If you happen to be checking your Yahoo email like myself recently or reading just about any news publication, then you probably came across the story of Scott Van Duzer, owner of Big Apple Pizza and Pasta Italian Restaurant who had the pleasure of giving a bear hug to the president of the United States. Lucky guy, most of us would think.
However, even more interesting is what happened after the incident.
According to reports, thousands of users flocked to well-known review site, Yelp, and sent reviews of the establishment in a tailspin, at some point during the day of the news, Big Apple Pizza had an astonishing 2,600 review comments, and the incident received major coverage in news media all over the country. That’s the power of publicity. I can almost imagine that his foot traffic saw a huge spike too. Now granted, some people might argue that this is going to be another 15 minutes of fame and pretty soon the crowd will dwindle away. Yes, they may be right but so what? At the end of the day, his business establishment gained massive publicity within a day that it can leverage in one way or the other.
For most business owners, publicity can be the boost they need to build traffic and get sales moving, and it is a much more cost effective alternative to advertising which can come with a huge price ticket. However in the online marketplace where there is so much competition clamoring for audience attention, it can be challenging to generate that great buzz. If you don’t have the opportunity to give a warm, fuzzy bear hug to the president, here are 5 other ways you could go about gaining publicity online:
Make a Viral Video
One way to drive massive publicity instantly to your website is to create a video that quickly captivates and resonates with the masses. A video is more likely to capture attention than written content. According to Atlanta SEO Firm, Everspark Interactive, people, smiles, and faces tend to inspire higher click-through rates. Since the goal is to gain massive publicity, it is important to create a video with a message or content that gets people talking and motivates them to share the content in their social media streams. The beauty of a video is that it can be uploaded to popular video sharing sites like YouTube.
Give Something Away
Hosting a giveaway is another way to drive major publicity to your website. People love things that are free and will be more responsive to take action when they know they are getting something in return. This can be done with a contest or by asking the audience to take a certain action such as subscribing. However way you decide to do it, just remember the most important thing is to give something away that people find extremely valuable.
Sponsor a Celebrity Tweet
If you have thousands of dollars to shell out, then sponsoring a celebrity tweet could be a great investment for certain types of businesses. Sites like Sponsoredtweets.com, where celebrities and other well known entities register and place a price on their tweets, make it a bit easier for entrepreneurs to gain access to those individuals than they would have in the real world. And of course like typical supply and demand, the higher the ‘celebrity’, the higher you can expect to pay for the tweet but just think of the potential exposure it could bring to your brand and the benefits may outweigh the costs.
Tell and Share a Radical Story
It has been said over and over again that on the web, content is king and I couldn’t agree more. One way to create potential PR firestorm is to tell a captivating story, one that will encourage and drive readers to share the stories across their social media stream and get people talking. It could be a personal story or an observation, but whatever it is, make sure it is appropriate for the niche in which you do business.
An Overly Impressive, Well-Documented Testimonial
People want proof that whatever you are selling will really help them to solve a problem and that’s where the power of strong testimonials come into play. But the matter of fact is most of us are not moved any more by mere written testimonials, we have been fooled so many times by fake testimonials from unethical companies that it has ruined it for everybody. No, people want real, documented proof with pictures, videos, charts, graphs, the whole nine yards. Case in point, remember Jared Fogle, the Subway guy, with the exceptionally powerful testimonial claiming he lost a massive amount of weight eating nothing but Subway sandwiches everyday. His testimonial was so powerful to Subway that when he parted ways the company in 2005, Subway saw a 10 percent drop in their sales. That’s the power of a strong testimonial.
For most businesses especially aspiring start ups, publicity is the boost they need to get the knowledge of their product out in the marketplace. However it can be difficult to generate a major buzz with so much competition fighting for the same attention, particularly in the online world. By thinking outside the box and utilizing some creative strategies, good PR can be accomplished. And if all fails, you can always hope to run into the president.
What about you? What strategies have you used to build a buzz? Please share in the comment box below
Ebele Okocha is a business and technology writer with an interest in marketing and public relations for the digital world. She is also a contributing author for Atlanta SEO and marketing firm, Everspark Interactive. The firm partners with its clientele to develop a successful and interactive marketing plan geared at increasing traffic, developing brand name and boosting sales.
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