You've been in business a long time and you've had a lot of press releases written over the years. So you know what it takes to capture the attention of the press and get your business in the limelight. But what if you're making your move online and you want to publish press releases on your website or distribute them to press agencies over the Internet. Should they be re-written?
This is a tricky question because in the end a press release is a press release. It serves one purpose. You are trying to win the attention of news editors in order to get them to write a story about you. Is there a different strategy for online press releases?
Yes and no.
You'd write the press release for online distribution pretty much the same way you'd write it for off line distribution except for one big difference. It's called SEO. Search engine optimization.
Your press release will get a lot more attention if it is written as much for the search engine audience as it is for the news audience. That means you want it to rank well for specific key phrases that people (news professionals) will search for.
Also, you must realize that your press releases published online have the potential to be read by members of the general public so you really have three audiences: 1) Search engines; 2) News professionals; 3) The general public. As long as you address the needs of your three audiences, your press releases will do their jobs well.
Do you know what kind of domain names are best for PPC and SEO? According to a study conducted by Domain Sherpa, the best domain names
are generic domain names.
Why would that be the case?
If you think about how searchers search for information online, they almost always conduct searches based on keywords - not brands.
For instance, a searcher in Adams County, Pa. looking to buy a house will likely search for "real estate for sale" and then they might add a specific geographic area to narrow their search. But they are more likely to conduct a generic search for real estate for sale than to search for a specific real estate agent or broker. The same goes for searchers looking for information on purchasing an automobile, researching iPods, and those looking for suitable golf courses.
Generic domain names match the needs of searchers seeking information on generic topics. If a searcher is looking for a specific brand, they are more likely to type the name of the brand into their Web browsers. Or they might search for that brand.
Bottom line, if you want to cast a wide net and snag prospects looking for generic information, then target them with a generic domain name.
In the old days, direct marketers could tell you which day of the week was the best day to send a direct mail piece out on. Then there was e-mail marketing. Studies show that you should send your e-mail marketing message out on Thursday because you'll get more opens and click-throughs on that day. But what about blogging?
Blogging is a little different. Unlike e-mail or direct mail marketing, with a blog you can achieve high search engine rankings. The more you do it the better your chances of seeing your content rank in the top 3 positions on Google and Bing.
With that in mind, then, every day of the week is the best day to blog. In fact, you could say it's better to blog three or four times a day every day of the week. After all, not only is quality important, but quantity can get you there as well. Ideally, you'll focus your content on quality and quantity. But let's face reality. You do have a budget.
So when should you blog? How often and when? You should blog as often as you are able to and as often as your budget will allow. When you blog, focus on your efforts on delivering high quality content that talks to your target market in terms they can understand. Otherwise, what's the point?
The future is heading to greater sharing. Subscribe Button, Timeline, Improved Friend Lists, A Faster Way to Message on Mobile, etc. View the video below for all of the details, and learn more about the updates at the Facebook Blog
Facebook set the Internet on fire when they announced that today would be the day they'd make a huge announcement. They are planning to change social networking forever. Sounds exciting, doesn't it?
You may be wondering what all the fuss is about. You weren't even using social networking, you say. So what?
The big "so what" is that you should be social networking. And you should pay attention to Facebook. It is the most trafficked website online so that alone makes it relevant. But what is social networking?
Social networking is using online websites like Facebook to meet new people, build relationships, draw connections, and entice people to do business with you. All without leaving the comfort of your small business executive desk. Sounds fun, doesn't it?
It is fun, and it's profitable - if you do it well.
I don't know what Facebook has up its sleeve (I'll find out, like a lot of people, this afternoon), but I do know that they've been battling it out with new social networking site Google+ for a couple of months. And I wonder just how Facebook will change social networking forever. You should wonder too.
If you thought direct mail advertising
was dead, think again. A survey
by Constant Contact and HubSpot reveals that 47% of businesses still promote events through direct mail. The same survey reveals that 76% of businesses promote events through e-mail and 40% do so through social media.
These numbers are not really surprising, but they are telling. E-mail marketing has become a staple of online promotions. Companies not currently using e-mail marketing for event promotion, or any kind of promotion, are missing great opportunities.
Social media is still a little bit complex. While Facebook is the most trafficked website online, not everyone is using it - particularly in Adams County, Pa.
I say use the media that are better suited toward your audience. If you have a product or service that appeals to a younger audience - say, the under-30 crowd - even in Adams County, then you might try promoting it through social media. E-mail promotions will work on any audience. Older people, those above the 50-year-old mark, will probably respond better to direct mailings.
