Getting Free Publicity for Your Business

    You want the world to know about your business so I can get as many customers as possible. The best way to do that is by buying ads, right?

    Well, maybe. But if you rely solely on advertising, you’re missing out on a key element of business promotion. Welcome to the world of public relations. Public relations is more cost-effective than advertising because instead of paying to have your business included in publications or on websites, you’re getting the publication or website to feature your business in their content. As Entrepreneur points out, this kind of publicity can last longer and possibly reach a much larger audience than advertising alone.

    Successful business branding in print and online

    If you’re going to spend the money to brand your business – and yes, you should spend the money to brand your business – it seems logical that you could then use that branding across different media platforms, right?

    Right! However there are some caveats to consider. When done well, cross-platform branding can make your business look and perform well. Done inappropriately, it can cripple your business potential.

    Let’s start at the beginning. Your business brand, according to Entrepreneur, is your promise to your customer. It conveys what can be expected and how your business is different than others. It isn’t just a logo or a color scheme. It is your business “voice,” from the tone of written communication to visual images.

    Here are five tips to successfully translating your print brand to an online brand.

    Online Advertising: Getting the Most for your Money

    Almost nothing in the world can seem as daunting as investing money in online advertising. There is that nagging fear that you’re throwing hard-earned cash into a money pit, hoping for some return.

    There are many ways to advertise online:

    • Directly on other websites, such as your local newspaper website or a trade association site.
    • Through featured listings on review sites, such as Angies List or Yelp.
    • Using Search Engine Marketing. This is the one we’ll focus on as it has the most potential to be either a great resource or a major drain.

    Perhaps the most well-known search engine marketing tool used today is Google AdWords.  Using AdWords, businesses purchase ad space along the top, bottom and side of Google search results. These ads can also appear through Google’s ad network on a wide variety of sites.

    Signing up for an AdWords account is the easy part. Google makes it easy to keep costs low, especially for new business accounts. Sign up for a new business account, or first build your Google+ social networking page, then wait a week or so for Google to mail you a coupon for $100 or so off your first AdWords campaign.