No product or service is ubiquitous; consumers are unique and not all are going to coincide with what your company is offering. With that in mind, it’s important to stress your company’s individuality and seek out the “right” type of client or customer.You know they’re out there, but how do you find them? And more importantly, how do they find you?

 

Social Media

Now that you’ve established who that perfect customer is, find out where they spend their time. Social Media has an outlet for just about everyone, so find out which channel your target market prefers. Facebook ranks as the world’s most popular social media channel (no surprises there) accounting for 71% of all internet users. It’s a great starting point — and one which allows you to target users by what their other interests are, or even to target friends of existing fans. Pinterest is preferred by women ages 18 to 49, and Instagram is popular with younger internet users, ages 18 to 29, and minorities. On all networks, interacting with brands, personalities, and groups your ideal customer is also likely to be interested in is a great way to improve reach.

 

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

The first step in effective SEM is picking a set of keywords your customers will actually use. This means using language customers may type in looking for specific products — their jargon, not yours. SEM can also can target geographically, which is especially helpful for businesses targeting locally, such as restaurants, cleaning services, medical practices, and city or region specific non-profits.

 

Email Marketing

Use your email to reinforce brand image and clarify product offers. To make sure your email list is focussed and targeted, provide a clear unsubscribe option — not just out of legal obligation, but to make sure anyone who accidently submitted a form or joined a list can get off you list of potential customers. Better yet, provide an option for less frequent emails to keep anyone who is interested, but doesn’t want too many updates.

 

Content Marketing

Targeted content designed to attract your ideal customers is key. For example, for apparel or accessories retailers, a well-edited blog focussing on styles and trends on brand can be a great asset. If you’re Hot Topic, don’t write about pastels for spring–stick to content that truly reflects your brand. Create articles, infographics, videos and slide shares your ideal customer would want to see, even if they aren’t completely about your product. For example, a company that sells pet food can help find customers by creating pieces about pet grooming, training, and animal rescue to attract animal lovers and likely pet owners.

 

Digital PR

Online Press Releases are a great way to address consumer questions or concerns directly, and help attract consumers looking for specific information. For instance, if your brand has launched a line of sweatshop-free clothing, highlight your efforts in a press release to garner the attention of consumers looking for fair labor items.

 

SEO

As with SEM, productive, effective Search Engine Optimization begins with a set of keywords carefully chosen to fit the searches of your targeted audience. Try using Google Trends to key in on what words or phrases people are actually looking for. Additionally, make sure to audit and update your SEO frequently with new product offerings.

 

Inbound marketing

If you are a service provider, a brief form fill can help visitors self identify in ways which clarify whether they are a good fit. For example, if you service clients primarily on the east coast, a form fill asking what region the person is writing from can help you understand immediately who may be eligible for referral to another service.

 

When a potential customer for a service calls in, it’s also imperative to appropriately qualify them and make sure you are a good fit for each other. Questions about needs, budget, and timeframe will help you both determine when it’s a good fit.

 

Customer Service

As your business grows, make sure to check in with customers to see how they are feeling about your service or products. If you are are a service provider and a customer’s needs are no longer a perfect fit for your model, offer referrals or other options. Evaluate your business model to make sure it still is a fit for the kind of customers you want to service. A good fit means a win-win.

 

Need help targeting your ideal customer online? Contact an Ajax Union representative today!

Press releases are a major focus of online marketing. Historically, press releases have been a key link-building method, offering a wide range of quality links embedded in rich, rewarding content. With the most recent updates to Google’s search algorithms, however, traditional press release distribution models have had to adapt: Google is now much stricter as it evaluates links, assesses sites for duplicate content, and assigns rankings to pages. Modern marketing professionals need to carefully select the most suitable option from among the many PR distribution networks to ensure SEO benefits and prevent search engine penalties. In this post, we’ll look at a few of the different networks available to today’s business leaders.

 

When considering options for a press release distribution, professionals can choose from two major groups: paid sites and free sites. Paid sites typically offer a more robust network, higher quality links, and more insightful analytics for tracking results. Free sites tend to be more streamlined by comparison, but still offer online exposure without a heavy expenditure of resources.

 

Paid Sites

PRNewswire.com

Award-winning and trusted by top global businesses, PRNewswire.com represents the highest quality standard in the industry. This network enjoys the highest PageRank among its field of competitors, meaning that links from PRNewswire.com sites offer the most rankings benefits to customers. PRNewswire.com is considered by many to have the best network of affiliated sites and offers users a full suite of tools to help optimize a release to complement high-quality content. All these benefits, however, come with a significant price tag: a fully-featured PR can cost up to $1,000. For those who want to make a serious investment in press release marketing, PRNewswire.com is a smart choice. Those on less flexible budgets may want to choose a pared-down option from this site or explore another network as an alternate.

PRWeb.com

PRWeb.com offers a similar experience to PRNewswire.com, but has a slightly lower PageRank. Even so, its competitive pricing and SEO reporting tools make this network an ideal match for companies just starting to explore paid PR distribution. PRWeb.com has an effective and comprehensive distribution option available for around $200, allowing newcomers to the field or businesses with more conservative marketing budgets the opportunity to conduct meaningful, affordable outreach.

eReleases

eReleases, a prominent paid distribution network, is a good fit for businesses with unique needs or clear and focused marketing goals. With a wide range of targeting options, reliable reporting, and attentive customer service, eReleases is an ideal platform on which SEO professionals can pursue an innovative custom strategy. In terms of cost, eReleases is in the middle of the leading paid sites. eReleases is best for delivering on specific goals and works most effectively for clients with a distinct plan in mind.

Free Sites

There are many free distribution sites available online, each with its own advantages and drawbacks. While the free networks don’t offer the same benefits as their paid counterparts, they do still give companies a chance to reach a broad audience without needing to make a financial commitment. Most free sites share a core selection of features, such as links, tags, and other logistical and SEO options, so selecting a free site comes down largely to personal preference. One of the most popular options is PRLog, the free site with the best PageRank in its field. This site offers multimedia options, a free account complete with a personalized Press Room, and other helpful features free of charge.

 

Best Practices

No matter which press release distribution network you choose, you’ll want to ensure your release is rewarding, informative, and newsworthy. Writing a press release that conforms to Google’s latest recommendations is the best way to get the most value from your distribution. Be sparing with your use of keywords, especially in anchor text, provide unique information to your audience, and prioritize original content over copy-paste boilerplate, and you’ll find your releases much more successful. When you match clever writing and careful editing with a distribution network that meets your needs, you can claim search benefits inaccessible to other types of online marketing.

 

Need help with your online PR? Contact an Ajax Union representative today!