Marketwire, a press-release distribution service, has a free white paper aimed at helping you market your products and services when you must do more with less in these tough economic times.
“Top 10 Strategies for Boosting ROI Despite Shrinking Budgets and Dwindling Resources,” suggests creative strategies for improving search engine optimization, engaging social media communities, maximizing online communications, reaching out to journalists, setting goals and measuring results.
Here is an abbreviated list of Marketwatch’s strategies:
1. Rely more on public relations than on advertising. You’ll get better mileage in today’s new media landscape.
2. Maintain your brand. In this new media environment, focus on using search marketing, social-media press releases and building online communities.
3. Use an integrated media strategy: blogs, podcast/video, RSS feeds and social networks.
4. Integrate sales and marketing and use a centralized customer database for leads, prospects and customers.
5. Using search engine marketing is good. Using press releases is better. PR costs less and releases live on line long after the SEM campaign is over.
6. Many companies are reluctant to use blogs because they fear they will lose control. The benefits of building relationship with customers and prospects and to talk about your products and services outweigh the risks.
7. Set goals and measure results. You could, for example, measure the number of meetings, blog mentions, reviews that you get from sending out press releases whenever you win new business or complete a project for a client.
8. Find creative ways to keep your current customers happy. It’s a lot easier to keep clients than to find new ones. Twenty percent of existing clients produce 80 percent of your income.
9. Create ready-to-go content for prospects, customers and journalists. Use an RSS feed, write how-to guides, make yourself available to comment on current news events, offer multimedia content.
10. Reinforce that attributes that make you different than your rivals. Focus on the benefits you provide clients. Only a small percent of potential clients are motivated exclusively by price.
According to Marketwire, the first budgets cut in an unstable economy are for marketing and public relations. That happens at a time when it’s more important than ever to build and strengthen relationships with customers, the company says.
I’ll be writing about ways to craft press releases and distribute them and provide other tips on getting the word out using public relations. Your biggest investment will be in time but you’ll be reewarded with new business and better search-engine rankings.