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How To Get More Online Bookings | #3 Publicity
Offering a great product or service is not enough on its own. You need to market it to potential customers and create conversations and good publicity around it. Most small businesses, of course, do not have a budget for working with a PR agency, but this doesn’t mean that they can’t become their own publicists.
Celebrating milestones, creating a buzz around your brand and publicly showing off your achievements are all parts of good publicity and one very important ingredient of success.
In this article, we gathered a few simple tips and ideas that you can implement and become your own PR specialist. Without further ado, let’s dive in and see how to get more online bookings with good publicity.
What is the importance of publicity for small businesses?
Effective publicity can drive more traffic to your doorstep and encourage sales. By creating a story or a conversation around your brand, you will be able to get in front of potential customers at the right moment of the buyer’s journey and speed up the sales process.
What are the benefits of publicity?
Publicity is virtually free
While advertising is paid media, publicity counts as earned media. This will be important in the next point.
Of course, you can choose to hire somebody to create the content for you and pay for media distribution networks, but you can do this by yourself too. Nowadays, you can very easily create visual content with your smartphone and there are plenty of free training and software tools to help you make the most of the raw material. Written content can also be created in-house, it only takes a bit of practice to find your voice. You can also read our article on how to create exciting content.
To distribute the PR content, you can opt for paid press release networks such as ResponseSource or HARO, but you also have free options to share content. Free options would be your own social media networks, PR.com, and external blogs such as Medium.com or YourStory.com.
Publicity gets you more traction
Publicity can help you reach customers that you wouldn’t be able to reach via other methods such as paid advertising. As I mentioned above, publicity is earned media, and thus it is still considered more trustworthy and organic than paid advertising. Paid ads can easily be blocked, whilst PR activities are harder to run away from, as they are often harder to spot too.
Building good PR communication, of course, takes time and trying. You will need to build good relationships with journalists, bloggers, media personalities, etc. And of course, build a brand that is worth writing about.
Publicity can also help with word of mouth marketing, which we know is the most effective way of acquiring new customers.
Publicity helps you expand
The better the relationships you can build with the media and the more often they quote you, the more professional you will come across. Being cited in relevant media means that you will soon be considered as an expert in your field which will bring in even more traction.
This kind of traction can assist with building partnerships with other companies and form strategic alliances.
How to get more online bookings with publicity?
Now, that we took a brief look at what’s the importance of publicity and what benefits it might have for your small business, let’s discuss how can you get more online bookings with publicity.
We often see big brands celebrate gigantic numbers of customers, social media follower base or even hitting revenue targets. Surely you too have several milestones you want to hit, so why not make a note or a backlog of them. This way you will be able to track these smaller and bigger goals and give them a shout out when hit.
Put this into action
Clearly define when, what, why and how to celebrate. Identify important milestones and define what makes them special. Is this something that you can celebrate publicly or keep within the company? For a public milestone, what kind of publicity should you plan around it?
To better track these milestones, have a document or backlog of them and frequently review it to see if you are about to or have hit a goal.
Ideas for what to celebrate publicly:
- X number of loyal customers
- X number of social media followers
- New product or service
- Brand anniversaries
- New locations and expanding
Don’t be humble
You need to learn is to be proud of your successes. Promoting your business is not the time to be humble. If you achieved something big, be sure to share it wherever you can.
For example, when 10to8 got featured on G2’s list of the best UK-based tech companies, we made sure to share this proud moment with our customers and potential users.
If you are not excited about your own brand’s success, then how can you expect it from others? You don’t have to over celebrate or brag about your business, but when you have a good reason to celebrate, make sure that you get all the publicity you can.
Put this into action
Share successes on social media in the form of a post or even video, where you talk about the achievement and why it matters.
Build a relationship with a few relevant journalists and bloggers who can write about your business or simply reshare the content you have created. You can even set up an online/phone interview service in 10to8 and name it something like ‘Press Release’ or ‘Media Call’ so you can send the link to journalists. Such a professional way to organize interviews.
Show off the achievement on your website, or even on your 10to8 online booking page. For example, if you gained a badge, display it on the header image.
Invite people in
It’s not enough that you set a goal, achieved it and now you’re proud of it. Share the experience with others, invite them into your success.
Your clients played a big role in the growth of your brand, so appreciate their participation and give something back. This will definitely create a very positive company image and help with word of mouth marketing.
Put this into action
When you are about to hit a big goal, create an event around it. It can be anything from a small celebration with snacks at your business’ premise to a multi-day camp or webinar. Whatever fits the milestone and your budget.
Set up a group service for the event in your 10to8 online booking calendar and send out the booking link via email. Be sure to invite journalists a week before the event and remind them a day before the happening.
Think outside the box and do something special as the main attraction of the event. Something fun and interesting that catches attention. It can be anything from creating the gigantic logo of your business with sticky notes, community cupcake baking with your customers or a concrete chalk drawing competition. Something that journalists cannot afford to miss and other participants will post about to social media.
Good publicity can do miracles to your brand and will help you grow rapidly and get more online bookings with ease!
Did you know that this article is the third part of the ‘How to get more online bookings’ series? If you don’t want to miss out on new episodes, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter. Also, check out the other episodes…
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Anna, whose middle name is Hashtag, is an enthusiastic Digital Marketing Executive. She drinks her coffee with cream and Instagram, retweets (almost) every fun fact about koalas and never misses an interesting Facebook webinar about exciting new features. She aims to collect and share the utmost interesting content. And she's also the one, who jumps up and down if we have a new follower on social media.
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