Some bloggers have a media section that targets the traditional press. That’s awesome – most people don’t get that far.
However, it means that they are ignoring the audience that could give them the most traction online. I’m talking about your fellow bloggers. Your peers love sharing great stories, as you do. They just need the tools to help them tell yours.
In this post, I help you discover ways you can use the online media room principles to encourage others to talk about you. I’ll show you how you can use it as a form of social proof. I’ll even show you how to make it easy for others to stay up to date with your information.
The best part of this concept is that you can get a media room up and going really quickly. It is something that you can build on as your profile grows and expand to include other forms of media.
The first question most people ask is –
What is an online media room?
I first discovered the concept of a media room via David Meerman Scott. He wrote about it in the article The Online Media Room: Your front door for buyers (yes, buyers!)
So I want you to do something that many traditional PR people think is nuts. I want you to design your online media room for your buyers. By building a media room that targets buyers, you will not only enhance those pages as a powerful marketing tool, you will also make a better media site for journalists.
The idea is that the media room is mostly for your buyers rather than the traditional media. His interpretation applies to businesses but the same principles apply to blogging.
Basically, the goal is to give people either enough information to purchase, or enough information to write about you. Traditionally, this is done via the about page or pages targeted towards traditional media. While these pages are useful, a media room can give the reader considerably more information that will inspire them to take action.
Your goal is to let the readers see the big story behind your blog. This may consist of lots of little stories that other people have written, such as product reviews or testimonials. This may be stories that you have been directly involved with such as interviews or podcasts.
The stories should extend beyond fellow bloggers. You should also target:
- JV partners
For instance, you can show podcast creators the other podcasts you have done, and include the positive comments you have received. Show potential JV partners that you have existing relationships you may be able to leverage should you want extra publicity.
You don’t have to target everyone. Just ascertain the people that you want to visit your media room and then develop the content to meet their needs.
A media room is also great for SEO. David Meerman Scott also said
Because news release pages update more often than any other part of a typical organization’s Web site, search engine algorithms (tuned to pay attention to pages that update frequently) tend to rank news release pages among the highest on your site, driving traffic there first.
What to include in an online media room
There are many elements you can include in your media room. I’d recommend creating a mixture of basic and advanced content. Some people will just be interested in reading your guest posts and interviews. Others will want to find out the information that will allow them to write the best story possible.
The main goal is to help them see the bigger picture. Because this is your business, and your blog, you can see how all the little pieces fit together. I would try to make the media room cover as many of these pieces as possible.
If someone is hesitating when it comes to buying a product, they will look at all the information they can find online. If you collate it all in the one spot you can increase the changes that someone will buy your product.
You can leverage this section by including information for those that want to promote your products. In this case, you would have the information elsewhere but provide the relevant links. You can link to:
- The affiliate centre
- The advance discount list
- Guidelines for supplying review copies
- Relevant graphics (possibly different from the affiliate ones)
- A page dedicated how to write a good review, including examples of what has converted
- Statistics that can help someone write a better review
By having this information in an easily accessible place, you are also reducing the number of people that will email you.
If you have multiple products, I would place them under the appropriate title. Include the negative ones where appropriate unless the post is intentionally controversial. I would also seek out blog posts that contain stories of how the product has been used, but isn’t necessary a review.
Interviews are great social proof. They are brilliant for blog where it is posted on, but also for you. Its great social proof – especially if the commentors really engage with it.
I would organize all interviews into the following types:
- Video based interviews
- Your text based interviews
- Places where you have been featured in a podcast
You could also make it easier for people to seek you out. You can include the following information as part of the interview page or on a separate page,
- Guidelines on requesting an interview
- Suggested interview topics.
- A tutorial on how to write a compelling post based on the interview
A benefit of including interviews is that you can prevent people from claiming that they have interviewed you. Some people will intentionally post ‘interviews’ in order to take advantage of the traffic. With this method, you are essentially verifying that the interviewer is a trusted source.
You normally wouldn’t see the testimonials you’ve provided on a media page. They technically have little to do with your blog. They are meant to help sell other peoples products, right?
