I have been reading a copy of "The New Rules of Marketing and PR" by David Meerman Scott. In the old world of marketing, you could only reach buyers via expensive ads or 3rd-party ink. With the web, you can reach niche buyers directly with very targeted messages that only cost a fraction of what it would cost you in the old world. You have to stop marketing exclusively to the "head" of the tail; with the web, you can actually market to the "long tail" as well. "Instead of a one-size-fits-all Web site with a mass-marketing message, we need to create many different microsites--with purpose-built landing pages and 'just right' content--each aimed at a narrow target consitutuency."
Also, instead of using interruptive ads to reach customers, you should offer valuable content that helps buyers make decisions. This follows the overall trend in media: the most effective ads are the ones that are perceived as content.
You don't need to rely on 3rd-party ink to reach buyers. You can talk directly to them with the web. How do you do it? By publishing a blog and offering useful content. As buyers search on Google while they do research, they may stumble upon the content you have created. Now that you have established some kind of relationship with them by giving them valuable content, you can sell them on your product. Let the world know about your expertise. Participate in conversations in your industry or market by commenting on other people's blogs.
Create buyer personas, and then develop content specifically for them. "Who are my readers? How do I reach them? What are their motivations? What are the problems I can help them solve? How can I entertain them and inform them at the same time? What content will compel them to purchase what I have to offer?"
Blogs are used:
1. To monitor what people are saying about you and your product
2. To participate in those conversations by commenting on other people's blogs
3. To begin and shape those conversations by creating and writing your own blog
Make sure that your "news releases" speak directly to your buyers (rather than press releases that speak to journalists). Write news releases that are replete with keyword-rich copy. Issue news releases often. Place links in releases to deliver potential customers to landing pages on your Web site.