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Getting "press" can be a great way to get your business noticed, but the rules have changed with the digital landscape. While a favorable write-up in a traditional media outlet is usually good for a temporary boost, you really want publicity that stands the test of time. That means moving beyond a standard press blitz and trying new tactics to help catch the eye of tastemakers and influencers who will get you sustained attention.
1. Target specific influencers.
If the internet were a high school, then an influencer would be the cool kid who starts wearing all green, and then suddenly everybody's wearing all green. Obviously it's good to have an influencer's attention, but for all the talk about how we need to shift to an influencer marketing strategy, few people have good advice for how to actually make that happen.
When you're starting out, it can feel like any attention is good attention. However, the truth is that the digital space is all about niches. While it's good to get mentioned, you need to be strategic about who you're trying to talk to, and what you want them to think about you.
Make a list of the people you want to follow, and do your homework. By keeping tabs on their interactions from afar, you can figure out how to get their attention and eventually their trust.
2. Get more conversational.
When you're working in the digital space, and social media specifically, you need to keep in mind that it's a conversation. You don't become the most popular guest at the cocktail party by walking into the room and loudly shouting about how great you are.
When you're engaging potential influencers and customers on social media, you need to bring something useful to the conversation beyond, "hey, buy my stuff." That usually means your expertise, your passion, and your time. Engaging people in meaningful, authentic conversations is what turns followers into fans.
3. Save your money for the right opportunity.
PR is all about capitalizing on the right opportunities. If you're selling apples and the pie festival comes to town, it's probably a good time to spend some money on publicity. Maybe you provide free apples to any contestant that makes an apple pie, or maybe you create an apple pie super team to enter the competition. Either way, the point is that you want to be able to spend some money when the right opportunity comes along.
Many people think of PR as an equation: You invest X money and you get Y publicity in return. The truth is that you need to be able to be opportunistic to get the most bang for your buck. You never know when the perfect situation will come along, and you need to have some flexibility to be able to capitalize.
A digital PR strategy for getting noticed
When it comes to digital PR, you need to be flexible if you want to succeed. You want to lay the groundwork by carefully researching and interacting with the influencers that fit best with your business. That way, when an opportunity presents itself, you're ready to take advantage and get noticed.