The majority of small businesses don’t have the budget to hire outside PR or advertising companies to help them spread the word. However, it’s not all about the benjamins, because luckily in this day and age we have that thing called the internet and social media.
Instead of stressing about how you’ll pay for a media campaign, focus your attention elsewhere. Start local and create a firm foundation that you can build on for future opportunities as you grow.
Below, we’ve outlined some cost-effective PR strategies to follow so you can make your first step.
1. Subscribe to free sites like HARO
HARO, otherwise known as Help A Reporter Out, is a free email subscription service that you can set up to receive up to three email alerts a month with press opportunities straight from journalists and reporters. If you respond quickly enough, there’s a chance you can get your brand mentioned in an article, generate awareness, and get your name out there.
2. Get a little help from your friends
The power of collaboration can go a long way. Reach out to other local businesses in your area to see how they are promoting their businesses. It could be beneficial to partner with your neighbors to offer discounts or promotions in order to gain attention.
3. Social media is not just for Millennials
Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter; they are all tools to help you grow your business. If you haven’t created accounts, what’s stopping you? Create your story and share it to your community. Your customers are using social media, which means, you should be too. If you’re launching a new service or product, post it, tweet it or pin it!
The power of words goes a long way. In addition to sharing your story on social media platforms, blogging is another way to engage with your customers. It’s an outlet for you to go beyond your brand definition and touch on aspects that appeal and relate to your customers. It’s also a place you can address commonly asked questions and showcase your expertise in a way that’s real. Blogs are not for sales pitches, they are a resource for customers.
Additionally, another way to gain exposure and grow your network is guest blogging on other sites. Not every piece of content you create should be directly tied back to your pitch. Creating your brand involves going outside of yourself, and with that sentiment, showcasing yourself on other sites will give you a boost.
5. Award Yourself
Are there local awards you can enter to gain more notoriety or attention? One place to start is within your own community. Check with your chamber of commerce or local papers. The more people read about you and see your name, the more you become a household name.
No matter your budget, there is always a way to be creative and get your name out there. Small businesses often have some of the most interesting stories, and they should be shared.