Category Archives: marketing plan

5 Ways to Add Power to Your Press Release Distribution

When you use press releases in your marketing and branding program, are you making full use of the power of electronic press releases? 

  1. Use key words phrases in the text with anchor tags in the release. Include key word tags and categories. Here is an example of a hyperlinked anchor tag from one of my clients who solves the eurasian watermilfoil aquatic weed problem.
  2. Include the city of origin to improve local search
  3. Have a photo or several photos? Consider embedding the photos or create a account and place the photos in your “slide show” with text.
  4. Upload to distribution sites.
  5. Turn it into a video news report. Consider including non traditional press release distribution on sites like YouTube. Why not? Do you have a friend who can act like a TV anchor and read your press release like they do on TV? Depending on the subject and tone of your release, it could be a fun project that may get much better viewing than you would have expected! With YouTube, anyone can be on the TV news.

Thanks to Christine Kelly from Online PR News for inspiring today’s post.

She uses slide share for distributing press releases as well as photos from a release. Here is her slide share for optimizing a press release:

If you aren’t even writing press releases, why not? You should get started today.  They are less expensive and more effective than using advertising.

Need help writing the information section in a journalistic style?  Here are several good sites with press release writing tips:

What other non-traditional ways do you use press releases to build your business?

DIY (Do It Yourself) Marketers Launches Website for Entrepreneurs

Want to learn how to do your own marketing instead of paying an expert to do it?

If so, you’ll love the new website from Ivana Taylor called DIYMarketers.  She is looking for about 30 more folks to enroll in her do-it-yourself program. This is perfect for the entrepreneur who wants to do their own marketing.

A word of warning:  Ivana has more energy, more ideas and more intensity than just about any marketing professional I’ve ever met.  She will keep you on your toes, I promise!

7 Ways to Successfully Market Your Book Online

Are you an author who has spent hours and hours writing a book?  Then editing it? And finding a publisher?  Maybe you thought the work was done when you finally got it printed, but now you know, the work of promoting and selling your book has just begun.

Here are 7 ways to grab people’s attention, spread the word and promote your book ONLINE:

1) Make a webpage of your book.  Be sure you have a buy now button.  If you haven’t set up a merchant account, you can use Google Checkout or Paypal to help you with the transaction.

2) Ask for quotes from people who will influence your readers. Put those quotes on the back cover of your book and on your webpage. Here’s an example of that for the Back to Basics by Deborah Chaddock Brown (By the way,  this a great “how to” marketing book that I had the privilege to read before it was published and give her a quote.)

3) Make a video and post it on YouTube with a Link to your web page. This video, while very funny and clever, forgot to put the website address at the end, so I’ll give it to you now. By the way, I bet this becomes a best seller.  Great timing for a book like this!!  The Good Book  The Credit Card Funeral

4) Send a email to everyone on your email newsletter list to tell them to watch the video. (Don’t have a enewsletter list yet? Time to start building one!)  Here are 12 ways to build an email newsletter mailing list.
5) Get a Twitter account for the book and send “tweet” teasers. You can use some of the twitter applications to find people who “microblog” about your subject matter and send them a “direct” tweet with a shortened hyperlink to your page. Like all social media, it’s best to build a relationship first… no one wants direct junk tweets any more than anyone wants junk spam email. Work to build a reputation on Twitter for your subject matter.  Here’s a link to FLYLady’s Tweet about the video shown above. I think you’ll have to have a Twitter account to be able to open/read it.

6) Write an electronic press release.  Publicity Hound Joan Stewart is the go-to-person for learning about press release writing and she has a great way to write press releases for the electronic media.  Her free email tutorial “Ways to Write Powerful Press Releases,”  spends an entire week on search engine optimization.  Check out her November 2008 post of 26 ways to market an ebook for those authors who know how to do it in the “real” world, but are a little bit baffled by the whole online experience.

7) Hold an on line book launch party with prizes! In February 2008 Tammy Lenski had a great way to build the buzz with her online book launch virtual party for her new mediation book.  She has a great launch strategy for marketing a book on line

Other posts about promoting your book online:

Chris Brogan: Promoting Your Book Online - Oct 2008 I met Chris at SOBCon ’08 in Chicago. If you don’t subscribe to his blog, now is the time to click the chicklet to get his RSS feed.

