Advertise with TheKnot.com Wedding Network

Placing your advertisement in The Knot Wedding Network can help you reach 23,000 registered Long Island brides, as well as the 1,900 new brides who join the network every month. TheKnot.com offers a wedding gift registry, bridal gown search, local vendor directory, wedding etiquette tips and much more. When it comes to securing unique visitors and quality Web traffic, TheKnot.com is the undisputed leader in its industry, leaving competitors such as Brides.com and WeddingWire far behind. TheKnot.com is an excellent source of high-quality traffic, which increases the likelihood that your business will receive inquiries, phone calls and ultimately sales.

This popular wedding directory offers several advertising opportunities for businesses. The first option available is a full-color image advertiser profile, which includes a description of services, contact information and a website link. You can also choose to be a featured vendor, which guarantees first page placement on your category homepage, or to advertise with premium banners and badges that are featured on The Knot’s local homepages or category pages with a direct link to your website. The Knot Wedding Network also offers direct emails that can be sent to brides-to-be in your area for more specific targeting.

If your organization is interested in placing an ad, please contact The Public Relations and Marketing Group at (631) 207-1057 or info@theprmg.com.

Advertise with The Jewish Press’ Pre-Succoth Holiday “Where-to-Go-Guide”

More than 150,000 Jewish youngsters from over 200 Yeshiva Day Schools in the New York Metro Area will be off from school over the upcoming Jewish holiday of Succoth. These children will also be off during the “intermediate” days of Oct. 16th through 19th, as well as Sunday, Oct. 23rd. While all of the public, private and parochial schools are still in full session, these children and their families will be seeking fun and entertainment during their vacation time. Advertisers can take advantage of this special opportunity and advertise in the pre-Succoth Holiday “Where-to-Go Guide.” This guide will be published in the Oct. 7th edition of The Jewish Press, which is read by more than 96,000 Jewish families who buy and read the newspaper every week. By advertising in this guide, your ad can reach an interested audience during a time when other attendance may be running low.

The ad deadline is next Tuesday, Sept. 27th so please contact us as soon as possible at (631) 207-1057 or at johnzaher@theprmg.com if your company is interested in placing an advertisement.

A Beginner’s Guide to Google AdWords

Google Adwords

Follow These 5 Steps to Your AdWords Success

Google AdWords is one of the most effective, simple and budget-friendly forms of Web advertising available today. Taking advantage of Google AdWords can really help you make the most of your business’ advertising efforts. This form of pay-per-click (PPC) advertising targets users based on their location and your selected keywords, as well as other factors. These advertisements are so effective because Google AdWords allows you to reach people who are already looking for your products and services. Your ad will appear in the “sponsored links” section above the main search results or on the right side of the screen when someone searches on Google using one of your selected keywords. Users can then click on your ad to either make a purchase or learn more about you. In addition to text ads, you can also run display and click-to-play (CTP) video ads. Incorporating Google AdWords into your advertising strategy can drive more traffic to your website, maximize the effectiveness and reach of your advertisements and subsequently generate more leads. This article will help you get started with Google AdWords, choose the right keywords, determine your budget, create powerful advertisements and measure your performance.

1. Get Started — Once you are familiar with how Google AdWords works, choose a username and create your own AdWords account. Once your account is verified and active, you are free to begin. However, always set aside plenty of time for planning before starting any advertising campaign. It is crucial to determine who your target audience is before you create any ads. This is so important because on Google AdWords, you can target users by their location and related keywords. Using the Google Display Network on Google AdWords, you can reach users all over the Web and choose from text, image and video formats to communicate your message to highly targeted audiences. Once you create an ad, it is targeted automatically based on the themes in your keyword list or location you choose. Your ads can also be targeted manually, matching the specific placements you select, or based on the specific audiences you want to reach. For example, if your business is a restaurant and you are targeting people searching for food in a particular city, use regional targeting.

2. Choose the Right Keywords — Choosing the right keywords is essential to any Web advertising success. Before you create your ads, it is important to determine which words or phrases are most related to your business. It is essential that your keywords are relevant, high-quality and not overly general. They must directly relate to the theme of your advertisement and the page you are directing your potential customers to. A tip is to use phrases that are two or three words long. Selecting the right keywords will improve the performance of your ads and ensure that you are reaching the people who would be most interested in what your business has to offer.

