In honour of that, here’s my 10 tips for some easy DIY steps to help your PR and marketing.
1. Know your audience
So, first thing’s first. If you don’t know who you’re reaching out to, who might buy your product, and why they might want it, then no marketing effort can be strategic enough to bear fruit.
Back in the days of being a journalist, we were always encouraged to remember who were ‘John and Julie’ who bought the publication regularly and lived on our patch.
By knowing who you’re ‘talking to’ you create a voice and a purpose to your marketing effort.
2. Friends close, enemies closer…
Okay, so perhaps the word enemy is a stretch too far – but you do need to think who your competitors are.
In marketing, this will help you to consider what they’re doing that appears to be working or failing (both in their business activities and in the marketing efforts). It provides you with a chance to corner the market better or differently. Never close your eyes to who else is in your space, but don’t let it overly obsess you either.
3. Budget brutal
How can you plan an attack if you haven’t prepared for the pennies and the pounds that that may involve?
Do take time to set out a considered marketing budget. Most of us in the industry suggest at least around 10-15% of sales should specifically go into marketing and PR – much more in certain cases.
Setting a budget helps you better define whether your marketing will encompass paid-for above the line advertising, printed matter, media relations work, or lots of old-fashioned ‘pressing the flesh’.
4. And your point is??
You can’t begin your marketing until you’ve considered your key messaging.
This might be as simple as defining:
Who are we, what do we stand for, where are we trying to get to, what do people perceive us to be?
This relatively straightforward analysis can be done in DIY form or on a grander scale by engaging a market research company.
The result of this activity will help your marketing no end.
5.Online or out of the race
There’s a good reason that telephone books have become doorsteps in many business cases…because we know most modern savvy consumers shop for business services by searching online.
A web presence really is vital. There are DIY facilities available for this, or you can take the guidance of a dedicated company who will help with creating you a brand presence on the Worldwide Web.
6. Content marketing: take off the dark glasses
Being online with a website is one thing, but the picture is not complete unless people have a chance of finding you.
Without some effective content marketing, being there on a website is like blinking behind dark glasses. You know you’re doing it but no-one else does.
Some of the simplest DIY approaches to content marketing are in making sure you’re regularly updating your site – through blogs, news feeds…anything to keep the search engines aware that you’re an open shop and continually moving.
If your budget is slightly better, talk to a PR agency about copywriting and content marketing work to help you.
7. Socially savvy
You don’t necessarily want to know when the person down the road is having a cup of tea or watching their toddler cut its teeth, but updates by yourself and others on social media do encourage traffic and relationships.
DIY is very easy to achieve initially. Take a look at what you think twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest and even YouTube could be doing for you.
8. Network with intent
Many of us loathe networking, but the eyeball-to-eyeball factor in marketing is important.
Take a look at what’s happening in terms of business networking events in your region or industry. You never know who you might meet.
9. PR power – with the who, what, where, why, when
They say there’s a book in every one of us.
I’m pretty sure there’s a story within every company too. Media relations and the process of getting stories to journalists is a really effective way to boost your PR and marketing.
When creating a press release, consider the Who What Where Why When of your story. Think also about a good photo to help tell the story. Always pick up the phone to a PR consultant for further advice if you’re stumped.
10. Evolve and evaluate
Static marketing plans, and ones which aren’t constantly assessed for effectiveness are the worst kind. Always keep looking at new ways to tell your story and to reach your audience. This is a marathon…not a sprint.