Tag Archives for " small business "

Your Business Needs To Be Visible If You Want To Succeed Online

 

INVISIBLE (3) Imagine how cool it would be to be invisible…You could sneak into the cinema and watch films for free (providing no-one sits on you) while pinching popcorn from the person next to you, think of all the major events you could get up close to, the conversations you could listen in to…you would be able to observe life from a totally different perspective.

But what about the downside?  How lonely would it be if you couldn’t interact with people? After all, who would be able to listen to a bodiless voice without thinking they are going mad?  You would get injured by people walking into you.  How would you get a sales person or waitress to sell you clothes or food?

After the novelty had worn off, the negative effect of being invisible would start to outweigh the initial fun.  So when would it definitely NOT be a bonus to be invisible?  If you were a TV actor, perhaps?Or a safety steward?In these situations, it is impossible to be successful unless you can be seen.

 

INVISIBLE (1)Why Being Invisible Online Is Fatal For Your Business

Now let’s think about a business.  Many businesses would love to be invisible for taxes, but joking apart, what about the impact it would have on your customers?There are absolutely no advantages to being invisible to your customers, and yet still today, that is exactly how some businesses appear (or rather don’t appear) to their customers.How could this happen to you?

When it comes to making an informed purchase decision, customers are much more savvy today.They won’t just take your word for how good your product or service is.  They will research companies and products online, looking for the best solution for themselves.  You may have the best product in the world which will match their demands 100% better than any other company but if they can’t see your business quickly you won’t even enter the running for their business.

If you have a suspicion your business may be invisible to a lot of your customers at the moment, there is no need to panic.  Unlike the original Invisible man, your visibility can be restored with a little work.Here is some great advice on how to restore your company profile to the attention of your customers.

 

INVISIBLE (4)Is Your Business In Plain Sight?

 

Mobile

For any local business, customers who live within 5 – 10 miles are their lifeblood.  While some businesses may have a local customer base slightly further afield, local customers will be your most important consumer.  This is especially true if your business provides services they can’t get remotely.  For example, who gets their teeth fixed by email?

As we mentioned earlier, customers want to make a much more informed buying decision.  They want to research what products or services are available, which local businesses can supply them, what price they are and which company offers the best value and service.  What’s more, they want to be able to look online whenever and wherever they may be – at work, out having a coffee or just generally on the go.  Smartphones and tablets have made the internet portable so your business needs to be able to go where the people are.

But having a website isn’t the end of it. It doesn’t automatically follow that the website you see on your desktop computer will display correctly and be user friendly when a person looks at it on their smartphone.  Don’t assume it is, CHECK!  By looking at your site on a smartphone and trying to navigate around it, you can make sure visitors to your site get the experience and information you want them to see quickly and easily.  If your site isn’t optimised for mobile devices, it may be slow to load or clumsy to navigate.  Smartphone users have notoriously short patience levels.  If a site takes longer than 5 seconds to load they will simply go off to look at the next site.

 

INVISIBLE (6)Searchability

Search engines are constantly being refined and people choose to use their mobile devices rather than a physical directory like Yellow pages.  Today, the results from search queries are being delivered to people based on the location they are searching from, so local businesses near to the position of the searcher are shown first.  That is only a plus for your business if the search engines can find you in the first place.  So when was the last time you checked how visible you are in search results?

First, try a general search.  Type in your business name.  Can you see your business website listed?  You should also be able to see other accounts like your Twitter, Facebook and Google+ Local pages, as well as reviews and articles that mention your business.

Next, try a more specific local search on Google maps.  Go to http://maps.google.com.  In the search box type in your city and the type of business you run.  What the results bring up is a local area map with 4 – 10 little red balloon-shaped markers that have a letter on.  Down the left hand side of the screen you will see the letter key for the markers, giving the business name and web address of each of the markers.

Here, you will see all the competition in your area marked out.  As you hover over each marker, information about that business is shown.  This page is great for making your business stand out from the competition especially in a highly competitive market.  Can you see your business here?

INVISIBLE (8)One final check to do – try typing just your business telephone number into the search box.  Ideally you should see your website, all your Google entries and any other inline directory you have added your company details in.  But what do you see in the results?  Are your details there or can you only see sites offering to reverse trace the number?

Do these checks give you confidence about the visibility of your business on the internet or are they confirming your worst fears…that no one out in cyberspace can find you?

