Public relations should be an essential part of your online marketing arsenal, from the inception of your business. If you haven’t already started marketing yourself and your business through public relations, it’s time to make sure that all other areas of your online marketing plan are firmly in place and then get to work on a public relations plan. Online public relations generally refers to any time you can get your business in front of the (online) media. This sounds really easy, in theory. In reality, getting the attention of the media at large can be difficult.
Many Different Pieces to the Online Marketing Puzzle
1. Social Media
Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and Pinterest are some of the top sites that any successful online marketing plan includes. Social media is an ever changing, and ever hungry monster. It requires ever constant meals of newer, better content to satisfy the “likers”, tweeters, and other growing throngs of online users. Social media outlets can grow – and become too important to leave behind – almost overnight. That kind of content production schedule can be exhausting.
2. Paid search or PPC
Paid search or pay-per-click is another powerful resource to get your message out to a very targeted group of people. These text or image ads can be targeted by time of day, geography, language, or device. All of these together can give you a very accurate picture of who is seeing your ads and how much of an impact those ads will have on your bottom line.
Pay per click is dominated by Google Adwords, followed by Bing Ads as a close second. Paid search campaigns require daily and weekly optimization. They require testing, as well as troubleshooting as necessary. If you take on this task on your own, make your you educate yourself, and that you have several hours per week to dedicate to pay per click alone. There are several boutique agencies that specialize in pay per click management, who can manage this whole process for you.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is another vital form of online marketing. SEO is the art of creating a web presence that ranks your company and website above others, especially your competitors, for key words in your industry.
Google and other search engines use a variety of factors to judge where on the giant list of search results your company should fall. To determine your rank, look at how relevant the content on your webpage is to whatever the user is searching for, as well as how many other sites have linked to your site.
Don’t let your options overwhelm you!
Is your head spinning yet? Do you lose sleep at night, thinking about new tweets and possible missed traffic sources? Don’t! Take a deep breath and realize that the best way to achieve your long term online marketing goals is to concern yourself more with quality than quantity.
A stunning article, a jaw dropping video or a killer press release could go viral instantly. Any of these could provide long-term success by sticking around online to provide hits to your website for years to come, well after you intended. This type of focused thinking is invaluable.
More importantly, by trying to do everything at once and doing it quickly, you’ll lose sight of what the purpose of the online marketing campaign was to start off with. If your online marketing strategies are poorly coordinated, are managed by people within the business on top of their regular job, or you have people working on separate areas of the campaign rather than together, you can be assured that your online marketing campaign is going to fail.
Online Tools Available To Help With Public Relations
One of the primary tasks of online public relations is sending out press releases. The idea is to get your big news into the hands of whoever disseminates news out to the public. New products, big milestones or any other interesting information can be turned into a press release.
There are several reputable outlets that can get your press release published online with the primary search engines, as well as into the hands of news outlets. Some of the most trusted are PRWeb, BusinessWire, and PrZoom.
Don’t forget to post your press releases on your own blog or website as well. Make sure to make the title starts with “For Immediate Release”. Also, make sure that your press release makes it onto all of your social media sites.
Public relations is one of a great many online tools that you can use to promote your business, create a great brand reputation and drive traffic to your website. Remember that each strategy is only part of a larger online marketing picture. Each piece has its value and should be managed to the strengths of that channel.
About the Author: David Chapman is the Sales and Marketing Director for Webrageous Studios. Webrageous is a Pay Per Click management company, focused on Adwords and Bing management. Founded in 2001, Webrageous has been successful in creating positive ROI paid search campaigns, as well as in turning around existing problem campaigns.
Photo credit: Claudia Regina