By Kendra Hill, Alpha Source, Inc. Marketing, www.alphasource.com
More Than Money Marketing’s primary purpose is for a business to share their commitment to community, environment, children, work life balance and other causes that extend beyond sales and profit.
Small business owners may not have the financial resources to start a foundation or create a special website discussing their community involvement, but every small business has access to two of the greatest assets and resources a company could ever ask for, its community and employees (even if there is only person employed).
Below are 3 tips on how small businesses can make a difference, get more exposure and encourage their employees to get involved in the community.
1. Community Connection. Small businesses that revolve around the medical industry could benefit by partnering with a non-profit that focuses on providing medical services or products to those less fortunate. A small business that provides marketing services could partner with a school organization that teaches young people about writing and communication or adults how to read. The point is there is value in finding a cause to rally behind and an organization to partner with, especially one related to your area of business. Consumers get tired of hearing about new product promotions or how awesome you are in everything they get from your company. Announcing how your business gave a $500 college scholarship to a student majoring in a field related to your business or how an employee participated in a run for Alzheimer’s research could attract a potential customer who would otherwise delete your weekly e-blast. Offering employee incentives for their community work could get the ball rolling and let your employee see tangible evidence of your commitment to the community and giving back.
2. Power in the Press Release. Press releases are one of the most underutilized resources available to small businesses. Perhaps due to the focus on sales and the day-to-day administrative work required to operate, it is hard for a small business owner to think about writing press releases. However, making the time to write and regularly submit press releases to local, community, regional, national, and international media outlets can make a big impact. The press releases I have found that get the best response from media outlets are those that talk about what your company is doing as a good citizen first and your businesses services and products last if at all. This type of publicity is free and could potentially create additional opportunities for exposure.
3. Volunteering is Networking. Networking is more than being a member of a trade organization, attending professional events, or being on a non-profit board. There are also many business relationships that start as a result of a connection made while volunteering.
Time for the small business owner is very precious and for that reason I would suggest when searching out opportunities to volunteer to choose an organization or organizations that are doing something you are genuinely interested in and support. Because time is valuable, start off small with your commitment. Many organizations would appreciate an hour a week or a one-time commitment.
In conclusion, a business can get just as much exposure, potentially more by sharing what they are doing beyond trying to make more money or generate new leads. ‘More than Money Marketing’ is simply another way to look at public relations and can help those businesses with a small marketing budget get more exposure and as an indirect result attract new business.