You needn’t worry.  Nothing is irreversible.  With a little work on your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), you can turn it around.  Is it all that vital?  Yes it really is.  If you have a local business that relies on customers coming through your door – say a dentist or restaurant – if your customer can’t find your business first on their mobile device while they are out and about, they will find a competitor instead.

WHY YOUR BUSINESS NEEDS TO BE ONLINE

As a business owner, you will have witnessed first-hand how the Internet has had a huge impact on customers buying habits.

In fact by now, unless your business is based in a cave in the outer reaches of Siberia you should have either set up a website or at the very least had somebody seriously suggest that you should.

WhyYourBusiness1Having a website and online presence is no longer an option for businesses any more. Without being online your business is going to miss out on huge opportunities.

Despite all of the evidence, it is surprising to discover that there are still some business owners who remain skeptical, not fully convinced that having a website really is necessary.

One of the most common reasons given to us for not going online is the business owner feels a website would take too much time and energy to set up or that they are a luxury not a necessity.

Others claim it would be a waste of time.  They get enough business from passing trade so they don’t need to bother going online at all.

Even if a business is doing well from passing trade at the moment, it is still good sense to go online. If you don’t, not only will your current customers who use the internet for as part of everyday life be surprised that you are not online but you will lose thousands of potential new customers.

 

Here are some reasons why having a website is worth far more than the small cost of setting it up and running it.

1) Sell to a wider audience

Your bricks and mortar business is restricted to passing trade and how many people are in town that day. If you want to reach out to a wider audience traditional means of advertising in the local press, radio, TV and flyers are very expensive.

On the Internet however, you can easily expand your brand to a global audience for a fraction of the cost or even free using clever online marketing and search engine optimization.

 

2) People look for local businesses online using their smartphones

Smartphones can literally put your business at your potential customer’s fingertips. Statistics show customers regularly use their smartphones to find local businesses close to where they are. If they are using the Internet to search online for local businesses, your business really needs to be there so that they can find you. If it isn’t, they will just buy from your competitor instead.

 

Magnifying_Glass_Infographic3) You can be open 24 hours a day

How much would it cost in staff wages and electric bills if you were to keep your bricks and mortar business open 24 hours per day? Would you not be excited if you could keep your business open 24 hours a day without losing any money in the process?

Not just that but you could be receiving orders from all over the world no matter what time it was.

That is exactly what the Internet allows you to do. Even if your business does not actually sell a physical product, people can always contact you via email or learn about your business without waiting for you to open during your normal business hours.

 

4) People use the Internet to find out more about businesses they already know about.

Don’t think you should be online so that only brand new customers can find your business. One of the most common ways people use the Internet is for your existing customers and people who already know about your business to look online for research. They want to know things like: What time does the local coffee shop open? Are there any special deals at my dry-cleaners? Does my favourite Chinese restaurant have vegetarian options? If you want your customers to be able to know everything about your business, a website is the perfect way of making the information available whenever they want it.

 

5) Build a loyal following

Although the Internet is a huge, think of it as more than a vast wilderness to try and promote your business. The Internet is a community and with sites like Facebook and Twitter you can communicate and engage with your customers no matter which part of the world they come from as if they were your friends.

This allows you to connect with your customers on an emotional and personal level, which is much more effective than an ad in a local newspaper or a flyer. When you engage with them you will build a loyal following of fans and customers who will buy from you again and again.

 

6) Your competition is already there

Spend a few minutes on Google and search for businesses similar to yours in your local area.  The chances are your competitors will already have a presence on the Internet. If they are, why let them steal all of the customers when you could have a website quickly and easily?

 

InfographicArrow7) Stay current

Having a website means you can always appear up to date to your customers. You can share the latest news, update your inventory, add relevant information you think your customers should know and even answer customer’s questions almost immediately.

So while your bricks and mortar business might not be open 24 hours a day, your website is. It is too good an opportunity to miss.

 

8) Promote your site for free

Google wants your business to succeed. It is your company’s best friend. It is constantly improving to make sure that when people search for businesses like yours, they will find you. Being found on Google is completely free and will boost your profits.

When you see the potential you will soon want to explore other avenues of online marketing, all of which deliver equally exciting results and a huge profit for your business.

If you have been putting off setting up a company website or thought that it was too expensive and complicated, please contact us and you will be in for a very pleasant surprise.

Not only will it be cheaper and easier than you imagined but you will be delighted with the extra sales that you will receive.

