Digital PR: How to Get Featured on the Biggest Websites in the World
Many businesses have failed to make traditional PR a success. This is because it requires a lot more money, waiting and disappointment. Many business owners ignore PR until they reach the ‘big leagues’. Usually, it is because of two reasons.
1. Their idea of PR is national newspaper coverage and breakfast television interviews. They assume that it is impossible to achieve.
2. It is often associated with traditional PRs who are highly paid, networking over coffees, and a world that is inaccessible. Without these relationships it seems impossible to “break in”.
These assumptions are holding back many businesses. This is a tragedy. It’s a tragedy.
1. It is possible to obtain coverage on many different channels.
2. This can be done by smart businesses at a fraction of the cost.
Digital PR is about getting your company featured on websites that are most likely to be read by your target audience. This could include trade journals, national magazines, and newspapers. This is for visibility, yes. But if you have ever been published in a newspaper only to discover that there was less traffic than expected, you will know that visibility is not a priority for most people. We also do it because these websites link back to us. This improves our Google ranking and increases our market perception and trust.
Each day, editors of publications that your target audience read stare at empty computer screens wondering how they will fill the next issue with quality content. Worse, after they have finished this month’s magazine, this week’s show, or these blog posts, the page is blank and they have to start over. These editors are under immense pressure due to shrinking advertising revenues, tight deadlines, and a wider readership that is more distracted and choosey than ever before.
You, the smart marketer or business owner, are the editor’s friend, and knight in shining armor. You provide the editor with valuable insights into your industry, customer trends, and customer needs. They are grateful and will tell you how much they appreciate your help.
This may sound like a fantasy world. It is not true that PR is magical or dark art. This perception is created by those who have either never tried it or gave up on it after only a few minutes. If you have a great angle, it is possible to get your promotional content published in many top publications. It is important to treat this job as any other sales job. You have a customer (the journalist or editor) whom you need to sell your product (your tale). The process of securing media coverage should be the same. You sell to customers by explaining how your product or services meets their needs.
Understanding your customer’s unmet needs will help you create value for them and increase the likelihood of making a sale. In this case, the editor needs to provide useful and interesting content to their subscribers, viewers, or readers in order to increase their likelihood of continuing their subscription. They will be grateful if you are able to help them fulfill this need by providing the relevant or interesting information that they require.
This approach doesn’t work well for most companies who dabble in PR. Press releases are published with titles such as “Company X announces the launch of product Y.” Now, 12% faster and with a better response time …” This is boring, promotional, useless, meaningless junk that nobody cares about. Even if an editor is willing to print such things, they don’t get read. They also don’t generate any interest or excitement among your target audience (readers). If you have ever published press releases like these in the past, are there people who would actually want to read them?
Effective ads are focused on the customer and highlight the benefits of your product. Press releases or articles should not be any different. Stories that offer new insights, advice, recommendations, or advice to readers or viewers, as well as a timely survey or analysis on a topic, have the best chance of being published.
However, we don’t think you should not talk about your product or service. There should be some self-promotion. Otherwise, we would simply be freelance writers or interviewees who work for nothing. To get the story published and read, it must be interesting to the readers.
It can be challenging for marketers who are just starting to get into PR to find the right angle. These are the questions we ask our clients when trying to find the best nuggets.
* Do you notice a trend in the buying habits of your customers? What fashion trends are you seeing?
* What are some tips for your audience?
* What interesting stories could you tell about the reasons you’re launching a product, service, or business?
* Do you have a significant, unmet customer need that you can help?
* Is there a story you have that inspires others? You’ve likely noticed that your own stories can be fascinating, but you should be careful with this one.
After you’ve chosen your angle, it is time to reach out. When we want to get a news article published, we will compile a list of outlets that are suitable and pitch each outlet a slightly different version of the idea. This gives us the opportunity to give each outlet exclusive rights on a particular story. This greatly increases the chances of it being published. We will research the best person and then contact them by email, phone, or social media. We will offer the story to them and ask if they would be interested in it.
