To be honest, the world of digital marketing can be overwhelming.
Dealing with paid ads, social media, search engine optimization, email marketing, etc. is tough, and sometimes, expensive. Add all that to getting exposure for your business and you have got yourself a pretty tricky situation.
Getting local exposure is crucial for small businesses looking to announce their presence in their city or community. Adequate exposure, or the lack thereof, can mean the difference between success in your local community and closing shop.
Public relations may not sound as sexy as, say, email marketing; however, it is potent in its own right. It is far older than most of the marketing platforms we currently use yet still as effective.
In this post, we’d look at 7 effective PR strategies that will boost your local exposure and get new customers walking through your doors.
Let’s get into it.
Create And Send Out Press Releases
Sounds drab, right?
Most people would think so. However, wherever there is public relation, there’s press release. A press release is one of the most effective channels for sharing news about your brand, traditionally.
Why is press release still relevant? Well, one simple reason – journalists still depend on them to know what’s going with businesses in their community. Therefore, if you have some news you’d like to announce, writing a press release is one effective channel to get it out there.
When journalists within your community who are interested in your business find your press release, they’d report on it. Or they may contact you if they need more information about your announcement.
Target Relevant And Specific Journalists And Publications
Remember how I said “…journalists who are interested in your business…”?
Take note of the keyword “interested in your business” because without that you may be wasting your time and effort.
You want to ensure that you are reaching out to the right people with your press release. For instance, if you are a restaurant owner, it’d be quite silly to reach out to a tech journalist, wouldn’t it? That’s because they cannot help you get your message to your desired audience.
In that case, you want to get in touch with food journalists/critics or maybe a small business media outlet. You can expect to get the results you want with your efforts.
Furthermore, you want to contact the right persons in whatever publication you are reaching out to. You want to reach out to the producer or news desk team than, say, the newscaster.
Reach Out To And Work With Media Of All Sizes
It’s common to find small businesses trying to reach out to big media outfits while ignoring the little ones.
This should not be so.
As a small business owner, you should not be picky about the size of the media outlet you work with. Big publication doesn’t always mean big result. Small media outlets usually have the most engaged audience; hence, more exposure.
Besides, bigger businesses can muscle you out for the attention in big publication since they have bigger marketing budget than you do.
Check this out, your local news publication that profiles your business can do more by reaching out to audience within your immediate surroundings. This way, you get more exposure and coverage and contribute more to your bottom line than a little snippet in a large publication.
Decide What Topics Are Worthy Of News
Not everything in your business is newsworthy. That’s an important point to remember that is so often missed by small businesses.
Many find it difficult to know what’s newsworthy and what’s not. And so, they pour out an avalanche of press releases and get nothing in the way of response from the publication.
You want to make sure what you are writing a press release for is actual news. Nobody really cares if you have changed your menu, but they might be interested in the secret ingredient of your secret ingredient soup – if you get what I mean.
Organize Engaging Events
If you think you have got nothing that’s newsworthy, then make one. And what better way is there than to host a live event.
The live event could be a wine/food tasting, fundraising, seasonal party (like Halloween or Thanksgiving in the US), or any event that can generate buzz around your brand.
After planning your event, you may want to promote it through your public relations. News publications love to report on local events that generate lots of buzz. And so, you can easily get their attention by announcing that you have an event coming up.
Alternatively, you could sponsor an event if you can’t host one yourself. You may not be the centre of attraction but you can get some eyes on your brand by announcing your intention to sponsor the said event. You would most likely be given the opportunity – as a sponsor – to publicize your brand at the event.
Build Yourself Into An Authority In Your Industry
That title pretty much says it all.
People – journalists included – turn to experts for solutions or insights to problem or events going on in an industry. Therefore, to get their attention, you need to build your brand into an authority figure in your space.
One way to do this is to put out useful content through as many platforms as you can afford. Write a content in Times magazine, organize a talk show to interview a local celebrity about your industry – whatever. You want to make sure you are the one the public sees all the time providing value in the way of quality information.
Consequently, making yourself into an expert in your industry will get you the attention of the local media and customers.
Newsjack Related Stories
Newsjacking is like your regular car or plane hijacking, but with less violence.
With newsjacking, take an on-going story and weave your brand into it. For instance, a restaurant can ‘hijack’ a story about the rise in unhealthy synthetic foods to talk about how they urge restaurant goers to request for farm-grown foods and how to identify them.
Granted, the above example isn’t too flashy; however, it drives my point home. Newsjacking is an easy way to bring your brand into focus and in the face of the right people.
Be careful not to overdo it though. You don’t want to be seen as needy and attention-seeking.
There are probably other PR tactics out there, but the above 7 work for small businesses looking for exposure. Using these strategies will bring your brand in front of new audiences, which will ultimately translate to new customers.
You can’t go wrong with these public relation strategies. And in combination with more modern digital strategies, you can boost your brand exposure significantly.POSTED ON October 17, 2020