5 Smart Ways to Leverage the Power of Publicity to Grow Your Small Business
When you run a small business, publicity can seem like an insurmountable obstacle. The good news is that publicity doesn't have to be difficult. With some work and planning, it's possible to generate publicity for your business without breaking the bank or hiring expensive public relations firms.
This article shares 5 smart ways that small businesses can leverage the power of publicity to grow their company and drive brand awareness.
What is publicity?
Publicity is public exposure that a media outlet, magazine, newspaper, blog, or other entity provides for your business. Unlike advertising (which is paid for), publicity exposure is free. For that reason, it's one of the best online marketing strategies to use to grow your brand and business.
How can publicity help small businesses?
Publicity can help small businesses in a number of ways. For one, publicity allows you to reach your target audience and increase awareness about your business's products or services without spending money on advertising. In addition, publicity may lead to new customers because it improves brand visibility with the public at large.
As an example, I've been featured in top publications and media outlets like InStyle.com, Shape.com, EliteDaily, Yahoo! News, Reader's Digest, and more. By getting exposure through these major media outlets, it's helped my blog exponentially grow its audience, reach millions of people, and establish me as an authority in my space.
Not only have I learned to personally leverage the power of publicity for brands I own and manage, but I've also been a long-time magazine writer as well. So I've received thousands of pitches from all types of brands - from public companies to indie startups. So I truly know what it takes to get a journalist to pay attention to you.
It might surprise you to learn that I've never hired a public relations firm or a publicist, and have always done my own press outreach. So, I'm living proof that you can get publicity just by learning how to pitch the media. That's how I was able to save my company thousands of dollars, just by doing my own DIY PR. And you can too!
5 Smart Ways To Leverage The Power of Publicity
- Research the types of publications, blogs, or media outlets that your target audience would be following. For example, if you represent a beauty brand, magazines like Allure, NewBeauty, and Glamour are great publications to contact. The more targeted a publication, the easier it will be to reach your ideal customers. Think about the types of websites and publications that your target audience would already be subscribing to or reading regularly.
- Pitch journalists about your story idea. Like advertising, publicity is the media's bread and butter. Interested reporters are always looking for a new angle to write about. If you have an interesting story that hasn't been covered before, they'll be more likely to cover it with the hopes of writing something publishable. If you are an expert in your field, journalists and reporters are looking for valuable contributions from people like you.
- Share your unique perspective. If you have a different angle or new way of doing something, let the press know about it. Oftentimes media publications are looking to share articles that aren't just a carbon copy of what's been said before. That's why sharing your unique perspective or an unconventional approach to solving a common problem can help you stand out from your competitors. It also gives the reporters fresh content to share with their audience, which helps them get more engagement on the content.
- Be strategic about when you contact the media. The media generally plans their editorial calendar well in advance. That's why you'll want to submit timely pitches so that editors and writers can plan to include you in upcoming stories. For example, if you represent a skincare brand that creates products that are "glow-boosting", you'll ideally want to pitch the media at least 4-6 weeks before springtime. This way, the journalists can incorporate your product and tips into their spring and summer content.
- Build relationships with the media. Just like any business relationship, taking a humanized approach to fostering relationships with the press will go a long way. Instead of sending an e-blast to all the journalists on your list, you're better off sending personalized emails to each person.
In conclusion, publicity can be a great way for small businesses to reach their target audience, grow their brand awareness and drive revenue. The publicity of your small business can help you to achieve many goals including building relationships with the media, being seen by new potential customers, and driving sales. It's one of the smartest online marketing strategies you can leverage to grow your brand and business faster and easier.
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