You might get a positive response if you present a compelling angle and can show how readers will find your article interesting. You then need to write the article and email it. This two-step process is much more efficient than sending an article cold. This is a differenceiator because these people are used to receiving emails from 100 other poor-selected contacts in CC: line.
After an editor requests your article, you should write it properly and format it according to the publication’s style. To reduce the amount of editing they will have to do, use similar language and word counts to other articles. It’s much less attractive to send a half-finished article that needs extensive editing than a published article. Hire a proofreader if your article needs to be corrected. You should give it your best shot and treat it as if it were important. It won’t go unnoticed by the editor, we promise.
When writing for a newspaper or magazine, make sure to include an image they can use with the story. It should be original if possible to avoid any copyright and licensing issues. You must license stock photos if you use them. The goal is to make publishing an article easy and attractive. The greater chance of the publication running the article, the less work they will need (including finding a suitable image).
While we are on the subject of PR, I wanted share a strategy you should know that can help you get leads. This section is from 101 Ways to Get more Customers From the Internet. Although it’s not SEO-related, we felt it was very profitable so we included it.
Use PR to Get Free Advertising/Lead Generation
Two businesses were built on the backs of lead generation campaigns that used articles from magazines. Readers receive a free gift after the articles give insight or advice on a topic of their choice. We will send them a text message or invite them to visit a website to claim the free gift. The gift is often a promotional piece with enough information to make it seem high-value.
For example, following the success of Ben, the plasterer, I began building many websites for tradesmen. This was the marketing funnel.
* Article published in a trade magazine that is read by my target audience (e.g. Plumbing Heating and Air Movement Monthly
* This article would be called “5 Ways to Increase Your Website’s Leads” and would provide readers with great tips for increasing their website’s visibility.
* I would like to offer readers a DVD for free at the end of this article (remember those?). They were shown the same things that I was talking about on the screen. They simply had to text their address and phone number to get the DVD.
* This DVD would promote our website service, and that’s how the websites would be sold.
These magazines were sent directly to my target audience, so it was free advertising. Instead of paying an advertising fee, I simply wrote a great article. Because the DVD was extremely useful to readers, they allowed me to keep it in. My phone would become temporarily unusable when the magazines arrived. Depending on which magazine I was reading, I would get 100 to 200 texts asking for DVDs from tradesmen in a matter of days.
This is a great way to get free advertising disguised as articles. We make sure readers take action by making a tempting offer at the end.
Some publications might see this as a scam and think you’re sneaking in free advertising. It’s like any other business, it’s a numbers game. However, many publications won’t allow you to run ads, especially those in niche markets. They’ll gladly publish your ads for free. Advertisements? Ads? I meant articles.
If you are unable to agree with the inclusion of an offer, it is possible to make a deal for a paid advertisement in exchange for the article being included. To ‘build familiarity’, don’t accept the five-insertion rule. Instead, tell the magazine that the article is being tested using lead generation offers. This will allow you to immediately gauge response rates.
Do your best to convince your contact that you are a good candidate for interview. It is important to send a well-lit, short video of you in front of the camera. This is especially important as the Covid pandemic has made it commonplace for webcam calls to be the norm. You should be familiar with the topic and have a good understanding of how to deliver it. Then you can concentrate on what you are actually saying. Make sure you do everything you can to get a link to the show’s website to make the most of your TV appearances. These sites are highly respected and have a lot of authority.
Follow up Journalists & Editors
People who receive articles or emails for press coverage are often very busy and overwhelmed with emails. If you don’t hear back, it’s a good idea send a follow up after a few working days. Politely inquire if the editor received your work. Also, ask them if they have any feedback on whether or not it is relevant to their audience. It’s not often that we receive a reply from editors until the follow-up, so it is important to be thorough about this.
We rarely say thank you enough to those who offer to write the article. It’s a great way to let the writer or editor know that the article received a tremendous response and that many readers have contacted you with questions. You noticed that people asked the same four questions so you wrote a follow up article to answer these questions. It also gives additional tips based on the issues readers are having. This …?” article would you be interested in receiving?