Getting the Word Out
It does not really matter if your business is simply online, or if you actually have shop set up somewhere- you have to have a good marketing plan, complete with advertising and publicity. The potential customers and clients that are out there have to have a way to learn about not only what you can do for them, but why you can do it better than your competition. Whether you decide to go with radio broadcast, tv, online or print- you have to look at anything that creates visibility as a greater investment.
One great site I’ve mentioned before is mondotimes.com, which is a great first step to getting the word out there. This site offers quality leads for those who are looking to get their business noticed through various publications and has several really great plans to be able to get the lists of contacts that you need for a great media push. Once you have this list, you can then go on to craft the quality press releases and get your businesses’ story told on a wider scale. On the press releases, you have to really make sure that you are doing them correctly in order to use them to their full impact. You can get a great deal of very good publicity going with these- but only if they get picked up. A good rule of thumb though is to make sure that you have several different types of the same press release- one you will send to the media, one you get out there for the public, and one for online articles and the like. The one for your SEO plan can be a bit more keyword geared, a bit more optimized. The one for the media needs to be following the old school guidelines: What, who, when, where and why that is news. No pitches, no sales, no keywording. The one to your potential target audience can be a bit more casual, but still expressing what you can do for them, and again- why you can do it better than anyone else.
Another thing to focus on is your social media- these sites are more powerful for publicity than most people ever realized they would be- all of the social networking sites out there have become such commonly seen things. Everywhere you look these days, someone has a Twitter or a Facebook, most people use blogs and other outlets- but everyone is paying attention. For social networking, the right answer is to do exactly what the name implies. Get social. Promote your business in a way that is conversational, fun, and above all- not generic. If your social networking site is just you announcing sales- you are not doing it right.
Another tip you don’t really see people use as much as they should- set up a Google Alerts account and gear it more towards news- not just industry related, but if you can tie it in with your own interests it may help. Comment frequently on these news pieces. Write about the things that are impacting your target audience- this is especially beneficial in trust based businesses such as a physician or an attorney- if you can provide insights on current events in a way that is polite, tactful, but still expresses a knowledge, understanding and compassion for the situation- you can definitely build a stronger online and offline reputation.