescue, protect and provide a safe and loving living environment for a range of severely abused animals at their sanctuaries located in California (Santa Clarita), Tennessee (Nashville), and Missouri (St. Louis). Sponsors also receive a Certificate of Turkey Guardianship, which includes the turkey's bio, a beautiful photo, and interesting facts about the turkey or turkeys they have chosen.

The idea behind this program is to generate understanding about what these innocent animals are really like as most people don’t realize that turkeys are affectionate, intelligent, and very social. It’s part of their unique philosophy connecting their animals’ stories of survival and healing to the personal experiences of underserved and special needs children who have suffered physical, mental, or emotional trauma. By interacting with animals in The Gentle Barn’s programs and taking a hands-on role in their welfare, they learn empathy, trust, and forgiveness.

3. Aramark Uniform Services Corporate Giveback After 2020 Nashville Tornadoes

On the night of March 2, 2020, a line of tornadoes struck Nashville, Tennessee wiping out beloved local businesses, family homes, and anchor institutions in the community. In the aftermath of the wreckage, one of the many buildings destroyed was Aramark Uniform Services.  As a result, over 2,400 of their loyal customers in the service industry and health care facilities throughout Middle Tennessee were without clean, essential uniforms. 

As part of its commitment to the Nashville community, Aramark continued to service these customers even while rebuilding their local facility by diverting 550,000 pounds of laundry to seven neighboring Aramark facilities to ensure they didn’t experience service disruptions during a time of need. Aramark also assisted the Nashville community in planting trees in the neighborhoods that were hardest hit by the tornado.

As a long-standing member of the Nashville community, Aramark wanted to make sure its customers, employees, and neighbors knew they weren’t forgotten and enlisted R team to create awareness. It’s also why they were determined to rebuild in the same location, bringing with it a range of employment opportunities as the new facility opens in March of 2022.

For more information on how R team can help your brand with cause marketing, click HERE to schedule a FREE Discovery Call today!


holiday marketing ideas

7 Holiday Marketing Ideas for Your Business

holiday marketing ideasIt’s no secret how important the holiday season is to the success of a retail business. In fact, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, holiday sales represent nearly 27% of revenue for the entire year. As we head into the season this year, R team would like to gift you some holiday marketing ideas to help your business connect with consumers and stand apart from the competition.

  1. Speak to their wallet – This time of year, there’s perhaps nothing that speaks to consumers more than a good deal. Consider how you can capitalize on that with discounts, flash sales, and even gift card promotions. For small businesses that may not be able to offer deep discounts, consider gift bundles with complementary products/services that offer value to consumers.
  2. Team up with your influencers – Influencer marketing is now one of the most effective ways for businesses to generate positive word-of-mouth and sales. Why? Whether it’s celebrities, social media personalities, or industry experts; these influencers feel more like ‘friends’ at least when it comes to taking their word on product or service recommendations. And the holidays are an ideal to time make the most of those connections.
  3. Engage with consumers – Social media can help you do this on several different levels. To generate buzz that turns into new followers and then customers (you see where we R going with this), consider a fun contest – comment to win, most-liked photo wins, share to win, etc. Of course, the “prize” has to be worth busy shoppers taking the time during the hectic holiday season. Hashtags can also help you generate buzz and spread the word about your products/services and holiday promotions. The best ones are easy to remember, relevant to your offerings and the time of year in addition to taping into what your audience is interested in this holiday season. Another way to engage is to keep on top of comments on your social media, both positive and negative. This shows that you’re paying attention and want to support your customers and potential customers with their needs and/or questions.
  4. Dress your branding for the holidays – From your visual identity to your content, your branding should reflect the season. It should still feel like your brand, but seasonal messaging, seasonal content (like blogs, social media posts), and having a seasonal look for advertising, emails and other marketing not only keeps you relevant to consumers but done the right way can help you stand out from those running the same tired tactics throughout the year.
  5. Pay attention to your audience – Again, there are several levels to this. You should already know your audience in terms of their needs and wants, but then apply that to the holiday season from an emotional and practical perspective. What’s their mindset? What unique challenges might they be having now that your product or service could solve? Additionally, be mindful that not every customer celebrates the same holidays. For example, if you have a large international audience, segment them out of your Thanksgiving messaging. And always, personalize your messaging where possible.
  6. Don’t forget the logistics – While not necessarily as sexy as the out-front holiday marketing, a big key to success this time of year is the behind-the-scenes logistics. First, your website needs to be able to handle increased traffic (you’ve heard those horror stories) and it should also be optimized for mobile since increasingly more shopping is done that way. What’s more, it’s important to have seasonal landing pages for a cohesive customer experience (that pairs with your holiday branding) and to help you track your success more effectively. Lastly, and we recognize the difficulties with supply chains this year, it’s crucial to be as proactive as possible when it comes to inventory.
  7. Market your brand – Beyond the specific products or services you’re promoting this time of year, it’s also important to positively convey your brand as well. Through public relations, social media, emails, and/or advertising, you can share how you give back this time of year with causes your brand supports, how appreciative you are of your customers, and what makes you as a brand unique whether it’s that you’re an independent retailer, you produce eco-friendly products or some other advantage you may have over competitors.

