PR, WOM, and SEO

I recently met an entrepreneur with a great product who was relying on public relations and word of mouth to drive demand for her product. She was hoping that having her product worn by celebrities at high-profile functions would be enough to increase buzz and get her target market clamoring for her brand at their local stores.

The local stores would then order millions of units and her success would be assured.

It sounds like a good plan, but there’s a flaw. This entrepreneur is putting her funds into PR and ignoring the path to purchase. When we search for her brand and her product online, we can’t find the product or the brand. And this is a problem because here is the path to purchase she is imagining:

see celebrity wearing product–> want product–> tell retailer –> wait for product to appear in stores–> buy

And here is the more likely path to purchase:

see celebrity wearing product–> want product –> search for product online–> fail to find product but find something similar–> buy similar product instead

Every brand needs a website

Every brand needs a website, not just those that plan to sell online. If you sell consumer packaged goods, your website needs to be filled with these things:

  • attractive pictures
  • clear statements about the value of your goods
  • answers to people’s questions
  • responses to the obstacles to purchase they think of

But the most important thing is a statement of the one piece of information every buyer — consumer or retailer — has to see:

What you sell and how to get it

Show all your products. List all your retailers, online and brick and mortar. If your goal is to increase sales to retailers, have a call to action that asks your visitors to share information about their local stores where they’d like to buy your product. You get to start the conversation by telling the buyer that his customers want to buy your product in his store, and you have proof.

Then bring on the celebrities.



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