Ah, publicity! Pure gold in promotional currency. Catching the interest of the right writers, editors and producers who can, in turn, amplify your news to thousands of their readers, viewers and followers is an art, science and quid pro quo proposition. The media needs constant new content and businesses who launch a website need the media to make their cause known.
So when it’s time to flip that virtual door sign to “Open” and invite the world in, you’ll first need to get the word out.
How do you get the adoring public clicking a path to your door? We hope this blog will outline a few ways to get started.
Address the Press
First you’ll need to write a professional press release or work with an agency with proven expertise. See our blog about virtual press releases for an introduction. The format for the press release is fairly simple. Put the most important news in the first paragraph and add supporting details. Conclude with a contact for more information.
Blitz the Media
There are services that will distribute your press release to local and national news agencies. Their contacts are by far more expansive than any you could compile on your own and they can disperse the release in one day. You can use these articles once they get published to further promote your business and its new website to other targeted news outlets.
Schedule prepared posts on all your social accounts to coincide with the hard launch. This is the time after all the bugs are out and you’ve tested the site with a small audience. Announce your “Grand Opening” several times on platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Attach an image of your website or a video showing someone using all the new features. You might even make a gif or meme that captures the essence of your brand.
Nothing makes for a more enthusiastic blog than talking about your own wow-inspiring website. Every feature planned to benefit users can be touted in one informative post. Believe it or not, some people even search for “Website Redesign for XYZ Company” to see if anything new has changed on their favorite sites because it’s hard to keep up with technology. Use your blog for an introduction that will interest editors and attract new users.
Did you know more people read more of their e-mails than Facebook or Twitter posts? It’s true. This old standby is still the most successful in delivering a higher click rate, too. Don’t underestimate the loyalty you’ve built with existing customers. They’ll be the first to embrace information about your business triumph–a new or improved company site showcasing your goods and services. If something whiz-bang has been added, apprise them of the changes in an interesting way.
Have you ever gone up and down the aisle looking for something specific on a grocery list? You tend to notice a whole lot of things you never knew existed. You’re hypervigilant. Use that same concept to get viewers to scrutinize your site. For example, offer a $50 gift certificate to the first person to find a smiley face in one of your photos. Or challenge readers to find how many times the word “insouciant” is used throughout (not many, I hope.) Any contest or game that offers a quest and a reward will incite people to become engaged.
Say It Again
Repeat the message, “Check Out Our New Website”, wherever you can in all your correspondence. Every email that goes out for the first three months should contain it somewhere even though that sounds ridiculous. You may think your new website is old news because you started working on it a year ago. But many people haven’t seen it yet. If you take a slightly new angle each time you mention your redesign or launch, people will be less likely to tire of it.
And Finally, A Word About Directories
There are hundreds of Website Directories that claim to be the place to be listed to build links back to your website. As I worked my way down the list I found that some were a really random collection of entries with a small store in Australia followed by Banana Republic. Some have not been updated for years with listings that are out of business. Even big names like DMOZ and Yahoo were either under construction or new ownership. So spend some time finding a credible directory and determining which one might work for your business.
Adding your link to one or more website directories can be time-consuming, but if it boosts exposure and brings in new visitors, it’s worth it. Read rules for submission carefully since each one has different requirements. If you can’t find your category, sometimes you can suggest they create a new one for you.
Here are a few we feel good about recommending:
- Bing.com – For a one time fee of $40 you’re free from spammers and clutter of personal websites.
- Business.com – $99 per year and they boast 12 million searchers. Strict editorial oversight and a variety of options from pay per click to display ads.
- Chamberofcommerce.com – Search by city, then by category. Good consumer articles on site.
- GoGuides.com – $20 for individuals, $150 for businesses. Great local business promotion tool.
So, let me conclude with a question. “Who’s at the helm of your new website launch?” Navigating the Internet can be stormy or smooth sailing depending on many variables. To announce the new site and reach the people you seek, you can’t send out a press release like a message in a bottle. Let us give you a more modern approach.