How To Get Free Publicity For Your Business
You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on advertising to build an effective campaign. In fact, you can get great publicity that will drive customers to do your door absolutely free of charge!
One of the best ways to do this is to attract press coverage. You don’t have to pay for advertising space to get written about in a newspaper or magazine, or on a website. All you have to do is interest the editor or webmaster in your story. Today’s media is huge – and it’s hungry for news. If you present a publication with a ready-made story that will interest their target audience they will snap it up.
The way to do this is to write a press release, sometimes called a “news release”. Release writing isn’t rocket science, but there are a few important tips and tricks to remember:
Make sure the release is dated, and has a contact name, address, phone number and email address. The contact should be a single, named individual.
Start off with an attention-grabbing headline that announces a piece of specific news. “Atlanta Motorbike Store Launches New Line of Helmets” is a good headline; “Atlanta Motorbike Store Has Another Good Year” is not. Your release should announce something specific and out of the ordinary.
Always include a quote. Store owner Mike Smith, 44, says, “we’re really pleased to be stocking X-Brand Helmets….” Quotes bring news stories to life and give them a human touch – you’ll look a long time before you find a professional media story without one.
Make sure your spelling, grammar and punctuation are one hundred percent accurate. If they’re not, the professionals in your target media will lose respect for you and trash your release. If you didn’t get top grades in English, get a friend to check it over.
Once you’ve written your release you need to distribute it. There are plenty of free newswires that will do this for you – www.internetnewsbureau.com is a good example. Remember that to be successful a press release needs to be targeted at a precise market. If you’re releasing on the topic of your new range of motorbike helmets in Atlanta, you’d better make sure every bike magazine and local newspaper in Georgia gets a copy.
It’s quite acceptable to email press releases. Just make sure that the text is included in the body of the mail – most sensible internet users are a little suspicious of mail attachments received from strangers.
So your release is out, and it’s getting you some coverage. Why other cost-free means can you use to build your business’s profile? Well, the obvious place is the internet. Here are some suggestions:
Build web links. It’s a tactic as old as the internet and it takes time – but it’s still worth it. Make sure your business’s name is on every relevant free directory on the web. This can be pretty backbreaking work, but it will pull in the customers. Crucially, it will also improve your website’s rank on Google and other search engines.
Post to message boards. If you can find a web discussion forum related to your business topic, join in and post regularly. Don’t simply push your product – get involved in the online community. This is a great way to establish contacts. Make sure that your username is the same as your business name and that your forum profile contains a link to your site.
One rule of advertising hasn’t changed since prehistoric times: nothing beats word-of-mouth. Ultimately the secret of getting free publicity is having a great product that people will talk about. If you can get folks talking about you and your business, you’ve beaten every single Fortune 1000 company – they’ve spent millions on advertising and branding campaigns. If you’re smart, and if you’re persistent, you can achieve the same results without spending a single cent!