Living High on the Blog
William Arruda, founder of Reach Communications Consulting, a Boston-based branding agency, had no idea what suddenly caused an 800 percent spike in his average daily website traffic. "Then a colleague told me we were mentioned in an industry blog," says Arruda, 43.Some blogs have great influence, says Jeanne Achille, CEO of The Devon Group, a PR and marketing services firm in Shrewsbury, New Jersey. To add blogs to your PR mix:
- Keep in touch with bloggers when there are changes to your product, staff or company. E-mail is usually the best way to do this quickly.
- Invite key industry bloggers to media events like news conferences, and offer them product demos--these may end up in the blog.
- Offer advance notification and exclusives. Says Achille, "Bloggers love it when you give them the news first."
- Know your stuff. Bloggers are usually industry experts, so be prepared to answer detailed questions.
Achille cautions that bloggers can be very protective of their readers, and they'll say what they really think about your company. If the possibility of backlash leaves you cold, check out Blogads, which lets you control your message through advertising on blogs. Rates start at $10 per week.
If you're looking for an online campaign that really speaks to your audience, check out InstantAudio.com, a service that lets you attach your own voice to your website and e-mail communications by simply using the telephone. According to CEO Rick Raddatz, sending audio postcards by e-mail "can generate open rates of about 43 percent-about five times a good e-mail campaign [without voice added]." Even better news: It's not going to be a budget-buster. At $29.95 per month, you can send as many audio e-mails of up to two hours as you like and store audio, including tutorials or training information, on your website. Test the service first by visiting the website, where you can send an audio e-mail for just a buck.
Compared to traditional retail consumers, online shoppers are
more likely to be "extremely satisfied" with their customer service experience.
Statistic Source: NRF Foundation and American Express Co.
say they have received a promotional product in the past year;
can name the advertiser who gave them the product.
Statistic Source: Promotional Products Association International
is a consultant and writer specializing in marketing.