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Archive for the ‘Digital Marketing’ Category

Online Technologies Business Owners Need to Know

Posted by Shelly Sood On August - 12 - 2014

Providing a better user experience for customers is of the utmost importance. When you’re a business owner, you need to make sure that you have more than just a website to obtain customers and enhance their overall experience.

You may know all about SEO and digital marketing, but there are some technologies available that can help you dramatically.

Cloud computing has grown exponentially over the past several years. Storage in the cloud allows you to rely more heavily on data connection and less on a hard drive. All of the files that you use with frequency can be stored on the cloud so that you have access to them wherever you may go.

When you have employees in the field or you are a fairly mobile business, you may want to look to the cloud to help you improve your business. Instead of traveling back to your office to get forms, you can access them on your tablet. When you need to obtain information about a client that you are going into meet, you can tap into the cloud to access your client database.

There are various ways that cloud computing can help you enhance the user experience, so you want to explore the technology on your own. It can be used solely for storage as well as for providing apps for your employees, and more.

Another technology that can help you as a small business owner is that of Google Analytics. The online technology allows you to see where your customers have been so that you can get to know them better. This is a critical marketing tool because it can show you what sites they were on prior to visiting you, what times of day they visit you, and much more.

There are various roles for Google Analytics and you can use as many of them as you want based upon what you will be doing with the information. Social reports, mobile traffic, audience data, and more can be obtained. What you do with the information is up to you. It will allow you to find more customers and provide a better interaction with those that you already have.

More online technology is being developed every day. Much of this has to do with the fact that people aren’t using the internet from their desktop or laptop anymore. They aren’t tied down to computers at all. They are using tablets and smartphones with more frequency so that they can get more done while they’re on the go.

The more you know about online technologies, the easier it is to offer more to your customers and to your business. You can increase your sales, your customers, and improve your bottom line at the same time.

Social Media for Small Business

Posted by Shelly Sood On May - 6 - 2014

Getting started in the world of social media can be overwhelming and intimidating for a small business owner. You probably already know that in order to be relevant in today’s market, you need to use social media to keep current customers engaged and attract new customers at the same time.  For one thing, social media allows happy customers to talk about their positive experience with your business.  Secondly, once happy customers are linked to you on social media, sharing content that interests them keeps you in their news feed and on their mind.

So, where do you start?  Well, that depends on what you are trying to accomplish and what audience you want to connect with. The various social media channels function differently and may have different audiences.  So the types of posts you make on one channel won’t be as effective on others.

Below are some things to know about each social media platform to help you decide where to begin your efforts.

Facebook

Facebook is the most popular site for social media.  Great news for you – many of your customers and vendors are already there!  The downside is that there is a lot of competition to get their attention.  Your posts on Facebook find your audience without them having to look for you, but you need to make sure your updates aren’t missed or overlooked.

Don’t be too salesy.  Create posts of things that will help, interest and entertain them, even if they aren’t 100% about your business.   When you are promoting your business, relate your post to something going on in the world – like Earth Day, a sports championship, the Oscars, etc.  When some likes or shares your content, it increases your chances of getting in front of new customers.

Facebook users are there to be entertained.  Whenever possible, use images or video to grab attention.  Sometimes it can be challenging to generate images or find the right image for what you want to convey.  When in doubt, use real images of customers or employees. Ask customers to post images onto your page.  Authentic images can help potential customers see you as genuine and reliable.

Twitter

Twitter makes networking easy.  You can jump into conversations and chats, as long as you are adding relevant and helpful insight to the conversation.  Use hashtags! Unlike Facebook, hashtags are supported on Twitter.  Users can search for a hashtag (#photographytips  or #goodbooks)  to find posts and conversations on particular topics.

When you ask questions or make comments, remember that posts on Twitter live on as long as someone can search the hashtag or view your feed, so make your comments count.

Google+

Need to boost your SEO efforts?  Then Google+ might be your best bet for a social media platform.  It makes sense that using Google’s own social media platform helps make Google happy and in turn boosts your SEO.

