Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Free PR Tools and Tips to Grow Your Business

Publicity is an easy way to expand your business' visibility and drive sales.  For budget-conscious small business owners, here are some free tools and useful tips that can help you implement successful public relations campaigns in no time!

Google Alerts
Google Alerts can be a powerful tool to stay on top of your business' online presence.  Set up Google Alerts to monitor your business, competition, or any industry topic that's important to you.  Google will send you an email when there's any mention of your query in an online news, blogs, discussions, etc. 

If you want to share your expertise while getting free PR, check out HARO. Help a Reporter Out (HARO) connects journalists with sources or experts for their stories.  Sign up (for free) to receive a daily email with  queries from reporters from all types of media.  Respond promptly to any applicable requests for a possible interview or direct quote. It's an easy way to get PR exposure for your brand or business. 

Follow relevant journalists, reporters or bloggers on Twitter.  Put them in a list so you can easily filter them in your Twitter stream.  Check their posts to find out what they're researching or working on.  Alert reporters by sending them a @ message with a link to more information. Or send a Tweet to follow up on emails you've already sent to a particular reporter.  To spread your news, politely ask journalists or key influencers to retweet(RT) your news.

Connect with Reporters
Build a relationship with journalists by engaging with them on social media. Show them you're interested in what they write or publish by commenting or sharing their posts, article links, etc.  Know the topics, industries or geographic areas that each reporter covers.

Build a Plan
Plan our your publicity ideas and pitches for the year.  Look at the holidays, seasons, events and trends that drive your business and create pitches using them.  

Developing and executing your own PR takes time and considerable effort, but the exposure it brings your business will be worthwhile. 

Friday, October 9, 2015

Marketing Pros to Follow on Social Media

Creating an online presence for your brand or company is vital in today’s marketing world, and the top marketing professionals are doing just that. To stay in the know about what’s happening in the marketing industry, it’s important to make sure you’re following the most influential gurus. Here are a few key influencers to check out:

Mari Smith: Mari Smith, author of Top Ten Tips To Boost Your Facebook Ad Conversion &
ROI, has often been referred to as the “ the Queen of Facebook”. She has been named one of the
Top Ten Social Media Power Influencers by Forbes several years in a row, and is the premier
Facebook marketing expert. She offers online marketing training courses, and has published
several webinar guidebooks. Mari is also the author of The New Relationship Marketing and
coauthor of Facebook Marketing: An Hour A Day. She has had over 12 years of experience in
the fields of relationships, marketing and Internet technology. Follow her on Twitter at
@MariSmith to stay up to date on all her blog postings and to be the first to know when she has
new content available! You can also check out her Facebook page.

Neil Patel: Co-founder of Crazy Egg, Hello Bar and KISSmetrics, Neil Patel helps companies
like Amazon, Viacom, and NBC boost their revenue. Forbes considers him one of the top 10
online marketers, and he has been referred to as a “top influencer on the web” by Wall Street
Journal. Neil has also been awarded Congressional Recognition from the United States House of
Representatives - and he’s only 30 years old. Growing up, he was surrounded by successful
entrepreneurs and was interested in starting his own business at a young age. He’s created a large online presence, where he offers insight about his past experiences as an entrepreneur and a current successful business owner. Following him on Twitter (@NeilPatel) or  Facebook will
allow you to stay up to date with his current blog postings, like his latest one titled ““Don’t Waste Your Time: 6 Ways To Become More Efficient On Social Media””.

Kim Garst: Founder and CEO of Boom! Social, a personal branding social media business
consulting firm, Kim is a current leading business coach. She provides social media keynotes and
offers training to businesses such as IBM and Florida Keys Digital Marketing Conference. She’s
also the author of The Quick and Easy Guide to Branding Your Business and Creating Massive
Sales with Pinterest. Kim is a social media expert and has made a name for herself in the digital
media world, which is why you should check out her Twitter profile, where you can stay in the
know on what’s trending in the social media industry. Follow her at @KimGarst or check out her
Facebook page!

Gary Vaynerchuk: From growing his family’s wine business from $3 million to $60 million, to
running one of the world’s “hottest digital agencies”, Gary is a marketing pro that you should
definitely consider following. He currently owns VaynerMedia, and is the co-founder of
VaynerRSE, a $25 million angel fund. He even hosts his own show, The #AskGaryVee Show,
where he answers questions about social media, entrepreneurship, startups and family businesses.He offers insight about a lifetime of building successful businesses on his online platform, and has spoken at events like SXSW. Stay up to date with Gary at @GaryVee on Twitter,Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest.

HubSpot: HubSpot has been helping businesses grow and creating bigger online presences
since 2006. The company offers new and innovative ways for companies to market
themselves online successfully. Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah started HubSpot with
one goal: to create one integrated system, designed from the ground up to transform how
organizations market and sell. The company is at the top of its game, staying up to date with how
people are “transforming how they consume information, research products and services, and make purchasing decisions”. They’ve recently come out with a new book as well, titled The Beginners Guide to Retargeting. They are constantly posting about the latest social media marketing strategies online, so following HubSpot will keep you in the know on what’s working and what’s not in the digital marketing world. Check them out on Twitter at @HubSpot and at their website, where they have a variety of different blogs, including a marketing blog, a sales blog, a web design blog and more!