Don’t put it off and give us a call today.

Five Ways To Make Your Emails Mobile Friendly

EMAIL3Mobile marketing is an important tool of any well planned marketing campaign.  We show you how you can do it effectively for maximum results.

Every morning my alarm goes off at 6:00am.

I would love to say that I jump out of bed full of the joys of spring but that would be a lie.

After thumping my alarm clock the very next thing I do, before I even get out of bed, is reach over for my iPhone and check my email.

I don’t just do it once. I check it again during breakfast and then again on the way to work. In fact I have probably checked my mail 5 or 6 times before I have even turned my computer on at the office.

Am I alone? I don’t think so. I am sure that most other people with Smartphone follow a very similar routine.

Almost every mobile user has a Smartphone these days and the number of people reading their email on a mobile device is increasing all of the time.

What this means is that you need to be creating emails that are mobile friendly. That is an email that displays perfectly no matter if a person is reading it on a desktop computer, a tablet or a mobile device.

If that sounds complicated or daunting don’t worry. It isn’t. However, it is vitally important that you take action make sure that your company emails are mobile-friendly.

To keep you right, here are some simple steps that you can make to ensure that your emails can be read by all of your customers no matter what device they are using to read the email.

  1. 1.   Your content needs to be simple and concise

All of your emails should be simple and concise but it is even more important when designing them to be read on mobiles. You only have a small screen at your disposal so you need to keep your email design very clean and simple.

  1. 2.   Use a single column template

Simple layouts work best on mobiles because of the limited space allowed on the screens. Using a single column clean template will work better and be much more flexible on all screen sizes than having a harder to navigate and view 2 or 3 template. Your readers don’t want to have to scroll or zoom their way round the screen to read your email. Not only will they not bother reading it but they will not see the call to action either. It will be a waste of time sending emails out as they won’t be read.

  1. 3.   Have a clear call to action

To get the best success from your email marketing campaigns you must tell your readers what you want them to do. For example are you telling them about a special offer and want them to visit the web page? If so, tell them. Do you want them to click the buy button? Again, tell them.

It is vital to put the call to action in a prominent place where it can be seen. Make sure your link or buy button is easily seen. Whatever call to action you want them to make, it must be loud and clear.

Don’t be tempted to confuse things by having multiple calls to action. It will complicate things and look messy. Remember that your goal is to be simple and concise. On a mobile, your customer’s finger is the new mouse so you need to make sure that your links or buy buttons are easy to click.

  1. 4.   No tiny fonts please

There is no point sending out an email if it can’t be read. We recommend that the minimum size font that you want to use is 11pt for body text and 22pt for headlines.

Another point to bear in mind is that a lot of people turn the brightness down on their mobiles to conserve battery life so always try to use dark font colours on a light (preferably white) background to make the email easily read.

  1. 5.   Images are great….but don’t overdo it.

It is best only to use images that are essential to your email. The reason being is that some Smartphone’s turn images off by default. If your email has a lot of images all your customers might see is a lot of white space or indicators showing where the images should be.

So use images by all means but we always recommend that you include image descriptions (alt text) to let your readers see what the image is even if it is not displayed.

Before you send an email out to your subscribers it might be a good idea to see a preview first by sending it to yourself. If you are happy with and it looks great, send it out.

As you can see, it is not too complicated but by investing a little thought and work into your email design it will make it much easier for your subscribers to read your email no matter where they are or what device they are using.

You might feel confident to make these changes yourself but if you are not or simply don’t have the time to adapt your email design please contact us. That is what we are here for and will be glad to help.

Email MarketingWe are passionate about helping every local business in our area to succeed online. Internet marketing isn’t the future. It is happening now and it really makes us sad to see local companies either ignoring the changes going on, or worse, being so daunted that they are scared to do anything.

Every local business that we help to thrive online is amazed adapting their business online is not as complicated or expensive as they thought. They love the fact that it has given their business a new lease of life. Not only do they have a presence on the high street but they are gaining brand new customers all round the world who would normally not have heard of them.

That is what makes the internet so exciting and you can be part of that. Email and mobile marketing are just a couple of areas of our expertise.We have many more marketing strategies that will excite you.

We look forward to hearing from you and sharing them with you.

How To Run A Successful Facebook Marketing Plan

Unless you have been living in a cave without any contact with the outside world you can’t have failed to notice that Facebook is the largest and most popular social media network in the world.

