It seems like this Fox News article was unable to handle my full response so I thought I would continue it on our blog. Click here to read Fox News' article Getting noticed on a Shoestring Budget.
Here are our thoughts and the full comment we tried to add to their blog article.
BRANDWISE comment starts here:
I found this to be an interesting article. Being a company that works on building strong brands through marketing strategy and graphic design. The funny thing is hearing how much PR is promoted on a news channels website article. It makes me wonder, hmmm, do they really invest heavily in PR or was this promoted by Fox to get this company some free coverage. You know, maybe like giving your product away for free if you promote it to your sphere of influence similar to giving your jewelry away to celebrities and snapping a photo.
The sad thing about this is this article doesn't speak to volumes of companies. How does a plumber do a free give away to a celebrity? I would say free give aways may not be the best solution. Are the celebrities really supporting and promoting your product or have they just thought this is nice way not wear a new jewel for this event and then never touch it again.
PR is an ok industry, but in my eyes it is changing since the newspaper business is struggling. The efforts might be better spent using that PR persons time helping you write a few blog articles. We have done nearly every form of marketing - networking, advertising, direct mail, trade shows, PR and to be honest with you this is all very expensive and becoming less and less effective.
Inbound Marketing is the new way for small businesses to level the playing field and compete with the big dogs in your industry.
What is inbound marketing you may ask? Well, Inbound Marketing is a online marketing system that helps clients and prospects find you. It is similar to the Yellow Pages of the pre-2000's. If your parents or grandparents had a problem, where did they turn? The Yellow Pages, right? Well, when you have a problem, where do you turn? Google for the most part, right? So basically if you are not in Google, Bing or Yahoo, you are unknown to the world.
Hiring a professional to help you develop a strong Inbound Marketing system may cost several thousand dollars a year, but it will be the best money ever spent.
How do I know? Well, not just because we sell this service, but because we use it for our own company for the last 14+ months. In that time we have established ourselves as an expert in our industry and have gotten more leads in 12 months than we had gotten in the previous 10 years of having a website.
The first step is getting found, you do this by having a static website w/ all your company, product detail and contact info. Then you move on to adding a blog hosted on your website (not wordpress or other blog company hosted). Then you blog on a regular basis 1-5 times a week using keywords people would use to find you. Then you promote this remarkable content through social media sites like linkedin, twitter and facebook.
Step two is conversion so once you have a ton of traffic coming to your site you need to covert the web visitors to sales leads. This can be done through landing pages, lead management and lead nurturing.
Step three measure your results. This is done with the proper analytics tools (example: google analytics which is free but maybe not the best tool for this system, but something is better than nothing). Then you monitor your results over time to show what is and isn't working. Obviously once you know what is working you do a lot more of that and keep testing other things to see what might work better.
I would be willing to bet that if I put this inbound marketing system up against the system of PR and free jewelry give aways, you'd be pleasantly surprised. The free give aways that Jaclyn Smith is using, would be amazed at the results and speed at which inbound marketing would be climbing the success ladder. Heck maybe this is something Fox Business News would like to do a story on. Have two companies take 6 months or a year and see who has got the best exposure and business growth in that time.
If you would like to run a great article for the business community, this might be it. We could do monthly progress reports to share the whole experience with the readers.
If you would like to learn more about Inbound Marketing check out our blog at Brandwise Branding Blog. Or if someone at Fox would like to talk to someone at Brandwise about this article idea, you can get our contact info on our website.
Good luck small business and don't settle for big expensive forms of marketing. Start asking for proof and hard numbers of what you advertising budget is going to do.