Most SMEs underestimate and underutilize the potential of public relations work.
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When it comes to marketing there are a number of subconscious biases that play a huge role in consumer decision making. Some of the most notable biases include the fear of missing out, the anchoring bias, the authority bias, and arguably the most important social evidence.
The top three areas where you can stay ahead of your competition when it comes to social proofing are testimonials, case studies, and public relations (PR). PR is used by brands to grow their audience, get more exposure, and ultimately position themselves as the first choice in their industry.
However, without the right knowledge or connections, the majority of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMBs) will never get any type of organic PR. With competition at an all-time high and confidence at an all-time low, SMBs need to prioritize more media and PR for their brand to stay relevant, reinforce their message, and improve their brand position in the marketplace – here's why.
In business, it can take years to build trust. Since many companies fail to get their first customers for several months despite having an amazing product or service, it can be a long way to get to the first testimonial or case study. Without social proof, companies experience rapid growth, as trust is one of the foundations of a business transaction. Actively managing and pursuing PR opportunities is a great branding exercise for not only building trust but also building third party credibility. This alone can quickly increase a company's growth in the early stages.
In the modern era of social media, a lot of business relies on a brand's positioning. Unfortunately, this often comes in the form of vanity metrics like followers, likes, and engagement. When it comes to PR, your brand is the one you want to see on big-name media, showing off your myriad of press articles, interviews and news. This shows prospects and even your competition that you are the number one choice in the industry, thanks in part to the bias of authority. Everything else is the same, brands that are best positioned will win in the long run.
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Google is by far the most used search engine in the world and it has been proven that it doesn't go anywhere. Now when someone searches for you or your company, there are four possible outcomes: bad press, no press, good press, or someone else with the same name as you. It's pretty obvious which of the four we want. Articles that rank well and appear for your business name, and even related search terms, show users doing research on your brand that you are a credible and trustworthy source to do business with.
As the saying goes: "It can take 20 years to build a good reputation and only 30 seconds to destroy it". In business, reputation is everything. PR is the perfect way to manage your reputation and publish content and messages that align with your brand and how you want to be perceived. In a world where reputation is everything, we should all do everything we can to maintain it.