Are you starting a new business or looking to grow an existing company? If so, then it’s helpful to learn how to work with traditional media and online press outlets in order to maximize the power of coverage. And while there are standard PR strategy basics that are handy to know, one of the best ways to create buzz around a brand is to think outside standard-issue confines.
Why is publicity helpful for small businesses?
PR strategies can help generate exposure, of course. In addition to increased name recognition and being able to reach a targeted audience, it can help increase revenue and boost your website’s search engine optimization (SEO) performance. The best part is that publicity is usually free — part of what makes it so incredibly helpful, especially for those with limited marketing budgets.
What types of publicity opportunities should startups look for?
One-on-one PR is a great way to build trust and credibility with the media. If you can get featured in a magazine, newspaper (like in the business section), or on a media website, those are key pathways for sharing a brand story and its unique messaging. This helps to differentiate you by using your unique selling proposition from competitors. The next best option is to get quoted in an article or story. While this is not as prominent as a feature profile, it’s still a valuable way of getting exposure which can lead to other opportunities with a publication if you’ve been able to provide a helpful contribution. The process begins with contacting editors and other journalists who might be interested and cover the area of your company’s expertise/niche. In addition to this, pitch reporters who work for publications serving your ideal customer base. For example, if you have a fitness brand, magazines like Muscle & Fitness and Faith & Fitness are great avenues to pursue. This helps you reach fitness-loving audiences that would more likely be interested in buying your products.
Out-of-the-box PR strategies
Basically, anything you can do to stand out helps get media attention. A creative tip might be to host a company-sponsored event or contest that’s fun and different. For example, if you own a food brand, consider holding a publicity photo shoot in which your employees are dressed as master chefs and photographed with your food products, or host a publicity product sampling event where people can taste the food in exchange for answering publicity questions about your company. The point of doing all this is not just to earn publicity, but to generate the kind that’s beneficial for your particular type of business — that will be an engine for sales and attracting new customers.
Third party endorsors
Word-of-mouth/social proofing/product influencer/3rd-party-endorser (TPE) is a psychological phenomenon where people conform to the actions of others under the assumption that those actions are reflective of the correct behavior. TPEs can be anything: social influencers; micro influencers on social media; museums; actual professionals in the marketing channel.There are 6 major types/sources of TPE. Start by leveraging the sources you already have, and then work to acquire more.
- Customers: social proof from your existing customers or users (e.g. testimonials or case studies).
- Experts: social proof from credible and esteemed experts in your industry (e.g. experts who exhibit the same behaviors that you want our visitors to).
- Local Celebrities: social proof from celebrities or other influencers (e.g. celebrities who have bought your product, or visited your establishment).
- Crowds: large numbers of people who provide social proof (e.g. 300,000+ websites use the OptinMonster lead generation software to get more email subscribers).
- Friends: people who are friends of your users/website visitors (e.g. 50 of your friends like OptinMonster).
- Certifications: a credible, 3rd party entity that certifies that you are a knowledgeable, high-quality or trustworthy source (e.g. USDA Certified Organic).
For more thoughts about creating buzz around your brand read Build Your Brand Recognition and read a free sample of the new book “Small Business Thoughts Real-Time Strategic Planning“.
Copyright ©John Trenary 2022