Get Your Biz Noticed Online--For Free Got a tight budget? You can still get noticed. Find out why online publicity is one of the best ways to boost your business.
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When popular diet blogger Hungry Girl declared her obsession with Jeff Wilkinson's low-fat coffee products, she inadvertently launched thousands of voices clamoring for his creamers. The problem: His products were only available in Arizonaand California. "The biggest problem I had was that, if you're not national, large media outlets aren't interested in covering you," says Wilkinson, 45, founder of Simply Sublime Foods, a specialty food manufacturer in Gold River, California. "I've been struggling [because] my biggest competitor is Nestlé Foods' Coffee-Mate, which has millions per year in advertising."
In the weeks following the August 2006 plug, Wilkinson suddenly had meetings with megagrocers such as Kroger, Ingles, Publix, Whole Foods Market and others. He says Hungry Girl opened doors that had previously been closed tight.
Welcome to the power of online publicity, where bloggers are becoming semicelebs, virtually anyone can host his or her own podcast and consumers are constantly checking out information about products and services. With the explosion of blogs, podcasts, zines and high-readership websites, a whole new world of opportunities has opened up for businesses interested in getting the word out to targeted markets. Businesses need to know how to navigate this electronic terrain to work effectively with newer media.