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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

How Should A Small Business Promote Itself Without Breaking The Bank?

A smart small business will always look for the most cost effective approach to promoting itself .... especially in today's tough economic times. There are lots of ways to accomplish this so don't restrict yourself. Just be smart.

That said ... Press releases can be very effective because they enable reporters to talk about your company without the big investment in advertising. Plus, since it's the reporter saying good things about you, there is a high level of third-party credibility - ultra important these days.

PR "can" be a very effective tool if used in the right context. It really comes down to the type of product or service your selling, where you're targeting your PR, and the role you play in the final production of your piece (whether it be on the news, radio, or in a magazine or newspaper. You really need to keep your hand on the final work to ensure the media story doesn't misuse your words which may harm your business more than help.

PR is fine as far as it goes, but it only goes so far. Consumers don't read PR much, so the word needs to get out through more than just one media.

And when you're quoted by reporters in any media they *will* use your words out of context or weirdly to plant a spin you didn't intend. Their goal is not your goal.

It's still important to have a nice website that people can actually use to find more info than just the press releases. There needs to be interactivity, not just multimedia, which ins't truly interactive, but a sense of two-way communication.

You'll need to promote beyond just ads and press releases, by engaging your audience and rewarding them for that engagement, then giving them a chance and desire to spread the word for you!

All of this can be done without much cost other than time. Talk to a social marketing professional for ideas that capture the power of networking.

Now you have a few general concepts to pursue. Of course ... you have other options too. The best one ... is one you come up with that best fits "you". So be creative.

1 comment:

Cindy Helton said...

I totally agree that a web presence is critical whether it be a website or a static blog. One must take it beyond this point. The days of stick up a website and they will come,have gone.
I totally agree that capturing the potential of social media marketing is a viable, cost-effective solution. A social media marketing consultant can research and evaluate your market, create goals and an action plan for you which you can either contract with them to implement for you or you can implement yourself. Most social channels or avenues are free, time for executing the appropriate interaction is the question. Determining what your time is worth will help you decide how much you need to subcontract out.
As you pointed out "PR" need to be monitored. The same is true of your online presence as well. Whether you engage in social media or not people will be talking about you and you need to be able to control what is said about your business. Online Reputation Management will be critical as the marketing paradigm shifts to more social media.
The use of social media will somewhat begin to level the playing ground with larger business as long as small business work diligently on quality, communication and customer service.