There are lots of ways to spread the word about your business, and while paid marketing campaigns can be impactful, this is only one tactic that you should be using amongst many.
Earning media attention is another tried and tested route to take, so let’s talk about why this is still relevant, and what it can do for your small business.
Increase Brand Recognition and Visibility
Gaining press coverage is one of the most effective ways to increase brand recognition and visibility for a small business. It can help you reach potential customers more effectively, by getting your message out there to a wider audience.
Not only that, but being featured in high-profile publications or websites gives credibility to your brand, as it shows people that your business is worth noticing. Press coverage also helps build relationships with key stakeholders such as suppliers, investors and partners who may be interested in helping grow your business further down the line.
Generate Leads and Sales Opportunities
Another advantage of press coverage is that it can help to generate leads and create sales opportunities for your small business.
By sharing stories about the success of your business, you can show potential customers that you are able to provide them with what they need. You can also use press coverage as an opportunity to showcase new products or services, which will help attract attention from people who may be interested in buying from you.
Whether it’s a small courier service in Houston, a popular local restaurant, or a multinational giant, everyone can do well with some media attention to spark the conversation about their latest offerings.
Additionally, press coverage helps build trust with existing customers by providing reassurance of the quality and value of your products or services. This in turn increases their likelihood of returning to make more purchases from you in the future.
Enhance Your Professional Reputation
As a small business owner, your personal reputation may be linked to the success of the company you run. So in this context, not only will positive media coverage make you look more credible, but it can also help boost confidence in your brand and give you an edge over competitors who aren’t as conspicuous in local or national coverage.
Moreover, this gives people the opportunity to learn more about your journey as a business owner, which again helps build trust between yourself and those looking for information on the company.
It’s useful to acknowledge that there’s a symbiotic relationship between you and your company, and the right type of coverage can paint a clearer picture for people you’re trying to bring onboard.
Reach New Markets With Niche Content
To grow, small businesses need to expand beyond their comfort zones and gain traction in markets that they don’t yet have a foothold in.
By getting your message out there in the press, you have the potential to attract more customers who are looking for what you offer. It also helps build relationships with industry influencers, allowing them to spread awareness of your business in their own networks and potentially promote it further down the line.
Better yet, press coverage gives small businesses greater access to local audiences that may not have heard about them before. This is especially important when targeting regions or communities where word-of-mouth marketing might take longer than usual.
Claim Your Place as an Industry Leader by Showcasing Expertise
With the right type of story disseminated via print news media or online outlets, you can demonstrate that you are well-versed in the topics related to your business or industry, and show potential customers or stakeholders why they should choose you over competitors.
It’s essentially a way of positioning yourself as an authority on a particular area, and having this legitimized further by the fact that you aren’t paying for promotion or sharing the claims yourself, but are instead having them spread by an independent third party.
This all comes back to the oft-discussed issue of trust. By and large, people still tend to believe what they read in the newspaper or hear about online from reputable sources, so some of this can rub off on your business if you’re able to get that all-important coverage.
Make your Marketing Budget Go Further
The simple fact is that press coverage doesn’t come with any immediate attached costs, unlike most other marketing methodologies. So long as you’ve got something worth shouting about, you should be able to garner media interest without paying a penny for the privilege.
Of course there are associated costs to encompass, depending on what’s being covered. For instance, if you’re hosting an event or product launch, this will be a point of not from a budget perspective. However, there’s a lot of value to be gained from getting a story about this featured prominently in the press, so it’s easier to justify such expenditure.
Build Connections for Future Endeavors
Being known to media movers and shakers is not just useful in the short term, but can bring long term benefits to your small business.
By having your foot in the door with people who are in a position to provide coverage, you’ll be able to call on these connections as and when you need them, whether to seek out their involvement in any launches you have planned down the line, or to address issues that might involve your organization, whether directly or indirectly.
Whether that means being able to provide quotes for articles regarding local issues or the wider economy, or even responding to rumors and other stories that could potentially paint your business in a bad light, these connections will serve you well in all sorts of scenarios.
The Bottom Line
You should now be in no doubt about the power that press coverage has for small businesses that want to grow, control the conversation surrounding their operations, and generally build trust with customers, clients and stakeholders. So if you don’t have a strategy for maximizing this in place already, now’s the time to act.