Not all companies can afford to have an advertising budget or retaining a PR firm to get the word out about a new business or a product launch. But like all other businesses, they must get the word out to generate interest and increase sales. The same is true when they think about expanding the business or introducing new products. How can they get the word out without on a budget?
Industry influencers are the reporters and bloggers who set the trends and lead the discussions on the internet through websites, blogs and social media. A write-up by one of those influencers will create exposure to a wide array of potential customers.
The first step is to identify the influencers. The way to do this is to spend a few hours online searching your keywords, seeing who is active and what are his/her opinions. The amount of followers this person has is also a measure for his/her success. Talk to your clients and other people in your field to find where they go to get their information. Considering all those elements, narrow the list to no more than 10 people. These are the influencers in your field and you should concentrate on them.
How to get the industry influencers attention is your next hurdle. Be aware that they are getting a lot of mail from people like you, and your goal is to have your mail read. To find out how to avoid mistakes and be successful in your efforts it behooves us to see what the influencers are saying. What they like, and don’t like and what gets their attention. Here are the highlights of what 3 influencers, from Businessinsider, Boston Globe and VentureBeat had to say:
- The chances of your mail not going straight to the trash aren’t very good, especially if you spell the influencer’s name wrong. If the mail does get opened, you have about 50% chance of it being read. It has to be short, interesting and grab attention.
- Know the person you are e-mailing. Follow him/her on other social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. Know what this person is covering and what are his/her interests. If you follow those people for some time, you will know which one of them will be most interested in your pitch.
- Pitch your best story. Keep it short and simple. Be concise. Avoid jazz words and technical jargon to show that you know “the biz”. Too many technical terms and numbers will ensure it’ll get deleted. (Unless the person is dealing with numbers and technical terms). Reporters get confused as well when there’s too much jargon.
- The subject line should be intriguing. This is the most important line. Tell in few words what you are offering and why it is new and different. Avoid bombastic words like “news flash” and other old clichÃ©s. Get to the point without descriptive words like wonderful, awesome etc.
- Do not give a false feeling of urgency. A false sense of urgency is like putting a gun to the reporter’s head and they resent it. Don’t limit them in time or threaten to go to another publisher unless you have some national news.
- It may take them some time to respond. Be patient and do not bombard them with e mails to see if they are interested. If they are they will contact you. They may want to put your story on the back burner for a time when they do not have something urgent to talk about.
- Be honest about how many outlets you sent the story. If you want to get the attention of industry influencer do not send an e mail blast to all of them. Select the one influencer the story will fit best. If you approach another one, tell them they are the 2nd you have approached. Being straight forward with an influencer is important. They don’t like to spend time on something others are already doing.
Now that you’ve got their attention hopefully they will do a big article about your product or services, which will get a lot of attention and bring in a lot of new clients.
About the Author: Andrianes Pinantoan is part of the team of Open Colleges, an Australian distance education provider of TAFE courses equivalent. When not working, he can be found with a camera in hand.