02 April 2009

The Summer (or Spring) of Link Love

Ahhh, I haven't blogged in a while! Shame on me, but I promise, I've been off learning some really great things. What, you ask? Well, for one, I now know how to snowboard. I've been twice already and will venture up to Tahoe for a day this weekend. Hopefully I'll come back fully about to carve.

And, while the other stuff I've been learning has been mostly for work, it's really mind-blowing overall. I'm talking about the huge mount of link love going on around me. It's like the summer of love, but for links and it's actually spring.

Despite the corny joke, I'm serious. When I started out in PR, I was a little skeptical about online news articles. At least, with regards to valuing any placed for clients. After all, isn't a tangible article in print much more legit?

I now know the answer: no. It's not more legit, it's more antiquated. Everything is online - that's where people get there information and the trends will only increase. But, along with the death of the print media industry comes new ways to consume and share information and, along with that, comes new ways to think about PR, marketing and sales.

You might think I'm stating the obvious here and, if so, fine, I am. What I'm really trying to get at is that in shifting focus to publicizing a company online, you have to value your website. Not in the way where you try to make it spiffy and attractive, but in a way where you focus on driving traffic to it. If you don't, then you're wasting money designing your website. As I've gotten more looped into various social media campaigns, it's become apparent that beyond wanting to have more followers on Twitter, more fans on Facebook and more corporate mentions in the blogosphere, it's increasingly important to drive and measure traffic back to your website. If you're not doing this, then you're not on the right path.

Yes, it is still good to shoot for getting into what you might have normally considered a "tier one" publication, but at least consider looking at your Google Analytics to see what impact that publicity has on your website. If not much, maybe consider taking your news elsewhere, or at least putting some resources into finding and influencing other outlets.

Okay - that's my tirade for now. My excuse for not blogging is learning about how to turn interesting and useful information into content and how to distribute that content across the Web in a way that will increase a company's public relations awareness and drive people back to their website, or rather, their sales funnel. The economy will no doubt speed up the pace at which more people learn the lessons I'm in the midst of learning, but what I can say for now is that this is very strategic and exciting and I look forward to learning more!


Alex Birch said...

I would just say it depends on the your desired demographics. If you're trying to sell/inform the octogenarians and luddites, you'd be better sticking to the "top tier." If you're target is the normal person, then you should do focus primarily on social media.


Alex, you bring up a really good point. Even within social media tools, there is fragmentation. For example, though it's rapidly changing, Twitter tends to skew towards adult males in their thirties to mid-forties. By contrast, Facebook skews to teenage girls. So, while social media offers you more avenues for communicating with your audience, the same rules that have always applied to marketing and PR still hold true - determine your audience and target them accordingly. Thanks for the comment!