Most big corporations have multi-million dollar budgets for advertising and publicity. But smaller companies don’t have the cash flow for big commercials, magazine ads and celebrity endorsements.
Fortunately, if you run a small business, there are some relatively inexpensive ways of getting some publicity, especially on a local level. And since local customers are probably your primary customer base, this could really help boost your profits. Here are a few suggestions:
Press Releases: Hosting a special event? Planning a big sale? Launching a new product or service? If your company is doing anything that’s even remotely newsworthy, consider writing a press release about it. Make sure you include all the details about your company, as well as details about the newsworthy event. You can then submit your press release to free press release submission services (find them on the Internet by doing a Google search). You should also submit your press release to any local newspaper, television station, weekly magazine or radio station. Do your best to spread the word with your press release.
Cost: If you write the press release yourself, it won’t cost you a dime. If you don’t have any writing skills, you can hire a professional press release writer to do it for you.
Open Houses: Do you have a new product or service that you want to promote? Is there something special – like a holiday or local event – that will be happening in your town? Consider hosting an “Open House.” Design it to give customers a chance to browse your wares, visit your shop or learn more about your services. You’ll need to provide basic refreshments, like coffee and cookies. Promote your “Open House” with signs in your neighborhood and a press release.
Cost: You’ll need to pay for the refreshments, as well as the extras like napkins and paper cups. You might want to take out a small ad in the newspaper to tell folks about your event, which could cost up to $100 or so.
Charitable Donations: Numerous charity events are usually held all year long. You might consider charity auctions, school fundraisers, non-profit flea markets or other similar events. Spread the word among the charities and organizations in your area so they know you’re amenable to donating some goods or services for prizes or auction. Everyone who attends the event will see your company name and product. Moreover, your city’s residents will view you as a generous and charitable business owner – a smart move if you live in a town that values charity.
Cost: You’ll have to pay the cost of whatever you donate, such as a free product or one full day of your service.