For small businesses, marketing and public relations campaigns are essential elements of success. To maximize the return on investment of these campaigns, there are several factors to consider that can determine when you should and when you shouldn’t create marketing and public relations materials, as well as when the work should be outsourced.
When You Should
Marketing a small business involves a variety of aspects, such as building a company website that provides a positive user experience, getting exposure on social media platforms, building client relationships, and advertising. With each of these areas requiring quality content on a regular basis to deliver optimal results, the creation of new marketing materials becomes an ongoing process.
Public relations materials are ideal for announcing significant company developments, such as new product releases, the opening of a new location, or the sponsorship of community events. In addition to increasing your company’s exposure to your target market, high-quality press releases can also improve the visibility of your business on search engine results pages.
When You Shouldn’t
Ongoing marketing campaigns can keep your business’ products and services at the front of the minds of your target audience, but there are instances when these initiatives should be paused. The primary reason to pause marketing efforts is when a campaign is not delivering desired results. For example, in a Google AdWords campaign, the sponsoring business is charged every time an ad is clicked. If clicks are not leading to conversions, pausing marketing activities can temporarily stop click charges and provide time to make changes to aspects of the campaign that are not working.
Public relations materials, on the other hand, generally deliver the best results for newsworthy company events, and can actually work against marketing efforts when announcements delivered as a steady stream carry little value for readers. When it comes to public relations, distributing a few quality releases will likely deliver better results than generating a steady stream of low-value announcements.
Outsourcing the Work
The primary consideration regarding the outsourcing of marketing and public relations is an honest assessment of whether you can generate materials written at a professional level, as anything less can damage the image of your business. If you’re not comfortable with, or don’t have the skill set for, producing professionally written materials, outsourcing the work is likely to be a worthwhile investment.
Outsourcing may also make sense if your time is better spent on other aspects of your business. For example, if the production of marketing materials takes you away from income-generating activities such as meeting with clients, product development, or selling, hiring outside help can provide a cost-effective solution.
Outsourcing may also deliver benefits that go beyond content creation. For example, a firm specializing in search engine optimization may produce content that conveys your company’s messaging in a manner that also improves the rankings of your site’s web pages on search engines. Outsourcing to a PR firm may also deliver additional benefits. For example, your press releases may get wider distribution through the firm’s network or targeted placements on websites catering to your target market.