5 low-cost PR strategies for startups and small businesses
Most startups and small businesses cannot afford to hire an advertising or PR agency. They don’t have the money for glossy ads in magazines, or radio or TV commercials or to even create online ad campaigns.
However, thanks to the internet and social media, startups and small business don’t have to spend a lot of money (or even any money, in some cases) to generate positive buzz for their brand, they can just follow one of these strategies:
1. Sign up to be a source on Help a Reporter Out (HARO).
“Subscribe to HARO,” says Kyle Peterson, partner at Clement|Peterson, a tech PR agency. “The free service will send you three emails per day listing articles that journalists are currently working on – and the sources they’re seeking to complete the story. It is important, however, to respond quickly to requests when it fits your area of expertise (and HARO covers just about all industries), since there could be plenty of competition.”
This tool will help your small business gain more exposure through press. If you’re lucky enough to have your quote published, they may even link back to your business, which can also help with SEO.
2. Reach out to social media influencers.
“Ask them to hold a giveaway with you become a brand ambassador or [write about your products or service],” says Alice Williams, communications specialist, Frontier Business Edge. “This has proven to be an effective and inexpensive way of generating buzz time and time again. Influencer recommendations carry 22 times more weight than recommendations from the ‘average’ customer,” she says. “It’s an especially effective way to generate buzz amongst millennials, according to a joint study by Twitter and Annalect. Forty percent of respondents stated that they bought something online after they saw an influencer use it.”
If your small business is local, your best bet would be to find local bloggers. There are some directories that show influencers in your area, ready to promote your product or service. Most bloggers only post about products they genuinely like, so it is important to tell bloggers why you are passionate about your product and what sets it apart. If you own a retail store, try sending select bloggers some free products with a personalized note. They just might end up loving it and mentioning it in their next blog post.
3. Use Facebook Live
“Use Facebook Live live streaming to share free content and get your message out,” says Jamie Broderick, founder, Network Now, a women’s business network. “Facebook’s algorithm currently gives more exposure to video, especially livestreaming, and it’s free.” To “drive viewers to your website, include a call to action [in your Facebook Live video].”
“Nothing beats video [especially live video] for building rapport and, eventually, revenue for small businesses,” says Kristi Brown, co-founder, Significantly Successful, a marketing & consulting firm.
Video is rapidly taking over social media advertising. Facebook even gives preference to video posts on users’ timelines. Facebook’s new feature allows people to live stream anything. This new feature is a great opportunity for businesses to get their message out. Companies should live stream fun, interesting events that users would actually want to watch. This can be a speech at a conference, someone’s experience at your business, a Q&A, an unusual demonstration, and more.
4. Post on Pinterest and Instagram.
“One thing I’d recommend small businesses [do is] use infographics and Pinterest,” says Ashley Haugen, content strategist, brightpeak financial. “Using our in-house designer and copywriter, we put together an infographic on the 50/3/0/20 method of budgeting.
Pinterest and Instagram are powerful marketing tools that are free to use. Sometimes, small businesses only focus on Facebook and forget that there are other, less saturated platforms with millions of users. Businesses should take advantage of platforms like Snapchat, Instagram, and Pinterest.
5. Answer questions on Quora.
“Quora is a great place to share content in the form of answers to questions,” says Quincy Smith, marketing manager, Visiple, a video conferencing platform. “If you post and answer enough, you will get more credibility and people will not only ask you to answer questions but will also visit your site.” Just “make sure your business name and Twitter handle are in your account bio (mine is ‘Marketing Manager for @Visiple’, for example).” And include a link to your business in your posts, if or when appropriate.
For help with digital marketing for small businesses, contact the experts at Telx Web. With services like SEO, web design, social media marketing, press release marketing, and more, we can help you take your small business to the next level. Contact us here for a quote.