My inbox is constantly overflowing with press releases and invitations, while my postie and I are on better terms than I am with some of my mates. I’m fortunate enough to be in a position where there’s always something new to write about and I always have the latest product to test, but with that comes the tricky decision of picking what to feature. Although some items and ideas are a no brainer, some take much more consideration; there’s often a fight for survival going on in my office – even if it is between a lip balm and and a body lotion. But from a brand point of view, how can you ensure you have the best chance of a feature possible? What are the key ways to guarantee a successful piece of outreach? There may not be a magic answer, but there are key things to avoid to prevent your product from being ignored or overlooked; here are the five main reasons I’m not writing about your product – and what you can do to fix it.
1. YOUR PITCH WAS RUBBISH
The opening email in any brand-blogger relationship is just as important as any first date. You have to make me feel comfortable in your presence, explain why you’re better than everyone else and show me some pretty pictures. I would say about 50% of the emails I receive on a daily basis are poorly constructed, don’t tell me what I need to know and make no effort to sell the product. I frequently have to ask for press releases or website links, while images copy and pasted into an email have less chance of being read than a copy of Knitter’s Weekly. Using that first opportunity to the best of your ability will pay dividends in the long run; it’s much easier to build on a great introductory email than to rectify a relationship that’s been ruined after the initial approach.
2. I’M NOT QUITE SURE WHY IT’S DIFFERENT
If there’s nothing new, innovative or different about this product then why would I feature it over something else? Is it just another face cream with the same qualities as 100 others, or is there genuinely a fabulous ingredient or awesome story I need to know about? Keeping the product benefits to yourself doesn’t work for anybody, so shout about them and ensure there’s a great story to tell. Even if you don’t have a story, creating one that links into current trends or future ingredient hype will work so much better than just chucking a pot in the post and hoping it will stick.
3. IT’S ARRIVED IN SUCH A STATE I CAN’T PHOTOGRAPH IT
My biggest bugbear by far is products that are just shoved in a jiffy bag and sent off to the post office. These parcels get thrown all over the shop and potentially travel the length of the country before they land on the recipient’s doorstep; if you’re sending a cardboard box it simply won’t make it. A little bit of tissue paper or bubble wrap can go a long, long way in helping to protect the product and ensure it makes it to me in one piece. Put simply, it could be the best product in the world – but if it arrives smashed, crushed or crumpled then it isn’t going on the blog.
4. IT’S NOT SUITED TO MY SKIN TONE OR TYPE
The beauty of the human race is the fact we’re all unique; none of us have the same skin needs, tone or texture, so our demands are going to differ. Taking the time out to look at my site, read my bio or simply stalk my Instagram selfies will give you a pretty good indication of the kind of products that will suit me; I can’t tell you the quantity of products designed for blonde hair, teenage spots or deep wrinkles that land on my doorstep. The same goes for foundation – mass sending out the shade ‘TOWIE Orange’ because that’s the only one left in the stock room is just a waste of my time and yours.
5. I JUST CAN’T JUSTIFY THE PRICE POINT
In the current climate of austerity, it’s incredibly hard to morally justify a product that’s over the £75.00 price point. Innovation within the beauty industry now makes it more possible than ever to buy a great skincare and beauty routine while on a budget, so there’s simply no need to spend a fortune on one single product. We all like to indulge now and again, plus there’s always your Christmas list to stockpile with beauty favourites, but realistically if it’s too much money (without any genuine reason) then I just don’t feel like I can recommend it. Some products are worth the investment, but when you’re paying for an LA-based doctor or a slightly expansive marketing department, it’s not on for me to be justifying it to my readers.
Are you a blogger who can relate to the main reasons I don’t write about a product? Are you a brand that struggles to get cut-through in your outreach and needs advice? Let me know in the comments below…
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