The public relations industry uses media to get client stories into the ether and raise visibility. An agency works on a story so the news outlets can promote their content. Today, the strategy is to be more self-reliant with content marketing. Social media is only one outlet for public relations. There are many others that can benefit people directly who run small businesses. The benefits of doing it well can take a business to the next level.
To be in control of personal messaging is the goal of public relations and content. What drives people to a website, and products or services, is hearing from others who have used them. The customer wants to know they are making the best choice for their personal use or business. What seems newsworthy changes for each company and business. The world of public relations has shifted so much, small businesses need to learn how to do their own messaging to keep up.
To get the most out of the internet, small businesses need to look for information on a variety of topics. It is of little help to avoid advertising as that is where customers and revenue lie. Barely one-third of global customers trust the brands they use. What helps build that trust is creating a brand and name that people know is good consistently across the board. Brands use societal issues as marketing to sell their products, which comes across as ‘armchair quarterbacking’ or trying to play the game without really being in the game. To break this habit, try some important tips:
- Get online: don’t be afraid of using the internet as a best friend to the business. Used properly, it can compel people to stop by a website and check out all the services and products. Get some training and find some people who understand brand marketing to build up an online presence
- Invest in social media and website content: pony up some cash to make a good website with consumer-driven content. Don’t oversell products or services. Be upfront and honest about what is on offer and don’t buy ‘under-promise, over-deliver.’ Focus on being the best brand out there that makes promises they can keep and follow through with excellent service
- Hire the right people: get the right people to help build the brand and content. Work with contractors, temps, or short-term staff is necessary to build out a public relations campaign that brings people to the business. When everything is new, people get excited, but it takes a few years to really build a solid brand. Finding the right people can make or break a business
Don’t Be Shameless, Be Effective
Shameless self-promotion will be caught currently. People are more wary of over-promotion with the advent of influencers and people selling things they don’t know anything about. Stand out in the crowd by understanding the customers being served. Be the best brand ambassador for the business. Nobody likes being flooded with posts in their newsfeeds or overly sponsored content. Reward readers with content they desire, that is impactful and is varied. Earn attention by creating what is of interest and value to people reading it, then publish for exposure. The better the content, the better the prospects of making a sale.
Get a PR Consultant
If things are rough, or a big campaign is coming, don’t be afraid to hire a consultant. A public relations (PR) guru knows their stuff. They can create a media outreach campaign or ad blitz that will knock customers’ socks off. Good content marketing can help drive sales and compel people to check out the company who would not otherwise. Holidays are a good time to do this, but also think about other times that are helpful when there is less ‘digital noise.’ With quality content marketing, the small business is the expert. They are the ones out there putting themselves into the marketplace to be seen and heard by customers. If it takes outsourcing qualified experts for a time, do it. Don’t regret making a short-term decision for long-term gains. It will pay off in dividends and support growth in an ever-changing digital landscape.
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