You’ve got a hit in an online newspaper — brilliant — that’s great.
But what if you could double the amount of people that see the great review? How about winning a new bit of business for the company because that positive mention tipped the balance of a recent pitch? Or even just making people feel good about who they work for?
It’s time to start thinking how to amplify your coverage.
“Amplification of coverage is such a simple tactic, but once the legwork of actually getting the coverage has happened, it’s so easy to forget this final step. One of the best ways we’ve found to ensure coverage lives on once it is live is to work closely with the client to integrate it into their own channels. Can it be turned into a blog? Can it be shared in a newsletter? Is it relevant to share on their social feeds?”
Anna Hardman, Head of Editorial, Bottle
As Anna explains, amplifying coverage is often forgotten, yet is a strategy that can dramatically increase the impact of your work.
I am going to talk you through 5 easy ways to amplify your coverage:
- Start with your own company
- Your sales team love coverage updates
- Using social channels
- Paid channels
- Coverage on your website & email marketing
Start with your own company
From the inventor who came up with the product concept, the managers, the engineers, accounts, admin and the support team who help customers all day. These are the people who care the most.
To hear the Guardian, BBC, or target market blogger write a glowing review of your product – well, it can just feel good. Taking the opportunity to instil a sense of pride for what you’ve all achieved together is as good a reason to amplify your coverage as any other.
What if it’s not 5* glowing coverage? You should still share it internally. It might not be fun to read but arguably the insight from negative mentions are more useful to drive action within a business.
As well as increasing morale (or learning about what needs to change), sharing internally could also amplify reach and sales. For instance, The Body shop employes 17,000 people, Virgin Media 13,000 and B&Q 25,000 — many of which, despite having knowledge of the product, still have buying power and will be making decisions to buy from your brand or the competitor.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Don’t forget all the employees all have social channels too. Now you shouldn’t ever force people to share on their own private channels, however you’ll find some are so proud they want to, resulting in even more exposure through their social networks.
Not all staff are in one location or use email. So if there is a particularly good piece of coverage you may want to think about pinning it in a kitchen or staff areas, Slack, internal newsletter or intranet.
Your sales team love coverage updates
“A useful way to make your coverage work for you is to ensure you always pass it on to sales and marketing teams, who can integrate it into marketing literature and website banners for example. That little ‘as seen in xxx’ logo can do wonders when it comes to converting the ‘undecided’ into proud and loyal customers.”
Aisleen Bird, Marley Bird Communications
When was the last time you spoke to your sales team? Do you send them coverage updates as they come in? If not why not?
- It’s far easier to get motivated about selling a product if your industry press are writing positively about it.
- It has a big impact in the retailers decisions. Have you ever wondered how retailers choose how prominent to place each product? Being armed with the latest press featuring your brand gives the sales team more leverage when talking to retailers about how prominently to feature your brand. It’s a snowball effect — the more press are talking about your product, the more the retailers want to shout about stocking your product, placing it more prominently and therefore leading to more sales — which ultimately is the goal of PR.
- It gives them a good reason to get back in touch with contacts. A shiny new review gives a great reason for a sales person to contact a past customer or anybody they are looking to build a relationship with.
- They need to be in the know. Imagine a story breaks about your product or brand. The communications teams are briefed with key messages and responses for the media but the sales team who are often directly at the forefront of customers questions. Wouldn’t it be great if their response was synced with the media team?
Amplifying coverage using social channels
One of the simplest ways to maximise coverage you have gained is through your social channels.
By sharing coverage on your social channels, you increase the number of people who will see that coverage. Just remember to share the piece in a way that is relevant to each audience.
Let me walk you through an example:
If I secured this piece for my client Neal’s Yard Remedies- we could amplify it on Twitter in the following ways:
First off, you could @ the journalist you worked with on the piece, highlighting the link to your followers.