Google+ is similar to Twitter in that it is an interest-based community. You create your network of followers by joining groups and following other people who have similar interests.  Your posts in Google+ can show up in Google searches and lives in the Google index.  As long as people search for the topic in Google, your posts can be found.

Linked In

Looking to do B2B marketing?  Start with LinkedIn.  You can share insights, experiences and opinions with executives and other business owners looking for your products/services.  Keep in mind, the fun and entertaining posts that are popular on Facebook and the short text popular on Twitter are not what win here.  Linked in readers want substance from someone who knows what they’re talking about.

Start by joining and being an active member in LinkedIn groups that are related to your business.  You can also use the latest LinkedIn publishing tool for more in depth and informative blogs.  Both can help you become noticed and recognized as an industry expert.

No matter where you decide to start, test different types of posts and relationships to see what works.  Once you make a decision to start in one place, be consistent in posts and activity and make sure you respond to questions or comments people make to you.  Creating the account is just the first step.  Being an active user is what helps create your network and persona.

All platforms allow you to see when your audience responds to your comments or posts, so you’ll know what is working.  Check out the competition!  See how they are using social media.  It’s not a good idea to copy their efforts, but you never know where you’ll find inspiration.

If you own a business and have a website, there’s a chance you’ve developed a negative stance toward SEO. Maybe you had a bad experience with an “SEO company” or you just spent too many dollars without seeing or understanding the return you got on your investment. It’s true that there was a time where shady SEO techniques were employed and then subsequently penalized, which left many businesses angry, confused and jaded about the merits of SEO. However, it’s also true that those times are well behind us and a new era of SEO – called Adaptive SEO – is being ushered in. Moving forward, businesses need to embrace the progressions of the digital landscape and start re-focusing on SEO, regardless of their past experiences.

Publish Content That Your Prospects Are Looking For

More than ever, SEO is now about integrating various digital marketing tactics that work cohesively toward accomplishing one goal: highlighting your business’s value to Internet searchers. It’s no longer about “ranking #1 on Google” using any and all tips and tricks at your disposal because many of them don’t offer value to searchers. Think about it from the customer’s perspective in a real world example. Let’s say you own a store and create an amazing billboard that’s visually appealing and includes a great offer. Customers see the billboard and visit your store, but the problem is, your store is messy, unorganized and doesn’t match the image your billboard portrays. Trying to rank well in the search engine results pages (SERPs) with a “fancy billboard” not only doesn’t work, it’ll also drag other aspects of your digital marketing strategy down. You need substance, value and an open mind to do great SEO in 2014.

Content marketing was the big trend in 2013, and while an ever-shifting market means you need to be cautious with hot topics and buzzwords, content really is the lifeblood of Adaptive SEO. A good content strategy means getting into the minds of your potential customers and determining searcher intent. This means coming up with the personas that are most likely to be interested in your brand and then figuring out what they’re interested in and why. Next, you need to create great content around the topics that are most relevant to your potential customer base and ensure that you deploy it with good technical SEO and a social media plan. If you can produce high-quality content that meets those requirements on a consistent basis, you’ll be well on your way to laying the foundations of a great Adaptive SEO strategy.


How to Master Adaptive SEO

The Keys to A Successful Strategy

Worrying about what search engines like Google want has always been a part of any SEO strategy. And while keeping up with the latest algorithm updates is still important, SEO is becoming more about the relationship and engagement between brand and customer. Here are a few key tips to develop a successful Adaptive SEO strategy:

  • Use fundamental SEO: there are still a few technical, on-page SEO aspects you need to ensure are properly implemented. Page titles and meta descriptions remain an important part of SERPs, and site speed matters in the age of instant gratification more than ever.
  • Become a publisher: regular, relevant and interesting content will be the backbone of your Adaptive SEO strategy. Research keywords and topics and write about what your potential customers want to read. Take advantage of a great opportunity to claim your content by properly setting up Google Authorship (something that also helps on SERPs).
  • Measurement: just like everything else in the digital realm, tracking and measuring the results of a strategy is as critical as the strategy itself. You need to know who is finding, reading and sharing your articles and how well your content is performing in the search engines. You won’t know whether you need to change your plan if you can’t tell how you’re doing.