3. Determine Your Budget— On Google AdWords, the amount you pay for advertising is entirely up to you. One of the main reasons why Google AdWords is so popular is because you are put in complete control of your spending. You can set a maximum cost-per-click (CPC) and decide on a daily budget. For example, you can set a daily budget of $10 or decide on a maximum cost of $15 cents for each click on your ad. This cost flexibility makes AdWords perfect for those on a budget. Which keywords you choose can also have an impact on how much you will pay. Each of your desired keywords can have a bid amount specifying the maximum amount you are willing to pay each time someone clicks on your ad. If your main keywords have high competition, you will pay more because the highest bid for a keyword gets the first place. However, especially for those who are just starting out with Google AdWords, we recommend using automatic bidding. With automatic bidding, you can set a 30-day budget and not have to worry about specifying individual bids for ad groups, keywords and ad placements. Google AdWords will set your bids for you with the goal of bringing you the most clicks possible within your budget.

4. Create Powerful Ads — If you are using text-based ads on Google AdWords, the content of your advertisement is the most important factor in reaching potential customers. The more powerful and compelling an advertisement is, the more likely people will be to click on it. Each ad is comprised of a headline, two lines of text, a display URL and a destination URL. Your headline will act as a link to your website and it should relate directly to your chosen keywords. The following text should convey the most important information about your product, service or organization. Since space is limited, it is essential for your message to be compelling, concise and descriptive. You can also help potential customers or clients find you by including your business address with textual ads. The display URL, which appears in green, will display the website that you are promoting and the destination URL is not visible because it is the exact page within your website where users are being directed.

However, text-based advertisements are not the only options available to you on Google AdWords. Using the Display Network, you can choose from text ads, image ads and video ads. Click-to-play (CTP) video ads provide a rich and engaging experience for users using visuals to enhance your advertising message. You can also choose to create image ads, which combine graphics and proven AdWords targeting technology. Before you create video or image ads, your campaign must be set to show ads on the Display Network.

5. Measure Your Performance — Periodically measuring your progress is important because once you know when and where your advertisement is most effective, you can adjust your targeting and bidding strategy. On Google AdWords, you can set up performance metrics in the “Campaigns” tab within your AdWords account. Here, you can see keyword metrics and view-through conversion reports that provide insight into the effectiveness of your ads on the Google Display Network. You can also use the Placement Performance Report to optimize your ad placements and improve the performance of your ads that have appeared on sites within the Display Network. This tool allows you to target more aggressively on Google as well as other well-performing search partners such AOL, CompuServe and Netscape. If necessary, adjust your ads, keywords and ad placement until you are satisfied with your results.

As always, if you would like further information or help with creating a Google AdWords campaign for your organization, please contact The Public Relations and Marketing Group at (631) 207-1057 or johnzaher@theprmg.com.

Advertise with Cablevision’s 2011 Major League Baseball Post Season Package

The 2011 Major League Baseball playoff season is rapidly approaching and so is this special advertising opportunity. For those who are unfamiliar with how the MLB playoffs work, the Divisional Series features 8 teams – the 3 Division Champions each from the American League and National League, as well as 1 Wild Card winner from each league. The two winners from each Divisional Series will advance to the League Championship Series (LCS). The LCS winners from each league will then advance to the World Series.

TBS has exclusive coverage of all the Divisional Series match ups and the National League Championship Series. Your business can advertise with the first Division Series, featuring the Yankees and an unknown opponent, from October 6th to October 12th. In case of a shortened series, you will only be billed for the games played. You may also choose to advertise during the second, third or fourth Division Series. Lastly, your business can also advertise during the National League Championship Series from October 9th to October 17th.

Your company can also take advantage of Cablevision’s MLB Added Value Opportunity. If you buy one playoff series, you will receive 14 bonus spots. Buy two series and receive 21 bonus spots. With the purchase of three series, you will receive 28 bonus spots, and a purchase of four series will provide you with 35 bonus spots. Lastly, if you buy all five series, you will receive 50 additional bonus spots. The bonus spots will air from 6 a.m. to 12 p.m. on the following networks: Headline News, ESPN Classic, Hist Intl, MLB Channel, MSG, Nat Geo, Oxygen, Style and Versus.

