One of the first things potential customers do before they purchase a product or service is research the company’s brand online. This is where public relations comes into play. One of the most cost-effective ways to improve your brand’s online presence and reputation is through digital marketing and public relations. Having a proactive public relations strategy in place is essential to creating and controlling the messages customers and potential customers view and read about your business. The more positive press placement your company or brand achieves, it’s more likely a person will hold a favorable and positive perception of your brand or business within their mind.
Many small and medium-sized business owners question whether they should use their business dollars on advertising or public relations. Since Americans are inundated with ads every waking hour, they subconsciously filter them from their minds. When Americans read about a company in their local newspaper or via a business media outlet like Entrepreneur.com, it may be perceived as genuine because it was earned by an unbiased third-party. When consumers see an advertisement, they know a company is trying to sell them something. When a third party, such as a media outlet, endorses a product or service, readers perceive it to be more “authentic.” This is one of the primary reasons entrepreneurs proactively pursue public relations as a way to promote their business.
Here are several essential tips for growing your business with digital public relations:
- Be consistent — When it comes to your business’ messaging, be consistent. It’s important to educate, entertain and inform via messaging first, and promote your service or product second. At Savory PR, we work with our clients to highlight each brand’s value proposition and company values with clear and consistent messaging in every piece of content. When you deliver clear and consistent messages to audiences, they will find it easier to identify, understand and like your brand or business. This will lead to persuading them to eventually purchasing your product/service. Hard selling is a thing of the past—people that fall in love with a founder’s story or a brand’s values ultimately equate to long-term customers. Brand loyalty is the reason why Apple is sitting on more liquid cash than the federal government. People will pay good money for great brands that encompass reliable and innovative products. Another factor to consider when being consistent with your company’s marketing messaging: only have one slogan and logo. Don’t change the slogan messaging every time you publish a new press release. Maintain the same messaging across all promotional platforms. Use the same verbs to define the experience your product or service provides customers. When it comes to creating brand value, it’s important to be consistent with your content. Whether it’s announcing your one-year business anniversary, holiday sale or product expansion, it’s important to consistently use the same messaging and produce regular, unique content that keeps customers/clients engaged and interested.
- Have a company blog – Whether it is the CEO’s blog from a large corporation or a how-to blog that offers news updates or tips about your brand or industry, it’s important to get your company’s voice out there. Plus, it helps immensely with organic search engine optimization, commonly referred to as SEO.
- Write authentic content – Publishing authentic content on your company website and social media channels is one great way to get the media’s attention. Content isn’t just limited to words—you can get a lot of attention with videos or photos about your product, service, brand values or founding story. Pictures often help grab people’s attention. Telling your brand’s story in an authentic way is important to establish a brand that people care about.
- Proactively look for press opportunities – This is something you can easily do yourself on Twitter. Beging by following and interacting with journalists who cover topics related to your business or brand. Some journalists will even tweet when they are looking for a source for an upcoming story. If you are a business owner who wants to work on growing the business rather than constantly working in the business, you should consider hiring smart people to do the jobs you may not have the time or expertise to do. This is where a PR consultant or public relations agency comes into play. For small businesses or up-and-coming public figures, we get it: you likely have a limited budget. The best approach to maximizing your publicity efforts will involve hiring a PR consultant or a boutique PR firm. Compared to large public relations firms, PR consultants and boutique PR firms can offer cost-effective rates for the same quality services. The benefits of work with a PR professional includes getting access to their strong relationships with reporters, and PR writing/pitching expertise. They know the best do’s and don’ts for attaining positive press coverage.
- Have a plan – It’s important to have a long-term comprehensive communications plan outlined in advance before any campaign or program is launched. You will also want to have short-term and long-term goals clearly defined with a specific timeline. You could start simple with a local media outreach campaign and then scale to national press as you get more comfortable.
It’s important to note that public relations takes time. You can’t build a valuable, reputable brand overnight. With a solid plan, a PR consultant or boutique PR firm, and at least four to six months of dedication and consistency, your brand can build the media credibility needed to distinguish itself from the competition. If you are interested in outsourcing PR efforts for your business, we’d love to work with you. Email us at Samantha@Savory-PR.com today for a complimentary consultation.