These are only some of the many reasons you should invest in and embrace Adaptive SEO. Laying the groundwork of a strategy that will always bring value to your customers is the only surefire way to SEO success. For more information or guidance on how to better understand and implement Adaptive SEO, Shelly Sood at shelly@wsivelocity.com OR call 1-888-368-3050.

As a business owner or marketer who is responsible for driving and converting website traffic, you’ve likely encountered articles and discussions that pit search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click advertising (PPC) against one another in a fight to the death. Ardent supporters of each side will offer a bevy of reasons that you should use their tactic and avoid “that other one” like The Plague. Do yourself a favor – instead of narrowing your options, broaden them. Use PPC and SEO in tandem and you’ll soon discover the benefits of remaining happily neutral in the debate of one vs. the other. If you are using SEO and purposely neglecting PCC (or even vice-versa) you are severely limiting the potential effectiveness of your marketing campaigns.

It’s About More Than Just Google Searches

It’s hard not to put Google on a pedestal. The majority of us search using Google, we run our PPC campaigns through AdWords, and we keep our fingers on Google’s pulse, nervously awaiting the release of their next animal. But too often, we lose sight of the fact that solely focusing on what ‘works’ on Google can lead us down the wrong path (black hat tactics worked for a while, didn’t they?). That’s not to say that writing content and paying for great keywords – Google’s current darlings – isn’t effective. It just means that at the end of the day, reaching, engaging and providing value for your customers is more important than using and pleasing Google at all costs.

As a primary example, Google isn’t the only cost-per-click (CPC) platform out there, which means PPC doesn’t always have to target Google search. You might have a plan to create great, targeted content that nets you a stream of organic traffic, but that could take time. Your content might be stale before anybody even sees it. So why not promote your content on Facebook? At the very least, the paid promotion will get eyes on your content and, if it’s good, people will share it. That should get the SEO ball rolling and the rest should take care of itself. The end result is content that Google sees and that people like, but that wasn’t the goal. The idea was to connect your content with an audience by any means possible.

Marketing – yes even digital marketing – has to exist beyond Google. And by extension, that means PPC is about more than just Google, too! The sooner you can take that leap of faith and not limit yourself to one line of thinking, the better your marketing efforts will be.

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How to Maximize Your PPC Campaigns

Advanced Tips and Tricks

Now that we’ve discussed the benefits of using pay-per-click as an integrated part of a larger digital marketing strategy, let’s take a look at some of the hidden powers of PPC that can help boost your business:

More than clicks and conversions: according to a 2013 study, one in three mobile smartphone users searches specifically for contact information (phone number, driving directions). This means that if you put this kind of information in your PPC ads (using the call extension feature) you’ll occupy prime real estate where users are searching for information.

Lead with PPC (for SEO reasons): we all know that PPC delivers quick traffic and SEO takes time, but why not start with PPC, mine the data and then use it to inform your SEO strategy? If you can find high-value, low-cost keywords that are generating tons of converting traffic, it stands to reason you should target those same keywords organically.

Go mobile to expand reach: mobile is a great place to reach customers with PPC because of how new it is to everybody. Marketers, customers and even Google are still trying to get comfortable with mobile ads, but there’s no doubt that spending is on the rise.

These are only some of the many reasons you should adapt and expand your knowledge of PPC and, more importantly, how you’re positioning your campaigns.

For more information or guidance on how to better understand and unleash the hidden powers of PPC, get in touch with your local WSI consultant, Shelly Torkesar at shelly@wsivelocity.com OR call 1-888-368-3050.

Pick up a paper (or rather, a tablet) these days and all you read about is social media: the pending IPO of Twitter, the continual innovation of LinkedIn, and “dark horse” channel Google+ to name a few.

No doubt about it, social (along with mobile and cloud) technologies have for some time held the spotlight, relegating one tried and true marketing vehicle to the background: email marketing. Far from antiquated and obsolete, it is a highly powerful tool that business of all shapes, sizes, and industries should leverage.

