Contributed articles have long been a staple in an effective PR plan. They establish your brand as an expert on a topic and fall under earned media, meaning the only cost is placing and writing the piece.
But as publications shift to more of a paid model in many cases, are the opportunities to contribute guest posts and articles dwindling?
Some publications no longer accept any contributed articles. “Huffington Post, for example, shut down its op-ed section entirely,” said Natalie Stezovsky, vice president of Influence & Co. “Forbes has moved away from one-off contributors and just has their columns or councils that you have to be accepted into. Some require a paid membership.”
Why? As publishers shift to paid models, sponsorship packages can bring in more dollars than unpaid contributions.
While some are turning to paid contribution channels, many publications continue to welcome contributed content.
Which media outlets are offering contributed article opportunities? “Honestly, so many,” says Stezovsky. “Harvard Business Review, Inc., Entrepreneur, AdAge, Barron’s, Fortune, Business Insider, The Next Web, The Financial Times, VentureBeat, AdWeek, and Quartz to name a few.”
Influence conducted a survey of 44 editors, only five of whom said they were decreasing guest-contributed content.
And if you don’t think your content is a fit for the big name publications, even less recognizable media outlets are a good target. Sometimes it’s the publications with a smaller audience that see the most engagement. For example, many industry vertical publications depend on contributed content to fill their pages. They may have fewer readers, but that audience can be highly engaged with content written by industry experts.
Whichever publication you choose, placing articles for clients can bring major benefits.
“You’ll enjoy better brand visibility, a more solid reputation in your industry, better web traffic, more online followers, an easier time recruiting talent, and possibly even interest from new investors,” said content marketing influencer Jeff Bullas.
In fact, 78 percent of customers prefer to get to know a company through articles rather than ads, while content marketing has six times higher conversion rates.
If 84% of marketers cite “brand awareness” as their most important content marketing goal, contributed content may be one of the best ways to help them get there.
To get your contributions published, here are some tips to follow:
And when you pitch an idea:
And don’t forget to share, share, share your article once it’s published. Share it on social media, share it in your newsletter and post it on your site to get the maximum benefit of any article that appears.
For a comprehensive look at media outreach today, read our ebook New Strategies in Media Relations, full of tips and tools on how to get more brand coverage.