Bonus Tip – Plan Your Holiday Marketing Ideas Carefully

This bonus tip is arguably the most important as no matter how great R holiday marketing ideas are, without the right plan in place your efforts might be as welcome to your audience as a fruit cake. With vast holiday marketing experience and retail clients in Nashville, San Antonio, New York, and all points in between, we can help by learning about your business, discussing your goals, and creating a custom scope of work. Then, we’ll work together to make it happen. Don’t need a full campaign? We can help with a la carte services too!

For R help with your holiday marketing ideas, click HERE to schedule your FREE discovery call today!


pr and marketing

What's the Difference Between PR and Marketing?

pr and marketingYou’d be surprised how often we are asked about the difference between PR and Marketing. So often, in fact, that we’re dedicating this entire blog to it! Many people believe that public relations (PR) and marketing are one and the same. But while they are both essential components of your brand’s communications strategy, that’s where most of the similarities end. Here’s how PR and marketing truly differ and how impactful each can be for your brand.

The Particulars of PR

The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) defines PR as, “a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.” The goal of PR is to influence, engage and build a positive relationship and/or image with your audience. Some of the tactics commonly used include:

  • Corporate communications
  • Crisis communications
  • Investor relations
  • Media relations
  • Influencer relations
  • Reputation management
  • Event promotions

PR tools typically include:

  • Press collateral 
  • Editorial placements
  • Social media placements
  • Media and influencer outreach and list development
  • Sponsorship and partnership coordination

More on Marketing

The American Marketing Association (AMA) defines marketing as, “the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.” The goal of marketing is to build awareness of and to promote/sell your product(s) and/or service(s). Some of the tactics commonly used in marketing include:

  • Brand marketing
  • Advertising
  • Content
  • Search engine marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • Targeted marketing campaigns
  • Conference and trade shows

Marketing tools typically include:

  • Sales collateral
  • Blogs
  • Website
  • Email
  • Direct mail

How PR and Marketing Differ

PR and marketing are most effective when used together as part of an overall communications strategy because they serve different but equally important goals. That said, two of the primary differences in PR and marketing are:

  1. The relationship required with media and influencers
  2. Control over the narrative

Traditional PR is typically not paid (see our previous blog on Earned Media versus Paid Media) which makes relationships with the media as well as influencers so important. Most brands neither have the time nor the expertise to cultivate and maintain these relationships, which is where R firm comes in. We have incredible direct media contacts and use that bridge to ensure your message(s) is covered in the right places at the right time.

In marketing, you pay to play so to speak so those relationships aren’t necessary AND you have full control over the narrative. Take advertising for example; the publication will place your message (ad) in the size you select, on the date(s) you select and repeat it in the frequency you select based on your budget.

You don’t have as much control over the narrative in PR. Even if you get the coverage, you’re not guaranteed the message will be exactly as you would like it to appear. Again, that’s where R expert team comes in, we know the ins and outs not only in getting covered but in getting your message conveyed in the most positive and appealing light.

For R help with your PR, learn more about our public relations services. Or, click HERE to schedule a FREE discovery call today!


cost of pr

Is PR Too Pricey? R Common Cost Questions Answered

With public relations (PR) services, there can be a bit of a learning curve when it comes to pricing AND value. The saying “you get what you pay for” certainly holds true here as PR can offer tremendous benefits to your brand. But before we get to that, we’ll answer some of our most commonly asked questions about the cost of PR.

