Hacking the Press: Clever Ways to Get Free Press Coverage with Zero Budget

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Shopify Ecommerce Blog | by Tucker Schreiber | Mar 27, 2017

Strategies for free press coverage

On the surface, the process of getting press coverage sounds simple. But, because journalists are constantly pitched about new products, standing out from the crowd can be difficult.

Whether you’re an established business, or you're just getting started, it’s never too soon to let people know about your product. Choosing the best outlet to promote your business is only half the battle.

We’re going to look at some of the most clever ways you can get any influencer or journalist’s attention—even in a crowded space—so you can get more traffic and sales for your business.

How to Get Press Coverage by Bypassing Traditional Methods

Getting traditional press coverage can be an extremely difficult process. Often, journalists and editors are overloaded day and night with pitches.  Every day there are thousands of press releases sent out. No wonder its hard to get noticed.  Because of this, contacting blogs that are targeted to your niche, rather than pitching your product to a traditional news outlet can be much more effective, and is a much less saturated area to tackle.  Quite often, you’ll find that blogs have a page for you to submit product tips. As an example, take a look at Mashable’s Submit News page. You can use this to your advantage.  Best of all, it’s totally free.

How to Find Top Bloggers and Influencers

You can leverage the power of Google to make your life much easier when hunting down sites to contact.  By simply doing a Google search for sites related to your product or niche, you’ll be able to find blogs, journalists and influencers that can get the word out about your product.

See:  The A to Z guide to media relations for crowdfunding

These blogs and influencers are extremely valuable, as their readers and followers are all potential customers.  According to a study from Nielsen, 92% of buyers trust recommendations and products from people they know, and 70% trust opinions and reviews they find online.

Here’s some of the best search strings to use:

  • top X bloggers
  • blogs like X
  • X product reviews
  • X influencers
  • X product influencers

You’ll want to grab as much information as you can. Anything from a contributor’s first and last name, to their email address, to where they live—all of this can be useful.  Be sure to check out some of their recent work as well, as it’s always nice to mention that you like their work when reaching out to them.

Don’t want to do all the leg work? Try hiring someone from Fiverr or Craigslist to do it for you.

Alternatively, you can use a resource called Press Farm that is a compilation of over 250 individual’s contact information for companies like Business Insider, Forbes, Mashable and many more.

Product Blogs to Jumpstart Your Business

One certain way to get press coverage is to be featured on a blog that specifically writes about new or interesting products.

Blogs like Uncrate, Outblush, Cool Material, and Supercompressor are all great places to reach out to.

Here’s a list of product blogs that all have been successful in driving traffic and sales to online stores:

Because these are all curated to a certain style, getting your product featured can be a bit difficult. You’ll want to go through these blogs and make sure that you have product shots that match their aesthetic.  Sometimes its seemingly impossible to track down the people who curate these blogs. So how do you get in touch if there’s no obvious way of contacting them?

Be inventive in your approach.

  • Use Google to find out if the blog is working under another company. For instance, Uncrate works under Zombiecorp LLC. Contacting them directly is a creative way to get past all of their regular contact submissions.
  • Perform a WHOIS search to find out the owner of the domain name and contact them through the email address listed there.
  • Find businesses that have been featured on these blogs, and contact them directly to see if they can provide any contact info or insight into the curation process.
  • Find one of the writers on LinkedIn and send them a connect request. Make sure you send them a custom message that's not too long.
  • Send them a Facebook message if you can find their personal profile. Don’t be too pushy with this one though—some people prefer to keep their Facebook profile private.
  • Tweet at them directly, as well as the company or blog they write for. Followerwonk is a fantastic service that will help you dig into this information.
  • See if there is a phone number that you can leave them a voicemail at. Use this one as a last resort, and make sure to make it quick and concise.

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The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both social and investment crowdfunding stakeholders across the country. NCFA Canada provides education, research, leadership, support and networking opportunities to over 1500+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding industry in Canada. Learn more at www.ncfacanada.org.

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