- Website - is your home page easy to read? Can someone tell who you are, what you do and what your target market is in 3-5 seconds? Do you have white space on your pages? If you have a lot of copy, try to shorten it and use bullet points.
- Socia media profiles - is your description updated on each account? Is each profile fully completed? Did you use your top keywords in them?
- Customer list - are you up to date with your database? Are you communication regularly with your customers? Have you asked for testimonials lately?
- Local media - have you created a media list? Are you communicating news about your business, employees and events? Be helpful, become a source for your industry with local, regional media.
- Blog - a blog is a great way to position yourself as an expert in your field. Have employees write insights from each department. Come up with a FAQ list and write a post on each question.
Spring is a good time to do some cleaning in your marketing and PR for your small business. Here are a few tips to make sure your small business marketing engine is running smoothly.
Many small businesses do not have a marketing plan and are operating in a reactive way with their marketing activities.
Proper planning is key so be sure to put pen to paper and identify your goals. It doesn't have to be complicated, but once you have your plan in place, you can take a better look at your business and how to make it stand out from the rest.
Some items to have on your plan outline:
These are just a few topics to have in your outline. Pricing, partners and product details may also need to be addressed.
Once you have your plan on paper, it will be easier to focus on your marketing strategy and stay the course.
Image by smarnad from freedigitalphotos.net
Joan Stewart, The Publicity Hound, is offering The Best of the Publicity Hound’s Tips of the Week 2013 on her website as a free ebook that I highly recommend.
She includes many tools that help public relations professionals save time and money such as the social media image maker that helps you resize images for all types of social media accounts.
She also gives out valuable tips that are hard to find elsewhere. The tips she shares are hidden gems that PR pros would usually pay money to acquire.
Here are some of the neat tips and tricks that are in the free ebook:
—Where to find a huge directory of freelance writers
—Where to find a giant list of local and regional magazines so you know all your pitching opportunities
—36 places to publicize your startup
—Where to find a free 39-page report on how to research and pitch bloggers, step by step
Check out this wonderful ebook and start using her PR tips today.
I recently wrote about retail promotion tips for the 2013 holiday season. If you are a small business, there are ways you can stand out from the competition this season.
Start promoting now. The holiday season is shorter this year and the retail outlook is lower than last year. Email newsletters that share what's new and spotlight promotions
Offer stand out promotions. Get creative. Make your repeat customers VIPs and give them the star treatment. Start a referral program. Find ways to stand out and draw in new customers.
Customer service is tops. Above all, make sure your customers experience a positive, helpful environment. Going above and beyond expectations will ensure they return.
Image courtesy of Naypong / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
It's hard running a small business. How do you carve out time to market your business when you are busy running it?
Here are some great public relations tips from Media Leaders to generate publicity. Some of my favorite tips include:
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
There are lots of newsworthy things that you can share with the media about your business and employees.
In addition to traditional product and service news, think about the ways your business interacts with your community.
Are you involved with a local charity? Is your organization eco-friendly? Has a customer found a new use for an old product? Is your business culture different from others in your industry?
Sharing this type of information with the media through a well-written press release can bring publicity that helps shape your brand, builds company awareness and creates human interest.
Small business owners are busy running their business and handling most tasks from operations to sales. Here is a quick way to stay on top of your company, your competitors and your industry.
Set up a Google Alert for your company, competition, and industry keywords. You can specify to receive an email when it occurs or get a daily or weekly update. This allows you to stay on top of recent industry news and monitor what is being said about your company
Looking to monitor social media mentions? Another site to track company mentions in the social sphere is Social Mention. You can set up alerts similar to the Google Alerts and stay notified!
Small businesses often have more work than resources and less budget for marketing and PR. Here are some PR tips for small businesses to build on.
Think local and build a media list in your area. Check Patch and get to know your local journalist. Become a resource. Be sure to publicize any local events and charitable activities.
Network. Join your local industry organization and get involved. Offer to speak or sponsor an event.
Offer helpful advice to customers and prospects. Start blogging. Write an FAQ page and answer customers' top questions. Make sure the blog is included on your web site. Wordpress is an easy to use system.
Go social. Set up a free LinkedIn company page. Add products and services. Link your blog to the page. Add a Facebook Page and start a Twitter feed for the company.
Listen, Monitor and Engage. Check Social Mention and set up Gmail alerts for industry keywords including your company.
Find out what people are saying in your industry, about competitors, about you! Respond and resonate with people and join in the conversation.
What other PR tips would you like to see?
Small businesses can struggle with public relations, especially if the owner also handles the sales and marketing functions of the company. Here is a quick PR tip for businesses looking to build local publicity.
Find local AOL Patch sites for your city. Sign up for the newsletter and get active on the site. Add your events, if applicable. Comment on stories. Reach out to the local editor and offer to write a column on your area of expertise, if it relates to local readers.
Have any other neighborhood publications? Do the same with them. Build a local media list. Create a relationship and watch it bloom!