Companies that operate nationally or internationally are often cited in stories from major press outlets like Forbes or The New York Times. But does a small or local business benefit from this kind of PR?
There are several benefits to earned media placements, and some of them might not seem obvious to a small or local business owner or even a solopreneur. Today we'll explore the various benefits of PR work for local and small businesses and how to earn this kind of media.
Earned Media Gives Your Business Credibility
Cynicism is at an all-time high in 2023. Any armchair analysis of Facebook or Instagram ads will show you that consumers are fed up with advertising in their feeds. But the real problem is that they don't TRUST brands anymore. Any claim made is immediately met with a skeptical response.
However, when your business is featured in a major news outlet, it gives your brand an endorsement of sorts. If a reputable source like The New York Times rates your product or service among the best in your category, it will help you cut through the skeptical attitudes of the consumer population.
A great example of this is shown by Thrive Natural Care. If Thrive were to come out and say "our sunscreen is the best reef-safe sunscreen", the vast majority of people will think "of course you're going to say that!". But, when the New York Times says Thrive's Bodyshield 50 is the top reef safe sunscreen, it gives the claim immediate credibility.
PR Can Be a Great Sales Tool For Local & Small Businesses
The running narrative about PR and earned media is that it is a great brand awareness tool. This is true, but it is only partly true. One of the other major benefits is increased sales directly attributed to media placements.
It helps to think of PR as a sales tool rather than simply a marketing tool. That is what the best adult retailer in the U.S. learned by pushing for their products to appear in gift guides. Lover's Lane saw an increase in sales of a particular sex toy by having it featured in an adult-themed gift guide.
Thrive, the skincare brand we mentioned above has also taken this approach. By having some of their skincare products featured in Father's Day gift guides, for example, they have seen sales directly attributed to their earned media placements.
PR Can Drive SEO Growth
While PR might be seen as less important than other marketing and sales channels for local and small businesses, SEO is definitely seen as an important one. PR plays an important role in SEO as a link building tool.
One of the best ways to have your website begin to rank for important keywords is to have high-authority backlinks to your site. Media outlets like Forbes, CNN, The New York Times and others almost universally have domain authorities in the high 80's to 100 (the highest DA a site can have). That's why it is crucial to have linked placements on these sites.
Take The Mitten Law Firm as a good example. Not long ago, they earned a media placement in a piece by Insider (DA: 93). It immediately helped The Mitten Law Firm's website increase their domain authority. Not only that, but the steady focus on PR has helped the site rank for thousands of high-value keywords and search terms. This has helped cement the reputation of The Mitten Law Firm as experts in bankruptcy and family law.
Another highly competitive industry is residential real estate. To that end, establishing strong backlinks has helped Montecito's top real estate agent build her website's credibility and increase overall SEO performance.