FacebookIt has over a one billion active users who log into their Facebook account many times each day, and it has made even easier thanks to the popularity of Smart phones. Smartphones mean people can log in anytime time they want, any place they are, and the majority of your customers will be part of this socially aware group.

Businesses that are internet savvy have realized the importance of Facebook and are benefiting from joining the social network revolution.  Learning how to harness the power of Facebook and other social media marketing has resulted in increased sales and given their profits a real boost.

Unfortunately, some businesses have been a bit slower to catch on.  Their attempts to join the Facebook revolution have failed because they have not known the best way to master it.

Even though Facebook is incredibly powerful for business, finding the right information about marketing and advertising on the social site can be time consuming.   If you do a quick online search, you will find there is so much advice out there about Facebook marketing.  But for every good tip you read, you will be bombarded with misleading or outdated information which will add to your frustration – and worse – hinder your marketing campaign.

The good news is that finding and mastering the techniques behind a solid and effect Facebook marketing campaign is not difficult. Once you put these techniques in place, your efforts will be rewarded.  You will be a Facebook convert and will finally discover what all of the fuss has been about.

So let’s look at some strategies you need to know to harness the true power behind advertising and marketing on Facebook:

FBlikeGet Acquainted With Facebook

As we mentioned earlier, Facebook is a relatively new marketing medium for businesses. Some businesses heard how amazing Facebook is and just tried to dive head first into their marketing campaigns, assuming it is just the same as owning another web page or another form of email list.

What some businesses fail to remember is that Facebook is a marketing medium in its own right with its own set of rules. There are some unique differences available on Facebook that can help their marketing efforts in a way that their own regular site can’t.

Once a business has set up a Facebook fan page, they might fill in their info tab with some basic information and add some posts…and that’s about it.  They think it is as easy as that – just spending the minimum time and effort on their fan page will bring them huge results.

Yes, they might get a few people hitting the ‘Like’ button but recent statistics have shown that only around 1% of total fans who ‘Like’ a page ever go back to view it more than once.

So although it is a powerful marketing site, your Facebook page should never be your website replacement. It should be recognized for what it is; a social media platform used by people who wish to do socialize and hangout online.

Because of that, you need to keep in mind that visitors to your Facebook page are not there to support your business. All they are interested in is learning more about what you offer, via reading the posts on your Facebook wall.

Facebook and other social media sites have re-written all of the rules regarding traditional marketing. Once you learn about the differences involved in marketing directly to people using a social networking platform and do your best to incorporate these tactics in your own marketing plans you will grow your businesses significantly and turn over huge profits, just as you hoped you would.

FBsalespitchesDon’t Send Out Sales Pitches

There are some business owners who think that the whole idea of having a presence on Facebook is to bombard members with details of their products and services.  So that is what they do… relentlessly!  They tell people how wonderful they are and how great their product and service is.

That is the wrong way to market on Facebook.  Genuine savvy business owners still manage to get their message across, but in a more subtle and entertaining way, which is what you need to do.

Why is this important?  Recent polls show that business owners who constantly broadcast sales hype over Facebook end up losing fans (and sales) rather than gaining them.  They forget that fans are seeking a way to connect and interact with you. They want to see that there is a real person behind the marketing hype who cares about what customers think and want and need.

Rather than broadcasting sales pitches to people who follow your page, engage them.  Think of ways to offer your fans genuine, relevant content that they are interested in.  Your job is to interact with them and give them irresistible and compelling reasons to want to connect with you.  You can draw inspiration from investigating examples of really successful Facebook pages, like Coca Cola and Pizza Hut, to see how they go about things. Posting engaging content like this will keep your fans loyal and increase their interaction with you.

Can you see how, by changing your perception about what Facebook can do for you and your profits, and by starting to think more about what you can offer your customers, you now have the key to running a successful Facebook campaign?  If you focus on offering good quality content that doesn’t constantly push your products or services into people’s faces, you stand a much better chance of succeeding on Facebook, AND it will give your fans a more authentic online experience that builds trust and loyalty.

FBfanpageDon’t Focus on Fan Numbers

Just because you have a huge number of fans on Facebook, it doesn’t mean you are going to see huge profits. You might be very proud to have a large fan base, but what does that really mean for your business? Not a lot, because as we stated earlier, statistics show that less than 1% of your fans are likely to return to view your page.  This means the only time they will hear from you is when your post appears in their news feed, once you have posted something for them to read.

