When the average person thinks about journalists their minds conjure up images of eccentric writers traveling through war-torn countries and reporting on international terrorism. Very few people are aware that most journalists actually spend their time reporting on rather mundane things and even helping businesses to promote themselves online. It is only a newspaper’s criminal and extremism desk that deals with explosive stories, no pun intended.
Most business owners have absolutely no idea that they can work with journalists to promote their companies, achieve exposure and even solidify their reputations as experts among consumers. If you are one such business owner then now’s the time to reconsider your marketing strategy and start working with journalists to spread news of your business’s offerings. HARO, formally Help a Reporter Out is a service that connects journalists and entrepreneurs. Here is how it is a game changer for small business marketing:
Journalists from The New York Times, the Huffington Post, and The Telegraph all use HARO’s service to find stories. Once you have signed up for HARO you will begin receiving emails from journalists looking for things to write. You can then respond to their emails with pitches of your own. Getting a mention in an article published in a newspaper like The New York Times can do wonders for your reputation and make you look like an authoritative figure in your niche. After all, The New York Times leads the world in journalism. Being mentioned in it is no small feat.
There are also a number of other smaller publications and blogs that have representatives scouring HARO for stories. When using their service don’t just aim for the highest publications, consider smaller ones too. Ultimately the more you use HARO, the more backlinks you will get and the bigger your presence will become. If you find it difficult to reply to such a large volume of websites, consider using an agency which specializes in HARO outreach.
Improving Your Reputation
Your reputation among customers is something that should be taken very seriously. Unfortunately, a lot of entrepreneurs only realize how important reputation is when it is too late. If you do not solidify yours as an expert in your niche then nobody is going to take you seriously and you will have trouble finding people to do business with. As mentioned in the previous section being mentioned in some of the publications that work with HARO can be great for your business and give you a personal boost. Using their service is something to consider if reputation building is important to you.
In addition to using HARO’s service, if you want to build a positive reputation for yourself then it’s worth using social media to market your business as well. On social media, you can interact directly with consumers and build personal relationships with them.
Targeting Business Audience
Another great thing about HARO’s service is that because you have an almost endless number of journalists to work with (who represent an almost endless number of organizations) there is no shortage of great features for your business. Of course, when you are planning on getting featured in a newspaper or magazine you need to make sure that you find one that is going to be something that’s read by your audience. If your audience does not read the publication your article is featured in then you won’t benefit from the feature.
You always need to make sure that when you are marketing your business you target your audience exactly. If you do not manage to effectively target them then they won’t learn of your business and the marketing effort will have been a waste of your time.
Boosting SEO Performance
SEO (search engine optimization) is one of the leading forms of online marketing today. It is used by almost all businesses, from large to small. Your business should be using SEO as well. If it is not then now’s the time to. SEO involves manipulating the algorithms of major search engines so that you can rank your website higher than your competition’s websites. Ranking higher on Google and Yahoo and Bing means that your business will be more visible and as a consequence, will attract more traffic and build a much larger audience for itself.
Because HARO’s service ensures clients receive backlinks, using it will give your site a significant SEO boost. Having your website’s link posted on the Huffington Post or on The New York Times website will give it a lot more domain authority and do wonders for its SEO performance.
Gaining exposure for your small business is not easy. If you are in charge of a business then you need to do your best to market it. You can improve your marketing efforts by using HARO’s service.