I learned early in my career that some of the most important marketing you will do won’t cost a penny. A huge part of marketing anything is building relationships and gaining trust. Public Relations, commonly referred to as PR, is technically a subset of Marketing, but it definitely needs to be a priority.
Because you are not paying for the exposure, PR can gain your business the legitimacy and credibility it needs. PR is working with the public and one of the best ways to get the word out to the public is through the media. This day in age, the media can be about anything. It can be your traditional newspaper, it can be a blog, a magazine, or even a podcast. The key is developing relationships with the media that speak to your target audience.
For instance if you own a local bakery and cater primarily to residents of your city, your media relations efforts should be spent with the business reporters at your local newspaper, editors for local websites or other local venues. But, if you sell handmade nursing covers online to anyone in North America this changes quite drastically. Your efforts then need to be concentrated on editors of breastfeeding related publications, or perhaps blogs that feature news about indie business owners. By concentrating your efforts you’ll get better results.
As always, everything you distribute for your company should have a consistent look and feel. Use your logo and slogan repeatedly, stick with the same color scheme, etc. This way people will start to recognize you and your materials immediately.