There is an endless sea of press releases and marketing pitches occurring every day that leave much to be desired, which is a polite way of saying that many are quite awful. Although a myriad of problems can be pinpointed with each, most terrible marketing ploys boil down to two core problems: worn out formulas and insufficient information.
The Marketing Formula
Small start-up companies may have mathematical geniuses and engineers behind them, but capital and marketing expertise is usually in short supply, so they often attempt the marketing aspect of their business themselves. Unfortunately, the easiest route to take is often copying and making adjustments to another company’s terrible handout or press release, thereby making it their own. This can easily be witnessed every day. Just think of the number of times you have read a press release with the term ”leading global provider” or worst yet, “world leader.” Everyone else uses it, so it must be working, right?
No, that is actually quite wrong. Regurgitating tired phrases is not how successful marketing is done. However, smart engineers engaging in DIY marketing seem to be satisfied with the formulaic notion of marketing. Similar to designs that spur innovation, there are certain formulas involved, but creativity trumps formulaic processes every time.
Press releases and marketing materials for a company or product must provide information and answer the questions likely to be asked by the target audience. In truth, lack of information can kill a marketing campaign.
Rather than creating a flood of eager buyers, a vague press release will only incite questions and doubts. Instead of having a six-figure release, your company’s inbox will be filled up with questions that need to be answered before purchasing. That’s only if it spurred enough interest to make someone go through the hassle of emailing additional questions.
Worse yet, is when a digital signage company does not include anything on their website that is directly related to the press release. Unfortunately, this happens all too often. So, here are a few steps that can help remedy this common problem:
• Try to put yourself in the shoes of your target audience. Determine what questions they may have, and then proactively answer them in the copy.
• Structure the message so that the vital information is at the top. This will keep people intrigued and make them want to continue reading. Does the product or service save time, money, or make life easier?
• Use impactful quotes that will grab the attention of viewers and resonate with them. Avoid quotes like, “We are delighted with the results.”
• Create a communications plan and prepare for PR day. A major reason for issuing a press release is to drive traffic to your site. So, it will be a huge missed opportunity if people go to your website and do not find more information about the subject matter of the press release. Remember, the PR may have sent them there, but the site must capture their attention and compel them to take action. Your sales team must be prepared and ready to answer questions with strategic answers. This does not require a large marketing firm. If you can create a media player or a content management system, you can coordinate and plan for a marketing campaign.
• Test your message by gaining the opinion of others first. Have them read what you have prepared and find out their responses.
• Be original and do not copy others. Using PR to market a digital signage product is not difficult. You simply need a short and intriguing headline, an attention-grabbing and useful opening paragraph, a body that provides details and answers questions readers may have, and a short closing paragraph with contact information.
• Keep it short and sweet. 500 words is more than enough to reel in potential customers hook, line, and sinker.
By following this advice, you can avoid the pitfalls of others and market your digital signage company the right way.