What is a PR retainer?

PR retainer is a lump sum that you pay to the public relations agency or professional each month for their work. The amount paid depends on how much work you need to meet your PR goals and your budget, so it’s important to specific about both in your preliminary communications. Traditionally the cost of PR retainers can be from $1,500 to $10,000 a month, depending on the scope of work and project/client needs. 

How much do PR agencies charge hourly?

Large PR agencies may charge upwards of $500 an hour for their time. However, smaller agencies or consultants may charge as little as $125 an hour. The average hourly rate at a larger PR agency is currently between $150-$250 per hour. 

What does that cost cover?

  • Pitching to major media outlets
  • Media lists and sharing sources that have been cultivated by the team of experts
  • Copywriting (pitching ideas and editing them)
  • Supporting a team (from initial pitch to researching and editing there is likely a team, of people that budget will cover)

How do I choose the right PR agency?

That’s a tough question to answer because “right” can be different for each brand. However, these tips can put you on that path:

  • Decide on your goals first. What is your vision? You need to know this before someone can sell your story.
  • Consider all your options, such as hiring a PR agency versus hiring someone who may solely focus on SEO as an example. 
  • Determine your budget for PR.
  • Decide what size PR agency is right for you. Remember that smaller budgets may mean less attention in large agencies while you may be the “bigger fish” for a boutique PR agency.
  • Be specific during the proposal process. The better you vet, the better the result will be. For example, ask that those who will be on your account be involved from the beginning so you can gauge capabilities and chemistry as well.

What would I get through a PR agency that I couldn’t with a marketing firm?

Often, marketing firms provide a variety of services, including social media, digital media, advertising, and, of course, PR. However, PR differs from those mediums as it is earned, not paid. Hence, it requires different expertise, not to mention the time and ability to cultivate relationships with media and influencers. Large marketing firms may have that bandwidth (and you’ll pay for it), but the small ones won’t necessarily. That’s the advantage of going directly to a PR agency. For example, R agency has incredible direct media contacts and expertise in leveraging those to garner coverage that creates a positive image and credibility for your brand. It’s our (R) specialty!

The Value Behind the Price of PR

R founder, Emily Reynolds Bergh puts it beautifully, “When it comes to the cost of PR and pricing, we are a small business; not a large PR agency. Yet oddly enough we provide our clients with more direct contact to experienced staff AND charge less than a large firm. We have found that our value to a business is second-to-none when it comes to delivering a solid PR plan and direct relationships. However, we charge rates that are also fair to the market. Our retainers are based on the work we do weekly to provide those R-esults.”

She goes on to say, “As a small business, we are mindful that not everyone can spend big when it comes to PR. So, we also have lower budget options in which clients can apply. One is based on promoting a specific project. The other is R Prosper Program, which is designed to support solo entrepreneurs for six months by developing their reach and brand identity and a PR plan and campaign to launch them into the market in which they seek to connect. The end game is long-term relationships, not just a mass press release. And that provides lasting value for your brand (and us).” 

For R help with your PR, learn more about our public relations services. Or, click HERE to schedule a FREE Discovery Call today!


what is influencer marketing

Influencer Marketing: How Social Media’s Influence on PR Benefits Your Brand

Gone are the days of painstaking research to build accurate media lists, of phone pitches, of basing announcements on publication dates, and of waiting, sometimes for months, to see if you were published via press clips received – gasp – by mail! As social media has evolved, it has elevated PR right along with it to the cheers of us professionals and the benefit of the brands we represent. So what is influencer marketing, and how does social media’s influence on PR benefit your brand? Here’s how.

The Purpose of PR

The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) defines PR as “a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.” You do this by influencing, engaging, and building a positive relationship and/or image with your audience.

Many confuse PR with marketing, but it’s actually quite different. One big difference is in the amount of control you have over the narrative. In marketing, you pay to place an ad with your message; in PR, the amount of coverage, and in essence, your brand’s perception depends solely on your access to and/or relationship with the media. Or, at least it did…before social media.

