Ah, spring is here at last. Nature is coming back to life. The birds are singing, the trees are blooming—and, our thoughts turn to….cleaning. Cleaning out closets, getting rid of clutter, sprucing up the yard…but, what about your business? For small businesses, marketing is a constant concern. Have you given any thought to freshening up your marketing—specifically, your public relations initiatives?
Here are five things you can do to spruce up your marketing and PR:
- If you haven’t made the commitment to social media, do it now. Social media isn’t going anywhere…and it’s a free tool just waiting to be taken advantage of. Start small, so as not to get overwhelmed. Pick one or two platforms you can commit to consistently updating. LinkedIn is a great place to start. I also like Twitter. Of course, there’s Facebook, Instagram, Google+, Pinterest and many others, depending on the audience you’re trying to reach. A tool like Buffer—the basic version is free—can help you schedule regular posts and is very easy to use. If you need help creating images for social media, try Canva—free or very low cost ($1) for some images.
- Consider a press release. Press releases are a multi-purpose tool in the marketing mix. They’re like the Swiss Army knife in your marketing arsenal. They help you get the word out to the masses and also help your SEO (search engine optimization). They can be posted to your site and to social media. You can pitch the release directly to reporters who may be interested in covering the news. Your sales team could also use the press release in its efforts. If you want to go further and issue the press release on a wire service, two free ones to try are PRLog.com and PR.com. A couple of paid services to try: PRWeb (lower cost) and PR Newswire (higher cost).
- Content marketing—have you embraced it yet? To develop your own content, look internally for ideas. Are there customer case studies or success stories you could create? Is there a trend in your industry that might make a good white paper? Maybe look into creating an infographic you could publish. Once you have the content, make sure to add it to your site and post it to all your social media outlets. If you mention a customer or partner, perhaps you can ask them to blast it out on their social media platforms, as well. PR plays right into content marketing, as it can be used to create much of the “content.”
- Speaking, anyone? Speaking is one of the best ways to increase visibility and be seen as the “expert.” Many organizations need speakers for their meetings and conferences. While these are generally unpaid speaking gigs, the benefits you’ll reap in the form of visibility can really boost your business and help your product or service get on the map. You can publicize the speaking engagement before, during and after the fact to get the most visibility from it. Again, using this as content on your social media platforms is a great idea. And those at the event may try to book you for another event or even want to purchase products or services from you.
- Are you an award winner? Many industries and publications have awards programs you can enter, some at no cost. What does this get you? If you win, you can publicize it with a press release and once again, blast it out via all your social media platforms. You can also post the win on your site (some awards come with a badge you can use). Awards create credibility that lasts forever. Think of the Oscars—Tom Hanks will always be known as “Academy-Award Winner Tom Hanks.”
Try leveraging the power of some fresh public relations and marketing initiatives this spring–or anytime–by putting some of these ideas into action.