Quite often we will see companies trying to attract new fans with one-off contests and competitions, but these are not always as productive as they might seem. Once the contest is over there is no real motivation for those people to interact with the company any more.

It is not enough to focus solely on attracting a large army of fans.  Once you have a fan, you need to give them reasons to stay with you.  It is far more productive to concentrate on giving your fans compelling reasons to interact and become part of the community that you are trying to put together.

Attracting a high number of fans doesn’t automatically mean that you have a captive audience, but with a bit of effort it does provide you with the perfect opportunity to find ways to capture and retain their interest.  If you don’t do that, the page will lose its value.  If that happens, you and your business will become irrelevant to them. That is much worse than having no fans at all.

Focus on what your fans want and not what you want.

The main reason behind going into business is to make a profit.  In order to do that and keep your business moving forward, you need to find new and creative ways to keep bringing in new customers. That is what Facebook allows you to do.

When advertising in the offline world, your marketing tactics are usually centered on trying to spread your sales message as far and as wide as you possibly can. The sole aim is to try and reach even small potential new prospects that might just turn into paying customers, so your sales pitch is more aggressive in order to convert the general public to buy from you.

Marketing on Facebook is completely different. Trying to focus on and drive more sales to your business simply doesn’t work on Facebook.  Facebook is a Social Network – that means that it is more about conversation and interaction than providing businesses with another platform for advertising.  So if all you talk to others about is yourself and how great your business is to the exclusion of everything and everybody else, your audience will quickly become bored and disinterested with you.  After all, they can hear that type of advertising message anywhere.

You need to take some time to think carefully about the potential audience you have on Facebook and why people log into Facebook in the first place. People use Facebook because they want to interact with their friends, their family and make new acquaintances. They simply want to hang out, learn some interesting information, read fun wall posts as well as seeing what is going on in their online communities and generally, just be a social creature.

What they are not logging on for is to hear you tell them over and over how amazing your business is or why they should buy from you. To be honest, they don’t care.  If what they hear from you doesn’t sound like one of their reasons for using Facebook and so they can’t relate to you, everything you do will be in vain.  Constantly trying hard to capture their attention by telling them all about you isn’t actually a good way to get them to listen or interact with you at all. So stop focusing on what you want from Facebook and start to think about what your Facebook fans want.    By adapting your marketing to your Facebook fan’s outlook, you will naturally increase your sales without even trying.

FBcampaignPlanning Your Social Media Campaigns

Marketing on Facebook really can offer you a fantastic opportunity to grow and enhance your business. The sheer power and popularity of social media networking in general really does broaden your customer base and increase brand awareness for your product or service.

However, as you have just read, it is not something that you can dive into head first without thinking of a solid marketing plan that will work well on Facebook.

You need to forget all the things you know about marketing in the offline world and start learning how unique and different marketing is in the world of social media.

Unfortunately not all businesses have the time, as they are so busy running their bricks and mortar business. The good news is that we provide a great range of services designed to help businesses, like you, get to grips with the changing face of Social Media. Rather than having to try and figure it all out for yourself and then attempt to put a Facebook marketing campaign together, our team can do this for you.

We have been in the industry for a number of years and know it well.  With our marketing strategies and well-managed campaigns, we can dramatically increase your online presence and help you to gain all the extra sales and profits that you read and hear about.

We will make sure that when customers search for a product or service that you provide, they will find YOU first, and not your competitor.

So what do you do next? Simply give us a call or email us. You will be relieved and amazed at how friendly we are and we guarantee you will be excited when you hear what we can do for your business.  We look forward to hearing from you.

Marketing and Publicity For Small Business

 

Marketing1 It certainly isn’t easy running a small business, is it?

You work long hours, take few (if any) holidays, and you bear the full responsibility for the overall success of your company. Your family and employees all look to you to make the business a success.

That is a lot of pressure.

This means you always have to keep looking for new and inventive ways to improve your bottom line profitability, and take your small business to new heights.

Most business owners agree that effective marketing would be a big help to their business. However, what puts them off is that they mistakenly think that hiring a marketing consultant will cost a lot of money and that they cannot afford it.

That isn’t always the case.  In this issue, we are going to look at various ways you can put an effective marketing plan into action without it costing an arm and a leg…and you will also discover some very effective FREE ways to get much needed publicity for your business.

