Getting started in PR and marketing can be a daunting prospect for SMEs, but fortunately there's more resources than ever to help you get to grips with the basics.
Sorting the wheat from the chaff is no easy feat however, and the average small business owner doesn’t have the time to trawl through the vast volumes being written on these topics.
With this in mind, we've brought together ten of our favourite resources to help you get more from your marketing.
- The Guardian Small Business Network
This fantastic resource offers a flurry of tips for SMEs on a weekly basis and there's a range of benefits to be had from signing up. Whether you're an online exporter or a brick and mortar store - there's something for everyone.
It also regularly features tips, advice and full on courses from high-profile individuals, including business leaders like James Caan, comedians like David Schneider and pretty much anyone inbetween.
Far from being devoted to the tasty snack, this network of websites offer a wealth of daily resources specifically tailored to SMEs of any scale or sector.
We'd heartily recommend checking out its Marketing Donut portal, which offers straightforward advisory articles, in addition to a host of ready-to-use tools that can give you a head start when undertaking common marketing tasks like producing a budget, writing a press release or creating a content brief for freelancers.
Before you get started with any digital marketing initiatives, Moz is a must-read. Its beginner's guides to SEO and social media help you quickly get to grips with the basics and clue you up on best practice in a straightforward and jargon-light manner.
While its daily articles and weekly Whiteboard Fridays usually handle quite high-level topics, its educational resources are second to none for beginners.
As well as being a fantastic resource in its own right, Reddit also has numerous valuable sections (known as sub-reddits) you can take advantage of.
For direct advice on all aspects of running an SME, you can turn to resources like /r/small business and /r/entrepreneur - although some subs are likely to be geographically weighted in favour of the US.
If you're looking for resources to aid in your digital marketing efforts, it also makes a great content discovery and curation tool. Check out Media Miser's white paper for an in-depth exploration of how to get the most out of this versatile platform.
Hubspot provides a suite of inbound marketing software that can work wonders on any online marketing campaign. Its blog is updated daily with tips on inbound marketing and it also boasts a wealth of resources that will guide you through optimising your site for search and creating content that results in leads and sales.
- SME Web
As well as a daily helping of SME-focused news, SME Web is bursting to the seams with in-depth guides to every aspect of running a small or medium-sized company - from relevant legislation to HR and everything in-between.
Smarta bills itself as a one-stop-shop for business owners and entrepreneurs of all shapes and sizes. It's entirely UK focused and also enables disparate companies to connect and do business online.
It features a wealth of advice on virtually all aspects of running a company, while serving up a daily dose of news pertaining to business in the UK.
Google's flagship social network can be a great resource for SMEs, beyond the many benefits it offers in terms of search visibility.
By connecting with relevant communities and individual users related to your business, you'll get a wealth of valuable news, advice and insight on tap. To help get you started, here's a massive Google Doc of shared circles categorised by topic and field of interest.
Hopefully the above will prove useful, but if you're hungry for more, be sure to check out our SME blogs and corresponding eBook guides.
If you think we've missed any obvious resources or simply want to nominate your favourites, be sure to let us know in the comments - we always love to hear your two cents.
And if you're an SME looking to branch out into digital marketing, get in touch with us today or check out our step by step guide to the basics of PR and marketing now:
Images used courtesy of Wikimedia Commons and Eva Blue on Flickr