Sure, it would be fantastic if your small business was featured on “Good Morning America” or in the pages of People magazine.
But let’s be realistic—the odds of getting covered in such a mass-market publication are low simply because of the massive level of competition for scarce pages or airtime. “Good Morning America”‘s producers need to attract the maximum number of viewers, and if it comes down to a decision between an interview with you or Brad Pitt, well, let’s just say that the bookies won’t be taking bets in your favor.
But, these days, there are lots of other ways to get exposure for your business, especially online, where more and more people are turning to business blogs for information, news and advice.
John Jantsch from Duct Tape Marketing has put together a good article for American Express’s Open Forum called “5 Tips for Getting More Exposure from Bloggers, Tweeters and Fans.”
John shows that with a bit of effort, your odds are good of getting covered in a respected, well-read business blog. One of his best ideas involves using sites like Digg, Stumbleupon and delicious to try to find up-and-coming blogs that aren’t yet inundated with pitches.
When you do find these blogs, John warns against simply firing off a press release and hoping for the best. The Internet is all about interactivity, participation and relationship-building. A far better approach would be to become a regular reader of the blog, subscribe to its RSS feed. If a blogger has a Facebook page, join [his or] her fan group. If a blogger uses Twitter, start following him [or her].
One of the best ways to show a blogger that you are an engaged reader is to make useful comments (not promotional fluff) and help stimulate conversation on [his or] her posts.
Finally, when you have established yourself as a credible and engaged reader, that’s the time to pounce and send along a brief pitch for a story, explaining why your idea would be a perfect fit for the blog and its readers.
Sure, such a strategy takes an investment of time and energy, but it could be worth it to establish yourself as a go-to source for a rising-star blogger. These days, the line is thinner than ever between traditional media and the blogosphere. Bloggers are invited to participate in White House news conferences and cover political campaigns. Blogs sometimes break major news stories that have offline papers scrambling to keep up. And since bloggers have an insatiable need for content, getting known as a valuable source of good story ideas could lead to extensive ongoing coverage for yourself and your business.
Also note that blog exposure can be especially valuable for companies that sell products or services direct to consumers via the Internet. A consumer reading a blog that mentions you or your company is just a few clicks away from making a purchase…
Have you had any luck getting exposure or sales through a blog? If so, what strategies did you employ to get noticed?