Product placement is when a business has its product featured in or on some kind of media to increase the chances of sales. This could be a placement in online magazines, national newspapers, TV or radio news pieces; ideally, this would be done organically rather than paid for.
With the above in mind, here are our 8 top tips for leveraging Digital PR and outreach to sell your products.
If your products would make the perfect Christmas, Valentine’s or Birthday present, you should consider how to reach them as early as possible. For example, most publishers/magazines will start thinking about their Christmas gift guides in the summer… while online publications will begin in the Autumn.
Daily online publications can be quicker and more reactive, but they still plan things like gift guides well in advance. So be mindful of this!
Your product can sell itself to the right market. Keep samples available to introduce yourself to the journalist, publication or influencer you’re pitching to. Some publishers will also want to photograph your products, and for influencers, samples are a given.
Having an influencer to enforce your brand or product can help increase authenticity and reach.
For example, when Joe Wicks, the Body Coach, shared his love of a small chocolate bar company on his Instagram stories - within hours, The Chocolate Smiths was inundated with sales, taking more than 4,000 orders over 48 hours. The company also went on to expand twice in a year!
While we might not all be lucky enough to get recognised by Joe Wicks, this story does demonstrate the power of influencers and social media in today’s market. If you work with an influencer or are lucky enough to get picked up by one who loves your product, this can give you an edge when pitching to journalists. This is especially true if the influencer directly aligns with the publication in question, making it much easier to sell your product to the journalist.
You always need great photography for product-based PR.
Be sure to have all of the right images prepared and ready. Ideally, all images should feature a clear background, be available in various formats and be high resolution (no less than 300dpi). Make sure you’re only pitching truly giftable products that will stand out on a page amongst other gifts.
You must have accurate product information, so this means having the correct price, URL, stocklists, release date, and product description readily available.
Supply all relevant information on a press release (see more below). Editors are inundated with pitches daily. The most successful will be those that make it as easy as possible for the editor to write them up.
When pitching your product to a journalist, a press release is a great way to pull all of your details together and enhance your overall pitch - plus, it prevents unnecessary waffling! Think of it as a go-to for journalists.
Your press release should include:
The pitch should also include offers for interviews with key staff to the media. This helps reporters quickly create original and high-quality material to publish.
If you have recently launched this new product or branched out into a large retailer following huge growth in the company, then include these details in the press release. This just amplifies your pitch more.
This one is key. There’s no point in having a super press release if you aren’t pitching to the right journalist or editor. You have to be targeted when you’re pitching your product.
Essentially this means identifying the team or journalist putting together a gift guide or a particular feature which matches your brand. There’s no point pitching your brand’s coffee maker to the crime reporter or a new food product to writers who don’t cover food stories.
Once you receive any press, share it. Talk about it, promote it and let your customers and business partners know that your business was featured. Toot your own horn! If you don't do it, no one else is going to. Such exposure will get your customers to talk about you and boost your credibility. Get noticed for getting noticed.
When it comes to using PR and outreach, sticking to your brand values, connecting emotionally with customers and trying new things can all work together in your recipe for a brand with loyal customers and healthy sales.
Finally, once you’ve successfully implemented a gift guide outreach programme, the only thing left is to rinse and repeat for Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, Halloween etc.!
To recap, (or if you're skipping to the end to get the good bits) our eight top tips for getting your products seen with PR and Outreach are:
Looking for some support with your next Digital PR strategy? Get in touch, we’d love to hear from you.
Joanna oversees the PR and Media activity for our clients, including link building and outreach strategies.
She leverages her outstanding relationships with the movers and shakers at household name publications and websites to ensure our clients receive the best coverage and most powerful backlinks. She’s also an expert copywriter and offers reactive PR and media monitoring.More about Joanna