OFFLINE Publicity is Not Dead
Although posting articles online, on your own website and other websites, creating buzz on social media sites, sending e-mails, posting free online adds and paid ads (Pay Per Click, Pay Per View), etc. is easy, fast, and usually cheap way to get traffic to your site; these are not always the most effective ways to get out the world about you, your business or your offers.
For best results, be sure to combine online marketing with traditional offline promotional methods to promote a website or online business.
Why Use Offline Promotion
There are still plenty of people out there who rely more on print media: magazines, newspapers, local publications, trade publications, more so than the Internet, to get their information. The reasons for that may be very diverse, from lack of time to browse the web, to lack of computer skills or lack of trust, as they feel a printed article is more “trust-worthy” than any information they can find online.
Getting publicity in the OFFLINE world and publishing articles in the printed media is a great way to leverage your content, broaden your audience and increase traffic to your website. You will gain exposure, credibility, rise above the competition, plus it can open unexpected possibilities for you and your business.
And, it’s not as difficult as you may think.
While getting published in the New York Times is not going to be easy, small publications and local newsletters will usually happily accept quality content that is interesting and educational to their audience. Just remember, when writing for special-interest groups, tailor your articles to target those niches.
How Do You Get Your Articles Noticed By the Media?
What you need to do is to come up with an interesting angle or fresh approach, new ways of doing things. Something that can be interesting to the readers. When writing articles or press releases, don’t make them sound like advertising.
Basically, as one publicity expert put it: “Free publicity is the art of disguising your free plug as news.”
For example, you may write about:
- You’re doing something unusual or there is something unique to your business
- You have a compelling personal story
- You have a fresh perspective on a story or topic of interest
- You have a controversial opinion on a topic of interest to a broad number of the audience
- You can bring a local angle to a national or international story
- You can provide expert advice that helps solve a common problem, etc.
33 Ideas to Get FREE and Paid Publicity in the “Real World”
Here is a list of ideas to get you started in the wold of offline publicity.
1. Offer the local newspapers or newsletters to write a series of articles about a popular subject. For example, if you have a site about gardening tools, you can create a series with Gardening tips – you can provide some timely information how to maintain your garden and what tools to use – with information about your site. You can also offer surprising facts about the products, invent a new use for the products, or tie what you offer to a season.
2. Write about something controversial, a celebrity or break-a-news story, tie it to your niche or business, and submit it to the local papers, to attract attention and build traffic.
3. Express an opinion about an issue raised in a popular TV-show show, a best-selling book or blockbuster movie, tie it to your niche or business, and submit it to the local papers, to attract attention and build traffic.
4. Write an ebook about something relevant to your niche an/or your community and promote it in the local media.
5. Hold a contest and give away a prize and write about it to the local newspapers. Also, post a notice about it on community bulletin boards found in local libraries, grocery stores, and community centers. For example, if you have a costume site, hold a “best costume” contest – ask people to submit pictures of their costumes for a prize. If your site sells unique chess sets, hold a chess competition.
6. Conduct a survey, offer a prize for participation, and publicize it in the local media.
7. Print business cards and promotional cards and leave them wherever you can – for example, local libraries often have a place where local businesses leave their promotional materials for others to take, community centers, etc. Ask if you can put your promotional materials in related retail or office locations.
8. Launch a community service project and publicize it.
9. Do something memorable or controversial to encourage “word of mouth” marketing.
10. Solicit the help of a local reporter to write up the articles for you.
11. Write a press release and submit it to local newspapers.
12. Promote your sites using cheap or free classified ads in local newsletters and newspapers. This can be a great way to test the response to different offers and headlines.
13. Submit articles to trade magazines with a link to your site in your bio.
14. Offer a free email mini-course or e-course and send announcement to local newspapers.
15. Get some t-shirts printed with your URL and wear them everywhere.
16. Get some stickers made with your URL and put them on your car, bicycle, ski helmet, or wherever… You can even have a big ad custom made to be placed on your vehicle.
17. Participate in a trade show and bring a give-away with your site address.
18. Network with other people at seminars and other live events.
19. Speak at seminars and give the audience a reason to visit your website. Join local Toastmasters to improve your speaking skills and help you get rid of stage fright.
20. Set up a kiosk or booth at community events and give away something free to create buzz.
21. Place ads in the Yellowpages.
22. Place classified ads in targeted magazines.
23. Organize a free workshop at a local store, business, library, or organization.
24. Place ads on a local radio station. Remember that talk radio is best.
25. Place ads on internet radio stations. It’s cheap and can be very effective. Remember that talk radio is best.
26. Advertise on TV. This can be seem cost-prohibitive if you think about the national TV stations. But being a sponsor of the program on a local station can be surprisingly affordable and will give you huge exposure.
27. Partner with a local business to integrate your products with.
28. If you have a physical location, such as store or office, that people visit, put up a large advertising with your web address.
29. Become a sponsor or donate money to a charity. This way you often end up on their promotional materials and website as a contributor.
30. Sponsor a local event – for example, a local sports tournament.
31. Constantly brainstorm for more ideas. Always carry a notebook with you to record new ideas or record them on your cell phone, before you forget them.
32. Go to the meetings of your local chamber of commerce to network. Ask them for a link to your site.
33. Snail-mail letters or flyers to local businesses that could benefit from your products or services.
34. Participate in package insert program with other local businesses. This involves mailing a package of flyers, brochures, business cards, etc. to potential clients and splitting the cost with non-competing businesses.
Remember that you can target local publications, even if you don’t live in the area. Just having something interesting to say to the readers should be enough, or – if you want to build a connection – even the fact that you once spend a vacation in the area and loved it may create a “bond” with places where you don’t live.