Do any of the following apply to you:

  • I’m looking to get a better return on investment from my email marketing efforts
  • I’m frustrated by high opt-outs and bounce rates
  • Help! I’m clueless about how to get started

The October 2013 Inside Edge newsletter has helpful email marketing tips for the expert and novice alike.

We invite you to take a look, and reach out with any questions or comments you may have. Give us a holler at 1-888-368-3050 or info@wsivelocity.com, and give your email marketing campaign a boost today!

Backlash for the Hash(tag)

Posted by Shelly Sood On July - 15 - 2013

Social media is the quintessential paradox of modern society.   It is a loaded term, which serves purposes professional (LinkedIn), informational (Twitter), and utterly frivolous (Vine).  Businesses small and large are simultaneously intrigued and frightened by this medium, and who can blame them?  Taco Bell and Domino’s are among the walking wounded for whom decorum-challenged employees have abused social media to deliver a steaming hot black eye.

The hashtag is one of the more misunderstood terms in social media, despite popping up everywhere from TV shows, to advertisements, to conferences.  For the unitiated, the hashtag is a virtual bookmark of sorts that folks on Twitter, Instagram, and other social networks use to denote the topic(s) of a post.  It is good on both sides of the medium.  Those seeking to maximize exposure or drive conversations use hashtags to steer users to their content.  On the flip side, folks who wish to keep tabs on the latest developments in, ie, #Chicago, can use hashtags to separate the wheat from the chaff.  In many respects, a tweet or photo without the requisite hashtag, after all, is much like the fabled tree falling in the forest with no one around to hear it.

In one of those “what took you so long” moments, Facebook finally rolled out hashtags on June 12, 2013, joining Twitter, LinkedIn, and its recent acquisition Instagram.  Unfortunately, the Palo Alto social media giant made a few missteps in its rollout:

1. Mobile (“What is this “tablet” thing you speak of?”)

As of late June the feature is only enabled for the desktop version of Facebook.  This is a big boo boo, especially in light of the lashing Facebook’s stock took early on for failing to adequately incorporate mobile considerations in its product strategy.  Further, recent data reveal a steady decline in sales of the venerable PC, coinciding with a rapid rise for smartphones and tablets.  Finally, Facebook is overlooking a key component of the real-time posting experience: Twitter users have long enjoyed exchanging ripostes and barbs while watching Mad Men, taking in a Cubs game, or checking out the latest noteworthy restaurant.  More than likely they’ve done this on a Droid or iPhone, versus a ThinkPad or Macbook.

Granted, this is likely part of a phased approach to the rollout: we can consider the hashtag in soft launch currently, while developers test out the kinks and gain insights into usage patterns.  However, Facebook should get this feature mobile-ready toute suite, given the rapid increase of users accessing the platform from mobile devices.

2. Connections (“Followers != Friends”)

Although often mentioned in the same breath, Facebook and Twitter differ greatly, primarily in their notion of connection.  A Twitter user likely receives, reciprocates, and initiates handfuls of “follows” in any given day.  Friend requests on Facebook are more infrequent and met with greater scrutiny: a user typically thinks twice (or at least, they should) before letting others into their virtual “inner sanctum,” given the personal nature of information shared, and Facebook’s byzantine privacy settings that threw even Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s sister for a loop.

On Twitter, the hashtag will typically pull up a horde of users that make sense to connect with.  On Facebook?  Not so much: at best, the search results look like a duplication of the “Sponsored Ad” section, and at worst the ravings of the models from the American Voices feature in The Onion.  While Facebook has been largely mum on the purpose of the hashtag, it will be a great tool for businesses looking to reel in captive audiences for their products and services much as they’ve done on Twitter.

3. Content (“My Eyes, My Eyes!”)

The beauty of Twitter lies in its elegant simplicity: a Twitter feed is uncluttered, with a neat listing of concise, bursts of content uniform in length.  Facebook, on the other hand, is a visually chaotic grab bag of photos, verbose posts, videos, infomercials, and everything in between.  Hence, while a hashtag search on Twitter provides a neat inventory of related content, the same process in Facebook yields an overwhelming on the senses littered with spammy promotions and irrelevant content from folks with whom you have zero connection.

