It’s time to tell the world about your web series or your YouTube channel – and getting the media on board is one way to exponentially increase your reach.
One interview on a mainstream media channel can sky rocket followers, subscribers and views (and pledgers for a crowdfunding campaign!)
Here are five tips to help your media outreach.
DON’T PLAY HARD TO GET
Journalists, bloggers and writers are busy people – they won’t spend time trying to find out what your email address is so they can contact you – they’ll move on to another story. They also shouldn’t have to message you on social media or post on your Facebook Page asking for your contact details. And they won’t fill in an email ‘contact form.’
Make it easy for media to contact you by including your contact details on your Facebook Page (in the About section), your YouTube channel and your website; where ever you can. Be accessible and approachable.
Include links to all your channels on each channel. For example – on your YouTube channel include links to your social media and website, and on your website include links to your social media and YouTube channel.
HAVE A WEBSITE
There are website creation tools like weebly, wix and wordpress that allow you to create free, (or low cost) websites.
Think of your website as your online business card – having just a YouTube channel and Facebook Page doesn’t cut it. A website is ‘one stop shop’, a central hub to include lots of information and links – so your audience and the media don’t have to go searching all over the web to ‘piece your story together’.
A website allows you to include lots of valuable information in one place; your Press Kit, archive of press releases, photos, links to your social media and YouTube channel, ‘About’ and background info, and you can embed your trailer and episodes. Your website is more likely to show up in Google searches as well if people are trying to find your web show. (Have you googled your web series or YouTube channel name to find out what is pulled up in a search?)
Adding google analytics to your website also helps you to find out where your audience is coming from and how they’re finding you. For example, if your traffic is being sent from a particular source or referrer – like a blog site – it might be worth reaching out and leveraging on this in some way.
CREATE A PRESS KIT
A Press (or Media) Kit is essentially all the information about your web series or YouTube show in one document or place.
If someone asks for your media kit, then you can email (or Dropbox) your kit or direct them to your website. Again, media people are working to deadlines – make their job easy for them by showing yourself in the best light.
A Media Kit should include;
- A range of High Res images (that can be used in print publications) including promo and poster images, episode stills, behind the scenes photos, and photos of cast and crew. Caption the photos and be sure to note if a photo credit is required.
- Background Information; How and why did the web show come about? Share the journey.
- Cast and Crew bios
- Links to any trailers, teasers and episodes
- Links to all your online channels; web site and social media
- Links to articles that have already been published or your crowdfunding campaign
- Full contact information (very important!).
- Imagine the person reading your media kit has never heard of you, or your show before; does your Press Kit give them a full picture of who you are and what your web show is about?
If you are published on any media, be sure to share it about on your social media. Once one source has picked up your story the rest are quick to follow – it’s a race to scoop the story!
SEND OUT PRESS RELEASES
Grab the reins and create some buzz around your project by telling media about your show with a Press Release.
First of all you need an ‘angle’ – an interesting story for readers. Put yourself in the shoes of an Editor – would your story be of interest to their readers? (And advertisers!). Have you won an award? (Don’t assume Award event organisers will be promoting you directly to media.) Are you tackling an unusual topic in a different way?
A Press Release is a word document (or PDF where text can be copied) emailed as a pitch to media. In some cases your press release may be included in full, without any additions or changes in a publication, website or blog, or it could prompt the recipient to follow up for more information or request an interview.
A Press Release should include the following (and google search for examples);
- The fact it is a press release, and a date of release
- Contact details (very important!), in case media want to follow up for more information or request an interview.
- An attention grabbing headline
- Add in some quotable quotes
- Ensure you write clearly and concisely, and state who you are and what the release is about; don’t baffle the journalist with ambiguity.
- At the end include background information about you and the show– while not part of the release news, it helps to give the recipient context.
- Consider adding in tailor-made Tweets or Facebook posts with links to your show info, that media can copy and paste straight into their social media (in case they don’t have the time to write a full story).
Send your Press Release to media outlets who share your audience. It could be your local community paper or website; an entertainment or arts and culture site or blog, or web show specific sites (national or international).
Add your Press Release to highly trafficked local news sites like Scoop and Voxy where any legible press release is published – so that it can be picked up by other mainstream media and other audiences. The Big Idea website is also a good place to post arts-type content.
USE SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS
Social media is perfect for word of mouth sharing and getting noticed by media. Many journalists and bloggers have Twitter accounts – so follow them and notice what they’re saying.
Fiona Powell is Editor/Publisher of Web Show Central.TV. She has edited magazines for many years and is passionate about getting more local web series noticed by mainstream media.