The article will be a good reference guide to effective marketing.  Your business will grow as a result if you put them into action.

START MAKING HEADLINES – THE INCREDIBLE POWER OF FREE PUBLICITY

Most small local businesses focus all their marketing efforts on paid advertising or sales activities. This is totally understandable and is generally a good investment if it’s done well. However, a lot of businesses are struggling financially at the moment, so this article will cover the most overlooked weapon in a small business’s marketing arsenal: FREE PUBLICITY.

How do you get free publicity?

Easy.  Be known as ‘the’ expert and authority in your field.

Despite what you might think, being recognized as an “expert” in the media is a very attainable goal – in fact you are probably already well qualified to do this, particularly if you have been in the business for a number of years.  But even if you haven’t been in business long, the chances are that you have done a lot of market research and choosing your business wasn’t a decision you came into lightly.

Once you establish yourself as an ‘expert’, the benefits to your business can be awesome.  If you have a solid market position but need more exposure and credibility to help your business grow, you can do this easily by investing some time and effort into generating publicity for your business through the media.  If you do this, you are sure to reap the financial rewards.

When it comes to local news, there’s no reason a small business can’t compete with a business ten times its size. In fact, it’s fair to say that local news outlets like TV stations and newspapers are “biased” in favor of small local business owners like yourself, so you already have an advantage.

 

HOW TO MAKE IT HAPPEN – START BY WATCHING AND READING THE NEWS

Think about the last time you watched your local TV news. There would have been the usual variety of depressing stories about car accidents, house fires and the economy. But there were also stories highlighting local issues.  The people in these type of ‘Local News’ stories are usually people from the community appearing on camera to offer a comment.

For example, when the holiday season rolls around, a local reporter will often visit a local retailer to ask how busy it is and if their profits will be on target to beat the previous year’s takings.  They might also consult another local trader who may have a different opinion on how busy it is, or perhaps to give some basic shopping reminders. Then they will interview various members of the public to ask them how busy it is and if they have all of their shopping done. They may also interview a local police officer to remind people not to drink too much during the holiday period, especially if they are driving.

Think about that for a moment; three LOCAL residents or business people all received valuable free exposure on a well-watched local newscast, and all they had to do was talk about what they do everyday.

That scenario is not unusual and you can probably think of many more examples. You might even remember a news item that featured on the news today.

It’s called publicity, and it’s probably the best marketing weapon a local businessperson has to get added exposure for their company at no cost.

But how do these people get on air or in print? Surely they must know somebody, right? Actually, no.

When you watch a news-related show and they consult an “expert”, chances are that person is no more an expert in their field than you are in yours. They got on air by simply pitching the story idea to the station or making contact with the local reporter or news station.

The local newscast is on every week night and quite often over a weekend. It doesn’t matter whether or not there was one hour’s worth of news during the day; they still have to fill the airtime.

On slow news days, news reporters are looking for local stories that will appeal to a wide audience, just like the one I mentioned above; one that they can put together without a lot of research or effort.

The same is true of newspapers. Reporters often need to generate a story idea for tomorrow’s paper, and they would jump all over a good local story that is of interest to a wide audience but not as time sensitive as, say, a local disaster.

 

Marketing2HOW DO YOU GET ‘IN THE NEWS’?

So how do you get on air or in print? Follow these tips:

1)        Send a news release in to a few local TV/Radio stations and newspapers with a good story idea. Remember, it has to be NEWS, not shameless self- promotion:

Example number 1: Auto Repair Mechanic

This is an example of self-promotion:

Visit my auto repair garage today because I want to tell you how hard I work to please my customers.

On the other hand, the same business could add this spin instead:

“As the winter approaches, now would be a good time for your viewers to have their vehicle inspected to ensure worry-free winter driving. As a local mechanic, I can help by offering practical information about what to look for in a mechanic, and what safety systems you should have checked on your car before the snow flies this winter.

Now that the reporters have your details and know that they have somebody to interview, they will be in contact once the bad weather starts to fill that criterion of the news.

Example number 2: Chiropractor

Self-promotion:

“I’m a new chiropractor in the area and I’d like to build up business by running an article in your newspaper.”

Instead try this:

“Many local residents live with back pain everyday. As a local chiropractor, I’d be pleased to share with your viewers the 3 most common types of back problems, and the steps they can take to correct them now before the problem gets out of hand.”

