You have great content and want to promote it using the content retargeting technology of Boost the News. But how to approach brands offering them to promote your articles? This is a question we often get asked by publishers, and in this post we come to your help. Here are seven tips that will help you pitch your content to brands and increase the chances of having your content promoted.
Pick the article
The first step to successfully sharing an article is choosing the right article. You probably publish many articles a week, but not all of them are optimal for sharing and promoting. An article that has good chances of being promoted is one that brands have a good reason to promote it – sounds banal, but sometimes we tend to forget the basics.
Here are the ideal-types of articles we recommend sharing with brands:
- Articles that positively mentions particular brands, businesses, products or events.
- Branded / sponsored articles that were written in cooperation with brands.
Pick the brand
When you want to share your article with brands in order to get it promoted, sending the article to dozens of brands, just hoping that one of them might agree, is probably not a very successful strategy. From our experience, it will just waste your precious time in sending tens of pitches, and brands will start seeing you as a spammer.
The secret of getting your article promoted is to carefully choose the brand with which you share the article. This should not be too difficult, and the rule of thumb is: share the article with a brand that you believe will have a true interest in promoting the article. This can be:
- A brand that is positively mentioned in the article.
- A brand that has contacted you and cooperated with you on the creation of the article (branded / sponsored articles).
- A brand that is deeply engaged in the topic of the article.
From our experience, brands that sponsored or helped in the creation of a certain article, are the ones most keen on later promoting the article. So if you are working with a brand on a sponsored article, make sure to later offer the brand to continue cooperation by promoting the article!
Time the pitch
Sometimes it is not enough to choose the right brand; you should also choose the right time to share. In a recent study by Boost the News, we discovered the average “life-cycle” of an typical article, and according to it, calculated when is the best moment to promote it.
The bottom line to be taken from this study is the following: right after the article has been published, it enjoys a lot of popularity and attracts lots of traffic. At this moment, the brand might not see the need in promoting the article, since organic traffic is anyway high. Sharing the article at this point might not be optimal.
The best time to promote an article begins a few days after the publication. After the initial “buzz” has already calmed down, the readership of the article falls. This is exactly when you should come to the brand and say: “hey, traffic has gone down significantly, it’s probably time to give it a little boost”.
What we have learned from our cooperation with different brands, is that they feel disappointed when results of their branded content are so short-termed. They invest time and money in getting articles about their brand published, and would like to see the results of their work lasting for a longer while. Offering brands long-lasting results through promotion is a sure bet.
Personalize the recipient
When it comes to pitching your article for a brand to promote it, personalization is king. If you are going to send your article to firstname.lastname@example.org and wait for an answer, make sure your chair is comfortable, because you are going to wait a long, long time…
If, however, you want a real chance of your article being promoted, share it with a specific person.
The best option is to share it with a person from the brand who already knows you or has previously contacted you. Have you been in contact with someone from the PR / Marketing / Advertising department during the creation of the article? Will this person recognize you and acknowledge your work? That’s the person to go to!
If you don’t have the direct e-mail address of the person you want to reach, try looking for it on the brand’s contact directory on the website.
Personalize the message
Personalizing the pitch is not only about choosing the particular person to which the message should be sent. It is also about personalizing the message to make it sure the recipient has a good reason to open it. According to a report by Experian Marketing Services, personalized e-mails have 29% higher opening rates and 41% higher click rates than generic non-personalized e-mails.
How to personalize the message:
- First things first: start with a personal note using the recipient’s first name.
- Remind the recipient about the background of your cooperation on writing the article.
- Remind the recipient about the assets of promoting the article, and what the brand can gain from it.
More on how to write your pitch in the next point. In the meanwhile, one more thing you can do to personalize your message is to talk to the brand in advance. If this is your first time sharing an article with the brand, they might not know what you are sending them. To increase the chances of your contact person accepting your invitation and promoting your article, you can, prior to your message send through Boost the News, call or e-mail them, explaining that you are about to send an invitation through Boost the News. This will make them more familiar with the invitation, and increase the chances they will accept it.
Make it short and to the point
Business in the 21st century is done under the slogan “short and to the point”. There is just no time for too much talking. An ideal pitch should contain the following information (one sentence each):
- Present yourself. E.g.: “It’s [your name] from [your website]”.
- Mention your previous cooperation with the brand (if there was any). E.g.: “We’ve worked together lately on the article [title of the article].”
- Introduce the possibility to check traffic statistics for the article and to promote it. E.g.: “Now you can see how the traffic of the article is doing, and promote the article to increase traffic.”
- Call to action. E.g.: “Click the link to see statistics of the article.”
Once you have sent your e-mail to the brand – don’t sit and wait. A single e-mail might be missed or left unread for a variety of reasons: the e-mail address was incorrect, the recipient was out of office, the e-mail reached the spam box, there were a lot of important e-mails at the same day and yours got caught in the middle…
Make sure your pitch doesn’t get lost because of a random reason: follow-up on it. Write an e-mail or call your contact person explaining that you have sent an invitation through Boost the News. They will be thankful for that!
Remember: the final decision on whether to promote an article is in the hands of the brand. However, these tips were written based on several months of experience in working with brands on promoting articles. Implement them in your pitch, and the chances of your articles getting promoted will increase.