Using Social Media in PR

Essentially, social media helps us to break down the invisible wall that once stood between brands and their audience(s). It’s no longer just about going through the media with your story and praying for the best. Social media can help you to meet your brand’s PR goals by:

  1. Working with Influencers – These people give your brand a voice in a way neither you nor a media story could do on its own. Influencers have huge followings that you can tap into to promote your products or services and help with reputation management.
  2. Social Listening – PR was more reactionary in the past, but with social media, you can keep your finger on the pulse of public perception of your brand. This enables you to proactively respond to any issues that might come up and better understand your customers in general.
  3. Using Your Platform(s) – Again, it’s about controlling the narrative as best you can. Social media can help you do that much more swiftly, if not immediately when necessary. Today’s news cycle is 24/7, so getting your story on social platforms can also influence the angle of media coverage as journalists do their share of social listening as well.
  4. Creating Real Relationships – Social media allows you to engage your audience directly with content that’s not only newsworthy but also important to their needs and where they are in the sales cycle. Think blogs, how-to guides, FAQs, and even related content that ties with your brand that could help them.
  5. Improving Media Relations– Social media is an integral part of PR now, but it doesn’t replace the importance of good media relationships. It can make that easier, however. Most journalists are active on social media and publicly list their handles. You can use this to learn more about their beats, when they need resources, how they prefer to work, as well as their personal and professional interests. Depending on your industry, you could include bloggers in this as well!

All this being said, be careful with a do-it-yourself PR strategy. It’s certainly easy enough to post, but appropriate messaging, knowing how to work with influencers and media, social listening savvy, and the ability to effectively measure results is key. 

R team has extensive PR experience, and we’d love to help your brand. See how by clicking HERE to schedule a FREE Discovery Call Today!


marketing plan steps

R Marketing Plan Steps for a Successful New Year

marketing plan steps

It's a new year and that means you should be doing your marketing planning NOW. With last year fresh on your mind and the promise of this year ahead, this is the perfect time. Plus, most businesses are slower at the beginning of the year giving you more opportunity to reflect and plan. Not to mention trying to play catch-up later in the year can really limit your options for business growth. So, with all systems go, R tips can help you successfully map out your marketing plan steps.

Marketing Plan Steps to Include

Throwing it against the wall to see what sticks is as bad of an idea for spaghetti as it is your marketing. You must be strategic, or much like the spaghetti, you’ll just have a mess. Instead, R marketing plan steps include:

  • Know who you are – We’re talking about your brand as it’s the foundation from which you will build your plan. Be able to answer these questions clearly: What do you do? What are your products/services? Who is your target audience? What is your promise to customers (value proposition)? What sets you apart (your positioning)?
  • Identify what you want to do – With your brand identity firmly cemented you can begin identifying marketing objectives. Drive leads, convert more leads to customers, increase awareness, upsell or cross sell customers, launch a new product or service, and/or increase customer satisfaction are common ones, but here’s the key: you have to make it quantifiable to be able to measure success. Here’s another key: you can’t do everything, pick two or three to focus on.
  • Take stock – This is an often-overlooked step but before you begin any new marketing campaigns, it’s important to take stock of what you’ve already done or are doing currently. Look at your social media, content marketing, SEO, ads, and public relations activities with the goal not only to avoid duplication of effort but also to see what you might improve. Also, make sure to perform a competitive analysis to get a good handle on your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses. 
  • Determine how you’ll get there – Now for the fun! What tools will you use to achieve your marketing goals? There are endless options available, but this is where a solid understanding of your target audience(s) comes in as quite simply, you need to be where they are. What’s more, keep in mind those tools may change throughout the sales cycle. For example, social media may pull in leads while email helps you to nurture them. Your content will likely also need to change throughout the sales cycle so you’ll need to flesh out what message to promote when.
  • Find out how you did – We talked about the importance of quantifiable goals above and this is where that really comes into play. Google Analytics and Search Console are ideal to measure website traffic; where it’s coming from, visit length, and conversions. You can measure social media through the individual properties (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) and can measure email metrics through your platform too. Or, tools like Hubspot can bring it all together. For PR, media impressions are key.

More on Measuring Your Goals

Not only is it important to measure the results of your marketing plan based on your goals, but you need to do it on an ongoing basis! So many businesses neglect this step. A marketing plan isn’t something you can set and forget. Success depends on your ability to optimize throughout the year as you learn more about what works and what doesn’t. 

