It is so powerful that companies have huge marketing budgets and hire specialists and agencies in order to generate a steady stream of publicity for their company.
The internet has created a level playing field. Now any business, no matter how small can generate publicity easier and more efficiently than ever before.
It is now possible to generate publicity “on demand” and it’s time you capitalize on it.
If you have struggled with ideas on how to “get press” for your business, read on because we’re going to reveal 21 ways you can turn your business news and events into publicity that will attract eager new customers that are excited about what you’re doing!
Turn your story into an online press release:
At first you might be thinking that you don’t have any stories to release but when you think about it, as a business you make news regularly.
In addition to the obvious milestones such as opening your business or launching a new product or service that you can easily capitalize everyday events that you take for granted into stories that can generate publicity. For example:
1. Has your company or member of staff recently won an award or have you had a major breakthrough like landing a large contract? If so, that is a valid story to people interested in your industry.
2. People always like to read inspirational stories, so if you have been successful in your business or you have recently run a marathon for charity, tell people.
3. If you are a skilled craftsperson or your business specializes in a particular niche why not share some of your expertise and teach others how to do something similar. It helps you to build credibility and be known as a true expert in your field.
4. Are you passionate about a particular charity? You can create awareness about a cause you believe in and create some publicity for your business. Companies do this all of the time and that is why so many of them are keen to sponsor charities and be involved with them.
5. If you notice alarming trends happening in your industry you can share this news and turn your knowledge and expertise into a marketing asset for your company.
6. There are many holiday events throughout the year and almost every type of business celebrates these events in their own way. This is a great opportunity for your business to team up with a charity or local organization.
7. Put an end to a popular myth or misunderstanding in your industry. For example, if you are a dentist you might want to release a story explaining that bad breath can be caused by several factors, only one of which is poor dental hygiene. Explain some of the causes of bad breath and what people can do if they experience it. There will be a common myth in your industry too. Journalists and online bloggers love these kinds of stories and they can go viral very quickly.
8. Is your business contributing to helping the environment? In the days of global warming don’t underestimate how making even slight changes to the way that your business does things can make a difference. You can win customers over with a ‘green’ story.
9. Turn to any magazine or news story and there will be some kind of stats or survey result mentioned. Everybody loves stats and surveys and none more so than journalists. Why? Because they find ready-made stories to write about in this type of news release. Stories like this are quick to go viral too as readers love to share facts and figures and will provide links to them on their blogs, they will tweet about them add them to their Facebook or other social media page. If you can share new market studies, research, survey or poll results from your industry you will find that this will be a popular story for you and your business.
10. Provide helpful tips. Be generous and get your industry out there by publishing a few helpful tips. You will be rewarded by converting search engine users into potential customers. If you sell digital cameras, for example, you could publish a list of features that potential buyers should be looking out for when buying a camera or produce a guide on which type of camera would best suit the kind of photography that they are wanting to do.
As an expert in your niche, you have all of the knowledge and tips and there are thousands of people out there searching for them so press releases and publishing these tips is an ideal way to get connected. It is worth remembering that just one or two brilliant tips are much better than a long list of useless ones.
You can no doubt think of many other ways that your business can create PR stories and get your business noticed.
Breathe some life into your story
Now that you have received some inspiration it is time to bring your story and press release to life particularly if your story about your new product or promotion seems boring.
11. Give it a human element
If your story feels a bit flat try putting people at the forefront of the story. Your story will have much more success because people are much more likely to share stories that involve people rather than the story being focussed on the product, especially if it features people that they know or who are local to their area. For example, if you have a happy customer who had great results using your product or service you can write about that. Or perhaps you have an employee who could demonstrate how effective your product is.
12. Link your story to a current trend
If you have a story that comments on and contributes to industry trends it will get a lot of buzz on social networks because that is what people interested in your industry are interested in and want to read, not to mention journalists and bloggers who cover your industry. By linking your story to an industry trend can help give your story more legs and the potential to create a buzz so that people will share it.
