If you want to succeed in the market for long as an entrepreneur, you need to quickly learn how to get free publicity for your small business. In this article, I am going to show you 10 proven strategies on how to get free publicity for your small business. But first, we need to answer the question; what is publicity?
What Is Publicity?
According to the Oxford Languages Dictionary, publicity is “the giving out of information about a product, person, or company for advertising or promotional purposes.”
Wikipedia in its definition describes it as “the public visibility or awareness for any product, service or organisation (company, charity, etc.). It may also refer to the movement of information from its source to the general public, often (but not always) via the media.”
From these two definitions above, one can deduce that publicity often involves sharing information about a product, service, organisation, or an entrepreneur with the public, oftentimes using the media as the tool for sharing the information.
Now that we have established what publicity means, let’s now examine the top reasons people and businesses engage in publicity.
Why do you need publicity for your small business? Below, I am going to outline 4 reasons why publicity is invaluable for your small business.
It Helps Increase Awareness About You, Your Products And Services
The major goal that publicity aims to achieve is to bring information about you and your business to a section of the general public. So, in that sense, publicity aims to generate and increase awareness about you and your business.
If a small business owner gets an opportunity to be interviewed by a local newspaper, it helps him put his name and his business in the eyes of local community members, generating and increasing awareness about his business and himself in the process.
Publicity Helps Strengthen Your Brand
When you generate awareness about your brand, you are strengthening your brand and giving it a better chance to survive. The truth is, the more people become aware of your brand, the higher the chances are that they will patronise you; thereby increasing your chances of becoming a sustainable business.
Additionally, when you get media mentions and other forms of publicity, you gain what is called “social proof” making people believe that your business is legitimate, therefore, strengthening your brand as well.
It is less expensive than marketing efforts
Marketing is an expensive way of getting more people to know about your business. And while marketing is not a bad idea, it is very sensible to support your marketing efforts with a drive to get free publicity. Publicity is a less expensive way of getting people to know about your products than marketing.
Let’s take the example of a small business that writes and distributes a press release about a new product release to journalists. If journalists find the story newsworthy, they will go ahead and publish it, thereby getting the small business free publicity at no cost!
It Helps Engender Brand Credibility
We have covered this a bit in the second subtopic of this section but it does not hurt to explain it further. When you get free publicity through local media or online websites, it makes it easier for people to consider your brand as a credible brand. And in a world where new businesses are springing up every day, it is integral that your small business is seen as a credible brand.
When you have media mentions, if people search for your brand name online, it helps when they can see that major news outlets have written a story about you. It helps them know that your company is credible.
Now that we have explained why publicity is important, let’s go to the meat of the conversation; how to get free publicity for your small business.
How To Get Free Publicity For Your Small Business
Use Press Releases
Press releases are one of the best ways to get free publicity. Companies have been using press releases to get free publicity for a long time and you should use them too.
To have a successful press release campaign, you need to write a newsworthy press release and distribute it to journalists. Journalists usually prefer to use press releases from organisations that they have a relationship with, so make sure that you are constantly building relationships with members of the press.
Get Interviewed By Local Media
A very viable and easy way to get free publicity for your small business is by getting interviewed by local media and online blogs.
To pitch an interview, visit the websites of top local media organisations and send a mail to either the Editor or the journalist covering your niche, invite them over for an interview and share your expertise with them. This is an amazing way to get free coverage and publicity.
Answer Press Inquiries
Another amazing way for you to get free publicity for your small business is by responding to press inquiries from journalists. Many journalists need quotes and anecdotes from industry experts, so if you position yourself as an expert, journalists will send you inquiries and if you answer with insight, it will give you free coverage and press mentions.
Hold Product Release Events
Are you releasing a new product or service line? Then you have an amazing opportunity to get free media coverage and press mentions. All you need to do is to organise a product launch and invite members of the press to cover the event.
Product release events help position you properly for media to cover you and your small business. Additionally, you have the opportunity to network with like minds in your industry.
Offer Free Products To Influencers In Your Niche
Another way to get free publicity in this digital age is to offer your products for free to influencers in your niche. Clothing companies and other fashion outlets have taken advantage of this strategy to boost their visibility and to get free publicity. They offer their clothes and other fashion items to models and other influencers, and the influencers get to wear the clothes and post pictures of those clothes on Instagram thereby giving the brand free publicity.
Speak At Industry Events
Speaking at industry events will give you access to free publicity in your industry and also give you the likeability of getting free media mentions.
If you want to earn free publicity, you should speak at industry events. When you deliver insightful and analytical information at industry events, journalists and other business owners will try to get your information and get in contact with you for interviews and business opportunities.
Answer Industry-Specific Questions On Quora
Another way that you can get free publicity in the digital age is by answering industry-specific questions on Quora. Did you raise your eyebrows? Let me explain.
When you give detailed and insightful answers on Quora, make sure to include a linkback to your website. That way, when people read your answer on Quora, they can click through to your website to find more about you.
I have personally tried this out and seen a lot of visits from Quora to my blog.
Take Advantage Of Community And Niche Facebook Groups
Being active on community and niche Facebook groups is another amazing way you can get free publicity for your small business as an entrepreneur.
If you have a logistics business, for example, you can join buy and sell groups on Facebook, and engage with the community members. As you build your relevance in the group by sharing helpful and insightful content, you can network and tell the group members what you do and how you can help them.
Invest In Gift Items
Investing in gift items like T-shirts, bags, and the likes are great ways to get free publicity for your small business. You can print cost-effective T-shirts and bags, distribute them as gift items to your loyal customers.
With that, you reward your most loyal customers, and you get free publicity whenever they wear the shirts and carry the bags.
Include A Blog On Your Website
Finally, you can get free publicity for your small business by adding a blog to your official website. Sharing helpful information with your target audience on your blog will help improve your search ranking, thereby earning you free website visitors and earning you free publicity in the process.
Bonus Strategy: Profile Your Business On Entrepreneurs.ng
Another way you can get publicity for your small business is by getting your business profiled on entrepreneurs.ng
What will you get when you get profiled on Entrepreneurs.ng?
1) You appear on first page of google when searched.
2) Your business information, not just social media handles is put on the world map.
3) Brand awareness that creates visibility and generate leads.
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