At Local Fresh, we often highlight the importance of successfully developing a media marketing plan to our small business clients. Whether a website, local newspaper, radio program, or television broadcast, news outlets offer tremendous exposure for businesses that understand how to create and fill a niche for their expertise.
Developing a successful media marketing plan requires not only understanding how to correctly approach the media, but also being prepared so that you can convincingly speak about a topic related to your industry with authority. With that in mind, here are a few tips for improving your media outreach.
Be an Expert Within Your Industry
Before you start getting asked to provide your opinion to the media, you first need to cultivate the reputation as an industry expert. Reporters and bloggers do their research before reaching out to someone for a quote or on-air insight in order to know that their opinion actually matters within their industry or market. In order to become the go-to source for your industry, you need to work on boosting your reputation as a thought leader. How? Constantly blog, share your thoughts and ideas on social media channels daily, and always stay focused to topics related to your industry. Comment, interact, and share with other thought leaders within in your industry to grow your network. Produce enough compelling content and soon you’ll find yourself at the forefront of peoples’ minds when they think of your industry.
Be Prepared for Your Opportunity.
In today’s age of the 24-hour news cycle, media outlets are always looking for the next big story to focus their time and content on. If you watch the news, you know that whenever a major story breaks, experts flood your screens offering their “insight” on the topic at hand. Even if you don’t always agree with what’s being said, you will notice one common trait among most media guests – they’re all prepared to offer their services to the media. They know their material, they know their niche, and they are all solid experts in their respective fields.
Be the Source the Media Needs
Small business owners are often experts in their given industries, and have the ability to spot trends before they become apparent to those on the outside looking in. Do you have the most up-to-date information and research related to your industry at your disposal? Better yet, do you have the ability to clearly explain the emerging trends to those without even the most basic understanding of your industry? By better understanding your market or industry, you’ll be better able to move into the spotlight when the media looks to shine their attention on you.
These tips above will give you a solid start when becoming an authoritative voice within your industry. Now let’s talk about how to identify the right media and media markets for your voice. Developing the right approach and being properly prepared will only get you so far if you’re pitching your knowledge to the wrong media sources. Here’s a brief breakdown of the different types of media and an overview of media markets.
The Different Media Types
There are roughly three tiers of media – trade, regional, and national.
- Trade media ranks as possibly the largest type of media, and is consider anything that appeals to a specific target audience, whether a profession, sport, hobby, trade, or profession. This type of media would include everything from trade industry magazines to hobby publications, even podcasts or blogs dedicated to a specific topic or focus. These types of publications crave authoritative voices to fill content needs, and their audience tends to be those who have a high interest in what’s being covered. This makes trade media a great outlet for directly connecting with an audience that already has an established interest in topics related to your industry.
- Regional media is comprised of news outlet specific to a city, town, or region. Regional media often makes a great place to start when building your media platform and exposure. If you can provide insight on local events or provide a local spin on stories making national headlines, you’ll make an ideal candidate for this type of media exposure.
- National media ranks at the top of the heap, and includes national morning shows like Good Morning America, Today, and other recognizable programs. It also includes major newspapers like The New York Times, Washington Post, and L.A. Times. Once you become a go-to source for these types of news outlets, you’ll have reach the pinnacle of success for developing a media marketing plan.
Understanding Your Media Market
While we all love the cities and towns in which we live, not all media markets are created equal, so it’s important to understand where your city ranks. If, for example, you live in Boston, L.A., New York, or other major market, it can be difficult pitching yourself as most of the media based in these types of cities is national. However, while the major publications can be difficult to break into, most major cities have plenty of smaller local publications you can work with that are just as hungry for new, especially if you consider expanding your influence.
Even a regional publication that focuses on a subset of a major market like say Brooklyn or Pasadena still reaches millions of people, making it a tough go to capture their attention. However, lots of wonderful media outlets exist just outside of these metropolitan areas, such as Long Beach, Orange County, Newark, and Jersey City. Consider starting with these type of smaller markets before trying to break into a larger one.
Local Fresh Can Help Build Your Media Marketing Plan
If you need assistance understanding your media market and how to position yourself as a thought leader within your industry, Local Fresh is here to help. Our team of small business experts can help you better identify your target niche and how you can become the go-to expert for media outlets in your market.