13. Attract attention with an image
The Internet is very visual so it is a good idea to break up a copy in your press release with a well placed image that gives visual impact to your story. Don’t worry too much about the image itself. You might just want to include your logo or a picture of your product or service. It will add interest to your story and make people more inclined to read it.
14. Direct people to your website
If you have submitted a great story that captures people’s imagination don’t leave them hanging at the end of the story. It is the perfect opportunity to direct them to your website using a strong call to action. This could be something as simple as “Find out more at www.YourWebsite.com”. It doesn’t really matter too much how you phrase it. The aim is simply to instruct your readers to take action and to make it easier for them.
Use Social Media to create a media buzz for your story
Once you have created your press release it is time to promote it on your social media networks. This is going to give your publicity and even bigger boost and drive thousands of extra people to your website.
How to promote your press release on Facebook
15. Link to your story on your Facebook status:
This is a simple way to promote your news to your whole network in a single click. If your network happens to include bloggers and reporters your news will reach them without you having to do a single pitch and they will be able to run with the idea immediately.
16. Share an interesting fact from your story
Despite having a great headline for your press release it is a good idea to give your readers yet another reason to click through to read the press release. You can do this by adding an intriguing quote, fact or statistic out of your press release and make that the main focus of your Facebook post.
17. Ask for a Like
This is one of those occasions where you should not be afraid to ask for likes or reposts when you promote your story on Facebook. If you have already built a loyal following of fans and have been an active part of the community they will be happy to spread the word for you, especially if your story is interesting.
18. Promoting Your Press Release on Twitter
Twitter is perfect for telling people about your press release because you can easily reach a wide audience and it is easy for your followers to share and re-tweet your post.
You can literally spread the word in seconds.
19. Tweet your story more than once
Not everybody will see your Tweet depending on the time you post it and where in the world your audience is so don’t be afraid to repost your Tweet a day or two later and at various times. To avoid annoying the ones who might have seen the tweet already, change the headline and be careful not to post it too many times.
20. Be Generous and promote those who promote you
If one of your followers has been kind enough to re-tweet your post, acknowledge it by thanking them. Not only is it courteous but it is also a good way to create a second round of buzz and publicity on Twitter. It means that your story will appear twice in the feed every time it is re-tweeted.
21. Use Hashtags
Categorize your story by adding a Hashtag to a keyword or phrase relating to your story or industry. As well as getting your story seen by people outside your network of followers it will also put you on the radar for journalists and bloggers who follow that particular Hashtag.
Getting the story out there
Social media, of course, goes beyond Facebook and Twitter. You can Pin your story on Pinterest and Google+ it as well as blogging it and sharing it on LinkedIn.
The online world really is your oyster and provides you with many exciting opportunities to get your story out there and have people all around the world reading about your brand in a matter of minutes.
If you have an announcement or newsworthy story about your business, here are so many places that you could promote it.
Our job is to help businesses like yours to get the word out and drive thousands of new clients to your website and company.
Contact us and discover what we could do for your business.
Even if you don’t think of yourself as a marketing pro, there are some simple tricks you can learn to take your PPC ads to the next level. Here they are.
#1: Make Your Ads Mobile-Responsive
You probably already know that mobile searches now outstrip desktop services. That means that your PPC ads must be adapted for mobile users if you want to get great results.
Here’s what to do:
#2: Use Numbers in Headlines and Copy
People respond to specificity in ads and headlines. If there are dozens of ways to use your product, or customers get access to millions of email addresses, say that in your headline.
Using numbers adds to your credibility, too. It’s why politicians often reel off a string of statistics when they’re in a debate.
Try adding numbers, percentages, and other stats to your PPC ads. Of course, make sure they’re both accurate and relevant to your target audience. If you do, you’ll see what a difference a number can make in your click-through rate.
