6 Questions on Online PR for Small Biz Answered
A recent conversation on Twitter about online PR for small businesses with PR, social media and marketing pros revealed much about branding, viral videos and converting customers online. Who knew six little questions could yield so much awesome info? Check out these great tips below:
What makes a person want to follow a brand online?
-Contests and Deals. People like to follow brands and tell their friends about it when they have the opportunity to win something or get a discount.
-Status. People like being grouped with other people that like the same brand. If the brand is upscale, they like being associated with the status of it.
-Receive information. People follow brands to stay informed on new products, events, news etc.
The lesson: brand loyalty prompts people to follow brands! That’s what keeps companies in business, remaining relative with consumers. Offers are good, but connections can be powerful too. It’s all about content when it comes to social media.
What are the characteristics of viral videos that we should infuse into our own work?
-Keep it short (under a minute), crazy headlines, exciting or funny sound bites within a clip makes it catchy/sticky.
-Try to have a really catchy song or interesting main character. The video should also have ability to be remixed.
-Don’t make it a blatant ad!
The lesson: Relating videos to current events, and being nimble enough to create and release video quickly helps turn it viral. Videos that solve common customer problems in a clever or creative way also tend to work well. Tell a story! This video does it in 29 seconds with a catchy tune and humor as well.
Where can we get inspiration to write a release, blog or share a story about your biz?
-Current happenings/news, book/magazine covers, or talk to other business owners to see what they’re interested in hearing about.
-Headlines. If Reader’s Digest writes “Top 10 Things Your Doctor Doesn’t Want You to Know”, you might be inspired to write “Top 10 Things Your Publicist Doesn’t Want You to Know.”
-See what is being discussed on social media and evaluate how you can help.
The lesson: Your goal is to make it interesting and exciting for your potential visitors. It’s easy when the topic excites you. It’s also not a bad place to indentify a guest blogger and build blogger relations too!
How do I gain an advantage over my competitor online?
-Number 1: Customer service. If you are known for customer service, you will trump your competitors all day long.
-Check them out. Is there anything they do that you don’t like? Improve it on your end.
-Target your market. Be clear on who your products and services help and be their go-to company/brand.
The lesson: As Peter Shankman said, quality customer service is the new PR.
Is it important for a small biz to have a blog? What should I blog about?
-Yes! Blogging is not dead. It is just another important tool in your overall marketing.
-Blog about news/issues in your industry and how you can help/your expert advice.
-Breathe some life into your blog also. Share pictures and videos on your work (no sales pitches) and even a glimpse of your personal life.
The lesson: As long as your blog posts are interesting and get time on page, blogs are good for SEO – add media for stickiness. Don’t forget to line up guest bloggers as part of your strategy – a good mix of different perspectives and opinions will keep your blog balanced. Guest bloggers also get you link outs and link backs (likely industry related too).
What is the best way to convert customers online?
-Offer great info, be influential and give excellent customer service. Provide all the information on how they can buy your stuff, but let them figure it out. No one wants to feel like they’re being sold.
-Find out what your customers want. What’s bothering them or they aren’t knowledgeable about? What are their hopes and dreams? Provide it for them.
-Be consistent. Have your customers feel like they can count on you and that you’ll always be there for them.
-Make sure testimonials are all over your website and social media pages.
The lesson: be transparent. People can sniff out a fake in 2 seconds—even online.
These six tips were adapted from our most recent Twitter chat, #PRWebchat, which takes place every Thursday from 2-3pm EST. Join in on the conversation by following @PRWeb and hashtag #PRWebchat on TweetDeck, TweetChat or TweetGrid.
(Photo Credit – Flickr Creative commons: marie-ll)
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