As B2B marketers, we spend a lot of time researching how to share your story. We’re big believers of earned media, which is when a journalist, blogger, or other person of influence writes about your company. They introduce you to their audience, and give you an opportunity to connect. Earned media drives inbound leads to your site while boosting your credibility with your target market. Plus, you can use the piece to share with existing customers and prospects via outbound marketing and digital marketing. You have a great story — earned media helps you share it with a new and relevant audience.
Here’s how to begin capturing earned media opportunities:
Discover key B2B editorial contacts
Find the influencers in your market — these B2B bloggers, journalists, analysts, and other key players are connected with your target market. There are all sorts of ways to go about this, from automated toolsets such as Buzzsumo all the way to simple Google searches. One trick that’s handy is to follow a publication or journalist whose work you admire on Twitter — the application will automatically suggest others like it for you to follow, too. Capture as many contacts as you can, and keep your list current.
Research B2B editorial calendar opportunities
You’ll find that most of these B2B publications and bloggers want content — research their sites to see if they’ll accept a bylined article, blog post, or other contributed content from you, or if they develop their own copy.
Pitch Stories and Promote Content
Now it’s time to engage these influencers — pitch your story. For those that accept contributed media, share your idea before you develop a piece in a brief outline. If they like it, they’ll share details with how long the piece should be and other requirements. Note that most publications will be very clear about self-promotional copy: they don’t want it. Tell, don’t sell.
If the blogger or journalist develops its own content, ask if they’re interested in working with one of your experts for a story. Share details on their area of expertise, and give a suggestion or two of what they’d like to talk about. Again, few journalists want to write about your product or service — they want to know what you have learned about the market so that they can share it with their audience. Don’t worry about missing a “sales” opportunity — today’s B2B prospect values market and industry education, and this style of piece will lead more customers to your door than a straight sales job.
Speaking Opportunities and Trade Show Meetups
Don’t forget in-person opportunities when you research ways to share your story. There is nothing like getting up close and personal with your target audience. Meetings with press and industry influencers at trade shows can solidify your relationships. And hey, since you’re going to the show anyway, see if you can get on the speaking program. It’s a fantastic way to demonstrate your thought leadership.
Want to brainstorm ideas on how to share your story with your audience? I’m always interested in connecting to share ideas.