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10 low-cost PR strategies for startups and small businesses

Jennifer Lonoff Schiff | Aug. 15, 2016
Small business owners and experts in public and media relations share tips for how to generate good press for your business without having to spend a lot of money.

4. Use Facebook Live. “Use Facebook Live livestreaming to share free content and get your message out,” says Jamie Broderick, founder, Network Now, a women’s business network. “Facebook's algorithm currently gives more exposure to video, especially livestreaming, and it's free.” To “drive viewers to your website, include a call to action [in your Facebook Live video].”

“Nothing beats video [especially live video] for building rapport and, eventually, revenue for small businesses,” says Kristi Brown, cofounder, Significantly Successful, a marketing & consulting firm. And “Facebook has made it super easy for both those filming and those watching, making [Live] gain in popularity very quickly. Plus, video beats out anything other than paid ads on Facebook for visibility. The trick is to promote your Facebook Live [video] by scheduling the topic, time and date in advance. This way your fans know when you will be live and to look for the replay if they miss you.”

5. Boost your Facebook posts. “Use Facebook’s very specific audience demographics tool [to] ‘boost’ posts,” says Kelsey Goeres, social media & marketing associate, MyCorporation. “You’ll get your message out to exactly the right people for anywhere from $10 to $300.”

6. Post on Pinterest and Instagram. “One thing I’d recommend small businesses [do is] use infograhpics and Pinterest,” says Ashley Haugen, content strategist, brightpeak financial. “Using our in-house designer and copywriter, we put together an infographic on the 50/30/20 method of budgeting.

“For a minimal spend, we published it on Pinterest and watched it take off,” she says. “The organic reach of this one infographic blew our paid ads out of the water – over 31,000 re-pins and ranking on the first page of the Pinterest Finance category. It was consumable and valuable information for the consumer, and a low-cost win for us.”

Instagram is another good way to attract attention to your business. Post visually appealing photos of your products using popular, relevant Instagram hashtags. You can also create a unique, company-specific hashtag to track who’s looking at and sharing your images.

7. Answer questions on Quora. “Quora is a great place to share content in the form of answers to questions,” says Quincy Smith, marketing manager, Visiple, a video conferencing platform.  “If you post and answer enough, you will get more credibility and people will not only ask you to answer questions but will also visit your site.” Just “make sure your business name and Twitter handle are in your account bio (mine is ‘Marketing Manager for @Visiple,’ for example).” And include a link to your business in your posts, if or when appropriate.

8. Pitch smaller, niche publications and blogs that are targeted at your audience/industry. “Many companies overlook smaller, more niche websites and digital magazines in lieu of major publications like Forbes and Inc.,” says Lauren Fairbanks, CEO, S&G, a digital content and PR firm. “However, many industry publications get pitched far less often and are much more open to op-eds, guest articles and using you as a source for future articles.”

 

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