#3: Tailor Your Message to Customers’ Places in the Sales Funnel
The people who see your ads won’t all be at the same place in the buying cycle. Some may be looking for general information to help them solve a problem. Others may be ready to pull the trigger and make a purchase.
Often, you can tell where a customer is based on the keyword they use to search. A customer who searches for general information about pest control might say:
How to get rid of pests
Someone who’s ready to hire an exterminator, on the other hand, might search:
Best termite exterminator in Grand Rapids
See the difference? When you write an ad, you choose keywords to target. Make sure your headline and copy match the intention of the keyword. You’ll have a better chance of getting people to click if you do.
#4: Use Persuasive Language in Your Headline
If you’re running an AdWords campaign, your headline is likely to be the focus of anybody who searches your keywords. That means it’s got to be snappy, direct, and appealing.
It’s important not to be misleading in your headline. It should be clear what product or service you’re selling.
Originally, AdWords allowed only a few words per line – so there wasn’t room to get fancy. Now, with the new expanded headline format, you can add a few more words. But your goal should still be to get to the point quickly.
Of course, if you’re running a Facebook ad, you have a bit more room. The key thing is to make your headlines persuasive without resorting to clickbait.
#5: Use a Compelling Image for Your Facebook Ad
On Facebook, users are accustomed to seeking out images and looking at them first. It’s why visual content gets so much more engagement than plain, written content.
You can increase your clicks by finding a compelling, relevant image to use in your ad. This isn’t the place to use an image that’s unrelated to your offer.
Original images (meaning, not stock images) are best. Photographs, illustrations, and infographics can all get the job done if you use them properly.
#6: Match Your Landing Page to Your Ad
Nobody (and I mean nobody) likes a bait and switch. When your ad and your landing page don’t match, it tells people that you can’t be trusted. And considering how essential trust and authority are in marketing, you can’t afford to do anything to undermine the trust you’ve acquired.
In other words, if your ad promotes an offer, it should direct them to a page that promotes the same offer. When the details match, it creates trust and reassures the people who click. That means they’ll be more likely to take the next step, whether that means opting in to your list or making a purchase.
To make it easier, you can even use dynamic text replacement technology to swap out text based on the keyword used to find your ad. That way, you’ll always be sure that your page and your ad are in synch.
#7: Use Retargeting to Close the Deal
You already know that your first “touch” with a potential customer is unlikely to lead to a sale. You may need to connect with them several times before they’re ready to take the leap.
You can use PPC ads on Google and Facebook to retarget people who’ve clicked on an ad and visited your site. Specifically, you can target them based on what they did on your site.
For example, the Facebook pixel lets you track which pages people visit or even which blog posts they read. You can then retarget them with content that you choose based on what they looked at. That increases the chances that they’ll click again – and maybe this time, they’ll buy from you!
You’re going to pay for clicks one way or the other…
That’s the nature of PPC ads, after all. The best thing you can do to improve your CTR and conversions is to dedicate yourself to using these seven tricks to create ads that compel clicks – and ultimately, increase your sales.
What Is SSL?
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. That might not mean much to you, but it means a lot to Google. Here’s why.
SSL is the standard encryption used to protect web users’ information when it’s transmitted online.
You may have noticed that some websites’ URLs start with:
While others start with:
That “s” makes all the difference when it comes to security. When a user gives you their personal information, whether it’s an email address, a home address, a cell phone number, or a credit card number, they want to be confident that thieves and hackers can’t access their data.
It makes sense. SSL is the protection that stands between your customers’ personal information and the dishonest online predators who want to steal it.
Why Does SSL Matter?
What if your website isn’t a place where you collect private information? Do you still need to worry about SSL?
The short answer is yes. At the beginning of 2017, Google announced that by October, it would start labeling any sites not using SSL as Insecure. This was a change from their previous policy, which highlighted secure sites with a green padlock webicon on the browser bar.
