This is a post I wrote for a non-music related site. Since so many people are contributing value to artists these days, I thought I would post it here. Additional suggestions are welcome.
Unless your PR / marketing person thoroughly (underlined ten times) understands your products and customers, don’t turn over the task of delivering remarkable value to him or her.
To inexpensively win the search engine game (to rank near the top on the left side of Google), you have to be capable of creating something that is uncommon, remarkable and extraordinary. You have to try to create something that the community wants to share and promote for you…
A gentle warning: If you expend too much energy promoting your company and brand, your effort to deliver remarkable value will come across as a disguised advertisement. Be subtle when promoting your brand, services and products.
So what will the community share and promote for you? Humans will share (and sometimes rabidly share) stuff that is uncommon, remarkable and extraordinary. Here are some tips that will help get you there:
Solve a problem. Find a concise way to describe a problem, and then describe the solution. Make sure you include URL links, images and possibly even a video.
Share an experience. If you have been in the same business for more than ten years, share an interesting experience that teaches those that are just starting out how to (you fill in the blank)…
Tell a secret. Everybody has one. Tell the world something relevant they did not know.
Promote your customer’s customers. Here’s a way to obtain a valuable SEO link for you, for your customer, and for your customer’s customers all within one post. Post a short case study on how one of your customer’s customers is benefiting from your product or service.
Use humor. People share funny stuff. If you know how to create or select items that are both funny and professional, attach your name and post it here.
Take a picture. Consider this: Google’s (and Bing’s) search results almost always feature text, images and video results. If you share a remarkable picture and name it correctly, people will link to your post and your image/photo will be prominently featured within Google’s Image Search results.
Hire an illustrator. There is a decent illustrator (artist) in almost every town. Find an illustrator that can draw some compelling and/or humorous illustrations (under your direction) that depict relevant challenges that your customers (not you, your customers) are often confronted with.
Shoot a video. Some people would rather watch a video than read the same message as text. For example: teardown and repair videos are always popular on YouTube. Just like images, video (when there is one) always comes up in Google’s mixed search results.
Publish a statistic. New facts, figures and statistics are often data points that are shared on Facebook and Twitter. If you are sitting on some interesting statistics, by all means, you should consider sharing them.
Predict the future. Some people are excellent at divining the future by connecting the dots, which often involves researching or tracking multiple (and possibly converging) industries. If you are confident about your vision for the future, predictions that are delivered with authority can travel far and wide.
Unpack your press releases. Who reads press releases? Industry media and your competitors do. Unpack your press releases and fold them into your own interesting and compelling news stories.
Consider controversy. Oddly enough, lots of people like a good, old-fashioned controversy (diversions). If you know how to tactfully (it must be done tactfully) kick a bee’s nest, consider this option.
Be simple and concise. Don’t write a novel. Anything longer than a page is probably too long. The best posts are smart posts written for time-starved people. Use bullets and bold headlines above and at the beginning of your paragraphs to make your posts skimmable. Long posts can always be broken into separate posts that can be delivered on different days of the week or month.
Use graphs and diagrams. Simple graphs and diagrams are one of the quickest ways to communicate complex messages. When you can reduce something complex to a simple graphic, you have delivered value that readers will often share.
Boil ten hours down to sixty seconds. The value of a post on the Internet can often be tracked back to the time the author puts into it. A post that takes ten hours to assemble, but sixty seconds to read (due to great writing and powerful graphics), is going to be valued and shared by its’ intended audience.
Be subtle. Who is that generous man or women? When you give generously to the community (your target audience) by posting stuff that is uncommon and remarkable, all you need is a discrete link and/or a short bio at the end of each of your posts. Once you have accumulated trust (goodwill) and authority (demonstrated knowledge), people will seek you out, and they will be receptive to your follow-on commercial messages.
Yes, I realize I violate my simple and concise advice. Thanks.