There are a few important metrics that are benefitted from a strong PR strategy. For starters, referral traffic goes up if popular websites link to your store’s website. With that, organic traffic grows, since links from reputable sources improve your Google ranking. Finally, brand reputation (and a press section on your homepage showing all the media outlets in which you’ve been featured) impacts positively in your conversion rate.
Get a free benchmark report for all the above metrics and more by signing up to Compass.
For all these reasons, we recommend you to consider working on getting press for your store, especially in your early days, when a link from a high profile blogger can make all the difference. So we invited our friends from Fit Small Business to give us a few tips on how small and medium-sized online stores can get press.
Getting free press for your ecommerce business is one of the most effective and cost-friendly ways to build buzz around your products. Luckily for you, there are a lot of available online channels that you can tap into to do so. Below are some potential opportunities you can explore and suggested approaches on how to best use them.
Engage Relevant Social Media Influencers
Leverage the network of relevant and influential social media personalities by pitching your products to them. Send samples of your products together with an information sheet or a cool infographic where they can get necessary details about your product. Make your packaging visually appealing and Instagrammable so that they will be encouraged to post it on their social media channels.
Example of visually appealing Instagram post by an influencer
Try reaching out to both big and small influencers as well. Meaning, reach out to both very famous ones and not-so-famous ones – but still with quality network of followers.
The advantage of reaching out to popular social media influencers is that you’re able to tap their huge pool of followers. However, since they are well-known people, these personalities might ask for monetary investment. It might still be worth a shot pitching to them if they really like your product.
The other route is to engage up-and-coming influencers who are just starting out. They are in the process of building credibility, and many will post in exchange for free swag from your company.
Get Bloggers To Review Your Products
According to McKinsey & Company, 50% of purchasing decisions are made through word-of-mouth or recommendations from third-party sources, and this generates twice the sales of paid advertising.
Blogs are one of the best ways to provide readers unbiased opinions about products and services. Unlike Instagram and Facebook that provide bite-sized posts, blogs give readers a more in-depth and substantial information about certain products.
Tap into well-followed blogs and get the bloggers to review your product by sending samples and an information sheet – same as what you would provide social media influencers. You can also offer to sponsor a contest for their readers and provide your products as prizes.
Getting reviews on your store gives you a big SEO bump for platforms like Amazon. Assuming your reviews are legitimate, you’ll see that you’ll get closer to the first page with more reviews.
While tapping bloggers is an effective way to get the word out about your products, this route might be a double-edged sword as well since your products will be put under scrutiny and bloggers usually provide their honest and unbiased opinion, which could either benefit or harm your business.
To be on the safe side, conduct in-depth research about a blog and the blogger before pitching to them. See how they have written reviews in the past and how they usually package their blog posts. Decide from there if it’s something you’re comfortable with.
Have An Active Social Media Presence
95% of online adults aged 18-34 are most likely to follow a brand’s social media page, while most consumers that experienced a positive interaction with a brand through social media are most likely to recommend it to others. The key thing to note here is that while having a great website is important, a lot of brand-consumer interaction is happening on social media – resulting in positive brand building and increased sales.
The most influential social media channels for businesses are Facebook and Instagram. Recent statistics show that Facebook was able to influence 52% of consumers’ online and offline purchases while brands using Instagram enjoy substantial engagement rate with their posts.
While social media engagement might seem easy, we recommend not jumping into it unprepared. Social media pages take a lot of work and businesses that plan to utilize it for their business must ensure that they have a healthy stream of content to share with their followers as these are the essential factors that drive fan base growth and engagement. It’s important to remember that social media is highly visual, so businesses must make an effort to create visually appealing posts to be highly shareable and engaging online.
Send Out a Press Release To The Media
Nothing beats good old press coverage in established media channels when promoting your business and products. Do this by developing a press release and pitching to the relevant sections of publications and editors.
An important thing to note is to give an interesting and unique hook to your pitch email to catch an editor’s attention – remember that editors receive hundreds of emails every day, so it is important to ensure that your email will stand out from the rest.
Also, see the kinds of stories they have written in the past as these are some of the things you can mention in your pitch to give the editors a sense that you are actually reading their work and not just pitching to them for the sake of getting free media coverage.
If possible, try pitching on a regular basis to build rapport with the media and complete your pitch with a follow-up call to put a voice behind the email and also get an idea whether they are interested in publishing. If they’re not, try to ask for the reason and see how you can use it to improve your future pitches.
Creating buzz around your ecommerce business is definitely just a pitch away – whether it is an influencer, a blogger or the media. You just have to make sure you’re offering something new and that your pitch is catchy and exciting. Remember to have a good online communication strategy in place and that you’re tapping the right channels to ensure that you’re pitching to the appropriate audience.