By doing this you have now made it easy for @LottieAWinter and @Glamourmag to RT it again to their followers (1,611 and 1.4 million respectively). Yes you won’t reach all of them if you do but you get the idea.
But that’s not all — here we are specifically highlighting that Neal’s Yard Remedies is included. Even if they originally promoted the piece on Twitter, the tweet is unlikely to have mentioned Neal’s Yard Remedies as there were multiple brands in the piece. What’s more, followers who do not open the link, will see from the URL that Neal’s Yard Remedies is included in an Eco friendly piece — so great for brand positioning.
But, you’re not finished yet.
Neal’s Yard Remedies can still promote it to their 30k followers. Rather than encouraging them to simply RT, there is an opportunity to pass more brand messaging and appear in relevant # searches. You could say something like
We’re still not done here — if it’s a great piece you could even Tweet it from your agency’s Twitter handle.
Can you see how much the potential audience is easily increased?
Each piece of coverage is unique, so there is no set template — just make sure you follow the rules of respecting the readers and always making sure the tweet is authentically created, ensuring the context of the tweet fits with the context of the social profile.
And that’s just Twitter, you can follow a similar process for LinkedIn — they even have a special ‘in the news’ feature to make it easy. And don’t forget Facebook too if it is relevant.
Amplifying coverage using paid channels
We’re rolling now and coverage has been promoted on Twitter and to your internal stakeholders but you’re not finished yet.
Have you considered paid channels? This is where it gets really interesting.
Paid promotional spots can be far more targeted than editorial and will result in more impressions. Add the fact that editorial carries more influence than an ad and you are looking at a pretty powerful tactic.
Sounds impressive right? Let’s chat though the different ways you can do this:
The first, and one of the most cost effective options is to look up the services such as Outbrain or Taboola, who can promote your article within other publications such as CNN, The Guardian or Mashable. It’s a great first step if you have never looked at paid campaigns before.
Here’s what it looks like:
Another common tactic is to use some paid budget to boost the social posts where you’ve highlighted your coverage. Here’s a good guide to starting out with a social media campaign
One last option, if budget allows and the area your brand sits isn’t heavily dominated by e-commerce ads, is creating a paid search campaign where you drive traffic back to that piece of coverage. For many brands these spots are so competitive that this option is not viable, however there are some instances — for instance where the product is not sold online and your key objective is to change opinion — where this can work well.
When using a paid budget, the channels all have tools making it easy to refine by demographics so you are amplifying your coverage to only your target audience.
To get the ball rolling with this type of amplification, it’s always good begin by setting a meeting with the paid search team to explain your background and objectives and then to work out the best way to run activity such as this.
In some situations this can be a really smooth process, but sadly sometimes it’s not.
You need to keep in mind the paid search team may have different objectives and are converting consumers near the end of the funnel. While this tactic may be great for influencing decisions, it can bring down their overall ROI and once they have directed consumers to a third party platform it can be difficult to measure exact benefits in the way they are used to.
Or they may ‘get it’ so you’ve nothing to lose by setting that meeting.
Promoting your coverage on your website and email marketing
Third party mentions carry weight. So are you encouraging others to make the most of it?
A common option is to have an ‘as seen in’ news section of your website. This gives your website visitors confidence in your brand at a time when they (if they are browsing on your site) are likely to be looking to make a purchase and so it can be the final confirmation to buy they need.
Editing massive sections of your website can be a long winded process, needing approval and time from different teams so often the easiest way is update the blog with an ‘in the news’ section.
How about referring to coverage in any sales, onboarding or confirmation emails? Or even in your company email signature.
If someone is about to convert, it may be the perfect chance to read a 5* review or it’s a great little touch to help new customers confirm to themselves they have made the right choice. On a similar vein, if you have a regular newsletter going to customers or mailing list ready to hear latest news, this is a great thing to add.
That’s it for now — if I have missed any ways you amplify coverage, let me know and I can add it!PR Resolution