Inventory is limited, especially for Yankee games, so please contact The Public Relations and Marketing Group as soon as possible at (631) 207-1057 or at johnzaher@theprmg.com if your company is interested in placing an advertisement.

PRMG Hosts Fall Lecture Series at its Education and Training Center

PATCHOGUE, NY — The Public Relations and Marketing Group, LLC (PRMG) announces it is offering a series of lectures on how attorneys, restaurants, retail stores, companies and non-profit organizations can grow their business and protect their reputation. All lectures will be held at PRMG’s Education and Training Center, located at 156 North Ocean Avenue in Patchogue.

On September 23, PRMG will host a PR and Marketing For Lawyers CLE course from 11:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. In this program, John C. Zaher, Esq., a leading attorney marketing expert, will review the attorney advertising rules and provide an overview of the tools needed to develop and implement a successful marketing program. Those in attendance will receive two CLE credit hours for Ethics & Professionalism. Registration is $65 in advance ($85 at the door) and includes lunch and materials.

The following presentations will provide those in attendance a multifaceted marketing approach to their organization, including an overview of strategic planning and research, Web development, search engine optimization (SEO), public relations, social media, marketing, advertising and more:

Competing with the Big Boxes (and Little Boxes) Without Going Broke: A Marketing Seminar For Retailers on October 4 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Registration is $25 in advance, $35 at the door.

Non-Profits Need Marketing, Too: A Marketing Seminar for Non-Profits on October 14 from 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Registration is $25 in advance, $35 at the door.

Bring More Guests to Your Table: Marketing Strategies For Restaurants in Today’s Economy on November 1 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Registration is $25 in advance, $35 at the door.

Negative publicity on the Internet can cost businesses both money and customers. A strong online reputation management strategy is essential to the success of any organization in today’s business world. Getting Started with Reputation Management will provide an overview of a comprehensive reputation management strategy for business owners to monitor their online reputation, publish positive publicity, engage with their audience and take legal action if necessary. The presentation will be held October 7 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Registration is $15 in advance, $25 at the door.

Social media and the Web are essential components of any multifaceted strategy to make the most out of your business’ marketing efforts. Using Social Media and Web Marketing to Build Your Business will offer those in attendance with an overview of how to strengthen their business’ Web development and SEO, Web advertising efforts, social media presence and more. The presentation will be held October 21 from 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Registration is $25 in advance, $35 at the door.

It is imperative to include a marketing plan as part of a business plan and to budget funds for at least six months to a year. Starting a New Business: “If You Build It, They Won’t Necessarily Come” describes the steps PRMG recommends towards developing and implementing a cost-effective marketing plan for the new business owner. When starting a business, there is no room for error. This program, which be held on October 28 from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., will review strategies that work. Registration is $15 in advance, $25 at the door.

Registration fees include breakfast or lunch. For more information, call (631) 207-1057, email: johnzaher@theprmg.com or visit www.theprmg.com.

# # #

About PRMG
Founded in 2002, The Public Relations and Marketing Group, LLC (PRMG) is a full-service public relations and marketing agency based in Patchogue, New York. PRMG is dedicated to helping businesses, professionals, non-profit organizations, government entities, attorneys and law firms leverage their time, talents and resources by using effective public relations and marketing techniques, as well as advertising, graphic design, website design and development, digital video production, website search optimization and social media. PRMG has launched a variety of website-based entities, including Long Island Policy Forum, PatMedNews, Dining Out Long Island and New York Lawyer Pages. For more information, call (631) 207-1057 or visit www.theprmg.com.

Introducing New York Lawyer Pages

nylawyer

PRMG Announces Launch of New York Lawyer Pages Website

www.nylawyerpages.com

The Public Relations and Marketing Group, LLC (PRMG) announced it has launched its newest website-based entity, New York Lawyer Pages. The website was created by PRMG, a leading provider of customized marketing solutions for attorneys in New York State. The site provides important resources for the public by allowing them access to a database of attorneys who practice in the field in which they need assistance based on geographic area, read articles about legal issues and even obtain legal forms.

“By concentrating this site only on New York, it will be easier for the public to find the information they are looking for and that the content provided is more pertinent to their legal issue,” said John C. Zaher, President/CEO, The Public Relations and Marketing Group.

