Donald Trump has done it. He has used up nearly $2 billion in free media exposure leaving all his competitors behind in the publicity race. What he has achieved is no smaller than a dream. A $2 billion worth media attention costs a fortune. What did it cost Mr. Trump though? Probably nothing.
Now here’s the catch, you are not Donald Trump. Of course, you are not. What Mr. Trump has done to earn this deluge of media attention might be too scary for you to pull off. Bad publicity is a huge gamble for any candidate, and if you are a plain start-up? Well then, bad publicity may just destroy you.
The point here is, using free media for your own purpose is possible. You will not have to spend millions of bucks to get coverage. There are ways to get there. Playing a wise game is better than playing thousands of good ones.
So, what can you do to earn media coverage? How can you seduce the viper without courting it? What tools to use?
Think about it and while you are thinking, use the internet. It is a vast library with an open view of the entire world. Explore different media strategies – Paid, earned, owned – hardly matters. You must know what is trending on the internet today.
First, you learn the rules, then you break them whenever you please or wherever it suits your purpose.
Earned Media Deciphered
What is earned media anyway? If you are like most people, you might not have any idea about earned media. To a novice, it’s the strategy of word-of-mouth campaigning. Mr. Trump is using it successfully and so can you. What you need is a little patience and a lot of knowledge.
Now, the question is how can we use earned media?
People use it through positive reviews, press release, and recommendations. These three are the most effective tools which can play a big role in your promotional campaigns.
However, earned media is vast than just sitting around and writing press releases. It is more than asking people to write reviews for your product. You need to be there in person or be present in some way for people to connect with you.
The social media platforms of today assure your presence amidst the public is non-stop. Thanks to Facebook, Twitter, and countless other apps, you have the chance to interact with your target audience. Your products and your posts can have unending exposure. However, you cannot take these free but highly volatile platforms for granted. You need to be a vigilante. These platforms don’t suffer an absentee boss for long. This can be a big mistake.
The challenge is not to overdo it. In their quest to make it large in a short while some turn these platforms into their 24/7 zone. Continuous posting without any strategy does not attract attention. At least not positive attention. It will only lead people to block or un-follow you. Therefore, be a little specific about what you post and when you post.
Everyone cannot be your client. You cannot please everyone either. There will forever be people who will bash you, bad mouth you or plain ignore you. While those who bash and bad mouth you present an opportunity for improvement, those who ignore you deserve the same treatment.
Decide your target clients. Your target audience is people who will not only buy your service, they will come back for more. For this reason, before you do any promotional activity, find out who are your targeted customers. Who will listen to you speak? Who will follow you? Who will laugh at your jokes? Analyze this.
Create your campaign strategy based on the age, background, and lifestyle of the targeted group.
Hone Your Story-Telling Skill
When you are doing a press release you are feeding the world your story. What made you take up a career? What made you opt for a particular business? What memory caused you to decide on a specific date for the foundation? There are stories everywhere. Tell them.
Nothing connects people stronger than a story.
If you have struggled to be what you are, there is nothing like it. People love stories where the underdog wins. ‘Chicken Soup’ proved it long ago. Countless successful professionals have used it to gain exposure. However, if there is no story, it’s better not to make one up. Be a story teller, they will all come to you.
Be a Star
Of course, you won’t need a Hollywood contract for this. What you really need to do is make your presence felt. Make sure to be involved in events. From blood donation camps to fund raising or the local soccer tournament. Be there.
You never know who is watching or what might get media attention or who you may end up the meeting. After all such events are all about expanding your networks. The more people know you, the better it is for you.
Explore Social Media Tools
Countless social media tools are available. What you need to do is learn about them. You can use some of them to see whether they work for you or not. It’s a trial and error process. You need to see which tool gets you to your desired destination and watch out for the ones who don’t offer your brand a proper visibility.
Set realistic expectations. Hard work never goes to waste. However, hard work takes a little time to breed results. What you need is a steady effort. If today does not bring the positive result, tomorrow surely will. Keep pushing forward, because you never know which of these pushes will get you to your destination.