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If you are running a small business, you are probably very well aware of all the challenges and obstacles you have face every day, be it the lack of finances, resources, or skilled staff. However, all of those can be made up for with a good marketing plan, and one of the best things you can do for your small business on a budget is to focus your efforts on PR. For instance, millennials are 247% more likely to be influenced by blogs and social media, which means that utilizing PR should be at the top of your list. On top of that, PR is usually free, and if done right, it can create a bigger impact than paid ads.
For instance, having other people talk about your small business sounds more credible that tooting your own horn. What you can do is reach out to local journalists who are looking for their next story, or even your local TV station and convince them to do a piece on your business. You can even round up all of your latest news and provide them with content that is already created for them. Finally, there are always industry bloggers and influencers which can give you a push if you can manage to get on their good side.
If all of this hasn’t convinced you yet, let’s take a look at five reasons why your small business needs PR.
- Your Marketing Dollars Will Last Longer
According to Mark Kinsley, who works as a marketing manager for essayontime.co.uk, PR allows you to make up for your lack of marketing dollars by simply putting in more effort in building credibility and authority of your business and brand, as well as by developing relationships with influencers. This organic, word-of-mouth approach might take longer, but all that positive buzz will make your marketing more organic, and your customers will be more likely to trust you because you don’t rely on pushy sales tactics like everyone else.
- It Beats Advertising
Speaking of trust and organic buzz, Nielsen research also shows that PR is 90% more effective than advertising when it comes to influencing the customers. These days, an average person is exposed to as many as 5,000 ads per day! However, they are more likely to purchase a product if it has been endorsed by an influencer or someone like them, which explains why so many companies sponsor YouTube vloggers nowadays. As opposed to trusting corporations, customers are more inclined to trust people, and with PR, you get exactly that, a human voice for your small business.
- PR Is Ideal for Damage Control
While it’s not that easy to get people to say nice things about your small business, it is very easy for them to do the opposite. Negative reviews and disgruntled customers can deal a huge blow to your brand unless you can get on the ball quickly. With PR, you can resolve disputes, conflicts, and mitigate the effects of negative feedback and faulty products. Ultimately, it is not just about turning the negative into a positive, but also about making sure that the information being spread about you and your business is accurate.
- It Boosts Your Brand’s Visibility
The great thing about the Internet is that online media can remain relevant for a really long time, which isn’t the case with traditional media. Your video or blog posts will stay online forever, and they can even become more valuable over time. If you can make sure that your stories are relevant and valuable for users and share them on earned, social, and owned channels, your business will climb up in terms of ranking, not to mention that you will get an influx on new customers.
- It Complements Your Marketing
Another thing that’s great about PR is that it’s not a substitute for your marketing efforts, nor does it compete against them. In fact, you can use PR to bolster your marketing efforts even further. Focus on providing something of real value to your target audience through PR. Think about what their problems and pain points are, and create something that will help, inspire, or educate them. If you can empathize with them on any level, rest assured that you will win their attention and trust.
Regardless of what you may have read online, getting free PR is possible, and it only takes some time and effort to develop a good relationship with reputable people, such as influencers and journalists. If you can set aside an hour each week to work on your PR, in half a year you will be able to generate enough buzz so that your brand gets positive mentions in the media, Good luck!
Terence Murray has been working as a professional editor in London publishing agency for 4 years. Now he is journalist-freelancer and wide ranged professional content developer