For a monthly membership fee, attorneys can list their firm online in order to promote their practice and further increase their exposure. They can submit a listing, summarizing what the firm does and the practice areas in which they concentrate. Their firm can be searchable within the NYLawyerPages website by name of the attorney or firm, practice area, zip code, city or county. All entries will be optimized and indexed by all major search engines. Attorneys can also post any news and accomplishments they may wish prospective clients to know about.

Currently, PRMG is providing free basic listings through March 31, 2011. The Basic Listing includes a listing in the directory under three categories, news and article postings. Attorneys can also be listed in a Featured Listing, which includes a listing in the directory under three categories with precedence over basic listings, news and article postings for a monthly fee of $49.95. The Front Page Spotlight includes an attorney spotlight ad with a link to the entry on the front page and the same features offered as the Featured Listing. Front Page Spotlight ads are $99.95 per month.

In addition, NYLawyerPages allows attorneys to submit articles to the website, which will be filed under various legal categories. The articles are then “tweeted” on NYLawyerPages’ Twitter page (www.twitter.com/nylawyerpages). Attorneys can also link their firm’s website in their articles as a way to generate more traffic and improve optimization of their firm’s website. NYLawyerPages’ “Submitting an Article Guide” provides knowledge of how search engines work and how keywords affect the firm’s ranking. All legal articles will be optimized and indexed by all major search engines daily.

NYLawyerPages also has legal documents that can be downloaded from the site, provided by LegalZoom. Documents are available for those who wish to form a business, protect their intellectual property, plan a will or seek other personal services (power of attorney, small claims, divorce, name change).

For the latest news from the legal world, NYLawyerPages has a Legal News tab which receives RSS feeds of articles from various media sources. There is also a lead generation function in which visitors can fill out a form online to request to be contacted by legal counsel. Prospective clients can request to be contacted by a firm concentrating in their area of need. The firm closest in geography which concentrates in that practice area will receive their request via e-mail.

“We are very pleased to launch NYLawyerPages. The site’s technology and user-friendly interface will help attorneys build their practices not only through its directory, but also by using its content-based optimization tools to drive traffic to their own firm web sites. Over time, we believe that by empowering attorneys and by providing a value-based alternative that is specific to New York State, NYLawyerPages has the potential to rival its leading competitors,” said Mr. Zaher.

For more information, call (631) 207-1057 or visit www.nylawyerpages.com.

Marketing in a Recession Revisited

100951094

12 Tips to Help You Survive and Thrive in a Double Dip

I thought it might be helpful to revisit an article I wrote on the “Top 10 Tips for Marketing in a Recession” in January of 2009. While many of the suggestions still apply and I remain optimistic about the long-term prospects for the U.S. economy, I believe that the economy of today is the new normal in the face of a number of economic hurdles, including high unemployment, international financial unrest and a depression in the real estate market. It is my personal opinion that things won’t change significantly, at least until business confidence can be restored with the election of a new President and Congress in the Fall of 2012. These recommendations suggest that while it is necessary to market, you must do so with the idea of slowly maintaining and growing your business, while continuing to overcome a myriad of external challenges.

Starting a Business in a Recession — If you are thinking about starting a new business in a recession, you are not alone. Small businesses are often the greatest generators of new jobs. This is one of the reasons why the unemployment rate remains high in the United States. Often, when people are laid off, they take the opportunity to start their own business. However, think hard before you start a business, especially if it is a restaurant or a retailer. For example, the highly competitive restaurant industry sees 27% of restaurant startups fail within the first year, according to a 10-year study by Cornell University and Michigan State University. If you are looking to open a restaurant or retailer, make sure that your business will be unique and that you are confident that there will be a demand for your product or services. Think along the lines of necessities, including health care or products like coffee. For example, think of the Dunkin Donuts and 7-Eleven franchises. Another essential point to keep in mind is that before you start your new business, you must set aside plenty of money for marketing. For more information on this, read our article, “If You Build It, They Won’t Necessarily Come…

One of the first overall suggestions I can make is that when choosing whether or not to start a business in a recession, you must identify what the most profitable businesses are and which ones can give you the most competitive advantage. In a recession, consumers require value more than ever. Just look at Walmart, Target and McDonalds. These companies have done relatively well during the recession because of the value they offer consumers. However, there is an exception with high end luxury markets. Although these markets did take a hit early in the recession as real estate values and stock market portfolios declined, they did bounce back. If you can effectively market to wealthier geographies and demographics, you should do so. If your product is a necessity, for consumers or for businesses, then say it is and why it is. For example, Apple did very well during the recession because consumers viewed their products as necessities. Also, if you have products that appeal to children, then make sure you market them effectively. Parents will be more likely to self-sacrifice than to deprive their children, especially when it comes to their education, health and development.

