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5 effective PR strategies for small businesses in 2024

by | Jun 2, 2024 | Public Relations

Small businesses might have the impression that there’s no need to worry about having a PR strategy—if you build it they will come, and all that. But the reality is that this is just as much a part of being profitable whether you’re operating on a local scale or expanding internationally.

With that in mind, here’s an overview of a few steps that SMBs can take this year in order to get people talking about them for all the right reasons.

small business PR

Image Source: Pexels

Leveraging local media to build community ties

Small businesses make up 90 percent of all organizations internationally, and yet they thrive on local support. Building strong connections with community media can amplify your brand’s reach and reputation, which on its own amounts to 63 percent of a typical firm’s value. To get started:

  • Identify key outlets: Find local newspapers, radio stations, and blogs that resonate with your audience.
  • Personalize your pitch: Tailor your story to fit each outlet’s unique angle. Highlight how your business impacts the local community.
  • Offer exclusives: Give reporters a scoop or early access to events, whether that’s a soft launch for a new store or the introduction of a breakthrough product. This earns their trust and encourages coverage.
  • Engage in community events: Sponsor or participate in local festivals, fairs, and charity events. It provides material for media coverage while strengthening community bonds.
  • Build relationships: Regularly interact with journalists via social media or at informal meet-ups. A good rapport can lead to more frequent features.

Crafting compelling press releases that stand out

A well-crafted press release can capture attention and generate buzz for your small business. Here’s how to make yours stand out:

  • Strong headlines: Create headlines that grab attention immediately, akin to catchy news articles. Make it clear and intriguing.
  • Clear structure: Follow the inverted pyramid style – start with the most critical information. Summarize key points in the first paragraph.
  • Relevant content: Ensure your press release addresses a newsworthy angle. Tie it to current trends or local events.
  • Quotes from leadership: Include quotes from business owners or relevant figures. It adds a personal touch and authority.
  • High-quality multimedia: Attach images, infographics, or videos. Visual elements can enhance engagement and make your story more appealing. In fact a study from Cision found that press releases with multiple images are 6 times as engaging as those without any.

Harnessing the power of customer testimonials and reviews

Customer testimonials and reviews can be powerful tools for building credibility and attracting new clients. Here’s how small businesses can effectively use them:

  • Collect genuine feedback: Encourage customers to leave reviews on platforms like Google, Yelp, or your website. Send follow-up emails after a purchase with a direct link to review pages. Also make sure that all of your interactions are as professional as possible by using the right software. So for instance if you run a carpentry business, having a woodworking estimation tool as part of your setup will ensure that any feedback you generate is positive.
  • Showcase success stories: Highlight detailed testimonials that narrate customer journeys. Real stories resonate more than generic praise.
  • Use multimedia formats: Share video testimonials on social media and your website. Videos add authenticity and help potential customers relate better. And with a HubSpot study showing that authentic clips can increase conversions by 80%, it’s doubly important.
  • Respond publicly: Engage with both positive and negative reviews openly. Thank satisfied customers, and address concerns professionally as a means of showing you value feedback.
  • Create case studies: Develop in-depth case studies from successful projects or client experiences. Share these through blog posts or downloadable PDFs.

Utilizing social media influencers in niche markets

Partnering with social media influencers can provide significant exposure for small businesses, and there’s a $21 billion market built around this. Here’s how to make the most of these collaborations:

  • Identify relevant influencers: Find influencers who align with your brand values and cater to your target audience. Micro-influencers often have higher engagement rates within niche markets, with a Rock Content study suggesting that they account for 91% of the most engaging content.
  • Create authentic collaborations: Ensure content created by influencers feels genuine. Avoid overly scripted messages, and instead let them present your product in their unique style.
  • Offer value exchanges: Provide influencers with free products or exclusive experiences in exchange for promotion. Make the offer compelling yet mutually beneficial.
  • Track performance metrics: Use tracking links and specific hashtags to measure campaign effectiveness. Analyze engagement rates, conversions, and overall reach.
  • Engage continuously: Build long-term relationships rather than one-off campaigns. Regular collaborations keep your brand consistently visible to their followers.

Creating viral content

Viral content can catapult a small business into the spotlight. Here’s how to craft shareable posts that resonate:

  • Understand your audience: Know what your audience finds funny or compelling. Tailor your content to their tastes and interests.
  • Leverage current trends: Keep an eye on trending topics, memes, and challenges. Timely participation in these trends can boost visibility.
  • Keep it relatable: Use humor and relatable scenarios. Simple jokes or situations that echo common experiences tend to get shared more.
  • Visual appeal: Design visually engaging posts with vibrant colors, clear text, and appealing images. Infographics work well for informative content.
  • Calls-to-action (CTAs): Encourage sharing by adding CTAs like “Tag a friend who needs this” or “Share if you agree.”

Final thoughts

From cajoling local media to cover your business to working with influencers in your niche, and ensuring your press releases are on point, the strategies that work from a small business PR perspective in 2024 are well established. It’s just a case of using the right tools to implement them, and staying up to speed with customer expectations in each case.

Jessica Perkins
Jessica Perkins is a writer and SaaS marketing consultant who helps businesses scale up their marketing efforts. She is obsessed with learning and also is passionate about sculpting. 

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