Online Publicity – PR 2.0 is the way to go!
The internet is not going away. You’ve got to embrace. The Michigan Chronicle is even online and some of the editors blog there! So, how do you as an author or an aspiring – use the internet to the max? Here some tips:
1. Write a web site plan. Know what you want it to do before you build a site. Create a favorable buying experience for your ministry products. Make the web site easy to use. Provide good customer service by shipping products within 5 to 7 days. Use auto responders when people make purchases. Make your site “shopper-friendly.”
2. Attract people to your site by promoting it through frequent email campaigns linking back to the site. Have your site content-rich to keep visitors at your site, wanting to share it with others. This is called viral marketing.
3. Capture names of visitors by using a “squeeze page.” Offer something for free like a CD or booklet if they provide their contact information. Get their email address at the very least so you can send the booklet in a PDF file or the CD as an MP3.
4. Publish a regular online magazine called an Ezine. This is a motivational tool for people to look forward to receiving. It has the ministry updates in it.
5. Include recent news hits in your ezine. Stream TV interviews and audio clips. Use a template from an Internet database management company like Constant Contact. I’ve used them for years!
6. Join discussion groups and nings like ChocolatePagesNetwork dot com. You can learn a wealth of information this way in any particular industry. There are groups for pastors, ministry communications professionals, Christian authors, or whatever your specialty. Look up your area of interest in Yahoogroups, connectplatform.com or Google.
7. Put banner ads on other sites that your target audience may visit. If it is Gospel Today or DetroitGospel dot com, inquire about placing a banner ad on those sites. These ads are usually very inexpensive. You can promote your TV ministry schedule or other products.
8. Update your site frequently. Current information sends the message that you are current in your ministry. It keeps people coming back to your site. Try new things on your site like podcasting or webcasting. Keep it fresh.
9. Concentrate on great content so the search engine optimization will give you a high ranking when people are surfing online via search engines like Google or AOL. Adding links is another great way to increase your site rankings and get noticed among the search engines.
10. Add a “news room” to your site. The media will access your high-resolution photo (300 dpi), get a press release, ministry history and a good bio from this section. It makes their life easier and shows you’re a pro at handling media interviews. This is also a good place to list other media hits that you have received like magazine/ezine articles, radio interviews, and columns you’ve had published.
11. Create a blog. Do this only if you have time to keep it up. A good blogger posts about 2 to 3 times a week. A blog is like a personal journal online. A blog is an abbreviation of “weblog.” It is the online version of you. It’s more personal and informal than a web site and visitors can respond directly to you. Go to blogger dot com to set one up free. See the Ministry Marketing Solutions blog. It’ll give you ideas too.
12. Use a signature at the end of every email that includes your tag line, web site, blog and contact information. Please. The best form of advertising – and it’s free!