If you’re looking to garner a lion’s share of publicity for your business, a common misconception is that you have to pay a king’s ransom in paid advertising. The fact that you have just shelled out a lot of money for a one-time ad in a newspaper or magazine, however, is never a guarantee it will translate to major sales for your product or service. The operative phrase “one-time” means that you’re banking on every prospective buyer reading the publication that very day and responding to your call to action. But what if they’re on vacation, spill coffee on the page or toss the magazine into their Read Later Stack…and then never do? You just wasted your money.
A smarter approach is the concept of “earned media.” Unlike paid advertising or the content you personally own (i.e. your website, business cards, brochures), earned media is all about putting the power of your brand into the hands of readers and subliminally encouraging them to share it with their network of family, friends and colleagues. Every time you contribute a guest blog, comment on the blogs of other writers, tweet and retweet interesting articles, start a LinkedIn discussion, post a review, “like” a Facebook page/comment/photo, pen an editorial, or offer a quote to a journalist doing research, you’re putting – and keeping – your name in circulation with the consumers you want to attract.
In this heightened age of sensitivity when everyone is wary about who to trust, are they more likely to respond to a hard sell “My product is really great because I said so” or the word-of-mouth referral from a social media connection who re-posts your funny/insightful/useful bons mots on a regular basis? If each of that friend’s friends follow suit and your content goes viral, you have essentially created your own virtual sales force to start a buzz and make the media shout-outs for you…and it didn’t cost you a cent.
Here’s the lineup of this month’s blogs by my guest contributors:
Getting Emotional in Business – by Carlo Pandian
Event Technology – Using Websites, Social Media & More to Promote and Plan Your Event – by Justin Ungerboeck
A Simple 10-Step Marketing Checklist – by Amandah Tayler Blackwell
How You’re Wrong About Debt Consolidation – by Marcelina Hardy
5 Foolproof Blogging Tips for Photographers – by Dazzle Rogers