Press Releases Get The Word Out

Outside of having a huge list of personal contacts within the media,marketing consultants typically compose press releases to alert the media of newsworthy events. PR can have a marked impact on how a client is perceived by the media, whether or not their product or service is getting reviewed or not and their overall visibility online or in print.

Well composed press releases have several benefits including:
• Vehicle for delivering news to the media
• Possible interview/write-up
• Press releases become searchable items organically
• Valuable back links
• Creates a documented history

Of course, the ultimate goal of a press release would be to have an article written about a client’s product or service that either gives them a great review or positions them as an industry expert—plus, it’s free publicity!

Keyword embedded press releases also become searchable items on the internet. If composed properly, your press release will “hang out there” in Google and show up in organic search results.

For off-page SEO purposes, paid releases through companies like PRWeb and Marketwire provide valuable back links to your clients’ website—a great way to improve overall organic rankings.

Press releases also create a documented history or timeline of a clients’ growth, any new product or service offerings and newsworthy events. These press releases are a key component to putting together a proper press kit as well.

Pay Per Click Advertising Bolsters Marketing Efforts During Down Turn

Triple digit temperatures, vacationers and fleeing snowbirds all contribute to the traditional economic slowdown experienced by many businesses during the harsh summer months. Compound those realities with a flailing economy and many business owners end up struggling to attract new customers. Keep in mind, the effects on business of a blistering Phoenix summer is the equivalent of a Buffalo snowstorm.

Traditional forms of advertising, such as the Yellow Pages, have long been a safe haven for local business marketing. Currently, with the rising popularity of Google and other online search engines, as well as forthcoming technologies like voice prompted web surfing, it seems that bulky phone books are becoming a thing of the past.

Consumers want their information faster, more relevant and increasingly mobile. Pay per click advertising is a medium which satisfies all of these needs and is increasingly being used by all types of businesses to target new customers.

As a certified Google AdWords Professional I consult with business owners across the country on the many advantages of pay per click marketing. When pay per click is used as part of an integrated marketing strategy, there’s really no other form of advertising that puts a company’s products or services in front of potential customers at exactly the moment that they’re searching for you - it truly takes the guesswork out of advertising.

A well-managed Google Adwords campaign can place a business listing at the top of Google’s search engine results page. When customers click on an ad, they are directed immediately to the business’s website. In addition, pay per click advertising allows business owners to selectively target customers while offering accountability for their ad dollars. Since a business only gets charged when a customer clicks on its ad, the business can control exactly how much they’re spending and can properly calculate their return on investment.

Driving targeted traffic to a website is only part of the equation. Converting a web visitor into a customer or a lead is the true pay off. Having a properly structured campaign that directs traffic to the correct landing page is key to turning a surfer into a customer--And in today’s economy, businesses just can’t afford to miss out on a customer conversion.

Although search engines such as Yahoo! and the newly revamped Bing by MSN offer similar searching experiences, Google is by far the overall leader, capturing 67% of all search traffic, according to readwriteweb.com. With those kinds of numbers, it’s no wonder that local businesses are eager to put their advertising online and ditch the freebies that land on the doorstep.

