It all used to be so simple. Newspapers, TV and the radio ran the news, and businesses used conventional advertising alongside editorial to generate business. Both editorial and advertising ‘worked’ and there was rarely any crossover between the two.
Now conventional media is threatened by the perceived free-for-all that the internet has delivered, the ‘citizen journalists’ rival the TV and the newspapers from their back bedrooms, and advertising seems to have lost its effectiveness as viewers, readers and listeners stop paying attention.
This is bad news if you are a conventional media outlet or a conventional business, but great news if you’re prepared to jump into the news business, at least in terms of spreading the news about your business!
If people are no longer responding as enthusiastically to sales messages, everyone continues to be interested in information – and more and more information – about ‘things’. The internet allows us to research products, services and companies ad nauseam before making a decision to buy. This means that potential customers are now much better ‘qualified’ when they (finally) contact you, since they have found out most of what they needed to know.optimuscapitalcorp And the businesses that win these customers are the ones that have the most information on the internet about what they do. This information – in the broadest sense of the word – is ‘news’.
So if you’re currently in a position where there is not much ‘news’ out there about your business, how do you go about rectifying the situation?
- Start telling people your news
The easiest way of doing this is with a regular (ie at least once a month) email newsletter or update. It doesn’t really matter what you call it, as long as it goes out regularly and is primarily informational, that is it’s not just a sales pitch. And if you put a signup box on your website with enough good reasons as to why anyone would want to receive your newsletter, you can grow your list.
- Start updating your website with this news
Search engines give preferential treatment to websites that a) have a lot of content on them and that b) are updated regularly. You can score on both counts by putting your newsletter articles up in full text on your website every time you send it.
- Start sending some of this news out to ‘the media’
Don’t expect great results from sending news releases out to your local paper or to a national TV station, unless you have worked out why either of these outlets would want to cover your story. Instead look at your story and work out which media outlets would really like it. The best places may be industry journals or specialist magazines or websites.
Any positive coverage online will not only drive people to your website, it will probably generate inbound links which will help your website’s search engine rankings. Any positive coverage offline will also drive people to your website (whether or not the web address is mentioned) and will raise the profile of your business much more effectively than any advertising can.