If you're utilizing press releases distributed online as a brand communication tool then you will likely want to check out the following article found in Website Magazine's May 2010 issue (article also available online). The article is titled Climbing up the ranks with optimized press releases.
Press releases are not a new tool for brand communication and company publicity efforts. However, with the advent of the internet and electronically distributed press releases, the tactic of optimizing press releases for keyword and keyword phrases related to your company, products or services has become increasingly more popular. The SEO press release strategy can be effective in helping your release/your business get found by search engine algorithms, thus, increasing your ability to be found by your prospective and current clients. This coupled with your blogging and social media efforts can really give your brand communication and publicity efforts some legs to run with.
I regularly read HOW Design Magazine, and one of the articles recently caught my attention about job seekers. It was geared toward creative types, but the information can certainly be applied to other industries, and even to entrepreneurs and small businesses.
The article ended with a worksheet to create a framework of values that are important to you as a job seeker to focus your search toward the kind of position you really want. The idea is that once you've identified what you value you can test the jobs you come across against your criteria to see how it stacks up, and if it's worth pursuing further.
Just as in job seeking, entrepreneurs have to do the same kind of thing for their business. It's important that entrepreneurs identify what they value, both personally and professionally. In a professional sense, these values become your brand, and they're what differentiates you from your competitors. From there every business decision, new hire, new client you take on has to resonate with the values you've defined for your company and its brand. That's how you know you're moving your business in a direction that feels right to you, and it's how you know that you're working with the right kind of clients to assist in furthering your business goals.
Whether you're a small business just starting out needing to discover your brand and values, a job seeker, or just someone who needs a little self-examination use the HOW magazine values assessment to allow yourself to articulate the values that are important to you. The more you're able to do this the more of a laser beam focus you'll create toward your goals. If nothing else, it can serve as a good exercise. Plus, it can be helpful if you're considering becoming an entrepreneur, which in many ways is like job searching but instead of seeking a specific job you're creating it. In that case a value assessment may be even more important.
I recently read a great blog on the HubSpot Inbound Marketing website. Actually, the post was written by a guest blogger, Greg Digneo, founder of Cloud Marketing Labs. Anyway, to summarize Digneo and his company created an experiment based on the premise that even though Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites have access to many millions of potential fans and followers how do you begin building your fans and followers if you're just getting started. The idea was to start from scratch with a website and use inbound internet marketing tactics via social media to garner fans and followers and generate leads for their business. They wanted to see how well they could grow a following in 30 day's time.
The blog post nicely lays out a time line with the activities Digneo and his team engaged in each week in their pursuit. Their activities surrounded a free webinar they were planning to put on at the end of the 30 days about their results. This served as a nice opt-in give away for visitors to sign up for when they hit the landing page that was specifically created to capture sign-ups. By the end of the 30 days they had 1200 visitors to their landing page, website and blog. There were 107 registrants for their webinar and they gave out four viable leads for new business. Due to one of their activities of distributing a press release PRWeb's service they landed two guest blogging spots and a contribution to an article on Entrepreneur.com.
I highly recommend reading this post and employing some of the tactics toward building an online following to build your brand and your business.
Twenty years ago if you needed a particular service you would open your Yellowpages and let your fingers do the walking. You may have even asked a trusted friend or neighbor for a recommendation based on their experience hiring someone for the same service you now need.
Fast forward 20 years to the present day and age…Folks still shop that way, except now the “phone book” is electronic, globally connected, lightning fast, and called Google. And your “trusted friends and neighbors,” they’re readily available online to offer reviews and recommendations via social media.
Compared to 20 years ago, today’s consumers are so heavily bombarded with all sorts of ads, both on- and off-line, that it’s no wonder the consumer fights tooth and nail to be in control of how they’re marketed to…often ignoring interruptive forms of marketing like telemarketing or TV/Radio commercials and even email to a large extent.
So, how can your company market itself in a way that is less interruptive and can gain the attention of those looking for your products/services? By fostering and building relationships both on- and off-line.
Relationships are at the heart of selling anything. Relationships will be strengthened if you happen to also deliver a great product/service (I know it’s obvious, but still needs to be mentioned). What I’m saying is that online relationship building (via internet marketing including blogging and social media) can enhance and supplement off-line, more traditional, relationship building activities, of which most are familiar.
As the Duct Tape Marketing Founder John Jantsch touts, prospective customers need to know, like and trust you to want to do business with you. You also have to give them an easy way—by which they feel in control—to build those relationships (social media allows for this).
So how can you improve your relationship building to generate leads to sell more products/services? Use the new “phone book,” and all its available resources.