After what seemed like endless hours building your startup, opening day is finally approaching. Naturally, your close circle of family and friends have been kept updated on your endeavour, but how will you let everyone else know? It goes without saying that your startup's success hinges on spreading the word to your prospective customer base.
By harnessing the power of the media, your startup name can become easily recognisable, even possibly attracting prospective partners and investors. You also stand a better chance of attracting and recruiting more talent to assist you in your business.
While big companies use elaborate and expensive print and television media coverage to market their products and services, as a small business owner, you don't have access to that kind of budget. But thanks to the power fo the internet and social media, getting the word out about your startup has never been easier AND more financially attainable.
"...getting the word out about your startup has never been easier AND more financially attainable."
So, where do you begin in your quest to let the world know you're open for business? The one thing you DON'T want to do is haphazardly blanket the internet with spam. Instead, operate more strategically by following some simple guidelines, with the aim being to get press coverage for your startup that targets your prospective customer base.
"...with the aim being to get press coverage for your startup that targets your prospective customer base."
The question is, how do you get the media to take an interest in your startup enough to write about it? Well, it takes a bit of work, but here are our top five ways to do just that.
1. Write and submit a press release about your startup.
You can either write about your startup exclusively, or pick a relevant topic and include information about the startup in the story. If you are unsure of your writing ability, outsource this task to an experienced press release writer. And then you can either submit the news release to platforms like AAPT Medianet, Handle Your Own PR and Newsmaker or via your own privately sourced media lists.
2. Get to know writers from social media.
Follow and subscribe to writers who cover the industry that your startup is in. Interact with them, asking and answering questions, and commenting and liking their posts. Over time, your name will be more recognisable, increasing the chances of your pitch being accepted.
"Follow and subscribe to writers who cover the industry that your startup is in."
But before you send it, ask them ahead of time if you can submit the information. This prevents your pitch from getting buried with others who may do the same.
3. Launch a strong content marketing campaign on social media.
Targeting prospective customers in social media groups can also be an effective way to attract media attention. By writing descriptive content about your startup in an industry-related group, news can quickly spread about your related product or service.
"By writing descriptive content about your startup in an industry-related group, news can quickly spread..."
4. Attend and present at events related to your industry.
Conventions and other industry group meetings are a great place to introduce your related startup business. These events attract reporters who write for popular publications in the industry and review new products and services.
"These events attract reporters who...review new products and services."
A booth featuring professionally printed banners, brochures, and other marketing materials can help spread the word about your business.
5. Notify editors about your expertise.
The media is always searching for expertise in a variety of products and services. Send an email periodically to editors about your product expertise so they can use you as a resource.
"Send an email periodically to editors about your product expertise..."
When your name is mentioned as a product expert, this gives your business some prominence and recognition. Creating a separate webpage detailing your knowledge and experience can also give you exposure in a Google search.
Media coverage is crucial to spreading the word about your business. By following these tips, you can improve your chances of getting the media attention you desperately need to help build your brand's awareness on a shoestring budget.