Leave it To the Experts

This can be overwhelming - we get it! Not everyone has a dedicated marketing department to take this on and for many of our clients, marketing is not their area of expertise. You want your marketing dollars to pay off, but not at the expense of what you need to be focusing on – running your business! That’s where we come in!

R goal is to help clients in industries such as restaurant, hospitality, retail, health and wellness, business, non-profit and more to achieve theirs through:

  • Marketing Strategy and Campaign Creation
  • Public Relations
  • Social Media 
  • Event Management
  • Content Marketing
  • Creative Services
  • Analytics

For R help your marketing plan, click HERE to schedule a FREE Discovery Call today!

marketing plan steps


cause marketing campaigns

Give (& Get) with R Cause Marketing Campaigns

Cause marketing isn’t a new thing. It’s actually been around since Marriott Corporation partnered with the March of Dimes in the 1970s. But it may be more important today than ever. Not because causes are more important now, rather it’s more important for brands to support them. Why? Brands need a way to cut through the noise and connect with consumers on a more purposeful level. Doing good for others certainly fits that bill. Here are tips to get you started.

What is a Cause Marketing Campaign?

Cause marketing in and of itself is a cooperative effort between a for-profit brand and a non-profit for the mutual benefit of both. The benefits include increased connection with consumers and increased awareness of the cause as well as profit. A cause marketing campaign is the implementation of that effort with the goal to increase sales for the brand while also increasing money contributed to the non-profit.

Keep in mind that cause marketing campaigns don’t have to focus on just national or global causes. They can and should focus on local causes as well.

The Impact of Cause Marketing 

So how much impact can cause marketing really have for brands? Quite a bit actually. In fact, a Mintel study shows that 73% of Americans say a company’s charitable giving affects their purchase decisions. Not only that, 50% of Americans say that they would switch to a company that supports a cause they believe in and that stat rises to 61% for Millennials (aged 24-41).

But it’s not just that consumers think it’s nice for brands to support causes. It’s increasingly becoming an expectation. That same Mintel study found that nearly two-thirds of Americans believe it is a company’s responsibility to give back (65%), while around half expect brands to improve the local community (53%). 

Cause marketing has even become so important there’s an actual day devoted to it–Giving Tuesday. It’s a day that not only encourages all people to do good by donating to causes that are important to them, many brands partner with those nonprofits to match a certain percentage of donations they receive that day. It’s hugely impactful for consumers, nonprofits, and brands alike! 

How to Do Cause Marketing

So, how do you create a successful cause marketing campaign? Start right here:

  • Authenticity: We encourage all R clients to give back with a cause that speaks to their mission because, above all, your campaign must be authentic to resonate with consumers. Ask yourself, is there a non-profit that aligns with your goals as an organization?
  • Audience: Next, consider the target audience for your brand. Are there causes that are more likely to speak to them and/or that they may already support? Ideally, the cause that you choose will align with your mission and the interests of your target audience.
  • Collaboration: Most non-profits are thrilled for any support, but collaboration can maximize the effectiveness of your campaign as it can give you insight on what’s worked and what hasn’t in the past. Not to mention to help you get the message right!
  • Timing: Not only when to launch but also the duration of the campaign. Typically up to 2 weeks gives you enough time to generate excitement and to hold your consumer’s attention. Then consider if there a certain time of year in which your cause is more urgent?
  • Branding: Go beyond simply putting a non-profit’s logo on your marketing materials. Think about a cohesive strategy across all your platforms. Create a hashtag and content to share as well as perhaps even a logo and/or specific design for the campaign. The idea is for the campaign to stand out while complementing your brand and keeping consumers engaged.
  • Call to Action: Consumers need to be able to quickly understand the ‘why’ for the campaign and what you want them to do. So, make sure there is a clear call to action at each touchpoint. This will also help you quantify the success of the campaign later. 
  • Share the Results: Another connection builder with consumers is to share the results of the campaign as well as its impact on the cause. And thank them for their contributions! This creates trust that you did what you said you would, and who doesn’t like appreciation?

