There’s no denying that COVID-19 turned the world upside down. No industry and no brand has been left unaffected, and the word “normal” doesn’t even feel like it’s part of our vocabulary anymore.
However, if you’re a direct-to-consumer (DTC) or ecommerce brand that receives a large portion of its revenue and sales through mega-ecommerce retailers like Amazon.com or Target.com, your challenges and opportunities have been especially unique during this time.
Well, first off, here’s a secret that no one wants you to know: TOP media outlets are actively looking for your products right now. Yes, right now…even with everything that’s going on in the world. The question, though, is are you actually reaching those editors and writers? They’re not sorting through pages and pages of best-selling products in their “free time” to uncover diamonds in the rough.
Plus, if you’re anything like the product-based clients we work with, you don’t have a ton of extra time to figure out how to get the attention of editors at Real Simple, Good Housekeeping, Buzzfeed or The Huffington Post. Your team is already overextended from all of the other curveballs that COVID-19 threw your way — from supply chain issues to unexpected shipping delays and keeping up with a surge of demand from shoppers who, seemingly overnight, started buying EVERYTHING online.
So, with everything that’s already on your to-do list, why should you care about getting featured by top tier media right now? Well, the reason the media are looking for you is because their readers are looking for you — a.k.a. your next new customers. Right now, as more of our world has shifted online, consumers are shopping more than ever from ecommerce retailers, and they’re looking to their favorite media outlets to help them decide what to buy.
For the brands who leverage this fact to get featured by the media, it becomes an opportunity to leapfrog your competitors, exponentially growing your brand AND your bottom line. How do I know this? Because not only are the clients we work with getting featured by publications like Allure.com, People.com, Refinery29 and more, those media features are validating their brands and products, helping them secure Amazon Best Seller and Amazon’s Choice Badges, sell out newly launched products and overall, drive sales and revenue.
So, are you a DTC brand that’s ready to leverage the power of PR to gain the attention and trust of your target audience to not only support your bottom line, but to leapfrog your competitors and build momentum for your brand long term?
Here are your top three PR opportunities right now.
1. Shopping Guides
Shopping guides are nothing new — consumers have always turned to the media to help them choose the best products to buy.
However, since we’ve been quarantining and staying at home, shopping guides from top tier media outlets have had a renewed focus in helping readers decipher the best products to buy online — even in categories that have historically been largely ignored by the media.
At the beginning of COVID-19, retailers saw double and triple digit increases in online sales. Many products that consumers would typically purchase in-person at drugstores, their neighborhood market or big box retailers, quickly shifted to ecommerce.
Product discovery is easy in person. You grab the brand 1. you know, 2. you’ve heard of 3. is on sale, or 4. just looks appealing. This decision-making process happens in a matter of seconds — you’re in and out with your sunscreen, dog food, all-purpose cleaner or whatever daily item you need.
It seems like the decision-making process would be just as easy online, but it’s actually much harder unless consumers are directly purchasing a brand they already know and love. Instead of a curation of products on a shelf, consumers have thousands of choices online.
Shopping guides from top tier media outlets are helping consumers narrow down these choices, and for ecommerce brands, offer the quickest opportunity to position products as the best in their category.
2. CEO Thought Leadership
Right now, our society is looking to CEOs as trusted thought leaders to play a role in the shaping of our society and our economy moving forward. One study shows that the trust the public has placed in CEOs has risen over the years, and now, CEOs are more trusted than government officials.
Please, let that sink in for a moment to evaluate if your brand is leveraging this trust opportunity. It’s a pivotal turning point for companies and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly or ignored. Brands have an opportunity to leverage that trust right now, and moving forward, executive thought leadership will be a must-have, not a nice to have, for any brand that wants to become an industry leader.
One very specific way to utilize thought leadership in this moment to drive brand visibility is sharing CEO and executive insights with the media. Our contacts are looking for industry predictions, how to thrive in the current economy and how we might expect brands to evolve in the near and further future.
3. Your Local Media
The EY Future Consumer Index tracked sentiment and behavior across several countries and found that many believe the way they shop will fundamentally change due to the Coronavirus. As one example, when it came to brands and products specifically, 34% of respondents shared they would pay more for local brands.
Many ecommerce brands overlook their local markets because the sale of their products is completely location independent. However, consumers increasingly prefer buying from companies in their own backyard — even if that buying happens online.
Regional media outlets are regularly looking for local companies to feature in a wide variety of stories — from product roundups to founder profiles and success stories.
Don’t overlook local media outlets when developing a PR campaign. Features in these publications can create a great foundation of trust and avid brand advocates who know, like and recommend your brand to friends and family.
If you want to leapfrog competitors to become the preferred and premier choice brand in your vertical, now is the time to leverage the power of PR.