Data consumed within Facebook is likely more within a private network, associated with significant events (birth of a nephew, graduation, an embarrassing video of the Harlem Shake).  This content is valuable primarily of your association with the poster, and the fact that it is not blasted out to every Tom, Dick and Harold.  On Twitter, on the other hand, the identity of the poster is of less import than the quality (pith, humor, salience) of the information posted.  Facebook will have to figure out how to cater to advertisers seeking to engage with users, while not turning off those more interested in high quality content of less commercial value (ie, the latest Breaking Bad meme)

Hashing It All Out

Since its genesis in the hallowed dorms of Harvard nearly a decade ago, Facebook has been revered as a social media pioneer that changed (for better or worse) the way we interact with friends, family, and colleagues.  However, the hashtag rollout smacks of a fumbled case of catch-up and me-tooism that is further confirmed by the shoehorning of video into its photo-sharing property Instagram.  The hashtag has been effective on Twitter primarily because it’s been an integral part of the experience since the beginning, versus the Facebook version that feels like an awkward afterthought that is incongruous with the rest of the site.

Like Apple with the tablet, Facebook didn’t invent the social network but succeeded because of its superior execution over Friendster, Hi5, mySpace and other nearly defunct rivals.  Similarly, although it made an unfashionably late, awkward entrance to the hashtag party, it has a real opportunity to be a game changer (especially among corporate Facebook advertisers) once it addresses the deficiencies in mobile, connection, and content.

Let’s hope Zuckerberg and his crew are up to the task.

About the author: Shelly Torsekar is a Chicagoland-based Internet Consultant with WSI Velocity. To learn more about how WSI Velocity can help you, contact info@wsivelocity.com to have one of our consultants perform a competitive Internet Business Analysis (IBA) for your organization today.

Leveraging Twitter to Help You Get Fitter

Posted by nikhiltorsekar On January - 23 - 2013

At first blush, running and social media have very little in common. The former is all about getting in shape, clearing the mind, and pursuit of the endorphin release colloquially known as “runner’s high.” A quick 5k along the lake or on the treadmill is frequently the perfect antidote to an avalanche of emails, meetings, slide decks, and TPS reports.

Social media, in contrast, can be a sedentary pursuit that leaves us introverted and information-overloaded – more fixated on events in the virtual world than the here and now.  As noted by Harvard Business Review contributor Daniel Gulati, dire consequences often result when social media is coupled with the excessive notifications of an iPhone or other mobile device.

Picking up the Pace
The seeming “Facebook / Fitness” incongruity was obliterated by a recent Twitter chat that I participated in. To the uninitiated, a Twitter chat is essentially an updated version of the “chat rooms” of days gone by: organizers select a hashtag, send out an invite, and then Twitter users participate in a rapid free-form exchange of ideas or a structured Q&A session via the microblogging service.  CNN recently provided a helpful primer of sorts on Twitter chats, whose topics run the gamut from health care to technology, to use of Pinterest.

Let’s Go to the Hop
Mana Ionescu, owner of LightSpan Digital and a well-respected Chicagoland digital marketing maven, invited a few social media / running enthusiasts to participate in a discussion about integrating Twitter, Facebook, and other services into our running routines. Our dialogue was aggregated under the “#marketinghop” hashtag, and then summarized in a post at the LightSpan Digital blog. I had long been a believer in the one-two punch combo offered by social media and fitness, having used Facebook to raise funds for American Cancer Society DetermiNation team and turning to the NikePlus community as a source of motivation.

This discussion re-affirmed my belief in the community-building aspect of social media in running. Additionally, I formed connections with a few like-minded Tweeps who I’ll likely see at the Shamrock Shuffle or other upcoming Chicagoland races.  Thanks Mana and the other #MarketingHop folk for this highly enlightening exchange; I look forward to the next one!