Almost every news station focuses on health issues, especially if there is a celebrity in the news with a similar condition. For example, when Catherine Zeta Jones admitted that she suffered from bi-polar it raised awareness of the condition and news programs jumped all over it, interviewing people in the local community who were also struggling with the condition. So, as soon as they want to do a feature on back pain, because they know you are qualified to talk about that, they will contact you.

Example number 3: Gadget store

Self-promotion:

“My new gadget store took a lot of work to get up and running, and I think people would be interested in hearing about the exciting products that I have to offer. “

With a different spin this could become newsworthy:

“With the Christmas season rapidly approaching, people are constantly looking for unusual and useful gifts. As the owner of a local gadget store, I’d be happy to give you information on the latest crazes for the festive season, including what’s hot, what’s not, and some gadget buying tips for families to help them stretch their shopping budget.”

Can you see the difference? Shameless self-promotion is just that – it’s an attempt to promote your company through the news media, and it simply won’t work. Reporters will see right through it and will ignore you.

On the other hand, positive News Spin takes something that your business is recognized for and turns it into a story that a news outlet would be likely to broadcast or feature in print.

It is the topics and the same business but putting a slightly different spin on things makes all the difference.

That kind of exposure is very good for business.

Remember, the news channel doesn’t maintain its credibility by promoting businesses. Nobody in the press really cares about your business and it doesn’t really want to go out of their way to promote it. However, offer them a news story that involves your business, and it is no longer promotion. It’s news.

2)        Switch on your PR antenna and follow the news

When something newsworthy happens, news media like to cover it from different angles (like the Catherine Zeta Jones story mentioned earlier). A story that was not very interesting yesterday can quickly become interesting today, especially if something has happens in the news to spark people’s interest.

Marketing3NEWS : A rash of break-ins in the local area has residents wondering about their safety.

Anyone who owns a security company should be all over this one. You could offer your local news station safety tips, information about how home alarms can protect your home, and so on.

 

Remember: when something is in the news it gets people’s attention.  They are much more receptive to hearing what they can do to avoid the problem themselves.

In a situation like this where viewers are concerned about their health and safety, they will be very attentive to any news item about securing their homes.

The news media know that if they interview you to discuss safety, they’re feeding the public’s appetite for safety related articles. Just remember you are not on TV to pitch your product. During the interview, talk about alarms in general and provide general household safety tips. It will add to your credibility and the phone will be ringing off the hook the next morning as the public will trust you  and you will be seen as the local authority on the subject.

There are lots of other companies that could benefit from this type of news such as self-defense classes, neighborhood watch programs, private security patrol companies… the list goes on.

 

WHAT ABOUT MY BUSINESS?

You can find PR opportunities in almost any business.  To prove this, go and buy a selection of today’s newspapers and give yourself 20 minutes to flick through them all.

As you do, think about how your business/products/services may relate to other wider topics that are reported in the papers.

Look at the news stories and features. Ask yourself, what topics are popular? Can you adapt what your business has to say to something that is already causing a stir?

Tear out anything that grabs your eye and start to compile a cuttings reference file for your desk. Repeat the exercise on a regular basis and include the Sunday papers now and again.

Don’t forget you can apply the exact same publicity principles to ANY information avenue – like trade publications.  Your customers have their own publications that relate to and interest them,(for example, Restaurant Owner Monthly).  What topics are hot right now in your industry or theirs? Does your business have something to contribute to an ongoing debate?

Pay particular attention to regional newspapers and business publications. Is there something happening locally that you can tap into?  Helping the local community brings many benefits to everybody concerned.

For example, a local car hire firm might provide free minibus hire to a kid’s playgroup after reading about the theft of the playgroup vehicle just before a planned visit to the seaside.

This would be a great story, and would provide a good photo and branding opportunity for the business.  Plus, it gives a great day out for the kids.

Being opportunistic isn’t a sin if it offers a win-win situation all round for everybody involved. It will enhance your company’s reputation, while giving genuine value to your customer.

Online Press Releases

Online Press releases are a great way to use your news to instantly promote yourself to millions of people around the world via the Internet and attract new customers as a result.

This is where our expertise comes in; we can help you reach a brand new audience by sending out press releases, which in turn will increase your rankings in the search engines.

We know how to reach thousands of journalists worldwide and generate a buzz for your business.

Contact us today to find out how we generate a real buzz and interest in your company and attract new customers in 24 hours or less.