- Posted May 27, 2014 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
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You work long hours, take few (if any) holidays, and you bear the full responsibility for the overall success of your company. Your family and employees all look to you to make the business a success.
That is a lot of pressure.
This means you always have to keep looking for new and inventive ways to improve your bottom line profitability, and take your small business to new heights.
Most business owners agree that effective marketing would be a big help to their business. However, what puts them off is that they mistakenly think that hiring a marketing consultant will cost a lot of money and that they cannot afford it.
That isn’t always the case. In this issue, we are going to look at various ways you can put an effective marketing plan into action without it costing an arm and a leg…and you will also discover some very effective FREE ways to get much needed publicity for your business.
The article will be a good reference guide to effective marketing. Your business will grow as a result if you put them into action.
START MAKING HEADLINES – THE INCREDIBLE POWER OF FREE PUBLICITY
Most small local businesses focus all their marketing efforts on paid advertising or sales activities. This is totally understandable and is generally a good investment if it’s done well. However, a lot of businesses are struggling financially at the moment, so this article will cover the most overlooked weapon in a small business’s marketing arsenal: FREE PUBLICITY.
How do you get free publicity?
Easy. Be known as ‘the’ expert and authority in your field.
Despite what you might think, being recognized as an “expert” in the media is a very attainable goal – in fact you are probably already well qualified to do this, particularly if you have been in the business for a number of years. But even if you haven’t been in business long, the chances are that you have done a lot of market research and choosing your business wasn’t a decision you came into lightly.
Once you establish yourself as an ‘expert’, the benefits to your business can be awesome. If you have a solid market position but need more exposure and credibility to help your business grow, you can do this easily by investing some time and effort into generating publicity for your business through the media. If you do this, you are sure to reap the financial rewards.
When it comes to local news, there’s no reason a small business can’t compete with a business ten times its size. In fact, it’s fair to say that local news outlets like TV stations and newspapers are “biased” in favor of small local business owners like yourself, so you already have an advantage.
HOW TO MAKE IT HAPPEN – START BY WATCHING AND READING THE NEWS
Think about the last time you watched your local TV news. There would have been the usual variety of depressing stories about car accidents, house fires and the economy. But there were also stories highlighting local issues. The people in these type of ‘Local News’ stories are usually people from the community appearing on camera to offer a comment.
For example, when the holiday season rolls around, a local reporter will often visit a local retailer to ask how busy it is and if their profits will be on target to beat the previous year’s takings. They might also consult another local trader who may have a different opinion on how busy it is, or perhaps to give some basic shopping reminders. Then they will interview various members of the public to ask them how busy it is and if they have all of their shopping done. They may also interview a local police officer to remind people not to drink too much during the holiday period, especially if they are driving.
Think about that for a moment; three LOCAL residents or business people all received valuable free exposure on a well-watched local newscast, and all they had to do was talk about what they do everyday.
That scenario is not unusual and you can probably think of many more examples. You might even remember a news item that featured on the news today.
It’s called publicity, and it’s probably the best marketing weapon a local businessperson has to get added exposure for their company at no cost.
But how do these people get on air or in print? Surely they must know somebody, right? Actually, no.
When you watch a news-related show and they consult an “expert”, chances are that person is no more an expert in their field than you are in yours. They got on air by simply pitching the story idea to the station or making contact with the local reporter or news station.
The local newscast is on every week night and quite often over a weekend. It doesn’t matter whether or not there was one hour’s worth of news during the day; they still have to fill the airtime.
On slow news days, news reporters are looking for local stories that will appeal to a wide audience, just like the one I mentioned above; one that they can put together without a lot of research or effort.
The same is true of newspapers. Reporters often need to generate a story idea for tomorrow’s paper, and they would jump all over a good local story that is of interest to a wide audience but not as time sensitive as, say, a local disaster.
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