Let’s Do This
To those on the fence, I suggest lacing up those kicks, firing up the iPod, setting up a Nike Plus account, and connecting with others via running-related hashtags (eg, #runchi, #runnerd). Put the “social” back in social media, and share the pleasure (and sometimes pain) of physical fitness.  Remember that every thousand mile journey begins with a single step (or Tweet)!

Why You Need a Niche and a Brand

Posted by Shelly Sood On October - 18 - 2012

Ever wonder why your page ranking is so poor or why it is that even though you have an awesome website, nothing is happening? Part of the answer is that you may not have adequately defined your niche and developed a brand. You read that right, it is not enough to have a great website. It’s not enough to have killer content; you need to target your audience and stamp your mark. To do this you must have a niche. So, the first step is to check your page ranking and find out what it means. Some sites that allow you to do this for free are:

PR Checker 

Check Page Rank

SEO Centro

Look at the most successful businesses whether online or otherwise and think of what makes them great. Apple caters to a niche and has a brand that stands out – everyone knows what the partially bitten apple is and what the company offers. Wendy’s iconic logo is known across the globe and everyone knows that fast-food is sold at its various locations. That is what you need to do, develop your brand and target your audience. Try checking the page rank of Apple and you will see that they are 9 out of 10; Facebook ranks 9 out of 10 and Wendy’s is 7 out of 10. These are the kinds of numbers for businesses with their own niche and brand.

How to Develop Your Niche

Determine which segment of the demographic your business caters to. While you may feel that you want to serve or that you can serve everyone, stretching yourself too thin is not normally a good thing. Focus on a special group and create your content just for them. Remember that targeted content drives web traffic.

You have to develop your niche by doing a number of things and doing them well. You may even have to get experts to help you reach the right audience. Start networking, and one easy way to do this online is to get into digital marketing and using social media. Become an expert in your area, respond to comments, post information and let your voice be heard.

What is Targeted Content?

This is the process of customizing your website to the needs of a specific demographic. For example, if you want to reach teens interested in starting their own business, you need to develop content that they will find easily. This means using keywords that are relevant to a teenage market by learning the lingo they use. If you need help in analyzing keywords, read this article, Goldilocks Keyword Analysis. To get the right audience you should ensure that your website and its content have the following characteristics:

• Using localized content that is suitable for the demographic being targeted

• Using a landing page that takes the person right to the information they want

• Fast loading as no one has the time to wait for even the best content to load

Don’t be Afraid to Change

If you are not reaping the success you envisioned, rethink your niche and rebrand if necessary. Ask yourself some questions to determine what, if anything you need to change. Start with these basic questions:

• Who am I serving or who are the most likely users of my services and products?

• Are my marketing strategies the best for what I am offering?

• Does my logo/brand make an impact?

Developing your niche and growing your brand take time and work. If you want to succeed, you need to be willing to learn as much as you can and work at building your business.

Keeping Digital Marketing Strategies Fresh

Posted by Shelly Sood On September - 19 - 2012

Everyone is going with digital marketing strategies these days, but some achieve little or no result. In some cases, the effects have not been lasting. There is usually one simple reason for this – not reviewing your strategies periodically. To get the most benefit from any type of digital marketing you need to occasionally update your marketing strategies.

Why Digital Marketing Fails

Some businesses lose thousands because of failed digital marketing practices. Some of the basic reasons for this are:

  • Not having a plan of action: Any business, regardless of size, should start with a planning stage before they start a marketing drive online
  • Impatience: Some aspects of marketing, whether digital or the good old-fashioned type, take time to generate results. Unfortunately, with digital marketing many people expect results right away.
  • Not knowing your target audience: For the best results, it usually helps to target a particular niche. Marketing efforts must be aimed at the right people, those who need the products or services you have to offer.

Business landscape changes and any advertising and marketing efforts must change as well. Pinterest is hot so it is a good idea to use this to reach potential customers. When the popularity of this medium shifts, it is an indication to revamp your digital marketing strategy.