Cause Marketing Campaigns in Action

Here are some favorite cause marketing campaigns from R clients:

This year’s Giving Tuesday is coming up on December 1 which means now is the perfect time to create your cause marketing campaign. We’d love to help—click HERE to schedule a FREE Discovery Call today!


nashville influencers

20 Top Nashville Influencers (and what makes them so important to brands)

Image by Style Blueprint

Merriam-Webster defines an influencer as someone who inspires or guides the actions of others, or more specifically, as someone who is able to generate interest in something by posting about it on social media. Brands have taken notice and influencer marketing is now a key component of social media strategy. How do they help and who are the top Nashville influencers? Find out here.

The Influence of Influencers

According to We Are Social, 3.484 billion people actively use social media (that’s 45 percent of the world’s population if you’re counting!). What we can pretty much all attest to is that we’re sick of being marketed at from every direction, no matter how targeted it may be. Enter influencers.

Early on, influencers were primarily celebrities. Anyone ever bought anything a Kardashian plugged? You don’t have to admit it, The Guardian shares the proof. But celebrity endorsements can be hard to come by, and can cost you big. 

Luckily, there are plenty of “regular people” who have built a reputation for their knowledge and expertise on specific topics or specific categories through regular social media posts. They’re seen more as trusted friends and peers and are able to generate an engaged following that pays close attention to their recommendations. While they may not have the millions of followers, these influencers can potentially drive an average of 16x higher engagement rates than celebrities , according to The Realtime Report.

Top Nashville Influencers

If you’re a lifestyle brand in Nashville looking to connect with consumers and establish trust, influencer marketing may be just the way to go. Here are our top 20 Nashville influencers (in no particular order):

Nashville native Hunter Premo is the daughter of one of the city’s most sought-after makeup artists. But she’s more into fashion, sharing her boho style – and her life – with tens of thousands of followers.

After competing in Miss America as well as The Amazing Race (and gaining a following from that), Ervin is an influencer on topics that range from marriage and kids to fashion and female empowerment.

Born out of a desire to share her love of Nashville’s culinary scene, Davis’ Instagram has now become the place to inspire foodies or anyone exploring local restaurants to try.

This influencer and blogger shares her tips on food, fashion, and family plus offers tons of “swipe up” retail codes and life hacks.  

The Happily Grey founder posts beautifully curated pictures from her life as a fashionista, businesswoman, wife, new mom, and dog lover.  

Tomiko provides all kinds of travel tips and she also works to help brands shift the culture on diversity in tourism.

This yoga instructor and doula posts fitness and beauty tips as well as body-positive messages and book recommendations.

Husband to Hunter Premo, this photographer/videographer is an influencer in his own right on topics that include adventure, style, and chivalry for the modern gentleman.

She’s a trainer to local celebrities with a feed that shares workout tips, healthy recipes, and videos from her weekly Saturday night dance party with husband Sean.

This photographer came to Nashville by way of Austin and posts snaps of everything from walks in the park with her pups to front yard hangs and the beauty of everyday life here.

This power duo of Michelle and Dan came to Nashville by way of New England and we are all the more hungry for their food photos for it! Their posts and snaps of recipes, top lists of fab food finds, happy hours and more are not to be missed! 

Holly is a nurse practitioner who loves exploring some of the hottest restaurants and dishes in Nashville. She also shares some of her own dishes on her feed.

Josh’s blog reviews the best restaurants in Nashville and offers fun insights into the dining scene while all the mouth-watering finds are shared on Insta.

Ashley is a girl mom (and a dog mom) with a lifestyle blog that dishes on food, the latest fashion trends, parenting tips and life in Nashville where she’s lived for 10 years.

Blair overcame hunger herself and now shares her foodie experiences across Nashville and beyond.

This native Nashvillian blogs about food and lifestyle as she brings us along on her epic travel adventures near and far.

She’s your go-to girl for all things Nashville sharing delicious food as well as local clothing and cool snaps of our awesome city! 

Brittany is a creator, influencer and stylist who delivers daily inspiration for luxe plus fashion on Instagram and YouTube. 

Melissa is a digital strategy expert who brings authentic storytelling back to social media. In her spare time she shares the best plus size fashion trends and tips.

Chef Laura Lee has a background in health-related cooking and shares healthy, delicious recipes, meal plans and insights into her. 

For R help with influencer marketing, click HERE to schedule a FREE Discovery Call today!

