I believe you won’t argue the fact that a lot of ideas on how to boost small business lie in the field of PR, while the two powerful weapons – thought-out marketing strategy and effective PR – show perfect results when combined skillfully.
But is it possible to stand out in the already saturated market? I believe it is, especially if you follow the advice below.
#1 Work with the Media, but Only if You Can and Need It
Public relations are the most important tool for the marketing communication. However, not all companies need media support. Here all depends on two factors:
a) the ability to provide something newsworthy to the media (Analytics, statistics, expertise)
b) an intention to scale the business.
#2 Search for Unique Features
The worst thing is to be like others. A business is built on customers’ needs, so it’s extremely important to know your target audience. Who are these people (age, social status, income, interests)? Why do they buy from you? Create a detailed portrait of your consumer.
Then turn to your product. How is it different from the others? What are the advantages and unique features? Recall the M&M’s advertising “Melts in your mouth, not in your hands” and try to wrap your product in something beautiful that conveys a unique selling proposition. Well, if you know your features, you are already half the way to success.
The name and the corporate style (logo, font, color) are another two major points. So please don’t try to save on them by “hiring” your nephew who studies design at university. Corporate identity is your face; therefore, it should be attractive and able to create a needed image in the minds of people. Introduce yourself nicely, and you’ll get more response soon.
And please don’t blindly copy the success of others. Yes, you should track the competitors and learn from their good decisions, but do not copy and integrate them into your business!
#3 Develop and Use Your Personal Brand. Follow the Trends
Now people are buying not from brands but people. You must bring your business to social networks. At least, be sure to consider this trend. Speak with customers in their language (within reason), give them some insights (funny stories, facts, etc.), and avoid boring official bureaucratic language.
By the way, all of the above can take place not only in the official community the company but also on the page of the first person. In general, personal branding is now at the peak of its popularity. Of course, you must have a good product/service beyond the personal brand.
#4 Motivate Your Staff
No matter how snobbish it sounds, but all the efforts, including the image of the company, the product and the price, are secondary. You may have a unique service with a very attractive offer and coolest, but if the customer is unhappy; these are all in vain.
The profit of the company directly depends on the attitude to customers and their needs. Even if the potential buyer is ready to spend their money here and now, ill-treatment will make him change his mind.
Therefore, make sure your team consists of goal-oriented and highly motivated employees. Always keep in mind the needs of your staff.
#5 Use Suitable and Ethical Ways of Communication
The shortest way to spend too much money is not to spend enough on advertising. The most unethical ways of communication do not work and are very expensive. They irritate people and cause negative emotions, thereby creating bad associations with your brand.
- Do not buy phone and email lists. This is not only illegal but also terribly annoying! Instead, hire a copywriter to lead a corporate blog. Invite your website visitors to subscribe to your newsletter and please, give the opportunity to unsubscribe! This way you’ll increase conversion, get a loyal customer base and a legitimate email database. Besides, if the newsletter is interesting and useful for subscribers, they will share and recommend it. Finally, what can be better than good old word of mouth?
- Avoid cheap flyers, business cards, and calendars. Every day, thousands of companies print tons of wastepaper with unreadable text and poor quality. I bet you have received such “masterpieces” and thrown them in the nearest bin. Instead of printing this trash, spend money on targeted ads in social networks.
- Avoid email advertising. How often do you see flyers in your mailbox? And how often they lead you to the purchase. I bet that never! In 99% of cases, these promotional offers go straight into the trash folder.
Any advertising campaign requires preparation. Segment your target audience and pick the tools to fit it. Do not try to cover everyone at once – this is too expensive and inefficient.
Of course, there are no universal instruments of business promotion. The key is to understand how the particular tool works, as well as its features, strengths, and weaknesses. What fits and works for others does not necessarily work for you, and vice versa.
About the Author:
Lucy Adams is an outsourcer from http://edublogawards.org/. She’s always seeking for interesting ideas, so feel free to send your best suggestions. Lucy loves blogging, writing, education, linguistics, and many other exciting niches. Be sure, Lucy will provide you with at least one high-quality paper for free.