One of the biggest challenges any business faces is finding new audiences. Of course, paid advertising—be it print ads, pay-per-click, or direct mail—is always an option. But there are also ways to get more to get more eyeballs on your content that won’t cost you a dime—and might help build your reputation as well. Read on for some tips.
Share your expertise
Most websites are hungry for content. If you’re willing to invest some time in writing short articles for publication on websites in your industry (complementary, but not direct competition), you can make a name for yourself as the go-to person for your particular niche. Avoid the hard sell—the idea is to create value and build your reputation. Include a brief signature such as “Jane Jones is an expert xx. Reach her at xx/visit her website at xx/follow here on Twitter @JaneJones”. Even if you don’t get any direct business, the referred traffic and links pointing back to your site will benefit you.
Demonstrate your credibility
The 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer’s theme is “Trust at Work.” It found Canadians want information they can trust, and are looking for leadership from companies in this area. In fact, “company technical expert” and “academic expert” rated the most credible spokespeople. So use that (and don’t abuse it). Leverage that trust to build your reputation and customer base, and be proactive in calling out false information. Consider the recent case of the CEO of Maple Leaf Foods, who took to his company’s corporate Twitter account with a scathing indictment of the US government’s role in the downing of a Ukraine airliner in Iran. By taking a strong personal stand, he demonstrated his commitment to his employees, and a willingness to “be political” in a crisis. You might not agree with his position, but it generated a lot of attention and sent a message.
Cross promotion deals
Similar to the tip above, a good marketer knows their space—who’s new, what’s hot, fresh takes. Give some thought to the companies or organizations you interact with online, at seminars or at professional development events. Can you find a way to partner with them to provide your customer or client with a package deal? Offer a discount code for each other’s services? It sounds simple but the easier you can make things for your client, the happier they will be.
Keep your writing accessible
A great tip to remember when writing for the web (and let’s face it—pretty much everything is writing for the web, these days) is the “bite, snack, meal” approach. This means writing content that will appeal to different visitors to your site. For instance, if someone lands on your site and is skimming, an interesting or arresting headline will catch their eye. For the snack, think of a paragraph no longer than two or three sentences or 25-30 words. This is a quick hook to summarize the story.
For the meal—for people who want more—this is where you tell the full story. When writing the ‘meal’, you want to vary your sentence length and structure. Avoid jargon and 25-cent words. Make it EASY for your reader to absorb the content—it shouldn’t be work. Keep a conversational tone, and use active language—think verbs ending in “ing”. Use headers to break up your content, and throw in pictures when possible. The Economist can get away with long blocks of text with no breaks. That’s not for you.
Share, share, share buttons
Make it as easy as possible for people to share your content. Put “share now” buttons on every page and article on your site. Work with your designer or IT person to ensure the metadata is punchy and accurate, and when someone clicks “share now” they get a tidy, succinct link and summary. Recommendations from friends are powerful—we trust them. When someone thinks, “Baljit would love this article,” make it easy for your reader to quickly send it her way.
Still stuck? Targeting audiences, getting followers and increasing views is not straight-forward. Everything is digital now and it can be hard to keep up with the demand for strategic content, reaching new audiences. Together, PR Associates can help you develop an innovative plan to ensure you’re building the right audience while sending an on-brand message.
Whether you’re looking to get a our help or just want to ask a question – let’s chat today, no purchase necessary 😊 Just find a time in my calendar and I’m happy to connect.