Small business owners don’t necessarily think that public relations are a must. After all, they are just running a small business with localized audience. The truth is that any business, regardless of the size, should focus on branding, promotion and marketing. According to a study, 75% of consumers cite brand awareness as a major factor influencing their decision to buy certain products. It means that if they are not aware of your brand or you don’t even give an effort to come up with one, don’t expect people to come and buy what you offer.
Here are some effective strategies to ensure that the right message is delivered to the consumers.
Pretend to be a potential customer
It is extremely important that you understand what the people want. Try thinking the way they do. For instance, if you are running a restaurant, determine what exactly it is that they want from a dining place. Considering the number of other restaurants available, why should they choose you? Doing this allows you to think of reasons why you are unique and how you want other people to think about your business.
Maximize the local media
There is no doubt that social media is now the way to go in advertising. People are in social media all the time. It doesn’t mean that it should be the only form of media that you should target. Local media outlets like TV and radio stations are still useful. Be friends with local station owners and journalists so you can get free plugging. Don’t forget that the older demographics still prefer these outlets. You are losing a huge chunk of potential buyers by focusing only on social media.
Check out your competitors’ brand message
It is normal in businesses to be more aware of what their competitors are doing. In fact, even major brands do it all the time. The point is to find out how you can do better than your opponents. Find a way to stand out and come up with something that has never been done before. People don’t want hearing the same thing over and over again. If you are running a photography business and your competitor emphasizes on cheap services, focus more on high quality images. This is how you create a strong message that is different with what your competitor is offering.
Reach out to your target audience
Advertising through media outlets and building a strong social media presence is essential. These are effective PR strategies. Just don’t forget to also connect with your target audience on a personal level. Be where they are. Join state fairs or local exhibits. This provides you with an opportunity to meet with the people. Instead of just advertising virtually, this is your chance to personally explain to them your business and convince them to buy what you offer. Be involved in these activities as often as you can to make your target audience feel that they matter to you.
Consistency is the key in building a positive image to the public. Once they understand your brand and they believe in what you offer, they will eventually become loyal customers.
Featured and 1st image from http://www.holony.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/free-business-marketing.jpg
2nd image from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/toby-nwazor/5-effective-ways-to-use-s_b_12262606.html