Step to Successful Digital Marketing

It takes time to get a great digital marketing program going, but knowing what to do and how to do it is necessary. A great marketing program should include:

  • Focusing on branding: Both new and long-time customers should be able to identify your brand easily. A strong online presence is important for success for both small businesses and large establishments.
  • Identifying a target audience is important, but you have to keep them coming back for what your business is offering. You have to understand your audience and shape your message to attract them. For added leverage, they can help to spread your message to others in their networks.
  • Content that will hold the attention and interest of visitors. With digital marketing, personality, sound quality and message clarity are important considerations.

Outsourcing Digital Marketing

Sometimes to get the best out of your digital marketing efforts, outsourcing to a professional provider is the best option. Many small business owners do not have a lot of time to do everything possible to get their enterprise off the ground. They will need to outsource some aspects of the business to others so that they can focus on interacting with customers. Paying someone else to manage the marketing aspect of the business might be the best move.

To succeed in the world of digital marketing, it is necessary to know when to dispose of one strategy and come up with something new. In short, when it comes to keeping your online marketing fresh and effective, always:

  • Have clear, easily understood content. It doesn’t matter how simply the subject matter, it must be clear and appealing. A great  example is this Built in Chicago blog post.
  • Have an unforgettable message – this way your business will be remembered
  • Make your business easy to find. If prospective customers will have trouble finding your content, the business might as well not exist.

The great thing about digital marketing is the number of channels available to business owners. Many people may think only of the Internet, but there is also radio, television or even gaming content. Anything electronic that people watch or listen to can act as a means of getting your message out. Business people who are serious about digital marketing makes sure to keep abreast of technological changes. The success of their businesses hinges greatly on knowing what’s hot and what’s not.

 

 

Using a Press Release for Business Success

Posted by nikhiltorsekar On September - 5 - 2012

Using press releases is one good way to grow a small business that is often overlooked. Yes, you read that correctly, a press release is an excellent way to drum up new business for a small enterprise. You don’t always have to spend money to gain mileage from press releases, and which small business would not appreciate free promotion?

Tips for Writing a Great Press Release

Writing a press release that stands out is not difficult. The main thing to bear in mind is that generally they need to have the following:

  • Topic: This must be strong so that it will make people want to read about your company
  • What is the angle or information you are relaying? This must be relevant and current. If you are in the hair care business, you can write about a new, innovative product about to be released or that has just been placed on the market
  • A minimum of three paragraphs to relay the information you want to share
  • It must include information about your company, focusing on what your business offers and what sets it apart from others
  • Contact information so that prospective clients can easily reach you. If you have a website, make sure to include the URL so that readers can visit.

Places to Publish Free Press Releases

Many small businesses are unable to pay to have a press release published. However, there are many ways to get your business in a local paper or online without having to pay a cent. Press releases can be published on the following websites:

  • NPR.com
  • PRLOG.org
  • PRBuzz.com
  • Onlineprnews.com

Some sites are specific to certain industries such as betanews.com which deals with tech-related press releases. When posting online, search for targeted keywords and use them in the heading, subheadings, and if possible, also include them somewhere in your ‘contact us’ section. A quick search online will show up lots of free press release sites.

It is also possible to get a press release published in your local newspaper depending on what you are announcing. Many local papers will publish press releases about charitable events or other activities that benefit the community. Call your local newspaper and find out what are the requirements for a getting a press release published.

Proofread – You Need Make It Perfect

Whether this is your first or one of many press releases, it needs to be perfect every time. The first impression is lasting and can help to shape the view potential and even current customers have of your business. If possible, print it, read it, and make changes as necessary to improve the flow. Ask someone to read it over for you before getting it published.

The next time you have something exciting to share, muster some free publicity by writing and submitting press releases. Always remember that a good press release can result in your website being indexed and listed in top search engines. Depending on the topic, even bloggers and news sites may run your copy.

Finally, check online using your keywords and topic of the press release to see how successful your effort was. Of course, you might not even have to do this, since the result will be apparent from increased website traffic, emails or phone calls. Better yet, the success may mean increased profit due to a larger client base.

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About the author: Nikhil Torsekar is a Chicagoland-based Internet Consultant with WSI. To learn more about how WSI can help you, contact info@wsivelocity.com to have one of our consultants perform a competitive Internet Business Analysis (IBA) for your organization today.