Growing a small business is tough. Marketing a small business is even tougher. Once you’ve reached out to your immediate family and friends and encouraged them to share your new business with their networks, it’s common for new businesses to hit a wall. Especially when you’re just starting out, you don’t have a ton of extra cash to put towards marketing. So something like getting quoted in the LA Times or getting featured on your local news station could be huge for you.
Here are eight ways to get media mentions for your small business:
#1 Press Releases
When you think about getting media attention the first thing that should come to mind is writing a press release. Though, utilizing a distribution company that’ll get you the results you’re looking for doesn’t come cheap. There are plenty of free services out there like PR.com and 24-7pressrelease.com but if you want big time hits on your release you’re going to need to pay a little more. PRNewswire is a great site and will get you great visibility, but each release can cost around $300, depending on your market and the reach you want. So, if you’re trying to save where you can, only utilize one of the bigger distribution sites when you have something you’re really trying to promote.
#2 Reach Out to Journalists Directly
A great way to get media mentions is to create lasting relationships with journalists. If you have a friend or colleague with that connection, try and get to know them better. Send them an email when you like a recent article they’ve written.
You also want to make sure you offer up resources and content that’s relevant to them. For example, on one of my sites, I have an NFL streaming guide that I’ll offer up to sports bloggers and journalists. However, I’m not going to use it to reach out to finance reporters.
Don’t be overbearing, but try and build a relationship. That way, when they need a quote from someone in your industry, you’ll be their go-to guy.
#3 Notify Local News Stations When You Host an Event
Local news stations are always looking for businesses and events in the community to support. If you’re hosting an event or even offering a big promotion to community members, let your local news stations know. If it’s a slow news week, they’re just looking for stories to fill in the gaps so you have a pretty good shot at being featured. When pitching them on your event or promotion, be sure to use language that demonstrates how exactly it involves and benefits the community.
#4 Facebook Video
Creating viral content is another way to get media attention, but it’s a lot harder to do. You can never be certain if something you’re making and putting out on your social channels will go viral, but you can play into Facebook’s visibility algorithm. Facebook loves videos. Right now, they love live videos. Put a video on Facebook and you’ll get an impressive organic viewership without having to boost anything. If it goes far enough, you never know who might see it.
#5 Boosted Posts
In the same way that your content is more likely to end up in the right hands if you play into Facebook’s visibility algorithm and post videos, your content also may get picked up by a news outlet if you boost your posts. Just like with press releases, you get what you pay for so the more money you put into a boosted Facebook or Twitter post, the more eyes will see it. You can get some pretty decent viewership for just $30. If you have a huge event or promotion that you’d like people to know about, it doesn’t hurt to spend around $100.
#6 Use the Right Hashtags
Using the right hashtags can also get your business noticed by the media. Whether your business is celebrating its five-year anniversary or you’re offering new products, let the media know. Hashtag #localnews or the name of your city. If you think whatever you’re promoting would be of interest to a bigger outlet, like Forbes or Huffington Post Business, hashtag or @ those outlets as well.
#7 Guest Blog
Another way to break into the world of media is to become a guest poster on reputable outlets. Start small by writing quality articles on your own blog. From there, pitch a little bigger outlets, sending them examples of your work. Slowly build up to bigger and bigger outlets. It’s possible to become a Forbes contributor in a year’s time. All it takes is good writing, the ability to research and a clear point of view. If you don’t fancy yourself a writer, hire someone who is.
#8 Networking Events
Lastly, it doesn’t hurt to attend networking events. Research which networking events the media will be at and bring your best elevator pitch and business card. Introduce yourself, let them know what you do and say, “If you’re ever in need of an expert in my field, I’d be happy to help.” Don’t forget to follow up after the event with a phone call or email.
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