If you’re a business owner, you’re probably looking for ways to get the word out about your company, and there are lots of tips and tricks for how to make your way in the world of marketing.
As the Accounts Manager for Important Media, I see all manner of pitches everyday: some good, some great, but most pretty terrible. I wrote about my experience with some of these in the recent post about how NOT to pitch content.
We work with clients around the world to take advantage of content marketing (or native advertising), which means I have some unique insight into this part of the marketing world.
Some of the pitches I get are laughably terrible: riddled with tell-tale clues like “I enjoyed reading [your site]” or following some sort of terrible script that someone once decided was a good idea. I open every single email that comes into our inbox, but there are some that I just can’t finish reading because they are so clearly terrible emails. And if you’re sending terrible pitches about a great brand, it’s going to get dismissed.
But there are smart ways to approach pitching the media, and I will share my favorite tips for content pitching success and better ways to communicate with publishers and writers.
5 Tips for Content Success
1. Make it Personal
I’ve worked on both sides of media (pitching for brands and now on the receiving end) so I totally understand that this is the hardest part of writing pitches. But it’s worth the effort, I promise. Do your research: what does this company write about? What is important to their readers? What types of companies do they promote? Drafting a well-crafted (see below), personalized email takes more time, but it shows that the sender clearly understands our sites, our offerings, and what we want to offer our readers. And this can go a long way to ensuring your email is read and considered.
2. Spell check your email.
If you can’t craft a two-sentence email, we probably won’t want to feature a whole article from you. If you promise me excellent content but your email is filled with grammar and spelling errors, you’ve already lost my interest.
3. Know the Fees
Sure, some bloggers might post your articles for free, but that is not our company policy. Know what the rates are for companies you are pitching, and honor their rates and always follow their guidelines. Be sure to read the Publisher’s guidelines for content before pitching so that you can be sure the options are aligned with what you want.
4. Be honest with your Intent
Looking for a free guest post? Looking for paid content? Be honest about what you’re looking for and it’s easier for everyone involved so that we don’t have to sift through a veiled request. Understand that whoever is reading your emails reads a ton of emails like this everyday, so they can spot sneaky tactics quickly.
5. Write something Wonderful
Once you get past the first step and get a reply, be sure to focus on the main advantage of content marketing: to have your article work for you for the long-term. The best way to do this is to write an excellent, unique article that will engage our readers and attract search traffic for years to come. Badly written, super generic articles offer little to our readers, and likely won’t rank highly.
Image from BigStock