What am I forgetting??  Please comment below and let me know of other great links to help authors who are learning the whole web world of book promotion…

Taking Baby Steps in Marketing: Or Eating the Elephant One Bite at a Time

Today’s post is for the small business owner who manages under 5 employees:

If you run a small business and are trying to juggle many tasks, trying to write an entire marketing plan in one sitting can be daunting. Unless you’re just updating an existing plan, it just doesn’t make sense.

And implementing a marketing program doesn’t happen overnight either!

Put together a system to create your marketing program. Figure out a way to execute it and measure it. Who was it who said “A journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step”?  Or “eating an elephant begins with a single bite?”

Here’s one way that might work for you:

  1. What are you trying to accomplish with your marketing (build awareness, generate inquiries?) These are your marketing goals.
  2. Identify your target market. Who exactly are your trying to reach?
  3. What matters to them? 
  4. How can you help them?
  5. What methods of communication influences them?

Make a chart by clicking on the image below. Print it out for your one page implemention plan. Write 1,2,3,4,5 under the calendar and jot down your answers to the above questions.

Now ask yourself these questions:

  1. What’s the one new marketing tool that will most help our business this year?
  2. What’s the easiest new marketing tool to implement?
  3. What’s our most effective marketing tool to date?
  4. What should be working but isn’t because it needs “tweaking”?

Write another 1,2,3,4, on the  bottom of the page and list your answers.  Now you’ll plan to do:

  • the most effective tool first quarter (and second and third and fourth!)
  • the easiest tool to implement second quarter.
  • the tool that will most help your business third quarter.
  • tweak the broken tool during 4th quarter.

Write this in the boxes. Break down the steps needed for each tool, assign one person of your group (including yourself) a step along the way.  Your goal: Each month of the quarter forward motion in your marketing.  So many people don’t do anything because even starting feels overwhelming.

How will you know that the task is accomplished and the marketing is working?  Here are some ideas for making sure it gets done and is working:

  • Create a checklist
  • Hold a marketing meeting for 15 minutes each week to track progress
  • Have a status report of results easily accessible on the shared drive
  • Use a white board to track progress

Each small company operates differently.  What works for you?

5 Ways to Evaluate and Select the Best Marketing Consultant

How can you go about getting the best marketing consultant for your business?

Many organizations and companies look for experts when they need to create and execute a strategic marketing plan.  So, how do you find a marketing consultant — and secondly, how do you select the best marketing consultant for your situation?

 When looking for a consultant, some people do a Google search, however the last time I did the Google search for marketing consultant, there were over 9 million results.  Yikes!  Probably a more common way to find a marketing professional is to ask trusted business friends for referrals or ask a company similar to yours who helped them with their marketing. 

Once you have some of idea of the firms you’d like to talk to about their services, how do you make the selection?  You can take a look at their company’s website, review the services they provide and the projects they’ve done for their clients — but that only gives a limited view.

Some of the traditional ways of evaluating a potential marketing consultant or a marketing consulting firm:

  • Experience - What have they done in the past? What clients have they helped?  Did they develop marketing plans and provide marketing consulting for companies like yours?
  • Outcomes - What were the results of the marketing efforts?  Did they meet the strategic marketing objectives?  Was the brand recognition increased? Was there an increase in leads, RFQs and new customer base?
  • Value - Did the recommendations of the marketing firm provide value to their clients’ organization? If so, is it the same type of value that your company is looking for from a marketing program? When the engagement is complete, will the results be viewed as a cost or as an investment?

In my opinion, there are at least three more factors that should be considered to find the best fit to match your business.

  • Chemistry - When you have the initial meeting with the marketing consultant, do they listen to your needs?  Do they understand your challenges? Do they talk at you or with you?
  • Teamwork  - Will the marketing consultant approach the project as part of your team or do will they develop the strategic marketing plan off “in an ivory tower” and then present it for better or worse? 
  • Extra Mile - Is the consulting firm willing to go the extra mile to help create a program that will provide the resources you need as well as return the results you want?

Can you talk honestly with the person? Are they knowledgable? Are they responsive to your needs? Does the firm provide 3 levels of interaction - the main consultant on your account, a person at the level above and the person at the level below?  (Three levels of interaction gives you: 1- a point person, 2 - a person to talk to when there is a problem and 3 - a person to talk to when there’s a little detail that needs adjustment & the point person is out of the office.)

 What other considerations have you used to make a decision in selecting the best marketing consultant for your business?