Content marketing is all about telling your story. Your business isn’t just some black and white thing that exists only on paper. It’s a living, breathing thing that grows and changes with you.
It has its own story worth telling.
If you want to stand out as a brand, you need to know how to tell your story and how to tell it at the right time. And the best way to do this is by working with journalists who know storytelling better than anybody.
But it can be hard to get noticed when editors and journalists are constantly receiving emails from businesses and marketers looking to promote their own brands. If you want to actually get your brand story out there, you need to know how to stand out above this noise.
It’s all about building relationships and knowing the right way to pitch. Keep reading for a guide to working with journalists to tell your brand story!
Get our quick guide to influencer and journalist outreach here!
Find the right contacts
Nothing is worse than receiving an email from a business that clearly knows nothing about the publication. If your business is in the tech industry, you probably don’t need to pitch home and garden publications.
You would think this is common sense, but a surprisingly large number of businesses focus on sending their stories to as many publications as possible, without paying attention to topic.
Instead of blindly emailing as many publishers and journalists as possible, emphasize quality over quantity. Do your research to find a list of strong contacts.
Think about the audience you’re trying to reach, and think about what journalists also speak to this audience. Failing to do your research is a good way to get yourself on a block list for publications, so this is something you should take seriously.
Once you’ve found the right contacts, you’re ready to begin your pitch.
Send your pitch
First, realize publishers and editors receive a lot of different story pitches. Their inboxes are already flooded with dozens of businesses just like yours.
How can you stand out? You’re not the only business with a great story and a unique message. You need to be different, and the best way to do that is through a high-quality pitch.
While it’s natural to target top-tier publications, you can also pitch to sites that accept guest posts. These websites are more familiar with the concept of working with guest posters and brands, so they’ll be more likely to respond to your pitch.
Read through the publication’s website to see how they go about accepting pitches. Most likely, this will be via email, but it’s always best to check for instructions when available.
You need to send your pitch at the best time if you want it to be read. You can have the best pitch in the world, but if you send it at the wrong time odds are it will end up overlooked.
To get your email noticed, it needs to be at the top of the journalist’s inbox. You can do this by sending your email pitch first thing in the morning or during prime working hours. Avoid lunch and at the end of the day when emails get overlooked.
Be specific with your pitch
Journalists don’t like surprises. They don’t like to guess. They work in facts, so you need to be clear when crafting your pitches. What kind of story do you have in mind? Who are you and what is your business?
While this isn’t the time to outline your entire post, you should be able to clearly articulate what it is you wish to deliver.
Next, you need to sweeten the deal. One of the biggest mistakes businesses and marketers make is building the pitch all around themselves. It shouldn’t be all about what this journalist can do for you, but what you can add to their publication.
Grab their attention with a catchy subject line, and then get right to the point. In addition to your unique story, what can you offer? Do you have a long email list you can broadcast your published post to? Email lists and other social media outreach is a big draw for journalist.
Your pitch shouldn’t be all text and no media. Multimedia additions like images, visuals, videos, and infographics are a great way to add another element to your pitches. The less work journalists have to do to perfect your story for publication, the better, and data-rich media has proven to be a strong way to boost a publication’s content.
Show journalists you mean business by including high-quality visual content in addition to your story.
Follow up when appropriate
Nobody likes to be harassed, but people do overlook emails from time to time. Keep an organized record of the journalists you’ve reached out to and don’t be afraid to follow up if a few days go by without a response.
Avoid sending too many notifications unless you want to end up on a publication’s blacklist. Realize that not all journalists are open to different guest posts at all times, and while a story might not be a good fit, that doesn’t mean another one in the future won’t be.
Be persistent with your pitches, and be sure to keep trying until you receive a positive response.
Effective journalist outreach
Sharing your story through new publications is one of the best ways to market your business in the age of content marketing.
Journalists have many of the same goals as marketers, and they understand the importance of telling a quality story. If you wish to stand out from the countless other story pitches, you’ll need to hone your craft and do your research.
Journalist outreach is a match to be made, not a prize to be won.
As long as you’re willing to find the right fit, you’ll get your story noticed by the right audience!