1. Focus on Your Customers — If you already have a business or non-profit organization, focus on your current customers and clients. Continue to do what you can to keep your current customers returning and always make sure they are satisfied. If you are a retailer or restaurant, send your customers a gift card or special offer to show your appreciation. If you are a professional, hold the line on your rates, provide volume discounting or some other type of acknowledgement of their patronage. From a marketing perspective, you should periodically send your clients e-newsletters, newsletters, use direct mail and engage them in social media to communicate special offers or news to keep them in the loop. Your next step in marketing your current business should be to focus on your website because this is the online hub of information and content for your organization.

2. Develop Your Website — Since you may have extra time now, it is time to focus on your website. Ask yourself: What do I need to do to get higher search engine rankings? The answer is to make sure you have a strong public relations and content creation program, develop your website’s on-page optimization and utilize off-page optimization techniques. For more information on on-page optimization, read our article, “On-page Optimization and Keywords.” For off-page optimization tips, read our article, “No, We Can’t Get You Those Results Overnight.” One tip is to incorporate microsites into your Web strategy. Microsites are essential to maximizing your Web presence and boosting your organization’s search engine rankings. Consider building microsites for specific products or services that your company offers. To compliment your website, you may also decide to create a blog. You may need some development help, but once your blog is created and your new sites are set up, you can use your CMS system or Adobe Contribute for sites created in HTML to make changes yourself. The goal for your blog should be to develop excellent content that will compel visitors to return and share with others. We highly recommend providing downloadable content on your site that visitors will be willing to give up an email address or other contact information for.

For more information on developing your website, read our article, “A Practical Guide to Developing Effective Websites.”
For valuable tips on Web optimization, download our free guide, “Web Optimization Tips.”
You can view examples of websites that The Public Relations and Marketing Group has created on behalf of its clients here.

3. Build Your Social Media Presence — It is crucial to share your content and communicate with your audience on appropriate social media platforms. Communicating with friends and followers through social media will help build your networks and engage your current customers. If you’re just starting out with social media, focus on the big three: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. If your business is B2C, focus your efforts more on Facebook and Twitter. For B2B companies, LinkedIn should be your first priority. Developing a strong presence on social media websites does require time but it can prove to be an extremely cost-effective way to market your business, which is especially helpful during rough economic times. For example, create a Facebook fan page for your company to communicate with customers and share photos and news. Twitter, the immensely popular micro-blogging network, is an excellent communication outlet to send short messages to a huge audience. LinkedIn is a professional networking site that allows users to rapidly build their connections, browse and post job offerings and share industry expertise with other professionals in their field. Determine which of these social networking sites you should devote your time to and build a strong presence there.

Beginners can learn how to create a social media presence for their business by reading our article, “Getting Started with Social Media.”
For more information on building a strong presence on Facebook, read our article, “10 Steps to Getting the Most Out of Facebook.”
To learn how to make the most of your Twitter account, read our article, “Secrets to Twitter Marketing.”
For more information on using LinkedIn effectively, read our article, “Making the Right Connections with LinkedIn.”

4. Network — Old-fashioned networking may also help you build professional contacts and reach potential clients at low cost. If you are a professional, attend networking events in your industry and other trade groups where you may find prospective clients. To demonstrate your position as an expert in your field, professionals can hold original lectures, in-house if possible, to keep costs lower. Retailers and restaurants can hold product demonstrations or workshops. Always promote these events to the public using press releases, social media and e-blasts.

Everything up to this point can be done at low cost. However, often this may not be enough and you will also need to advertise to successfully market your business. In a recession, it is often cheaper to advertise and you may have more leverage. However, always keep in mind that you should never advertise in something solely because it is cheap or within your budget. It is always better to spend more on something that is more likely to work for you. For example, your organization may benefit from targeted ads placed in print outlets, on the Web, through email or on television.

