From my experience, some of the best things that could help your business idea turn into a hit, especially if you are just starting out are a solid marketing plan and an efficient PR strategy. The bad news is that both marketing and PR can be costly especially if your company is in the first stages of its development. The good news is that there are a couple of affordable marketing and PR tips that a small company or a start-up could easily implement in order to boost sales while also growing the customer base.
And while you may have a great product or service, what happens if no one is there to acknowledge it? Also, selling the product or service could prove more difficult than you might think. Still, you can spread the word to your market, thus attracting potential customers by using some proactive methods of effective public relations and marketing.
For me, marketing is all about finding ways of reaching your target audience, the potential customers that may be interested or need the product or service you are selling. Public relations entail obtaining good publicity and positive press for your products, services or business.
First of all, one of the simplest things you should do is conduct follow ups with customers via email. This is a great way of keeping customers apprised of new products and services. And given the large amount of spam that circulates nowadays online, you need to adopt an informative and interesting approach. For example, you could start a monthly email newsletter which targets various segments of your customer base. This way your small business is able to attract new business. Moreover, don’t forget to check if the email communications are CAN SPAM Act compliant.
Take advantage of the power of social media
Being in the position of managing your social media content includes a valuable way of promoting your business. Social media platforms offer your customers an environment where they can engage with your business, offer feedback or ask questions related to the product and services of your company. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Youtube and LinkedIn are great economical methods of not only networking but also advertising your company. Before starting to build your digital strategy make sure you read as much as you can about its ins and outs in order to avoid or at least minimize the risks of making any mistakes. Keep in mind that is all about building a solid relationship and gaining trust from your costumers.
By maintaining and creating a website for your company, the customer base and the visibility will surely increase. Focus first on content marketing and then on implementing SEO and SEM techniques in order to increase your websites visibility. And make no mistake; your company will become visible online to possible investors and potential clients. In addition, you could also consider linking your site to other ones in order to receive the exposure it needs and deserves. There are a lot of free online tools that help you create and manage your own site. And if the task is too difficult you could barter with a website designer to help you out so that the expenses will be kept down.
Branding your company through blogging
Blogging is a great way of getting the message out to your potential clients or investors. Create a regular blog on your website where you can post articles related to your products or services and promote your business. Also, you could consider writing for other sites pertaining to the field in which your company activates. This is an excellent way of getting free publicity while also receiving positive feedback. Remember you need to be relevant and consistent through your blogging.
Participate in online conversations
Hootsuite is another great low-cost Internet marketing instrument that helps you expand your customer base while also checking phrases and terms relevant to your industry. And if you see somebody posting, commenting or tweeting with a question or an issue, you can jump right in and offer precious advice.
Some PR specialists recommend to stop relying on the traditional approach to PR altogether. Instead of relying on press releases you should probably focus on offering genuine news related to your brand. Any other public relations strategy is pretty much like throwing cash out the window hoping it will eventually find its way back to you.
Last but not least, build solid relationships with journalists
The relationship between the entrepreneur and the reporter should not cease after the news about your company has been covered. The way in which a brand engages with its media outlets or journalists after a story has been reported can either damage or help the future outreach just as much as the first pitch does. A short thank you email after the article is a kind gesture and a sign that the effort is appreciated. Also, sharing the post and additional materials with your social media circles can go a long way.