Getting the attention you want in the online arena isn’t quite as easy as waving a magic wand. After all, you’re not the only one making noise, and it can be difficult to get heard above the din. For one thing, you’re not alone in your industry, your field, or even your niche when it comes to using the internet as a means of reaching out to consumers. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make your mark, build your brand, increase your online presence, and virtually make a name for your business thanks to the many opportunities offered by the online and mobile arenas. It just means that you’re going to have to work for it, and this entails the use of diverse strategies when it comes to creating buzz for your biz. So here are just a few PR ideas that could help you to gain notice for your operations online.
- Build your Hub.
- Get Noticed.
- Branch Out.
- Focus on Customers.
- Stay Current.
You’ve got to start somewhere and the most obvious place is your website. If you don’t yet have one for your business, you might as well not exist online. This is often the first point of contact that consumers have with your business, even if they happen to be in geographic proximity to your real-world location, so you want to make sure that it is visually appealing, easy to navigate, interesting and engaging, and that it meets standards for layout and design that internet users have become accustomed to. You may also want to include an online store, an on-site blog, and various means of contact for customers, including email, phone, and perhaps even live chat. All of these features can help to build the virtual public relations hub that savvy consumers expect.
It’s not enough to have a website, blog, and online store; you need to let people know that these tools are available. And getting noticed isn’t as easy as putting up a sign and waiting for foot traffic. Although you’re bound to get accidental visits with little to no effort, what you really want to encourage is targeted visitors that are actually looking for the products or services you offer. By engaging in SEO practices you can begin to attract the attention of this type of visitor and funnel in traffic that is much more likely to make purchases, return, and recommend your brand.
Once you’ve got your house in order, it’s time to start branching out, and in terms of online PR this could include making inroads with industry blogs and forums, setting up and managing social media profiles, and creating marketing campaigns across multiple platforms. All will help to strengthen and reinforce the efforts you’ve already made, expanding your online presence and giving customers multiple points of access.
You might think that the art of public relations relies heavily on promotion, and it’s true that you often need such tactics to get customers in the door. But from there you need to convince people to return, and an emphasis on excellent customer service can make that happen. So before you even start your online sojourn, think about the standards and practices you’ll put into place to keep customers happy. It could make a world of difference where the success of your online PR strategy is concerned.
Internet shoppers are a fast-paced bunch with a short attention span, which means that you’ll have to engage in frequent updates to your online resources if you want to keep the consumer public interested. Content should be current and add value, which calls for updates on blogs and social media at least daily, whether you’re offering tutorials, coupon codes, news, or even branded musical content from a site like SonicBids. Your ability to retain customers in the online arena relies heavily on pushing stellar content, so you might want to find tools that automate the process to some degree; otherwise you’ll spend a lot of time on social media rather than running your business.