Of course, the most savvy marketers will use all the channels at their disposal. The remember the Rule of 7. Your prospects will have to see your offer 7 times before they respond. If they see it in all available channels, including e-mail, direct mail
, and social media, then you'll be a thousand times more effective.
These are changeable times for Facebook! Lot's of updates and new features currently happening, but adding 'subscriptions'
is a biggie!
You can now subscribe to people who previously may have not accepted you as a friend or have reached the 5000 friend limit and you can get their updates in your newsfeed! This is very exciting for people who want to use Facebook primarily for business, but not as exciting for those who really want to keep their personal profile personal.
The good news, for some, is that you have the option whether to turn it on, or leave it off!
I've attached a video below. Jo Barnes at The Social Networking Academy, explains this new option brilliantly. Or, you can click here to learn more info, directly from Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/about/subscribe
The nuts and bolts of SEO marketing are keywords. They are important for one reason and one reason only. They allow businesses who seek search engine rankings to target their rankings by using the correct language.
If you think about it, this is what good marketing has always done. Marketers deploy language for the purpose of persuasion. They hope to get their target audience to think about things by using the correct language and getting them to think and take action. SEOs do this using a specific type of language that is intended for two audiences.
The first audience is the human audience. You want your online content to speak to your human target audience in a way that your human audience takes action. That action, you hope, is to do business with you.
Your second audience is the search engines. Or their spiders. Search engine spiders are computer programs that crawl the Web through links and analyze the content on the pages. Today's search engine spiders are very sophisticated compared to the spiders of fifteen or twenty years ago. They analyze keywords, links, images, and a host of other on-page and off-page factors to determine the rankings of web pages for specific key phrases.
Because search engines have a ranking system, search engine optimizers try to target their content to the spiders in order to influence them on that ranking system. The goal is to increase their chances at getting good rankings.
Keywords are the nuts and bolts, the basic building fundamentals, of good SEO. If you want to rank well, start with good keyword research.
Can a small business brand itself? What exactly does that mean?
Branding is a term that dates back to ranchers adding a symbol onto their cattle and other livestock in order to claim ownership. If your bulls had a Circle K on their backsides and wandered off, then anyone who found the bull later could identify it by its brand. The Circle K became a recognizable symbol that signified the ownership of an asset.
Today, business branding has come to mean the same thing with regard to particular products, services, intellectual property, and business processes.
What do you think of when you hear or see the words McDonald's, Coca Cola, ExxonMobil? Can you picture their logos? Does the Golden Arches immediately come to mind when you think about McDonald's.
Your small business can enjoy the same benefits of branding. Create a logo or an image that is associated with your company name. Put it on all your marketing collateral
- both print and digital - and use it to claim ownership of all your business assets. Over time, you can plant that symbol into people's minds and "brand" yourself upon their conscience. Branding is good marketing no matter what size your business.
If you have a small business and you're wondering where to start in terms of marketing your business online, I've uncovered at least 15 places online you can start marketing your business. Here are the 15 best online marketing channels for small businesses. Try them all and see which ones work best for you.
- Your Website - This should be the first place to start.
- Your Company Blog - For many businesses, your blog will be on your website's domain so they could be viewed as one entity, but you could also put them on separate domains and have two websites - a static website and a blog.
- Twitter - Post valuable news and insights in 140 characters or less.
- Facebook - Start a business page and use your personal profile. That's two channels in one!
- LinkedIn - Great for personal networking.
- YouTube - Create videos and market them online. Drive traffic to your website.
- Article Directories - There are a ton of them out there. Pick a handful and publish your articles for others to use on their websites, blogs, and newsletters.
- Google Knol - Create your own knowledge base of articles and link them to anywhere you want.
- HubPages - The cool thing about HubPages is you can have your own subdomain. Write and publish articles and even monetize them.
- Squidoo - Squidoo is similar to Google Knol and HubPages, but a little bit snazzier.
- PPC Ads - Stands for pay per click, those little ads you see at the top and the side of search engine results pages.
- Google Places - Claim your local business listing at Google Places.
- Bing Local - Just like Google Places, but owned by Bing.
- Forums - Find a forum related to your niche and jump in, communicate with others with the same passion.
- Groupon - Own a retail store? You can offer coupons at Groupon.
These are not all the online marketing channels you have, but they are some of the best ones for new businesses. I encourage you to check 'em out.