How to turn your business’s news into publicity to attract more customers.
Jane Russell, the actress, once said “Publicity can be terrible. But only if you don’t have any”.
It’s true. Your business needs publicity and here is no better marketing tool for your business than publicity.
It’s vital to the growth of your business because it gets people talking about you and brings customers through the door or to your website. 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 because now any business, no matter how small can generate publicity easier and more efficiently than ever before. It is now possible to generate publicity online very quickly and your business has the power to reach hundreds of thousands of people every day.
If you have ever struggled with ideas on how to promote your business you will get a lot of inspiration from these tips and ideas which will show you how to turn your business’s news and events into publicity and attract more customers.
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 you can easily turn everyday events that you take for granted into stories that can generate publicity. For example:
- Has your company or member of staff recently won an award or have you had a major breakthrough like land a large contract? If so, that is a story to people interested in your industry.
- 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.
- If you are a skilled craftsperson or your business specialises 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 a real expert in your field.
- 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.
- If you can identify and positive or worrying trend happening within your niche (for example you may be a dog breeder and want to warn people of the growing number of illegal puppy farms where the dogs are not looked after properly) you can share this news and turn your knowledge and expertise into a marketing asset for your company.
- There are lots of holiday events throughout the year and almost every type of company, organisation or industry marks these events in a particular way. So why not inform the tons of people in your area who are searching for events and shows with a news release.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 and 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.
- 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 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.
- Give it a human element
If your story feels a bit flat try putting people at the forefront of the story. You 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 got a happy customer who got great results using your product or service write about that. Or perhaps you have an employee who could demonstrate how effective your product is.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- Link to your story in 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 are 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.
- 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.
- Use Hashtags
Categorise 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 got an announcement or newsworthy story about your business there 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.
Burnside | A technology professional with more than two decades of experience writing. He has served as contributing author for ‘Talking Tech’ Column in the Pride of Durham News Paper(NC), and has an ongoing contribution here on CyrilBurnside. He is a professional services consultant with PC99Solutions, an IT consulting firm for small business. Contact us today and watch your online business grow.