You’ve just finished a stellar brand video. With breathtakingly beautiful visuals and the perfect song, you were able to capture the perfect vibe to sell your company’s vision and take your audience’s breath away. Best of all, it’s the quintessential representation of you, your company, and your mission. So, how do you get it out to the masses?
Public Relations, of course! In addition to blasting your video out through all of your owned and paid video advertising and distribution sources, you have a third distribution option at your disposal: earned. Using a whip-smart PR campaign, you can also get your brand video featured on popular blogs, websites, and even the occasional TV news segment.
However, not just any old email with a video link will do. You’re going to need to be clever, patient, and strategic with how you present your video to get it featured in top publications. They don’t call it “earned” for nothing!
Here are some of the best tips, tricks, and PR strategies available for you to get your video seen and featured by the top earned sources out there.
Step 1: Bake a clever concept, hook, or value-proposition into your video.
If you really want to stand out from the crowd, the first (and best) trick you can leverage is working with a PR-worthy idea before video production even begins. While this “trick” might be too little too late for those of you with a completed brand video ready to go, it’s still worth mentioning, especially for your next video.
So what is a PR-worthy idea? To figure that out, you’ve got to think like a journalist. For example, what about your company or video is timely? While timeliness can be hard to predict in advance, think about the cultural trends and social issues of the time. What issues are people dealing with? What part of your company’s mission most stands out as vital for people today?
If you can’t think of a timely angle for your video, what about the future? How will your company’s vision shape the future? Are you trying to solve a future problem, or speaking to an issue that people care about today that will impact their tomorrow?
Next, think about the human-interest angle of your video. Is your company’s mission to create a positive change that helps people? How can you help? Can you show how your company has been changing the lives of those in need right now?
You can also try to make your video educational. If your video features facts and figures that are impactful or interesting to a publication’s readership, it could prove to be valuable to the journalist reading your pitch – especially if the video is more educational than promotional.
Lastly, if you have the resources or connections, consider partnering with a celebrity or influencer to be your spokesperson. Oftentimes, if a celebrity is featured in your video, most journalists will at least take the time to watch it, even if they aren’t 100 percent sure they’re going to run it – and that can be your foot in the door.
Step 2: Create a press-worthy pitch.
Once you’ve created a video with a press-worthy angle, it’s time to pitch it – which means sending it out to relevant media sites and journalists who might be willing to feature it. As mentioned above, there’s more to it than just sending a link and asking to be featured.
When planning to write your pitch, think about it as if you were writing the article yourself. What’s the story you’re trying to tell – and what’s the hook that’s going to get your readers to read it? Think timely – why now? Think human interest – why should we care?
Be economic – say as much as possible with as few words as possible. And be skeptical. You’re promoting your video, but there has to be more to it than that. Why would you want to read this article featuring your video? To get super specific, the subject line of your email should read like the heading of the article. If it doesn’t make them want to click, they won’t.
Step 3: Pitch the right writers and outlets.
You’ve done all the hard work of filming your video and drafting your pitch. Don’t let it go to waste by pitching the wrong outlet or writer! Instead, do your research. Look up videos from other companies in the same industry as you. Where have they been featured, and who wrote about it? Or if your video and company focus on a specific issue or mission, what outlets and networks are writing about those topics?
Make a media list of at least 25-50 contacts. Just sending your video to five people and hoping for a magic “yes” won’t cut it. You’re going to need to reach out to as many contacts as possible if you hope to get even a few to open your email. What’s more, make sure those contacts write about your subject! Nothing is worse for a journalist than getting pitches on topics that have nothing to do with what they write about. There’s absolutely no chance they’ll cover it – and they certainly won’t open your next pitch.
After reaching enough of the right people, with the right pitch, you might finally get a reply, Likely, it’ll be one of these two common answers: “I’m not interested in this at this time.” or “Can you tell me more about X?” Be prepared to answer some critical questions – they’re going to test you to make sure this story does have weight behind it, because their editor will be asking them the exact same questions to make sure it isn’t just a promotional fluff piece.
Occasionally, you might even receive a couple of “yes” replies. When that happens, it’s up to you and the journalist to work out the specifics of the coverage. Even more rare, you might get no reply whatsoever, but the journalist or media outlet may decide to run with it and feature your video as part of a larger story. Take it!
Pro Tip: Pitch local. Local media outlets will care more about the topics and issues that impact their readership, and those stories are much more interesting than stories from thousands of miles away.
Step 4: Pitch influencers to create or feature your video.
One of the best ways to get earned online eyeballs is by skipping the middlemen and going directly to influencers. While influencers don’t have the prestige or clout of an established media outlet, influencers have their own communities, of thousands or even millions, curated over time, directly through their social media accounts.
By partnering with an influencer to promote or even star in your video, you can guarantee your video will be seen by their followers. You can even offer to promote the video with extra ad-spend if the influencer allows it.
These partnerships usually come with an upfront cost, so be prepared to negotiate. However, by offering the influencer value, either for themselves in the form of products or trips, or for their fans in the form of product or discount codes, you can get around steep video feature rates.
Step 5: Pitch as part of a larger story or guest post.
Since you’ve already drafted your pitch, why not go all the way and pitch a full-on story? By writing guest posts on topics in your industry for other media outlets, you’ll prove yourself as a valued voice in your industry, and you can slip your video in as one of your key points.
Another option would be pitching a story about a larger issue, topic, or problem within your industry, featuring yourself among other industry leaders who are working toward a solution.
Step 6: Include your video as part of a press release.
While it’s a more old-school tactic, you can always include your brand video as part of a larger company-wide announcement in a press release pushed out through a wire service. Most journalists still get updates on relevant newswire releases to their beats, so it’s not a bad way to go, especially if you have another newsworthy announcement that’s bound to turn heads.
Usually, writers who are swamped with tons of stories will appreciate having some added visual content to go along with their story. And because of the benefits of video for SEO, it helps them to feature the video along with your story.