When it comes to marketing, the choices are clear: market to your reader. But the “where” to find your reader has changed as more and more of our lives migrate online. A recent article on how offline media is succumbing to the ‘Net talked about a flurry of newspapers diving into online content, online ad placement, and online forums to push more of their feature pieces, reviews and editorials into a virtual medium. Even industry standards like the Wall Street Journal and The New York Times are moving more and more of their content to their websites.
So what does this mean for you? Well, it means that the lines between on and offline are becoming even more blurred.
It used to be that if you were pitching a few select publications you could contact both their on and offline departments separately and possibly be considered for interviews or feature pieces in both of them. That’s not the case anymore. Sometimes an online feature means that you can kiss your offline exposure goodbye, so it’s good to ask before you start pitching.
Much of the media’s online content is now pulled from their offline source, so while this could work in your favor it’s better to be certain if you have your eye on print coverage. That said, you might be better off being featured on their website where you’ll get lasting exposure.
But media promotion isn’t the only factor in marketing. In fact, there’s a lot you can do without even heading into the media realm. Consider these ideas:
1. Craig’s List: have you been on this site recently? If you haven’t, take a few minutes and run through the listings for your city. It’s a great place to promote yourself, but be careful, the Craig’s list people don’t like a “salesy” type of pitch but prefer something more folksy and casual. If you surf the site for a while you’ll see what I mean. You can use Craig’s list to promote your event, your product, even your service, but they key is not to look like you’re promoting. Also, keep in mind that often regional media will surf this site looking for events they can cover, so get yours listed there now!
2. Virtual networking: it’s not just for trading business cards anymore. If you’re trying to gain a platform or gain media exposure, heading on over to sites like Linkedin.com can be a good way to start your network and gain additional exposure. Also, sites like MySpace, which gets a bad rap as a predator site when only a marginal portion of people on this site are there for nefarious reasons, has virtually a place for everyone and every message. MySpace does tend to skew younger, so if you’re not a MySpace person, try EONS.com instead – this site targets the over 50 crowd and offers another great place to market your book and message.
3. YouTube: this site isn’t just for singing pancakes, in fact more and more authors are moving snippets of signings, speaking gigs or other visual promotional tools to this hot new resource. It’s a great link back to your site.
4. Social bookmarking: have you been doing your social duty lately? Posting to sites like Del.icio.us http://del.icio.us/ or Jots http://www.jots.com/ could really help to spread your message like wildfire. Sometimes a few sites is all it takes to start the buzz going in your market.
5. Looking into the overlooked media: As the bigger papers are moving their content online and vying to keep readership interested, the smaller overlooked papers like The Bastrop Daily Enterprise in Louisiana and Arkadelphia Daily Siftings Herald in Arkansas are booming. Their readership is loyal and their papers are always hungry for content. Have you poked around in the smaller regional newspapers yet? If you haven’t you might want to. You might find that while it’s great to have an online presence, the further we get into Web 2.0 the more these publications are overlooked by pr people.
The ‘Net has opened up a multitude of opportunities both online and off. Take your focus off the norm and start exploring some new territory, you might be surprised what it can do for your campaign!
Penny C. Sansevieri, CEO and founder of Author Marketing Experts, Inc., is a best-selling author and internationally recognized book marketing and media relations expert. Her company is one of the leaders in the publishing industry and has developed some of the most cutting-edge book marketing campaigns. She is the author of five books, including Book to Bestseller which has been called the “road map to publishing success.” AME is the first marketing and publicity firm to use Internet promotion to its full impact through The Virtual Author Tour™, which strategically works with social networking sites, blogs, micro-blogs, ezines, video sites, and relevant sites to push an authors message into the virtual community and connect with sites related to the book’s topic, positioning the author in his or her market. To learn more about Penny’s books or her promotional services, you can visit her web site at http://amarketingexpert.com/. To subscribe to her free ezine, send a blank email to: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright Ã£ 2008 Penny C. Sansevieri
How about Technorati? This site tracks blog popularity and includes tools for its use. I wrote an article on How to Claim a Blog on Technorati.com that may prove helpful to your readers.
Many of my peers consider blogging to be separate from social networking, but my experiences with my own work and that of my clients shows that all of the community-driven principles for Web 2.0 leveraging are just as effective with blogs.