Become an Expert in Your Field with Offline Marketing & PR
by Donna Talarico, Interactive Marketing Specialist, Solid Cactus
When we think e-commerce, we naturally focus all of our marketing efforts on online methods. But, marketing is not all about SEO; traditional media can play a helpful role in e-commerce, too.
Television, radio, print, and trade publications and more depend on industry experts to contribute to reports, articles, interviews, and features. After all, content is still king offline as well! While media coverage in itself does not sell products, the exposure you receive promotes your products and positions you as a leader in the industry. And furthermore, you can use your media coverage on your site to build customer confidence, such as with graphics like "As seen on NBC's Today Show," a PDF of a magazine article, and audio clip of a radio interview or a link to a news article featuring you as a source.
Here are some tips on how you can become an expert in your field:
Defining yourself- the first step is to figure out what areas you are an expert in. Once you have that down pat, you can then figure out what outlets to pitch to. These outlets would have the same target audience as you. For example, if you sell yoga supplies you could pitch a segment on a local health program to demonstrate your items.
The presentation- a great looking press release or media kit will be attractive to newspaper and television assignment editors and radio producers. A press release written for the news media is very different than an online press release written for the search engines. There are many guides available for help on this subject.
Broadcast Media- think about what local news stations offer, such as a consumer report segment. Does your local public television station produce any shows you could be a source on? What national news magazine shows or talk shows feature guests? What local or national radio programs do interviews? Is there anything going on in the news that you can speak on? For example, if swine flu is the big news story and you sell emergency preparation items, you can speak on that.
Print Media- there are thousands of print publications. I could write a book on this topic because there are so many ideas. Just be clever and pitch unique story ideas based on your products or your expertise. Remember that newspaper articles are to inform and entertain readers, not be a total sales pitch. From your local daily newspaper, to the big city papers to niche magazines or even college newspapers, they all need stories.
Where to get listed- journalists are always looking for story sources. Aside from you doing the pitching, reporters often are already working on stories and are looking for industry sources to comment. There are some great places you can get listed, as well as resources that send out e-mails on what journalists are looking for. If you read those daily, you may find a great opportunity to be featured. Here are some ideas:
-Radio/TV Interview Report - www.rtir.com
-Reporter's Source - www.reporterresource.com
-ProfNet - profnet.prnewswire.com
Remember. Everything you read in a newspaper or magazine, everything you see on television and everything you hear on the radio requires a source for that information. Becoming a source for stories and segments promotes you and your business. Don't hide behind your computer. Get out there and see how traditional media can help your e-commerce store blossom.
This article is an abbreviated version of Donna's session, "Becoming an Expert in Your Field," presented at Solid Cactus' April 2009 Boot Camp.
Definitely Solid Cactus, many of us still restricted to only online for e-commerce. Unfortunately they don’t know the power of traditional media; they just consider tradition media as a common thing. You are right it can play a helpful role in e-commerce business and you tips definitely help those who still unaware from the traditional media. Thank you very much for this useful tips and time for giving us.