Debunking Online Demand Generation

During most of my initial marketing consultations I tend to hear the same story and concerns from business owners, only modified to reflect their industry. For the most part, frustration and lack of knowledge are the underlying sentiments. And, why not? Most capable business owners would rather focus on the part of the business that they love, the part that got them into business in the first place—not relentlessly keeping up with their marketing campaign.
Long gone are the days when all you had to do was consult with your local Dex or Yellow book advertisement rep, pick out the biggest ad you could afford, and you were in business. Much has changed; we are in an information age and people want their information faster, more accurate and increasingly mobile.
So, what about online demand generation—is this a trend that truly has staying power?
Answer:
Absolutely. There’s a reason Google trades at nearly $600.00/share.
Depending on the size of your business, you may already have a very functional website. When visitors find you, it gets the point across—but does it really do all it can for you and your organization? A truly great website is not only functional and informative; it also draws potential consumers in, engages visitors and eventually converts them into a customer.
Converting a web visitor into a customer is a great concept, but how do we get those visitors there in the first place? There are several ways: word of mouth, social media buzz, affiliate relationships, search engine optimization, pay-per-click marketing, and of course paying BIG BUCKS for traditional media to plug your URL, among others.
Search engine optimization is an outstanding tool to draw in web traffic, but it does have some limitations. Often times the initial cost of optimizing a site and properly executing a back linking campaign can be cost prohibitive, not to mention that it often takes quite a while to truly dominate the SERP’s (search engine results pages). That’s not to say it isn’t effective, because it certainly is. For now, let’s focus on pay-per-click marketing which can be used to circumvent some of SEO’s limitations. In speaking with most business owners, this is often times the most misunderstood variable in their marketing campaign—if they are even using it.
Pay-Per-Click (PPC) marketing is an extremely effective medium to use to draw internet traffic to your website. Consider the benefits:
• Targeted--ads are only shown to those looking for your product or service
• Accountability—you are only charged when someone actually clicks on your ad and visits your landing page
• Control—you set the budget you are comfortable with, and it never exceeds it
• Data—numerous reports can be run to judge the efficacy of your ad and allows your campaign manager to make adjustments on the fly
• Preparedness—internet users are well educated, they have done their research and are ready to be matched up with the company that can best fulfill their needs
• Level playing field—Google has strict ad guidelines which allows even a modest budget to compete with fortune 500 companies, which means that the biggest budget doesn’t always win!
Of course there are several other factors that make up an effective PPC campaign like quality score, relevancy, delivery methods, affiliate marketing, contextual advertising, placement targeting, etc….but the number one thing you need to keep in mind is that Google simply wants the same thing everyone else wants—happy customers.
In its simplest form, Google wants the individual performing a search query to find exactly what they are looking for.
In future postings, we’ll tackle the many variables that go into executing an effective search engine marketing campaign. If you have any immediate questions, please feel free to contact me directly.

Are you marketing properly?

As an introduction to my demand generation blog, let’s start by taking a hard look into the mirror and asking ourselves—Am I getting the return on investment that I need on the various avenues of marketing that I am currently employing?

Probably not.

If you’re like a lot of businesses, you’re probably bombarded on a daily basis with then next great thing that promises customers will beat down your door. And, like most, you’ve probably wasted tons of marketing dollars on ineffective mediums that might sound like a great idea, but in the end only succeed at lining the pockets of salesmen.

There are many, many factors to consider when looking at your overall demand generation strategy. Are you marketing a product or service? Are you selling to other businesses or retail end users?

What types of mediums are you currently adopting? Are you one of the hold outs still wasting money on dinosaurs like the phone book or newspaper? Or are you a web savvy strategist that uses their website as a lead generating machine through search engine optimization or pay per click campaigns.

Is your marketing targeted? What does your brand say about you? Do you effectively communicate your brand in everything you do? Are your advertising pieces and collaterals produced by someone who truly knows and understands your business or by a two-bit graphic designer that works for a magazine whose biggest concern is fitting in the maximum number of ads?

Is your brand well positioned enough to even remotely explore radio and television? If you talk to your local radio or TV rep—they’ll say you are, but more than likely, you’re not and will end up disappointed.

Are your customers local or are they out of state? And if they are out of state, could you benefit from sales tools that allow you to reduce your overall travel budget?

Are you regularly committing a percentage of your overall revenue to marketing? Unfortunately, many companies allocate marketing dollars based on what’s left at the end of the month or quarter—and in a downturn, are non-committal to their overall marketing strategy when this is truly the most critical time to stick to your marketing plan.

Follow my blog and I’ll provide you with some unique insight on how you can become a smarter lead generator and get the return you deserve. I currently manage successful marketing campaigns for individual businesses in 7 major metro markets across the U.S. and can help you weave through the jungle of ineffective marketing mediums that just don’t produce.