Marketing For New Business in Today’s Awful Economy

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Despite what you hear from the “marketing gurus”, there is no “magic” marketing that will get you rolling in new business in days or weeks (although Pay Per Click comes pretty close). Marketing requires a long term approach and a regular commitment. Sending out postcards when things get slow is not marketing. Having a plan and sticking with it, is.

Dear Bob,

I am thrilled with the results of your search engine optimization and web site copywriting for our Roelofs Remodeling website. In the first month since we launched the new website, we’ve had seven serious contacts from the website; four asking for the new Remodeling Planners and three requesting quotes. That’s more contacts than our previous website generated in the many years we had it!

Thanks for the great work. We look forward to all the new business the website is generating.

Gerald L. Roelofs
Roelofs Remodeling

Right now and for the foreseeable future, marketing on the Internet will get you the most bang for your buck. And I don’t want to hear, “our customers don’t look for us on the Web.” That may have been true several years ago but today, everyone looks on the Web.

Only a handful of people still use the Yellow Pages. And yes, there are companies that still prefer to find vendors by word of mouth or recommendation but as things get tighter, more and more companies are turning to the Web to find vendors that can give them the terms or turn-around they are looking for or has the flexibility they need.

So, what are some of the most effective marketing methods for the Web? Here’s one I use.

Sending out weekly press releases on the web.

This can be powerful marketing and much more cost effective than you might think. However, your press releases need to be web-ready press releases. This means that the releases should be sent out via a regular online press release service that can embed pictures and links in the press release. You can find these services on the web and the lowest priced ones should be around $40-$50. A press release put out on the Web with no links in it is a waste of time and money.

Secondly, the press release must be written like an article about a current newsworthy topic. Don’t write it about your company or your products. I know that sounds “counter-productive” but if you write about a newsworthy topic offering advice and your contact info at the bottom, websites will pick it up and post it as a helpful article. If you send it out talking about your products, services or company, they’ll see it for what it is; self-promotion and they’ll delete it. Here’s an example of a press release I sent out recently.

And remember, every time one of your press releases gets posted on the web, that’s another link back to your website. This tells the search engines that your website is important enough for someone to link to it without a link back. For this reason, they place you higher in the search engine listings. And more importantly, anyone who reads the article and finds it helpful is likely to contact you through that link or at least visit your website. If your website is written to convert visitors into buyers, you’ve scored.

You must have a press page to make business reporters happy

Lastly, you need to have a regular Press Page on your website and post links to each of your press releases on that page. This accomplishes several things. First, it adds content to your website which the search engines love.

Secondly, a press page is also great for reporters. It gives them a single place where they can find all of your press releases so they don’t have to search for them. And you should also post your company info, contact info for company officers, press-ready pictures (300 dpi for print and 72dpi for web-ready), and a list of recommended questions (related to the subject of the press release) for reporters to ask you if they want to contact you for an interview. If you make things easy for reporters, they are much more likely to work with you. Here’s my press kit page.

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