how + why to use PR to grow your audience + gain customers

 

So you know you have an amazing brand and you offer something that people will just love and want so badly… if only they knew it existed. The hard part is getting your brand in front of the right people. With so many products and businesses out there, and so much noise to constantly sift through, people don’t just happen upon your brand the way you wish they would these days. You use social media, you have an email list, but you just aren’t getting in front of new people who aren’t already a part of your brand community. You need to reach entirely new people who will be open to and excited by your brand– if they just find out about it. That’s where PR comes in.

So what is PR and how exactly can you use it? In a simplified sense, it’s using media to spread the word. It’s securing ‘earned media’ by pitching writers to write articles about you that will be published under their name in a publication. You are featured in the press, and it is considered ‘earned’ because you did not buy it, like you would with a paid advertisement. You earned it by doing something noteworthy and drawing attention to it. Earned media ends up giving your brand a lot more clout because readers know that your business or product is in there because the publication thought it was worth putting in their pages, and that their readers would find it useful.

The best part about PR is that it gets you in front of a much wider audience than you would ever get in front of otherwise, for free. You do not pay to be featured in articles, and you do not need to have any other connection or relationship to the audience beforehand, besides the relationship you form with the writer to secure the pitch. Once the article is published though, you immediately get in front of thousands of people who could be potential customers or clients. Maybe not every person who reads the publication will be your ideal customer, and they may not be the type who would ever sign up for your email list, but think about how many of them will know someone who is. The great part is that even these non-ideal customers can share it and discuss it with people who are your ideal customer, or even purchase your product for them when they need a gift! There’s no doubt about it: a media feature gets you talked about, and the additional word of mouth that results from an article helps to amplify the attention you get.

Media coverage should be part of a larger strategy though. An article gets tons of eyes on your brand and gets people interested in what you have to offer. The idea is to drive them to more information about your brand so they can continue to learn more about you and develop a personal connection. If the article directs them to your website, or somewhere else that they can find out more information about your business, make sure the messaging they’ll see there is consistent with the messaging in the article, and that it is updated and current. Consider offering something to draw them in even more, like a discount to join your email list, or an invitation to follow you on social media. This is ideal because then you have an easy way to stay in front of them and to keep getting your branding in front of them throughout the coming weeks. It takes time to build brand loyalty, and people often don’t buy into your brand the first time they see it. An article in the media definitely makes a strong impression, but even still you’ll want to take it a step further and make sure they’ll recognize you again later so that they’ll become a loyal fan and you can turn them into customers.

 

If you would like to discuss how a PR strategy could fit into your marketing mix, I’d be happy to chat, or download my free ebook that outlines easy ways to promote your business through PR and see what you can do on your own!