Each day, many of us follow our business, music and celebrity heroes on social media, watch them on TV and read about them in newspapers and magazines. In many ways, this enables us to get to know them like never before.
Yet, as successful brands like Apple or Virgin have demonstrated, in the multimedia age it is possible to connect with target customers and influence what they buy and how often they buy it. In PR and marketing speak, this is about using both online and offline media channels to create brand engagement, inspiring invaluable customer loyalty and word-of-mouth endorsement at the same time.
Sound easy? Not exactly. The challenge for small businesses is that without a big budget for advertising or marketing, getting noticed in the media and by customers can be an uphill struggle. Even if you do decide to spend big, get your strategy wrong and you could be wasting valuable time and budget. But using small business PR can get you the outcomes you’re after.
Reach for the Clouds
As Xero’s newly-launched ‘Reach for the Clouds’ PR challenge aims to show, by thinking strategically, creatively and getting the right messages to the right audiences, it is possible to spark interest among potential customers – and give them a reason to get in touch, or keep coming back.
Have a strategy
First up, you need a strategy. Sharing news and opinions with journalists or via social media is important, but if you’re not careful all you’ll be doing is making noise. You need to ensure you’re getting the right content and the right messages into the right outlets, so that you can engage with your target audience.
Be clear about your objective
You need to be clear about your end objective. In most cases, it’s pretty simple; sell more stuff. However, depending on your business type and model and how long you’ve been around, this could mean selling more stuff to existing customers, or attracting the attention of new ones. You also need to be clear about your target audience profile and what media they might read, watch or listen to.
Get your key message nailed
Lastly, while getting your name out there is important, working out what you want to say and consistently saying it improves the likelihood of you making a connection with a potential customer, or making an existing one feel good about buying from you again.
So whether it’s telling the world about your inspired idea, giving advice to customers on how to work smarter or getting a customer to endorse your product or service, plan your strategy and don’t be shy about getting your business noticed.