The investment required to adequately market a business can be off-putting to many small to medium size business (SME) owners. They view the investment as a gamble at the best of times, as without a clear strategy a lot of money and effort can be wasted with little to no positive return.
This is why so many businesses are unfortunately reluctant to spend a lot of time and effort in promoting themselves. However, to get to the next level (whatever that may be), there is a need to get your company name known and the good news is that there are ways to get great publicity without spending a lot of money. One way to do that is to create and distribute newsworthy stories about your company.
To increase the probability that your press release/news story will be picked up, you need to ensure that you provide online and offline access and content. When it comes to online content, the following tweaks to your website will make life a lot easier for any media staff trying to contact you or write about your business:
• Create a news section on your site
• Offer high resolution pictures that media can use
• Make sure you can be found on search engines
• Engage, interact and court bloggers
• Provide an email signup list for your guests
All of these steps will make it easier for news media teams to get in touch with you, find out your story and then represent it.
Provide the news stories that you want to be shared
A news section on your site is great for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) purposes and it can provide fresh content to keep customers and prospects coming back. However, it can also be a great source of information for media employees looking for a story. There are many different types of news reporters/blogger continually looking for stories, so it makes sense to make it easy for them to find a story about your business.
If you provide high resolution images and logos, the news team will be more likely to use your news story and then reinforce your story with images. Anything which helps to reduce the amount of work that a news team has to undertake to have everything they need for a story will be of great interest to them.
All businesses should ensure that they can be found on Google. This is hugely important to ensure customers can find you but it can also help to encourage journalists to write a story about you. Any good journalist will do some digging of their own and if they cannot find you when they search online, they may decide that you are not newsworthy or worthy of the exposure.
In the current climate, bloggers are a great way of reaching out to a particular niche or market. Whether this is with the aim of reaching the bloggers audience or in the hope of going viral, it is clear that bloggers play a crucial role in developing and creating news stories. Helping bloggers out with stories and exclusives will bring incoming links to your site, but it may also help to create a news story that people want to hear.
Most businesses should be looking to create a mailing list. Being able to contact people who have expressed an interest in your business is always good business sense. However, offering an email newsletter to people, including journalists, will allow you to send news stories about your business directly to the people who can share it with a wider audience. This means that building an email list can be about a whole lot more than just developing a consumer base for your product or service.
Ursula Petula Barzey is a Digital Marketing Consultant and Founder of Moxee Marketing, a London based digital marketing agency.