5. Focus Your Print Advertising — When using traditional print advertising outlets, make sure that you have the budget to sustain your advertising efforts. If you have a local business, consider using D-Cards and high visibility print ads. To ensure that your advertisements are reaching the right audience, micro-target your ads by placing them in specialty publications. For example, you may want to target a local community by using the front pages of Pennysavers or local newspapers, as well as D-Cards. If your services or products appeal to a specific trade group or demographic, consider specialty publications that service that group. If you need to advertise in a daily newspaper, be sure to put together a catchy ad that is in a high visibility location. In addition, Newsday’s daily deals are often good for retailers and those in the hospitality industry.

6. Target Your Web Advertising — For those on a budget, I would strongly recommend using Web advertising. As studies repeatedly show, more and more people are turning to online sources when searching for products, services or information. This is why Web advertising is so important when marketing your business. Popular Web advertising outlets include Google AdWords, social media ads, landing pages and daily deal websites.

7. Use Google AdWords — Google AdWords lets you create and run text, display or video ads for your business with a custom budget. This is good for marketers on a budget because you will only pay if someone clicks on your advertisement. These ads are displayed under “Sponsored Links” beside search results when someone searches Google using one of your listed keywords. Google AdWords is so effective because you are advertising to an audience who is already interested in what you have to offer.

8. Advertise with Social Media — Social media websites offer highly quantifiable and cost-effective advertisements. Like Google AdWords, you will only pay when someone clicks on your ad. Through social media advertising, you can control your budget, build fans, drive traffic to your website and micro-target based on user demographics, gender, age and interests. For B2C companies, use Facebook Ads to reach your audience. Facebook is able to micro-target based on what users have listed as interests. For B2B organizations, LinkedIn advertising can be effective. LinkedIn offers rich display and text ads that can reach millions of active business professionals. LinkedIn advertising is unique because it can target based on job title.
To learn more about Facebook advertising, read our article, “Interest-Based Advertising.”

9. Create Landing Pages — A landing page is a single Web page that appears in response to a reader clicking on an advertisement. A landing page is little more than a Web page that contains specific content and can be used as part of an effective Web advertising campaign. When used in a Web advertising campaign, landing pages should provide access to your entire website but the goal here is for the visitor to interact with the content on the page. By offering downloadable content, you provide your audience valuable material in exchange for their contact information. This will help you generate business leads and build your email lists. For more information on landing pages, read our article, “Five Steps to Generating New Business through Web Advertising, Landing Pages and Emails.”

10. Use Daily Deals Websites — Daily deals websites and phone applications are immensely popular, especially for those with smart phones. These websites and phone apps cater to a vast audience that is interested in obtaining new deals and visiting new venues. Daily deal marketing services such as Groupon and LivingSocial collect users’ email addresses and send them a featured email every day, offering a heavily discounted deal from a local business. Recipients may buy the coupon, redeem it at the local business and get the product or service they paid for. For example, on Groupon, you and the daily deal site will split the revenues from coupon sales and you will pay nothing upfront to Groupon. Running ad campaigns on sites such as Groupon and LivingSocial can prove to be hugely beneficial in attracting customers to your business, especially if you are in the restaurant or hospitality industry or offer some kind of service to your guests.

11. Use Take-Over Emails — Your business can benefit by using take-over emails in your email advertising strategy. Take-over emails allow you to take advantage of another organization’s broad email list. For example, Newsday and other publications offer take-over emails for $50 per thousand, meaning they will send out your email for you to their audience. When creating your email advertisement, make sure that the most important information appears at the top, under the fold of the email, and that you have a compelling title that will encourage your readers to read more. Include links to landing pages, your website, social media profiles and contact information.
To learn more about email advertising and take-over emails, read our article, “Web Ads, E-newsletters and Take-over Emails.”

12. Advertise on Television — Sometimes, you may need to reach large numbers of people in a short time frame. Under these circumstances, I would highly recommend considering television advertising. When advertising on television, it is important to narrow your target audience by using specific programming. Consider upcomers like FiOS, for example. If you are looking to reach businesspeople or wealthier viewers, consider advertising on CNBC or news channels. If your business’ product or service is catered to women, choose to advertise on channels such as Lifetime, WE or HGTV.

