They say there is no such thing as bad publicity. While that is a question up for discussion, one thing is certain: free publicity is always good.
After all, you gain many benefits from it, while investing little-to-no money towards it. This is especially advantageous for small businesses that are often looking for ways to promote themselves, without having to spend too much money.
Today, we are going to talk about how to get free publicity for your small business, and what are the best free publicity ideas you can use.
But first things first.
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What Is Free Publicity?
Publicity is a part of promotional marketing, and one of the 4Ps, a.k.a., the marketing mix: product, place, price, and publicity.
It is quite similar to advertising, with the main difference being that publicity is free. Publicity is the process of spreading positive news about your company, typically through the press or news.
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How Can Your Small Business Benefit from Free Publicity?
Free publicity can offer a lot of benefits to your small business:
- Increased credibility. Having someone outside your company, especially reputable media outlets, to endorse your business is always a good sign. It is also regarded as more authentic, since people often regard self-promotion as unreliable – after all, it is expected that you will only say good things about your own business.
- Build relationships with potential customers. More people that hear about your business might also result in you developing relationships with potential customers.
- Reassure existing clients. Receiving publicity will reassure your existing customers that they made the right choice choosing your business. More often than not, people will be more likely to trust a brand that they have seen in the media, on a reputable website, and so forth.
- Stand out. Not every business will experience publicity, so once yours is mentioned in the news, for example, it will make you more unique than others.
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How to Get Free Publicity for Your Small Business: 9 Tips
- Make Your Website SEO-Friendly
- Support Local Charities
- Encourage Your Customers to Leave Reviews
- Utilize Social Media
- Host Free Events
- Develop Connections With Journalists
- Write Press Releases
- Promote User-Generated Content
- Offer Free Samples and Gifts
1. Make Your Website SEO-Friendly
One of the best things that you can do to get more online visibility is to optimize your SEO. SEO, in general, does not require any additional investment, which is a huge advantage compared to paid advertising.
You can additionally delve into local SEO, since it can provide more visibility locally, and potentially bring you more local customers.
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2. Support Local Charities
A great way to gain free publicity is to support local charities. First, you will be supporting a good cause. Second, your business will be associated with doing good, which might be something that attracts customers.
In fact, a global corporate social responsibility study from 2015 found that 84% of consumers try to purchase from brands that are socially or environmentally responsible, whenever possible.
Therefore, if given the choice to buy from a company that is not involved in charity, and one that is, both offering the same product or service, the one that is involved will have better chances of attracting customers.
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3. Encourage Your Customers to Leave Reviews
Do you ask happy customers to leave a review? If not, then you are losing out on potential free publicity. Positive client reviews will bring tons of value to your business.
Word-of-mouth recommendations from real customers are among the most influential ways to promote your business in a non-invasive way.
Sure, influencer marketing can also be effective, but it is not as honest, and unbiased, as regular customers can be.
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4. Utilize Social Media
Being active on social media can generate a lot of extra publicity for your company. Creating interesting, and valuable content could result in a lot of shared posts, which will respectively allow you to reach a wider audience.
Naturally, you can use social media to let people know about the charities you support, events you host, contests, giveaways, etc.
What is more, you could develop a community, and enhance your own authority, and trustworthiness.
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5. Host Free Events
Another good way to generate free publicity for your business is to host free events. The type of activities at the event will depend entirely on what business you run.
If, for example, your business creates some kind of food products, you can provide free samples. A business that offers real estate services might set up free property consultations, and so on.
Whatever the case, such events are great for networking, and will allow you to develop stronger client relationships.
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6. Develop Connections With Journalists
Wondering how to promote your business for free? Well, you have to accept the fact that it will not always happen instantly. Actually, more often than not, it will take time and effort on your part.
For instance, if you want to get featured in the news, a good way to start is to develop connections with journalists.
To do that, you need to offer them value beyond your own interest. So, instead of just relying on self-promotion, you should actually try to share insightful industry information, introduce them to people in your network, and generally try to understand what they care about.
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7. Write Press Releases
The goal of press releases is to share news about your business. Of course, there should be a valid reason for you to write and send a press release – it should be something newsworthy.
For example, an upcoming event you are hosting could be worthy of a press release, or an important change in your company, such as a merger, or the release of a new product.
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8. Promote User-Generated Content
User-generated content holds a lot of marketing potential. It is created by the public, for the public, and it adds a layer of authenticity and trustworthiness to your brand.
What is more, there are many types of UGC to choose from, including:
- Social media content
- Blog comments
- Case studies
- Community forums and discussions
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9. Offer Free Samples and Gifts
If you are a new business, gaining publicity is essential, since no one knows about you yet. A great idea is to offer free samples of your products, or even special gifts for your first customers.
Applying such a strategy will allow you to attract more customers, and start developing your brand.
In case your business is service-based, why not provide special discounts to your first clients, or a free trial?
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You don’t need to wonder any longer how to obtain free publicity for your small business. If you follow the tips we’ve provided, two things may happen, people will begin to notice you and your customer base will steadily increase.
Of course, there are most certainly other ideas that have worked well to increase the exposure of a small business – if that is your case, do share them with us in the comments section below.
It is absolutely free.