The bottom line here is that even if you’re not collecting sensitive information on your site, you don’t want Google telling your visitors that your site isn’t secure. Many of them won’t stop to consider that they have the option of not giving you personal information.
They’ll just leave.
That’s a bad thing for obvious reasons. You want both your current customers and potential leads to feel that it’s safe to do business with you.
Once you’ve properly installed your SSL certificate, Google will display your URL with a gray padlock next to it. That tells customers that your site is secure.
How to Upgrade SSL
The process of upgrading your SSL and complying with Google’s new rules isn’t a complex one, but it might seem that way to beginners. You’ll have to follow several steps to get it done. We’ll run through them here, but don’t worry if it seems like a hassle. At the end of this article, we’ll give you a link to a service that can take care of the whole thing for you.
Here are the steps you should follow.
Determine What Kind of Certificate You Need
There are three different types of SSL certificates, and you must choose the proper one to make your site secure:
You’ll have to verify ownership of your site to generate the certificate.
Obtain or Purchase Your Certificate
Next, you must obtain your SSL certificate to install on your website. Some hosting companies offer certificates at no cost, but you also have the option of buying a custom certificate. The costs may range from less than $50 to more than $200, depending on your needs or where you buy the certificate.
Keep in mind that the SSL certificate you buy will need to be updated regularly. Each certificate is good for between one and two years. Most sites that issue certificates will allow you to sign up for automatic renewals, so you won’t have to worry about your certificate expiring.
A good rule of thumb is to pay for a certificate only if you need to. If a simple DV certificate will do and you can get one at no cost, that’s what you should do.
Install Your Certificate
Now, it’s time to install your certificate. The specific installation process will vary depending on your host and server, and it’s not practical to list step-by-step instructions for every option.
That said, the process of installing a certificate is usually well-documented and you should be able to find instructions that tell you how to do it.
The tricky thing about the installation process is that it requires you to go in and do a lot of redirecting and tweaking to your site’s code after the fact. Every link that redirects users to the http:// version of your site must be updated to redirect them to the new, secure version.
It’s this part of the process that can be a roadblock for entrepreneurs. Without the specific technical knowledge to do it – and without time in their busy schedules – it can be easy to overlook links and leave your site partially or completely unprotected as a result.
Test Your Site
The final step is to test your site and make sure that the SSL is working the way it’s supposed to. There are online tools you can use to do it, and your hosting company may give you a verification after you’ve completed the installation.
Just remember that testing is crucial. If you miss any step along the way, you might end up with only a partial installation.
Here’s Help If You Need It…
Whew – that sounds like a lot to do, doesn’t it? The good news is that you don’t have to do it on your own.
If you’d like a pro to help you upgrade your SSL and prevent Google from flagging your site as insecure, we recommend SSL Sniper. Click here to find out how they can help you get through the process of installing and testing your SSL certificate.
That doesn’t mean that attracting new customers is a waste of time. But it does mean that your long-term goals might be suffering as a result of your current marketing strategy.
With that in mind, let’s talk about how to calculate the value of a lifetime customer. How much is it worth to hang on to one customer?
The Cost of Acquiring New Customers
You’ve probably heard the statistics about the cost of acquiring a new customer compared to the cost of retaining an existing one – but they bear repeating.
Research shows that it costs five times as much to get a new customer to make a purchase as it does to build loyalty with the customers you already have.
Why is new customer acquisition so expensive? It makes sense if you think about it. For example:
Loyalty Drives Sales
What happens when a customer makes a purchase from you? It turns out there are some psychological quirks that kick in that make it more likely they’ll buy from you again.
What Your Customers Are Worth
How much is a lifetime customer worth? As you might expect, the specific answers can vary. One loyal customer might spend ten times as much as another. But that said, there are some statistics that can show you the average lifetime value of a single customer.
The initial conversion rate for any potential customer is very low – usually between 3% and 5%. However, the conversion rate goes way up when we’re talking about repeat customers.
