Posts Tagged ‘Online marketing’

2008 Hidden Jewel Awards launched

Blue starfishThe 2007 PublicityShip Hidden Jewel Awards for small tourism operators were a resounding success, with almost 300 businesses from across Australia registering.

Each state winner achieved between 2 and 4 media stories in their target travel and lifestyle publications, including some fantastic features. The national winner, Ningaloo Blue, received a website, which came in at an amazing Google PageRank 4 after just two months of going live.

Hidden Jewel logo mediumFor 2008, we have renamed the Awards the OM4Tourism Hidden Jewel Awards in honour of our new business .

OM4Tourism is dedicated solely to helping small tourism operators get the word out about their services and destinations.

Each state winner will receive a blog-enabled website from OM4Tourism, plus free hosting, a design package and keyword analysis to kickstart their online marketing. The overall winner will also get a publicity campaign from PublicityShip, targeting national print and broadcast media, plus global online distribution.

And all entrants will benefit from coming to the attention of our prestigious panel of judges.

For 2008, we’re thrilled to be welcoming the Executive Producer of Channel 9’s Getaway travel show, John Walsh, to the panel, along with, Quentin Long, Publisher of Australian Traveller, and Les Cox, CEO of AAT Kings.

The entry procedure is straightforward and quick. Register your interest now and you’ll receive information shortly on how to enter. To register, go to our Hidden Jewel page and scroll down to fill out the form.

2 steps to getting journalists interested in your story

Rolled magazineOne of the hardest parts of publicity is finding a good strong message that leads to your story getting published.

We can spend hours banging our fists against our foreheads trying to find a good story about our business. And if the journos don’t run with it, the disappointment is hard to recover from.

Here’s a better way to find your media messages, and get journalists interested in you.

1. Allow stories about your business to emerge naturally from your day-to-day online marketing.

We know that one of the most effective ways for a small business to build trust is by continually publishing content. This means regarding your website as a magazine and you as the editor.

Along with new product or service launches, there are so many things you can talk about on your site – draw on your experience and expertise and offer advice, comment on issues that relate to your business, talk about trends, tell stories about clients who have succeeded (with their permission).

Once you get into the habit of doing this, media stories will begin to jump off the screen.

You’ll find yourself saying, that’s a damn good story I just published. I know my audience will love it, so it makes sense to give the media a chance to publish it.

2. As well as putting out the story as a press release, send journalists links to your blog or newsroom, so that they can pick up the stories that interest them.

Include high-resolution images (upload them in hi-res, insert a thumbnail on the page or post, and link it to the hi-res version for download), and they’ll love you even more.

This kind of resource is invaluable to journalists, and bringing them to your site enables them to see that you are an authority in your niche. Chances are they’ll come back for more.

5 ways to build trust through publicity

Anna Pollock of Desticorp recently highlighted the changes in the way consumers are making choices.

She quoted statistics from FutureLab that reveal the soaring mistrust of brands and advertising, and pointing to peer reviews as being the most trusted influence in the decision to buy:

“Peer reviews are preferred over expert reviews by a 6 to 1 margin,” she told us.

She also pointed to the change in what makes a successful brand. No longer are we looking to brands that express an identity or image. It seems we’re now looking for those that appeal to our aspirations: “how does this brand make the world a better place?” (Think IBM’s ‘You can innovate to make a difference’ and BP’s ‘green’ logo.)

This is reflected in the world of online marketing, where a business is more likely to succeed if it:

  • convinces us of its credibility through customer reviews, testimonials or stories, and
  • regularly publishes useful content that addresses our problems and aspirations (a flashy website dedicated purely to image is less likely to convert).

As consumers, we no longer rely on a one-way flow of information via static websites, ads, brochures etc. We look for peer reviews and someone who understands our problems or desires, and who is willing to help us by providing information and resources.

A conversation is taking place.

Underneath the conversation lies a series of supportive ‘resources’ – or products and services that bring the business its revenue. Trust in the business leads to acquisition of the customer – or sales.

This set me thinking about what this all means for PR, and publicity in particular.

Publicity has always been a way to create a story and inspire a conversation around a product or service, and this is why it’s becoming an increasingly important part of the marketing mix. It’s the closest form of marketing to word-of-mouth, which is the most trusted.

My advice is to give your audience what they’re looking for – a conversation around the relevant issues, with engaging stories from satisfied customers.

Here are my five ways to build trust through publicity:

  1. Steer clear of promotional messages. The journey is from conversation to conversion. Trying to sell during the conversation is similar to interruption advertising, and is less likely to succeed.
  2. Start a conversation by putting out interesting, newsworthy, issues-based messages.
  3. Find satisfied customers who are willing to be profiled or tell their aspirational and inspirational story.
  4. Put more stories and articles on your site and make them freely available to the media and your prospects.
  5. Be genuine and responsive in your intention to offer free advice and support through all your media channels (including your own site) – readers and listeners are becoming very good at sniffing out a fake, and will expect a conversation, not a pitch.

Online Marketing for Tourism – Our New Site

Blue starfishGlenn has just announced the launch of our new online marketing site, Now it’s my turn! is another brand new site dedicated to providing online marketing resources for small tourism businesses.

If this is you, take a look at the site and have a browse. It’s designed to help you decide what you need to be doing to get in front of of the rapidly increasing number of online browsers looking for travel experiences.

We have a series of articles, self-help guides and information on services we provide. For those who aren’t sure why online marketing matters so much, start by reading The New Rules of Online Marketing for Tourism.

I’m also encouraging lots of feedback, so don’t hesitate to leave comments, fill in our “Tell Us What You Think” form or email me.

Oh, and if you’re wondering why the starfish – this is emerging as our OM4Tourism symbol. The five legs correspond to the five online marketing tools we recommend: Keyword Analysis, Content Marketing, Search Marketing, Email Marketing and Affiliate Marketing.

All these – and how they apply to your marketing process – are explained in more detail on the new site.

Launching OM4 for our Online Marketing services

OM4 LogotypeBack in July 2006 Jane posted on the topic PublicityShip?. We had just changed our name from Release Writer (our first name, from March 2006) to PublicityShip.

We think small business publicity is very different to traditional PR, and deserves a better name.

Well online marketing is very different even to our ‘New Rules of Marketing & PR’ blend of online and offline publicity. So we are creating a new business name to operate under.

The new business is OM4. The name was chosen because its nice and short, and not hard to spell :)

OM4 is a good name because there are four powerful tools associated with online marketing:

  • Content Marketing
  • Search Marketing
  • Email Marketing
  • Affiliate Marketing

We haven’t forgotten Keyword Analysis, its just that we can’t give it a snappy name like the others (Keyword Marketing isn’t right). And then it would be OM5 (see below).

OM4 is also a good name because we could then launch OM4Tourism, which is of course Online Marketing For Tourism. This is where we apply everything we know about online marketing to help smaller tourism operators get their story out to the world. Jane will do a full post launching OM4Tourism soon.

So if you are interested in improving your online marketing, subscribe to OM4 by email or RSS. I’ll be doing a series of posts designed to help business owners and those responsible for running online marketing to understand what resources are available to them, and how they can get more value out of their online marketing efforts.

Also what do you think of our new OM4 logo? What does it say to you, could it be improved?