Online publicity: focusing on an audience

Online publicity generally uses external means to generate interest. The most common of these is press coverage, often initiated by a press release.

It’s an important distinction, as internet marketing begins with an internal function – creating content. Once written, the content is promoted in various ways, including social media.

Content marketing, as it is called, ultimately depends upon generating links to that content from other websites to readers with similar interests.

Successful online publicity means that the subject is mentioned by media sources, thereby brought to the attention of the readers.

Convincing influential media – whether online or offline – to publish information, is never an easy task. It’s a process that requires research and follow though.

Most online media are very niche focused; they attempt to carve out small audiences and deliver relevant news and information. By understanding their audience, it’s possible to enlist them as a partner in a publicity campaign.

A recent example illustrates this point. A client specializes in holistic medicine. While she has an excellent reputation in Los Angeles and throughout Southern California, she is unknow outside of California.

As she is interested in broadening her reputation, we decided to ask the larger medical blogs and websites to publish an exclusive article on a topic in her area of expertise.

The response was tepid, so we decided to narrow our focus to smaller media that covered her specific audience. This required more articles, and hence more work, but it turned out to be well worth it.

The smaller, focused media were thrilled to publish her work. They gave the articles prominent position in their blogs, and promoted directly to their readers via email and social media.

The results were better than we could have hoped for; a big increase in her email list, links back to her website, and numerous favorable comments.

Social media advertising

There are a number of ways to advertise on Facebook, but they all have one thing in common: targeting.

FB allows advertisers to leverage their huge database of personal information: location, age, hobbies, charities supported, loves, hates – on and on.

They will even create an ‘ideal audience’ by taking your email last and finding an expanded audience with those exact same preferences/traits.

Your basic FB advertising choices:

  • Run an ad intended to drive people to your site. Charges based upon impressions.
  • Run an ad featuring a piece of specific content on your site. Viewer must ‘click’ link to see the content. Charges are based upon clicks.

The second is more expensive, and needs a conversion device. This could be a paid e-book as we discussed, or a simple donation form. Either would be at the end of the content.

My experience is mostly with the second option, and it has always worked (revenue more than ad expense). The degree of success depends upon a lot of factors.

The key part is creating strong content that will attract interest.

I suspect option one would work as well if the ad copy is strong.

I would suggest starting small and see where it goes. Maybe $250 month. I can do the FB setup and audience part, and maybe the ad creation (not my strong suit).

The alternative to advertising on FB is an organic campaign. Not that difficult, but time consuming. It would require a volunteer.


An excellent way to drive high quality traffic, ad options are limited to driving traffic via sponsored content and clicks– similar to FB.

Generally, you can bring 1500 – 2000 visitors to the site for about $100. Once there, you can ask for a donation or e-book purchase.

The traffic is high quality, but not nearly as targeted as FB. Therefore, conversions tend to be low.

There are many  more options, but this gives you a decent overview.