Step #2: Create a blog
We know that the joke today is that everybody and their cat is running a blog, but there's a reason people love to blog: exposure! Blogging also creates productive conversations, both online and offline. A free blog on Blogger orWordPress can even serve as a temporary website for your business, although we do suggest having a website designed for your company by Forward View when it's feasible.The key to blogging is to regularly create engaging posts and to share them on social media. Blogs and social media fit together like peanut butter and bread, so use both communication mediums to support each other for maximum benefits. Remember that your blog shouldn't read like a blatant ad for your business. Instead, focus on industry developments, community insights and an occasional news update from your company.
Step #3: Publish a newsletter (like this one!)
MailChimp is a fantastic, and free newsletter service. We absolutely love everything about MailChimp, and our email subscribers frequently comment on the quality of our newsletter. Creating your own newsletter template in MailChimp shouldn't take more than a few hours, but developing regular communication with your business network is exceedingly vital. Like your blog, don't use your newsletter to send tons of ads for your company. The 80/20 rule is appropriate for newsletters: Publish interesting content 80% of the time and direct marketing appeals 20% of the time. If you reverse those numbers, expect to see lots of unsubscribe notices!
Step #4: Control your online presence
If you have any business, try running its name through search engines. Many companies like Yelp, Google and TripAdvisor will let you claim your business page and update it with custom content for free. These pages will then appear on search engines and apps. Add pictures, your own marketing pitch and contact information to create a nice profile on the relevant websites. If you have a restaurant, don't forget to add your menu! Respond to online reviews of your business, too. Yes, even the (obviously untrue) negative reviews deserve a reply!
Step #5: Generate free publicity and media love
This is the final, and most challenging, step of our guide, but success in Step #5 will elevate your marketing strategy to a higher level. We suggest contacting members of your local media organizations and offering to subscribe them to your newsletter. Ask if you could even be an expert industry source for them. Generating positive press is better than advertising because TV/radio commercials are often ignored by the public. For national exposure, contact HARO and sign up to be a source for reporters across the country. We've we've had good success with HARO and have made Forward View known to readers of top-shelf publications like Forbes. Even one quote in a leading newspaper, website or magazine can provide new opportunities for your business!