Optimising PR and marketing to generate sales 

What are the most effective ways to do your own PR as a small business owner?

Optimising PR and marketing to generate sales

What are the best ways to market your business? Positive PR can enhance trust by highlighting your business’ accomplishments and showcasing your customer results, thereby establishing favourable public perception, which will help you gain more customers. But how do you build an effective PR strategy as a small business owner? Arti Halai, Former Television Presenter for ITV News and BBC turned Entrepreneur & Investor, Jacob Nomafo, Co-Founder of LucidMeme, Jason Graystone, serial entrepreneur & investor, Sophie Milliken, Founder & CEO of MOJA Group and Stephanie Melodia, Founder of Bloom and Co-Founder of BOMBA took to the stage on Day 2 of Elite Business Live 2024 to speak about marketing strategies and how to implement them in your business. The speakers shared their personal experiences building businesses and tailoring communication approaches to different audiences.

Effective marketing involves taking action to attract an audience to your company’s product or services through high-quality messaging. But how do you create a message that resonates? Jacob explained the concept of ‘reverse engineering’, where you envision an advert and how it will translate to your audience depending on location, time of day, area, and more. Jacob said: “I think business owners should utilise the power of reverse engineering. Really picture what message you’re trying to get across through social media or marketing. In that respect, it can come down to picturing where they see your content. Are they on the bus? And then you can reverse engineer from, how it lands, and then think about what message you’re trying to get across.”

Keep true to your brand and mission. It is important to stay authentic rather than changing your brand to fit trends in the market. The more you try to please everyone the more you dilute your brand messaging, Jason said: “Keep the marketing and messaging true to who you’re trying to connect with. There are a lot of companies that think they need to please everyone. They might get a comment or feedback, and try to adapt their product or service to suit that person, rather than understanding that people have different likes and dislikes. Instead of trying to keep everyone happy, how about we just find more of the people who support us? Because the moment you try and keep everyone happy, the more you start to dilute your service into the noise, and you’re also moving further away from yourself.”

How do we create concepts and marketing strategies that leave a mark? You need to get a conversation going, Arti said. Be creative and imaginative with your brand. The more ideas you get flowing, the more magic you can create. However, you must also be relatable to your audience to effectively win their trust. “It’s about how you catch the audience’s imagination,” Arti added. “I think creativity, curiosity, critical thinking, these are the fundamental skill sets that we need in today’s day and age with business. Your imagination can be as wide and broad as you want it to be, but fundamentally, in business, that’s not the way it works, because you’ve got to have something relatable to your market and your audience. So if you can find that thing that’s relatable, then you can play in that space.”

PR results aren’t guaranteed, and that’s an industry standard practice. “Guaranteed” PR coverage rarely lives as long as earned media coverage. To hold an effective PR campaign, you need to have goals that you’re willing to achieve and work towards them – but don’t expect immediate results. Rather, focus on gaining positive PR long-term rather than just trying to land in publications. Sophie said: The one thing that I would like people to understand about PR, in particular, is that it’s not guaranteed and that you should have some goals around what it is that you want to achieve that are realistic. It’s not just about getting coverage in certain publications because that just doesn’t happen. Because we work with business owners and corporates as well, we raise their profiles in a variety of ways and that’s what creates the story. So if someone comes to me and says, I just want to put out a press release about this thing, I try and persuade them not to do that because unless it’s got a controversial or exciting or topical hug, it’s not going to get picked up. So for me, it’s all the other things that make that person interesting. And then we try and push the story out.”

Performance marketing is a digital marketing strategy that’s driven by results. It’s ideal for companies that are looking to reach their audience at scale because payment is based on how users interact with the content. But how effective is performance marketing? Performance marketing has its time and place, Stephanie said, but shouldn’t be the end all and be all of marketing. She explained: “It has its place. I am not a nutritionist by any means, but I do use the food anatomy with this type of thing, there has been over-excitement in performance marketing in recent years because it has the instant gratification aspect, the analytics are like a safety blanket as well. We start to see that performance marketing is a game won by those with the deepest pockets with the biggest budgets. I kind of compare it to that sugar fix, that quick, instant rush. You know, it’s like a Snickers bar and the mid-afternoon slump, but it has its time and place as part of a well-rounded meal. But it does work and it does have its place. However, it does need to be part of a more holistic view that doesn’t overlook the core value proposition.”

Latifa Yedroudj
Latifa Yedroudj

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