Monthly Archives: February 2014

Make Some News

There’s been a lot of talk lately about the value of content — company news and opinion — in driving potential customers to a small to medium business website or social media platform. One of my favorite headlines is “Content Is King.” Now I’m not much into royalty, but I totally agree that self-published content can be a huge asset in helping to grow an SMB.

There are a couple of factors driving this. One is that the major search engine — Google — no longer gives much weight to news releases, long the staple of a public relations campaign. The theory is that a release put on a wire service and picked up en masse by relevant and non-relevant outlets can be accomplished by any company willing to pay the wire charges.

However, algorithms known only to a few Google computer engineers do notice original content. A 20-inch company profile in the New York Times or two minutes to pitch a new product on the Today Show is still a big hit. But let’s be realistic, those opportunities don’t come along very often.

Industry trade publications still need news to fill the space between ads. But increasing numbers of editors are doling out their coveted spaced to those SMBs that advertise. It’s becoming known as the “No pay — No play” rule.

I’m sure your SMB has something to share with your current and potential customers, but how do you reach them? Make your own news. Tell your unfiltered story through a blog page on your website and by using social media. LinkedIn, the social media site for professionals, recently adding blogging capabilities that let’s you communicate directly with your connections. But no matter the platform, plan for regular posts that will increase your online visibility.

And if you think your business is too boring or technical for blogging or social media, think again. Let’s look at one example. Plastic pipe extrusion won’t make lively party conversation, but a search of the term on Google brings back more than 1 million hits. Somebody out there wants news about making tubing and pipes of different sizes and shapes.

So get out there and create some content about your business. If you don’t have the capability on staff, find a good writer to help you tell your story. There’s no longer any excuse for sitting quietly and letting self-publishing competitors pass you by.

– JD

Follow me on Twitter @jdaum

 

6 Tips for Email Marketing

email symbol on row of colourful envelopes

Content marketing is one of most important trends in public relations this year. It’s all about promoting your business to followers with useful content. A great way to do that is through email marketing. But, are a few things you should know before you start.

First, think about the direction of your message/content. What type of information do you want subscribers to see?  Is your content beneficial and informative?

Choosing a Platform: Choose an email-marketing platform. This is essential because you do not want your emails to automatically go to spam if you are sending them out to a large group of people.  Email marketing platforms like Constant Contact and MailChimp are an easy and inexpensive way to help build and polish your content and keep it out of the spam folder. Create multiple test emails and send them out before you choose a particular platform. See what you like.

Finding Contacts: You should already have contacts ready to go to start a marketing campaign. However, you want your contact list to expand. Think about who would be interested in the services/ information you have to offer. Do your research and build a good contact mailing list. In addition, make sure it’s easy for potential subscribers to sign up for your email service – whether that be on your website or your social media platforms.

Crafting your Email: Make sure your emails are written and designed so that they are clear and concise, and the design is mainly neutral colors. Emails should be a “readable” length and if they are too long the will more than likely not be read or read all the way. Try to make it so that your reader only has to scroll down one or two times while reading any given email.

Integration: The key to growing your influence is integration. Create a Twitter account, a Facebook page, etc. for your newsletter. Make sure to advertise your social media when the newsletter goes out. Also use your social media sites to tweet or post updates from your newsletter. Post or tweet a link to your newsletter subscribe button as well. 

Tracking your Emails: Many email-marketing platforms will allow you to track your emails. You can see how many people opened it, what links they clicked on, etc. Every week you should be tracking your progress. See who’s opening your emails and what they are doing after that. Are they clicking on your links? What type of links get the most hits? All of this is important in maintaining a successful email marketing campaign. Use the statistics you collect and modify r accordingly. Remember, email marketing is all about what the subscriber wants to see.

Be Consistent: The key to all content marketing is consistency. Plan out which days and approximately times you want your email to go out. When you start your email- marketing campaign write a welcome email to let your subscribers know what they can expect from you.

– Niki Perri