Why You Should Take Advantage of Free Submission Websites

Submitting websites, articles, press releases and upcoming events is a great way to attract publicity for your organization and enhance your search engine rankings. To position yourself as an expert, it is crucial to have high-quality content in as many Web locations as possible so your audience will have no trouble finding you. Maintaining a strong presence on submission websites will build quality backlinks and increase your organization’s Web exposure and authority. Best of all, the majority of these Web services are completely free of charge.

It is essential to make free submission websites a part of your organization’s online marketing strategy. This article will give you an overview of services such as Web directories, article databases, press release directories, event calendars and our own case study.

Web Directories — Listing your organization’s website and blog on free Web directories is a quick way to build your link popularity. When people are browsing through categories that are of interest to them, your organization will show up and they’ll be directed to your website. For example, if someone is looking for a veterinarian, they can simply click on the “Pets” or “Veterinary Services” category of a Web directory and be presented with relevant websites. When submitting your links, make sure to fill out all relevant information and categorize your sites correctly. Websites that are not submitted into the correct category will be removed by administrators.

List of free Web directories:
www.dmoz.org
www.geniusfind.com
www.busybits.com
www.hotfrog.com
www.somuch.com
www.skoobe.biz
www.gimpsy.com
www.exactseek.com
www.clickey.com
www.canlinks.com
www.zeezo.com
www.surfsafely.com

Article Databases — To get maximum exposure for your articles, always submit them to free article databases. Well-written, thought-provoking articles will demonstrate your area of expertise in your industry and portray your organization as a thought leader. When publishing articles online, be sure to adhere to the site’s restrictions or they will not approve your article and you will not have permission to post additional articles. For example, you must categorize each article correctly, adhere to the word limit and follow each site’s unique HTML and link guidelines. Along with posting articles to these databases, it is also a good idea to post them on relevant LinkedIn Groups.

List of free article databases:
www.bpubs.com
www.articlesnatch.com
www.dinosauric.com
www.GetYourContent.com
www.articlecube.com
www.articlesbase.com
www.ezinearticles.com
www.isnare.com
www.articlealley.com
www.articledashboard.com
www.businessknowhow.com
www.buzzle.com

Press Release Directories — Distributing your press releases to a variety of online outlets will help attract website traffic and create buzz about your organization. Press releases, media advisories and media availabilities should be published online each time they are created. When creating press releases for online distribution, it is important to use keyword-rich language used by your audience and include as many relevant links as possible. These links can lead to further information, a specific offer or a landing page on your website. Another tip is to add a photo with your press release if the option is available.

List of free press release directories:
www.openPR.com
www.prLog.com
www.pressmethod.com
www.pr-usa.net
www.PR.com
www.PR9.net
www.pressabout.com
www.PRUrgent.com

Event Calendars — When promoting upcoming events, it is essential to advertise with online event calendars to reach your audience. In this technology-driven society, many people turn to these event calendars when looking for things to do. These calendars are also highly targeted since you can submit your event to certain categories. For example, if you are holding a fundraiser for your non-profit organization, you can ensure that your event will appear in the “non-profit” and “fundraiser” categories. If you’re hosting a book signing, you may categorize your event in “Books.”

List of free event calendars:
www.lipulse.com/calendar (regional)
www.nymetroparents.com (regional)
long-island.newsday.com (regional)
event.gstv.com
www.zvents.com
www.eventful.com

PRMG’s Case Study — At The Public Relations and Marketing Group, we utilize these free posting techniques for our own organization and on behalf of our clients. All of our clients’ websites and blogs have been added to Web directories to generate inbound links and boost search engine rankings. If one of our clients writes an article, we promote it by submitting the article for publication on free article databases. Each time we create a press release on behalf of a client, we send out the release through email distribution lists and publish it on a variety of free press release directory sites. We do the same with media availabilities and media advisories. If one of our clients is promoting an upcoming event, we will add it to popular online event calendars. All of these techniques are cost-effective means of enhancing off-page search engine optimization.

