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5 Secrets to Reaching Target Customers Through The Media

Oct 10, 2007
Small business owners with limited time and budgets know it is critical to identify target markets - customers as well as media - for big results. Many, however, don't know where to begin. Focusing on three keys will skyrocket success.

Key #1: Know Your Target Audience Like the Back of Your Hand
Your target market of customers and prospects will have at least four common characteristics including a particular need, access to your products and services, enough money to purchase your products or services, and decision-making power.

Ninety percent of small business owners never take the time to identify the challenges of their target market or how they can help them overcome those challenges. Take time to walk in your ideal customers' shoes. Know him/her like the back of your hand. A few questions to ask:

How do they spend their day? What type of work are they involved in? What is their family structure (married, divorced, parents)? What are their hobbies? Which magazines and newspapers do they read? Which television programs do they watch? Which radio programs do they listen to? What websites do they view? What keeps them awake at night? How can you help them?

Key #2: Know Your Target Media Like the Back of Your Hand
Once you determine the characteristics of your target audience, you'll be able to focus on ways to reach them via the media. Walk through the same process visualizing your ideal media contacts. Narrow down publications that are targeted to your ideal audience.

Visualize a reporter or editor. Imagine a frenzied, overworked person with stacks of paperwork on their desk and the clock ticking down toward the next deadline. Imagine a person with a voracious appetite for information.

Media contacts have never-ending deadlines to fill print, web, television or radio space. If you provide well-written, interesting copy that appeals to their target audience, you will make the media your partner, become a media "expert in demand," and get key messages published. There is no better way to create a buzz, build credibility and get your name in the news!

Key #3: Build Strong Media Relationships
In order to turn your effort into ink, understand the media and build strong media relationships. Know the publication, the type of information your contacts are looking for and the way your contacts put articles or news clips together. Here's a quick overview to help.

Daily newspapers want to help their readers every day. Magazines are typically feature-oriented and will research and write more in-depth stories over a longer period of time than daily newspapers. Television is a visual medium with stories lasting less than one minute. Internet outlets have an urgent need for immediate information.

Key #4: Approach Your Story Like a Journalist
Knowing how to approach reporters and editors, no matter the media outlet, is critical in order to establish a win-win relationship from the get-go. Give them what they need so you can get what you need. If you become a source of information and story ideas, regardless of whether the ideas are specific to your business, products and services or relate to other topics, you will become a valuable media ally.

One of the very best ways to connect with your target media is to write your story the same way they would approach their story. How do you know how they'd write a story? One quick solution is to review the "nut graph" that appears near the top of every story. The nut paragraph is typically just after the lead, and is the paragraph where the writer explains in a nutshell why the story is important. Often times it includes statistics, perspective, and/or comparisons. Notice what is important to the reporter and their media outlet. Notice the target audience they are speaking to. Then zero in to the media outlets where you can create win-win collaborations to get your business in the news.

Key #5: Keep the End in Mind
Remember that newspapers, magazines, and web publications are always searching for a good story. Make sure they find yours. Getting your message into the hands of the right media is a win-win situation. If you hand editors and reporters newsworthy stories on a silver platter, you are helping them meet their deadlines and fill their pages, news clips or radio segments. You are helping them maintain the interest of their readers, listeners and/or viewers, which just happen to be your target audience. You'll also find yourself being featured regularly.

Are you ready for big results on a shoestring budget? Focus your media efforts around these 5 key concepts, and you will get your name in the news.
About the Author
Certified Marketing Spitfire Leslie Hamp is the creator of the 'Fast Track to Marketing Mastery' program. To learn more about the step-by-step program, and to sign up for a fr*ee Marketing Mastery Success Kit, visit www.boostyourbottomline.com
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