A recent media outlet just praised your business. Flocks of customers are on their way to your website, Yelp Page, and social media profiles. Now, the question becomes: How do you harness this opportunity and turn it into long-term success?
Small business owner and founder of Queen and Co., Alex Queen, says, “You need to keep the conversation going. If I’m on TV once, it won’t have much of an impact. If we share that interview and build upon the media coverage in as many ways as possible, that’s when we see the greatest returns.”
To continue being the talk of the town, businesses should act fast. An influx of excitement can be snuffed out as quickly as it ignited. Here are five proven techniques for capitalizing on media attention.
1. Spread the message far and wide
According to Salesforce, 48% of customers prefer using social media to learn about small businesses. This means that reaching out to customers online is more important than ever.
“We use a combination of email marketing and social media for our brick-and-mortar business and tailor our messages to our target audience,” shares Queen. While every business’s target audience and top-performing platforms will differ, completing these steps will help you gain the most reach:
- Respond to the initial mention, thanking the organization for recognizing you
- Publish a LinkedIn post about the coverage, tagging the original media outlet and linking the original post
- Feature the highlight on your company blog
- Post to all social and online platforms you use to promote your business
- Add the spotlight to your email campaigns
- Display the coverage on the front page and/or media section of your website
- Add a blurb and a link to your email signature
Stover Harger of Cali Comfort BBQ says, “ABP. Always be posting, always be publishing, always be planning, always be promoting—whatever you want to insert there. You should be putting stuff online.”
Depending on your comfort level, you can also engage customers in person and ask them if they’ve heard the story. Creating a person-to-person connection increases the likelihood that someone will remember your brand and think of you when they need your particular service or product again.
2. Invest in your success
Once your message is out, it’s important to prepare for increased traffic. Businesses with lines around the block have built a loyal fanbase—but lines built purely from curiosity are fragile. As the old saying goes, you only have one chance at a first impression, so make it easy for new customers to try your wares or enlist your services. This is key to increasing sales and creating repeat customers.
To that end, consider implementing new technologies or processes to facilitate faster operations, including:
- Offering a scheduled store pickup option
- Providing an online option for delivery
- Hiring and training staff to field questions and manage customer queues
- Enabling the Request a Quote feature on your Yelp Business Page
3. Don’t forget your people
Customer service is crucial to every business, and the easiest—and oftentimes cheapest—way to market your business is through your team. Treating employees as stakeholders or decision makers increases morale and fosters a driven work environment.
“We have a weekly all-hands meeting where we go through our objectives and how we want to guide the conversation around our business,” says Queen. “Our employees interact with every new customer and regular alike. If new people are coming in to check us out after a news article has been published about us, we want the message, the feel, and the service to be consistent. When the staff is informed about our high-level goals, a rush of potential business won’t faze them. My team knows our brand, and we have the digital infrastructure to turn a new customer into a regular.”
4. Continue to make connections
Transform your 15 minutes of fame into something more by building relationships with reporters and news agencies who cover your business and industry. You can also be proactive and reach out to new ones.
“We have established ties with local and national media outlets and manage their contact information in a CRM so we can send targeted press releases to them specifically,” says Queen.
In the end, the best way to receive media coverage is to ask for it. Celebrating a 10-year business anniversary? Tell your local news or radio station. Customers love to celebrate rather than hear a sales pitch. Throw in a giveaway and you’ll be even more likely to expand your media attention.
5. Transform your personal brand into company culture
Lastly, believe in the power of you, the business owner. But don’t stop there. You’ve endured challenging times, and your perseverance shows that you believe in your business—and so does your team. Invested employees can be a key differentiator and give you that competitive edge, influencing the success of your business and strengthening your connection with customers.
A business win is a team win, and sharing success with staff encourages them to continually uphold and build your reputation.
“No matter how much media attention we get, our focus will always be to serve our community,” says Queen. “I never set out to be a personality. I just wanted to create a space where people could feel comfortable and accepted, and that has resonated with customers. Now, even if customers ask for me specifically, they still feel right at home with other members of my team when I’m not in town. For me, this is everything. Media coverage is great, but having a company culture that engages with our customers is priceless.”
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The information above is provided for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice and may not be suitable for your circumstances. Unless stated otherwise, references to third-party links, services, or products do not constitute endorsement by Yelp.