When it comes to getting the word out for your brand on online media sites, think of feature placement services, mat releases services and distribution services as you would about real estate – it’s all about location, location, location.
It’s not enough to simply get your story onto newspaper, TV and radio station websites, you want to make sure the service you use will secure a ton of placements in prominent locations on those sites, namely front pages and major section pages.
With this in mind, here at StatePoint we provide complete transparency about the online media placements of our feature stories, infographics and listicles. We provide a prominence ranking for each placement in our client coverage reports, informing our customers exactly where on a website it appeared: on a front page, a major section page, one-click away from a front or major page, on another page somewhere on the site, or in site search results.
We’re happy to provide this level of transparency, not only because we have found that our stories regularly generate 55-60 percent of their placements on front pages or major section pages of media websites, but because it’s the right thing to do. Even if our stories didn’t fare so well, we believe that it’s important to diligently inform clients where their stories are running so that they can keep accurate tabs on the strength of their campaigns.
Don’t accept any less from a third-party service that’s tasked with spreading your story to the media and the public. Part of the service you are paying for is your coverage report. So, make sure it’s comprehensive, accurate, and informs you where your online placements are appearing.
Of course, while it’s important to focus on front page placements and major section page placements, other placements also have value and should be part of your PR mix. If your story appears on a media website in another section that matters to readers, it will get discovered by your target audience. And there’s even good value to those additional placements where your story only appears in site search results – in these instances, your story surfaces when readers are searching for topics or doing research online prior to making a purchase.
But be sure that you aren’t loading up on completely buried, worthless placements. The result will be a coverage report obviously focused on quantity, not quality.
To this end, we once heard about a mat release service (that shall remain nameless) that was telling its customers they could secure placements on college newspaper sites nationwide. The reality was that the placements were in the classifieds sections of websites affiliated with colleges and college newspapers. Meaning, they were only shown to readers who visited these classifieds sites and happened to search for a keyword appearing in the story. While that may generate a lengthy coverage report, that’s just not the way users consume media and it’s not the right setting for your story. When a consumer searches the classifieds, he or she isn’t looking to read stories!
No matter if you are garnering placements yourself or using a third-party service to do so, honestly assess the prominence and positions of the placements you are generating. Location matters… and honesty matters even more.