Image by Nashville Lifestyles


virtual events in nashville

R Checklist for Creating Top Virtual Events in Nashville

virtual events in nashville

It’s pretty much inevitable at this point that if you’re planning to host an event anytime soon, you gotta go virtual. But it’s not as easy as it sounds. Unless you have R checklist for creating top virtual events in Nashville, of course!

A Virtual History Lesson

We get it; nothing truly replaces the experience of meeting face-to-face with prospects, clients, and colleagues, but since COVID-19 began virtual events have been as much of a necessity as our daily coffee fix. In fact, virtual events have been around for longer than you may think for that very reason. The first webcam was actually created in 1993, by University of Cambridge computer scientists who were too ‘busy’ to physically check to see when the coffee, located in another lab, was ready. So, they created a webcam to livestream its progress. Priorities, right!?!

Virtual Events Today

In all seriousness, today’s virtual events can range from small groups to thousands of attendees, and the most common types of events include:

  • Question and answer sessions
  • Tutorials and/or classes
  • Training
  • Tours
  • Interviews
  • Performances
  • Conferences
  • Networking events

R Top Virtual Events Checklist

Anyone who’s ever planned an event knows how much goes into it. Success doesn’t come easily with virtual events either, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t look seamless! Here’s how:

Get a Game Plan And start early! Think about: 

  • What you want to achieve
  • Who your audience will be
  • The experience you want to offer
  • What content would be relevant to them, whether you want a live or on-demand event or both
  • If you’ll require registration
  • If you want to partner with advertisers and/or sponsors, as well as how you define success and how you will track those metrics. 

And don’t forget to create an event budget.

Work Out the Right Time – From working out time zones to ensuring you’re not competing with other similar events to doing some research on when your audience is typically online; choosing the right time and date is much more important (and much more involved) than you may initially think.

Pick the Right Platform – This really depends are what type of event your hosting. For live-tweeting events, you might use Reddit or Slack (don’t forget the hashtag!). Webinar platforms include Zoom, as well as Livestorm and YouTube Livestream. Social livestreams include Instagram Live, Facebook Live and LinkedIn Live. For conferences there’s 6connex, HeySummit and Run the World.

Promote, Promote, Promote – There’s so much competing for your audience’s time, including other virtual events. So, make sure potential attendees know the details and WHY they should attend. Then promote far and wide using email, social media, and on sites like Eventbrite. What’s more, ramp up your efforts starting 2-3 weeks out as many won’t commit until then. And don’t forget to enlist speakers as ambassadors for the event in addition to creating an event hashtag and a dedicated landing page.

Test Things Out – Rehearsals are super important because it’s far too easy for attendees to bail if your virtual event is a pain. Test internet connections, prepare backups of presentations, and make sure your speakers are comfortable with the platform. Depending on the size of the event, you might even have some tech support available for attendees should they run into trouble.

Create Opportunities to Engage – Of course we’ve never done this ourselves, but we’ve all ‘heard’ of multitasking or social media surfing during a virtual event. Gasp! The easiest way to avoid people tuning out is to keep them engaged by incorporating a poll or chat tool (make sure to have a moderator) and/or encourage live-tweeting. Don’t forget to ask for feedback at the end of the event so you can improve for next time too!

Virtual Events That Got It Right

With so many virtual events out there right now, there are plenty of hits and misses. But, here are some of R favorite successful events:

  • Skift’s Online Summit - Travel's Path Forward – The first in their series of travel summits, the event had multiple speakers and guests had the opportunity to ask questions. Recordings of the series can be found here. 
  • Lululemon has been hosting a monthly online book club with live discussions on Instagram that feature the authors. Each book club pick focuses on a health and wellness topic and the discussions are moderated by one of their global ambassadors.
  • Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood hosted a series of free livestream concerts on Facebook Live with the hashtag #GarthRequestLive where they played requests that fans put in the comments. We simply had to include a Nashville success story right?
  • Silverado Vineyards came up with the concept of a virtual wine taste test to unveil a new product. They sent wines to their best customers and invited them to a virtual tasting while their experts discussed the wines.
  • Washington Performing Arts Gala – Their gala was scheduled for March and instead of canceling it they turned it into a virtual livestream experience in only 3 days! And even created a webinar to document how it went!

Top Virtual Events in Nashville Coming Up

For R help in planning your virtual events in Nashville or beyond, click HERE to schedule a FREE Discovery Call today!

virtual events in nashville