For a small online business, getting the word out is 90% of the battle. Press coverage from online journalism is the best way to get the word out. Finding a way to stand out from the crowd and get recognized online can seem almost impossible for many small businesses. It can seem like you just do not have the resources to compete with established competitors who can afford to out-advertise you at every turn. Luckily, on the internet, cleverness can get you just as far as deep pockets.
Free Press Coverage From Online Journalism
A free press is everywhere for those willing to look for it. Banner, video, and pop up ads are only one way to spread the word, and there is strong evidence out there that they are not the most efficient methods. Increasingly, generations who have grown up with the internet are learning to block and ignore advertisements in favor of what they perceive as more objective sources. Money spent on traditional advertising does not get the return that it used to, because most people simply do not trust ads anymore.
So, how do people find out about new products to buy and services to spend money on? While ads are still one way the word gets out, a much more popular avenue is the press. With the amount of online journalism in existence these days, people are spoiled for choice when it comes to finding news that caters explicitly to their interests. Reviews and press releases in online publications are one of the major ways that people learn about and research ways to spend their money.
Major News Sites Do This To Get The Word Out
While major news sites are one way to get the word out, you may find it to be difficult to get in touch with an editor. Big general news sites are inundated with press releases and sample products to feature on their websites. For a small business without connections, you may have to start a little smaller. This is not necessarily a bad thing, though!
No matter what the niche your product fills, you may be surprised to find that there is almost certainly a thriving online community surrounding it. With the free movement of information online, just about any niche, you can imagine will have bloggers and journalism sites dedicated specifically to it. This is where you can have the most impact on your interactions with the press.
Niche Bloggers And Journalists
The great thing about niche bloggers and journalists is that they usually will have a much better conversion rate to sales than big ticket sites that get tons of traffic. Even though the total number of readers a blogger might serve may look small, you have to consider that each of those pairs of eyeballs is going to be much more valuable to you than the average person.
One reason these readers will be valuable to you is that they are there specifically for your niche. On a general news site, you may be lucky if one percent of readers even had the potential to be a customer, depending on what your market is. By advertising specifically to your niche, you can guarantee that a huge proportion of readers are there for the kind of thing you offer. A hundred readers who are very interested in your niche can be worth more than ten thousand who have never heard of it.
Another reason smaller, more targeted websites are usually a better bet for sales is that the writers and reviewers working those sites tend to have a more personal connection to their audience. When people are looking for opinions on a product, they are more likely to take advice as true the closer they feel to the person telling them about it. A nameless tech blogger at a major news site won’t carry the same weight with their audience as a small blogger with a close-knit community will.
Searches For Small Communities
The trick to getting free press is first to find these small communities in your niche. Try searching for things like “X blog” “X product reviewers” and “X influencers,” where “X” is your product or service, to find communities that may be interested in your product. Cast a wide net; you want to get your name out there on as many sites as possible. Even a small site will help out your search rankings.
Then, reach out to the people who operate the site and see if they would be interested in a partnership. Many blogs and niche websites are happy to review a product or service if you provide it for free. By shipping out a few dozen of your products, you will get the word out organically to communities that are deeply interested in your niche.
Once the word is out, the great thing is that it will start to spread naturally. Readers of the blogs who reviewed your products will tell their friends, and those friends will tell more friends, and before you know it you will have more sales than you can keep up with!