This week I’m pleased to be able to have a post from PR Web’s Jiyan Wei, here on the SME-Blog. As my regular readers will know I’m a huge advocate of small business bootstrapping, and PR and news exposure is a great way for small businesses to get new customers, and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune!
Savvy small business owners are always searching for ways to increase the amount of visibility they have locally and ultimately increase sales.
With smaller budgets and smaller resources to generate exposure, one way that’s relatively inexpensive, and often produces a high return, is media exposure from local news channels.
Here are 4 reasons why media exposure is essential to kick-start or help you expand your small business:
1. More Eyes – Most small businesses have one common problem: building awareness.
Although many business owners have desirable products and services to offer, a lack of people aware of those services reduces the probability for success. With media exposure, more prospective customers become aware of the business and therefore more interest is generated.
Since local news channels, and their online properties, carry a loyal following, exposure on these channels will help a small business become known more quickly.
In addition, don’t discount the visibility that blogging can help your small business attain as many journalists are avid readers of blogs/bloggers themselves.
2. Credibility – Many small businesses face competition from other companies offering similar products/services within a similar geographic area.
Therefore, the business that receives ample media coverage can quickly push ahead of its competitors and gain credibility.
As a business increases its credibility and gains trust of prospective customers, sales will increase along with a boost in referrals and repeat business from satisfied customers.
3. Networking – A small business that effectively utilizes the right amount of media exposure not only gains an increase in visibility and credibility, it amplifies it’s networking potential.
Business owners that understand how to cultivate relationships with the local media, even particular reporters, will benefit from nurturing those relationships when seeking additional coverage in the future.
Tip – When distributing a press release, consider reaching out to the reporter directly via email notifying them of your news story so that if they are interested they have a chance to develop the story first. But be careful to research the reporter first to ensure your news is relevant for their beat.
4. Lead Generation – Along with a boost in visibility, creditability, trust and networking opportunities, the greatest benefit to being covered in local media is the potential boost in lead generation and sales.
As others in the community discover the business, more prospects show interest and opportunities for generating sales-ready leads or converting prospects into paying customers increases.
For the small business, there are different avenues to increase awareness in the community, but one of the most effective is by attracting media coverage from local news sources.
With this exposure, a small business can see a boost in its visibility, credibility in the community, opportunities for networking and of course, increased sales.
About the Author: Jiyan Wei is the director of Product Management for PRWeb and a frequent speaker at marketing, PR and SEO events including MarketingProfs, NewComm Forum, SMX and PubCon. For more resources to help you craft a killer press release, read Jiyan’s posts and more on the PRWeb blog.