I’m including them because you are demonstrating that these people cared enough to ask for your opinion or quote you. You could possible increase affiliate conversions by linking to the pages.
You can also collect the testimonials that other people give to you. These can be the ones that you have specifically hunted, such as:
- Video testimonial
- Linked in testimonials
- Testimonials you hunted – specifically from the big guns
You can also collect the unofficial testimonies to your work.
- Twitter favourites
- Positive blog mentions (especially from high profile people)
If you get particularly positive testimonials, add your own responses to them. Show that a nice comment
has a visible impact on you. It may encourage more people to provide testimonials.
The story behind you and your blog
People do business with people. Simple.
However, people also write about people because of the human aspects of it. People love being taken behind the scenes and given exclusive information.
You can turn your about section of your blog into something bigger than where people can learn more about you. You can provide the information that can help people write about you. These can be separate pages that are linked to from the media room, or something that be incorporated into the about section.
There are a number of things you can cover in this area:
Background information on your business
One of the main things I get asked with my blog is how I got where I am. Often I’ll casually mention part of my history and people will really hook into that. Providing this information in your media room will serve two purposes.
- It will prevent the number of people contacting you asking you for advice. This means that people will come to you with advanced problems – problems you can turn into products.
- People will be able to use this section to find hooks to their product reviews, blog posts or interviews.
I suggest the following type of information:
- Archived versions of your site. Use _ to show the visual transformation of your blog.
- The story of how you developed your business.
- Stories how customers use your product or work with your organization.
Where possible, tell this via stories. Include any story that you think may be interesting. If you need ideas on the type of stories, I’d recommend reading ‘Made To Stick’ by Chip and Dan Heath.
One thing I’ve found as I’ve built my blog is that people resonate with the personal struggles I’ve experienced while building my business. Initially I hesitated about sharing that but it has led to more fans and, yes, more sales.
If you notice someone resonating with something you’ve written about, tell the whole story on your blog and link to it from your about page.
You can even set up processes for people to ask these types of questions. You can even provide interview suggestions based on the topics that people seem to repeatedly ask about.
People love multimedia that they can share as part of their interview.
- Video interviews you’ve taken
- Video interviews you’ve participated in
- Photos of you from regular life
- Photos of you with high profiles
You can create specific Flickr categories and link to those as part of your media room. Some people even create a special ‘press photo’ section which includes images at multiple resolutions.
Also, instead of having plain links or embedded footage include some commentary to provide the necessary context.
People love following the journey you have undertaken through your guest posts. It is fascinating watching how someones post style has evolved as they’ve written for different audiences.
Not everyone will do public speaking. If you are intending to do this, the following information would be useful:
- Provide videos of previous presentations
- Schedule of future ones
- Ways to be pitched
Just because you are a blogger doesn’t mean you should ignore the traditional press. Most of the information you give wont be immediately relevant to them. You have to show them why they should care.
You can use the other elements of your media page to tell a story that would be of interest to journalists. If you are talking about something particularly interesting, you could link to a relevant interview you have given. In addition, you should:
- Offer social media optimized press releases
- Have a downloadable social media kit which includes a pdf and optimized photos
How to present the information
It is beyond the scope of this article to provide you with the technical advice to create a media room. It depends on the blogging platform you use and even then, it depends on how technical you are. I recommend finding a web geek and going through the best options for organizing the content.
So. You’ve gone through and pulled out the information you want. How do you structure it so that the readers know what they are doing?
This can be separated into two steps.
- Step one: Decide who you are targeting
- Step two: decide what type of information to include
Ask yourself what problems are the visitors to this room facing, and what content can you offer to meet these solutions.
You will probably have multiple audiences that you are targeting. For most bloggers, I would advise focusing on any relevant coverage and provide sections according to your goals such as speaking or traditional media coverage.
Maintain a consistent tone throughout
A media room may be more formal than the other parts of your site, but that doesn’t mean you have to talk corporate.
I would maintain your normal writing style and refrain from using jargon. Inject elements of your personality so that people still feel that connection with you.
Have an FAQ page.
Some people will have that much information that it may be difficult to find the exact piece of information you need.
If you have an FAQ section, you can help people find what they need and reduce the number of people contacting you for help.