I was recently asked to tell the HTA Marketing Conference how to get the most from PR and advertising. It is something I am often asked so here are a few tips that might help with your planning for next year.
How to plan effective marketing
- Plan your campaign like a boxer plans a fight. Don’t expect the first punch to deliver the knock-out blow. Develop your campaign over several rounds and build to the right result.
- Build your image using as many different touch points as possible. Don’t rely on a single channel. Mix PR with social media, banners and editorials. A little on each is better than a lot on one.
How to get Free PR
- Publications always want more content. To get your news published, ask yourself what will interest the publication’s readers. For Gardenforum it’s news about people and business changes, such as investments, takeovers and new initiatives. They will almost always get published free.
- When there is awkward news, don’t try to hide it. Trust the press, tell us what has happened as early as possible and what is being done about it. That way you can manage the story and often turn it to your advantage.
- BUT – you are not in editorial control of Free PR. Gardenforum will edit and put the story in context to ensure its readers get a balanced story.
Why paid-for PR and banners should be part of your image building campaign
- With paid-for product PR and banners, you are in editorial control.
- You can send as many messages as you wish. But make sure you write good PR and your banners stay fresh.
How to write good PR
- Badly written PR is probably worse for your image than no PR.
- Don’t fall victim to TL-DR (Too long - didn’t read). News that needs too much editing will often get ignored. Unedited product news is wasted if it is not read.
- Write what will engage your target readers. Don't include everything your boss/client probably wants you to say!
- Make a maximum of 4 points and use subheadings to break up the story. Subheadings are loved by Google and mean your story will rank higher.
- Use images that are relevant to the intended reader. Garden retailers will like to see POS and stands so they can see how your products will display in store.
- Cut out the subjective, ‘bigging-up’ adjectives. Make the story sound objective.
What channels to use?
- Should you advertise to the consumer or the trade? For most brands your sales are governed by your presence in garden centres, that means promoting to the trade. Consumer ads are good for the biggest brands, which customers will go looking for, such as David Austin, and those selling online.
- PR is good for building brand credibility.
- ‘Paid for PR’ is good for specific messages. Each email / mailing has a high impact for a short time and is most effective as part of a wider campaign. A one-off is easily forgotten.
- Banners get 5,000 - 15,000 views a month on Gardenforum. Thus, they are a great way to build your image with repeated views over a period of time.
Who gets your message through Gardenforum?
- Gardenforum gets around 60,000 page views a month - mostly from retailers and suppliers in the garden sector.
- Google lists 6,000+ Gardenforum pages often appearing on Page 1 for specific Google searches.
- Most articles are posted on Instagram, Linked-In and tweeted to Gardenforum’s 6000+Twitter followers. So your message is spread further.
Recognising the benefits of multi-channel targeted campaigns, is why Gardenforum is offering year-long mixed packages from as little as £132.00 a quarter, paid every 3 months.
For more info email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Planned advertising needn’t be costly. Here’s a link to our Media Pack.