Vocus Marketing Suite provides tools to create, monitor, and measure campaigns across email, social, PR, and search marketing channels. Features include customizable mobile responsive landing pages, a social CRM, campaign management, and easy-to-use email marketing tools. Key performance data for all channels is automatically collected, analyzed, and presented in simple reports.
The monthly cost ranges from $300 for one user (includes 2,500 email subscribers) to $2,500 for 10 users and five brand profiles (includes 50,000 email subscribers, dedicated support, and more).
Sharla Seidel, development and communications manager for AKC Canine Health Foundation, has been using Vocus Marketing Suite since late 2012.
How do you use it?
Once you log on to the system, there’s an activities tab that allows you to execute various actions, such as send emails, distribute press releases, make posts to your social media pages, or create a landing page.
We mainly use it for press release distribution. Once you’re in the activities tab, you just click on press releases and then you can copy and paste anything you want in the field, including a video, logo, pull quote, or an image. It’s all very simple and user friendly.
Parameters for distributing a release can be as general or as specific as you want. For example, you can distribute based on region or industry.
The tool gives us many different analytics on our releases, and it pulls in Google Analytics data.
When we originally set up our account, we integrated our Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages, so all of those feeds come up on our main homepage. The platform recommends social media mentions and accounts you might want to follow or engage with. You can also schedule posts to your social media pages from within the platform.
We haven’t had any technical issues since we’ve been using it, which is great.
I have had a couple of questions about how to run export-specific reports, and our account executive has always gotten back to me quickly. If necessary, she sends me screenshots and walks me through how to get the information I’m looking for.
How does it serve your business needs?
We’re a smaller nonprofit, so we’re always concerned about cost, but we also need to get the word out about what we’re doing. Vocus Marketing Suite is really cost effective for us, and it helps us get the word out and monitor the social media landscape.
We previously used a vendor that just provided a press release distribution service. We switched to Vocus Marketing Suite because I was impressed with all of its additional offerings.
With other companies that offer press release distribution, you’re contracted for a certain number of releases, limited in word count, and you have to pay extra if you want to include links, videos, or more. With Vocus, we have unlimited releases with no word count limit and no additional charge for including videos and photos.
Unlimited press release distribution is great for us because it allows us to look at our overall press release planning more broadly and target various constituents specifically because we don’t have to worry about going over the limit on the number of releases we can issue.
It’s really useful and helpful to see social media conversations occurring within our industry so we can make decisions about which ones we want to follow or engage with in other ways.
The ability to build custom landing pages is a newer feature. We can use it as an app on our Facebook page, and we feel this will help us expand our reach and introduce us to more people who might be interested in our mission.
With our contract, we also get two hours per month with a consultant. This person is different from our account representative who handles the nuts and bolts of operating the system. Our consultant does a lot of brainstorming with us on how we can increase visibility. For example, we’ve talked a lot about how we can use the custom landing page for a Facebook page promotion.
What are the main benefits?
Two hours of consulting per month. There are only eight of us on staff, so having access to an account executive and a consultant is almost like having additional staff members who give us an outside perspective and a more global perspective.
Another huge benefit is having no limits on press release parameters, including the number of releases we can issue. It’s very straightforward and easy to use. There are also many how-to videos and other user information available online.
What would you like to see improved/added?
Being able to pull analytics on each individual press release is great, but it would be nice to get a historical perspective on any analytics category for press releases rather than having to pull it off each individual press release report. I’ve mentioned this to our account representative, and I believe Vocus is working on it.
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