They 800Xed their media placements

My last Inner Circle guests told us how their media placements did this:

  • 2016 – 11
  • 2017 – 82
  • 2018 – 696
  • 2019 – 1434
  • 2020 – 8285

With only two team members, and no agency or fluke/viral news element in their favor.

Here’s one great takeaway that illustrates how you can set up a strategy that creates more success in the future, with diminishing work on your part.

They work for a company that makes software that runs small businesses. Their prime audience is owners of “mom and pop” companies. So they asked themselves, “What things do small business owners most want to know, and how could we answer those questions for them?”

One thing that came to mind was “What risks or crises should I be preparing to withstand?” So in 2017 the team created the “Small Business Threat Index.” They simply surveyed 2,200 small business owners and asked them which threats would be most damaging to their business. And some other questions. Nothing special here, only cost a couple hundred dollars – they already had a good list of email addresses from various partners, and they sent out the questionnaire using the lite version of some survey software.

Here’s where their strategy diverged from what you might have been taught previously. Their first action was to post their findings on their site, ungated. And then they set about earning links back to their findings.

They didn’t light the world on fire with earned media, but they landed many of those 82 placements you see in the list above. Better still, 20 of those placements came with links back to their site. That boosted their results in search rankings.

Here’s the payoff: Every year since, journalists keep googling into those findings and end up quoting them in more stories. All the way to March 2020, when the mother of all threats to small business put this issue front and center, and the team lead was quoted in the WSJ next to a chart with their data, clearly attributed to them as a “software and small-business services provider.”

Not bad for a team with very little company or product news to speak of.

You can see the full 9-step process this team used to boost media placements 800X in four years – along with example pitches and media plans – as a member of my Inner Circle. The bad news is we are currently closed to new members. The good news is that you can get a sneak peek at some of our best takeaways as a bonus when you register for our Wait List here (no commitment).

This article was originally published on March 3, 2021

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