We live and conduct business in a digital era where relevant and fresh content is in high demand. It is no surprise then, that journalists, writers and reporters are forever scrambling to present concepts, ideas and philosophies in a new interesting way.
A journalist may be talented, but they may not always have industry-specific expertise … and this is where you step in. By sharing industry specific ideas and content, an entrepreneur can help writers deliver on their goals to share compelling stories. In turn, the writer will also share the source of their contribution — your business. Thus, the reporter’s latest story is read and your company receives visibility and exposure.
Every small business owner should include content creation as a part of their marketing strategy. There are numerous tools at your fingertips including custom magazines, online newsletters, digital content, microsites, white papers, webcasts, podcasts … and the list goes on.
By sharing useful content (not a sales pitch) you can engage current and potential customers. Here are four proven ways to share your expertise and increase your brand’s visibility.
1. Contribute your expertise to an author
Are you an expert in your industry? Do you know of an author or journalist that has plans to release a new book? If so, ask to be included as a source. Not only will you help the author meet his or her goals, but you will gain indirect promotion of your small business.
Well-written, subject specific books are always in demand. As an entrepreneur, you can easily team up with a skilled writer to contribute to or publish a new book. Include relevant case studies, share sought-after and niche commentary — the possibilities are endless.
And don’t forget — the publication of a book is also associated with promotional events including product launches, speaking engagements and so on. All of these tactics can indirectly promote your small business or provide you with an opportunity to do so directly.
2. Court celebrity bloggers and top blogs
Huffington Post, Tech Crunch, Gawker, Jezebel, Mashable, The Rise to the Top, YFS Magazine, Venture Hacks, Under30CEO … These days, well-known industry bloggers and popular blogs are alternative celebrities. Getting air-play in a coveted or widely-read blog could earn your business a more reputable name.
Not only will you receive awareness, but it will help your company achieve its search engine optimization (SEO) goals — whenever someone google’s your brand, a mention or feature by a famous blogger will make the right first ‘Google’ impression.
If you’re wondering why a celebrity blogger would be interested in writing about your business, take a look at the headline again. Most writer’s are hungry for excellent content. Develop your target blog list, send a personalized email with several good post ideas that relate to your industry, submit a well-written post (not a sales message) and you may pick up some extra press hits.
3. Don’t overlook article directories
Skilled writers make a living by writing for the Web. Many writers contribute to article directories including Ezine, About.com and Helium. These sites are also known for high page ranks in search engine listings.
Pitch an interesting idea to a writer to receive a mention or feature. For instance, if you own a law firm that specializes in DUI cases, an article on “Little-Known Drinking and Driving Laws in Your State,” may be a good angle. In return for your expertise, the writer will likely link back to your website and cite you as a source.
Alternatively, you can hire an in-house writer and share interesting story angles with them for article directory submission. A feature in an e-zine article that appears in the first page of Google could be a great promotional tool for your company.
4. Pitch magazine and newspaper articles
If your company is not receiving press, it’s likely because you aren’t pitching your story to the right media outlets at the right time. You can spend money on paid placements in newspapers and magazines or you can build relationship with the press and become their go-to source for authoritative content and quotes.
Journalists are on a tight deadline and once you build a relationship you can quickly share edited articles and help them meet their deadlines with credible and authoritative opinions and commentary. Indirectly, you will increase your company’s visibility.
Ultimately, content marketing is a resourceful way to distribute relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage your prospects to inevitably drive a profitable customer action. Have you tried any of the above recommendations? If so, what works best for your small business? Let me know in the comments section below.
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