Want to make an impact with your business? Get on TV

There are thousands of ways you can get publicity for your website online. There is search marketing, social media, blogging and a host of other publicity methods. Getting a site to “number one” on Google is a dream for many businesses who spend hour after hour and pound after pound trying to beat the competition – and the system.

Meanwhile, other businesses seem to succeed without ever being number one on Google. Even Google itself is not the “number one” for the phrase “search engine“. Google appears 20th in the list, at the bottom of page 2, well below “DuckDuckGo”, “Yahoo!” or even “Bing”. Yet in spite of this, Google doesn’t appear to be doing that badly. It is not number one for its central business, yet beats the others hands down. Perhaps being number one on Google is not all it is cracked up to be?

However, the word “Google” exists in the “real world”. How many times today will someone say to you “Google it”? How many times will you see the word Google in print, hear it on the radio or TV? How many times will you even think of Google? Yet, in contrast, how many times today will someone say to you “Bing it” or “DuckDuckGo it”? How many times will such phrases be seen in traditional media?

It isn’t ranking in the search engine that appears to count for much. Instead it is ranking in the real world.

This has been thrown into the spotlight now that new research has shown how much time we engage with the Internet compared with other electronic media. According to Nielsen, Americans spend 11 hours a day using electronic media. But almost two thirds of that time is spent with traditional electronic media – TV and Radio.

Chart showing media usage

Only just over an hour a day – on average – is spent on using the Internet on a PC, with a further hour and a half spent on mobiles.

What this really shows us is the fact that in spite of all the new media we are surrounded by, old-fashioned media still plays a central role in our lives.

It also means that if you want to get notice you need to be in those traditional media – getting your business on TV and on the Radio is important if you want to be noticed, because that is where most of your audience spends most of its time.

Hang on a minute…where does Google get mentioned a lot? Oh yes…on Radio on TV….and not in its own search engine. There is a lesson there for all of us in business.

2 thoughts on “Want to make an impact with your business? Get on TV”

  1. Hi Graham
    I don’t doubt the veracity of your research which is always impeccable. I would offer an alternative perspective though based on my own experiences a few years ago.

    Due to my background and profile in the accountancy profession I have been interviewed a number of times on tv and radio when relevant issues required specialist commentary.

    I enjoyed being a media spokesperson for 3 large firms (one at a time) and the ICAEW but I had no way of knowing whether this had any impact (from 1995-2006). More recently I have been an independent commentator, speaker and mentor. I am also Chairman of the Tax Advice Network website and used to relish the opportunity to be interviewed in this guise. This all takes a fair amount of time which I reluctantly concluded was not proving to be worthwhile. My website analytics never showed any increased traffic after I appeared on tv or radio. Nor did we see any obvious increase in business.

    I entirely accept that the lack of any impact could have been due to my failure to adequately promote the website/business during interviews. But I know how to play the game. Had I attempted to do this even more overtly than I did I would have reduced any prospect of being invited back.

    This is a discussion I have had with many PR people over the years as my experiences do not support conventional wisdom (hype). I suspect the truth is that certain businesses will benefit more than others from effective PR (including tv and radio exposure). Generalisations can lead to unrealistic expectations.

  2. Mark, thanks for your comment. I am sure you are right that some businesses are better suited to radio and TV exposure than others. The lack of boost to website visits could be due to being in front of the wrong audience as well as not being overt. But you are right, if you are too pushy you don’t get invited back. But I also suspect that one of the reasons businesses give up using the media is that they do not do enough of it.For many businesses that do succeed in using traditional media, their PR activity is often the number one focus. These businesses often see their main work as being in the media. Rather like blogging where people give up after a couple of months saying it had no impact on their business (far too early to see any results), I think people who try media activity also give up too soon and don’t do enough of it. Did you try being in the media every day for a couple of months? That’s the level of activity that I think is necessary to start having an impact. But, you are right, that takes a lot of time – often too much time for small businesses before they see any results.

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