But those 3 customers who do convert are nine times as likely to make a purchase as any new customer would be. Just like that, your conversion rate skyrocketed!
As you can see above, the numbers continue to increase over time. That’s due in part to repeat customers having a comfort level with your products, as we discussed above.
Now, let’s use some hard numbers to get an idea of what a lifelong customer might be worth to you. Let’s say that you spend $1,000 a year on marketing to new customers, and a year, you attract 100 new customers. That means that your cost per customer acquisition is $10.00.
That number might seem high, but you can’t understand your acquisition cost without including the average purchase made by customers and the likelihood that they’ll buy from you repeatedly.
If your product sells for $20.00 with a 100% mark-up, and you spend 25% of your profits on overhead, you’re looking at an initial return of $7.50 per customer. In other words, you’ve earned back 75% of what you spent to acquire that customer.
Now, let’s look at what happens if that customer buys from you repeatedly, assuming all prices, mark-ups, and overhead stay the same:
Attracting new customers might feel more exciting than retaining old ones, but you’ve got to ask what’s more important to you: the thrill of attracting a new buyer, or the money that comes with retaining an existing one. Personally, we’ll take the money.
The key is not so much trying to stay on top of Facebook’s changes as it is getting a handle on what your marketing goals are.
So – what is it you want to accomplish in 2018? Let’s start there.
Setting Social Media Marketing Goals
One of the great things about social media marketing is how versatile it is. Whatever goal you want to achieve, you can do it using social media.
The problem that a lot of companies run into is that they don’t know what they want. They end up taking a scattershot approach to social media marketing. As a result, they:
How do you avoid these things? The answer is simple. You do it by taking some time to think about what you want to accomplish it, and then planning how to do it.
Here are some of the common goals of marketers:
We suggest picking three goals that will be your priorities in the coming year. You may have secondary goals as well, but your top three will determine what you do on social media – and how you do it.
Choosing Your Social Media Strategies
Your next step must be deciding on the specific strategies and tactics you’ll use on social media to achieve your goals.
This is where social media marketing can be a little overwhelming. There are many potential strategies to consider. For example:
For example, if you want to make influencer marketing a priority in 2018, you might do some research and make a list of potential influencers to approach. You could also give some thought to what kinds of things you would want your influencers to do, and quantify the results you hope to get.
The strategies you choose should be specific to your goals and appealing to your target audience. If you’re eager to attract male customers, for example, then a dedicated Pinterest campaign probably isn’t the way to go.
Social Media Trends for 2018
After you’ve identified your goals and chosen some general strategies, you can brush up on the latest and greatest social media trends and see if any of them fit into your plans for the coming year.
Let’s break down some of the biggest and most important trends.
We’d be remiss if we didn’t also mention the trend that was inspired by the recent Congressional inquiries about Facebook advertising during the election. You can expect a crackdown on ad content in the coming months.
Most routine ads won’t be affected, but it’s important to note that Facebook is adding new AI monitoring as well as human monitoring. It may take a little longer to get ads approved in the future, and it’s possible that glitches and misunderstandings might occur, as well.
The Landscape of Social Media Is Constantly Changing…
New technologies, apps, and trends appear on the horizon faster than we can keep up.
The keys to making your social media marketing successful in 2018 are to:
But for the most part, business competition was a local affair.
Mapping Your Plateau
You know your business isn’t growing, but do you know why? That’s the first step to determining the way forward (and off that plateau.)
Businesses can plateau in several ways. Here are some of the most common:
If you’re already tracking your marketing results you probably know where your performance is falling short. If you’re not, now is the time to start.
You may want to use a marketing platform to set up tracked links. Alternatively, you can use Google Analytics and some social tracking, like a Facebook pixel, to evaluate your current marketing efforts.
Try to narrow down the results and home in on your problem areas. If your website traffic is strong but social engagement is down, you can focus your attention on that area to improve your results.
If you’re getting fewer blog comments, social media shares, and phone calls, then your audience engagement could use a boost. Here are some suggestions.