Marketing with FourSquare

Photo Courtesy of Whole Foods Market
FourSquare - Photo Courtesy of Whole Foods Market
Photo Courtesy of Whole Foods Market

FourSquare is an immensely popular social networking game that allows users to “check-in” to a certain location through text messages or a phone application. Upon checking in at a business establishment, the users’ location is confirmed by their phone’s geolocation technology to prevent inaccurate or unfair check-ins. Members are awarded points for their check-in progress and the user with the most check-ins at a location earns the coveted title of “mayor.” For certain milestones, members can also unlock badges and share their progress with friends. A list of available FourSquare badges can be found here. Those who are new to the world of FourSquare can watch an introductory video here under “What is FourSquare?” on the right-hand side of the page.

Apart from being a fun and competitive game, FourSquare can also be a powerful marketing tool for businesses. For example, according to a recent report from Radio Shack, the average FourSquare user spends 3.5 times more than non-members because of their special offers. What makes FourSquare unique is that by playing the social media game, users can gain real-world rewards. With over 10 million members, as of June 11, your business can benefit from tapping into this explosive social media site.

Why Should Businesses Use FourSquare — FourSquare users will be far more likely to stop by your location if they can earn points or unlock specials on FourSquare. This social networking site offers a free set of marketing tools to venue owners that will help to attract new customers and keep current customers coming back. The best part of FourSquare marketing is that it is completely free to set up and create specials. Any retailer, restaurant or hospitality industry member should use FourSquare. Most likely, someone already created a profile for you, so all you have to do is claim your venue by finding your business’ page and clicking “Claim this venue.” You can learn more and claim your venue here. FourSquare will verify your ownership either by phone or mail and provide you with a 4-digit PIN to enter on the site. Follow the subsequent instructions and once your venue has been confirmed by the FourSquare staff, you can start creating special deals for FourSquare users. For example, Radio Shack offers 20% off to 1st time check-ins, 10% off for every check-in and mayors receive 20% off their purchase. Businesses can not only attract new customers but reward their most loyal ones by offering these FourSquare specials. When a user opens up the FourSquare app, they will be notified of special deals in their area by clicking the “Special Nearby” icon. Upon clicking the icon, users are presented with the offer details and store’s location. This feature is a highly effective marketing tool because often, a user wasn’t considering stopping by a location, or never heard of it, but they were enticed to visit solely because of a FourSquare special. Once you’ve created the specials that best suit your business, you can monitor your FourSquare marketing success by using the data in your “Venue Stats Dashboard” to determine what’s working and what you may need to alter.

Available FourSquare Specials and Examples:

Friends Special — “Come with 4 friends and unlock a free appetizer for the table!”
Swarm Special — “If 20 FourSquare users are checked into this bar at one time, members will be awarded 1 round of drinks on the house!”
Flash Special — “The first 5 people to check-in after 5:00 get a free dessert with any entrée!”
Newbie Special — “Take 25% off any item in the store for your first check-in with us!”
Check-in Special — “FourSquare users can take 15% off any spa treatment on Tuesdays!”
Mayor Special — “The mayor gets one free drink each day of their reign!”
Loyalty Special — “20% off for every 5th check-in with us!”

Promote Your Venue’s FourSquare Activity — It is essential to let people know that your venue is active on FourSquare. Once your ownership has been verified, you will receive a FourSquare window cling so customers know you are a FourSquare-friendly establishment. After you’ve clearly posted this decal to your venue’s window, add the FourSquare icon to all of your marketing materials such as your business card, email signatures and Web pages. You may also consider sending an e-newsletter or e-blast to your email subscribers, announcing your presence on FourSquare and any special offers you may be running.

Recently, FourSquare has proved victorious in its battle with Facebook with the death of Facebook Places. Facebook decided to remove its Places function inside of its mobile app, which was unveiled a year ago and, like FourSquare, allowed users to check-in to various locations. Although its goal was to provide competition to FourSquare, the project never became popular and didn’t find the same success. While reigning supreme in the realm of location-based social media sites, FourSquare continues to flourish and attract new members. This July, FourSquare partnered with several Daily Deals sites, such as LivingSocial and Gilt City, to offer better deals in exchange for check-ins. Users can now views these new deals, along with current local business specials, under the “Explore” tab of the application. This is very good news for FourSquare users, venue owners and marketers alike.

The Public Relations and Marketing Group highly recommends FourSquare for just about any retailer, restaurant or other hospitality industry member.