Your evaluation of your marketing stats reveals that traffic to your website has taken a dip. What can you do to get things moving again?
New Customer Acquisition
Perhaps the issue you’ve identified is that your new customer acquisition has slowed down. If that’s the case, try doing these things to attract new customers:
Does your business rely on having a steady stream of qualified leads? If so, then having your lead generation hit a plateau can be a real problem. Here are some suggestions to help you counter the slowdown:
Maybe you have plenty of leads and clicks, but the traffic you attract isn’t converting. How can you fix it? Here are some tips.
Don’t Let Your Plateau Stop You…
Even professional marketers get it wrong sometimes. That’s to be expected – so you shouldn’t be discouraged if you hit a plateau. Take a step back, evaluate your results, and then take practical steps like the ones suggested here to get your business moving again.
Social media content curation in Facebook is cost-effective and easier than having to create new posts every time, so it has fast become a part of content marketers ‘content mix.
Here, we will share four of the best practices in curating great content for Facebook:
They’re providing voice-activated, localized search results that use casual human speech and questions instead of traditional keywords.
In other words, instead of going to Google and typing:
Best delivery pizza Chicago
People are saying:
Okay Google, what’s the best pizza delivery place?
Virtual assistant use GPS to provide local results, and they read the intent behind the questions we ask them. That means that it’s no longer enough to use the keywords people type on your website.
You need to consider the things they say, too.
What Keywords Should You Be Using?
The good news is that keyword stuffing is dead. You don’t have to spend your time worrying about keyword density, and you certainly don’t need to tie yourself into verbal knots trying to use an awkward long-tail keyword 30 times in a thousand words of content.
Does that mean you can ignore keywords?
Of course not, but it does mean that you need to be smart about how you use them. You need to find long-tail keywords that people use to search businesses like yours and use them on your website in ways that give them prominence for virtual assistants like Alexa, Google Home, and Siri.
Long-tail keywords should include specific information about your business, including local words like your city or neighborhood. They’re the words that will help smart speakers and virtual assistants find you even if the speaker doesn’t use those words.
How Can You Find Long-Tail Keywords?
You might be wondering where you can go to find long-tail keywords – and if you’re not already using them on your site, this is an essential question to answer.
Fortunately, it’s not a complicated process, and it shouldn’t be. There are several free tools you can use, and some of them don’t even require you to go any further than the Google home page.
Incorporate New Keywords into Your Site
Earlier, I said that keyword stuffing is dead – and it is. Remember that.
When you start to add new keywords to your site, resist the urge to go overboard. All the search options we’ve mentioned are looking for relevance, not volume.
In other words, you shouldn’t be trying to pound people over the head with your keywords. It’s important to use them – but in a smart way that leaves your website readable and useful to potential customers.
Sometimes, the keywords that you find might sound awkward. You don’t want to force yourself to use phrases that sound unnatural on your site, nor do you want to tie yourself into linguistic notes trying to make them fit your existing copy.
If the keywords you find work as topics of Frequently Asked Questions, then using them there can be a quick and easy way to incorporate your new keywords into your site. And if a topic merits more in-depth coverage, consider writing a blog post about it or using it in a key spot on your home page or on a product page.
Keep Your Local SEO Updated
Because a big percentage of voice-activated searches have local intent (40% according to BrightLocal) it’s essential to make sure that your entire site is optimized for local search.
That means using local keywords, linking to local authority sites, and claiming your listings in online directories and on review sites like Yelp.
You’ll also want to make sure that your NAP listings are uniform and that your online presence is coherent and designed to help local customers find you.
It’s a Whole New World of Search…
… And you don’t want to be left behind. The likelihood is that the percentage of people who search for your business using smart speakers, virtual assistants, and voice searches will increase in the coming months and years.
Some local businesses may be caught unaware – but you won’t be if you follow the advice in this article and start optimizing for voice now.