How to get featured on the Rolling Stone and push your brand positioning
Written by Angel Mora
Let’s be honest: How many of us have dreamed of being featured in an article in Rolling Stone magazine?
I know how frustrating it can be to see that nowadays the only apparent route to commercial success in online spaces relies on limiting marketing to just posting on social media, public relations to networking, and advertising to placing ads on search engines.
However, there is a different path brought by a fairly recent concept: publicity. And with it, your brand can definitely make it into the Rolling Stone, only this time in digital.
In this article I’m going to will tackle how to design a robust publicity strategy that takes full advantage of the Internet’s communication scheme and making a brand not only relevant but transcendent with the support of Rolling Stone’s huge platform; which will surely help you from now on.
Without further ado, let’s get started!
The new Rolling Stone
You may be wondering, “If I have been building up my company’s reputation using the above three methods, why would I ever want to replace them with a recent tactic?”
Publicity combines the best of these branches into a completely fresh perspective, whose purpose is not (just) selling, but something much more valuable, such as trust and reach.
In the midst of so many options, it is very easy to lose the north trying only to gain followers or seek an influencer to mention you. But believe me, this is an occasion where the most obvious option is the best solution
Since Jason Fine’s appointment as editor-in-chief of Rolling Stone, the online portal has taken a major turn toward virality without losing its aura of prestige. Online success is due to 3 fundamental aspects:
- Noticeability: After promoting its digital version, the portal has dedicated itself to giving voice to events of global relevance from a cold and critical perspective. This has earned him a large fan base that is collected by 27 million visitors from people engaged with the stories told there.
- Business: Yes, Rolling Stone goes beyond covering the musical and cultural scene, it is also an excellent platform to talk about what’s new in the market and is perfect for talking about your company. You just need to relate it to a transcendental action within your own niche (we will delve into that later).
- SEO: Its strategies stand out for having a clear focus on the target audience, adaptability, responsive design, and a universal language that you can be inspired by for your own Owned Media channels.
Rolling Stone’s success is evident when we take a look at the origin of its traffic.
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Get involved in the Internet “mood”
Digital commerce is not “just an alternative” to offline as many predicted some years ago. Digital entrepreneurship has become the economic pinnacle in 2020; one where information and knowledge symbolize everything it takes to succeed.
And while it is true that many companies bet on paid influencer marketing and direct advertising, it is crucial to remember that such techniques are mostly used by large corporations.
Names like Apple, Amazon, or Coca Cola posses such a good reputation that their strategies practically resort to reminding the consumers why they should continue to pick them among all offers.
Consequently, their leaders can afford to make millionaire in the industry. But your approach with Rolling Stone should divert from this dynamic.
- According to Statista, in 2020 the budget for global advertising campaigns exceeded $ 182 billions.
Don’t get me wrong. I am a faithful believer that head-on promoting is important when it comes to providing an extra to your company’s visibility. The problem here is that you will never be able to grow and turn your business into an authority entity if the public doesn’t have access to the necessary data necessary to make your product or service part of their daily routine.
Then, how do you do it? Easy. Start exposing your brand in reputable portals or influential spaces that condense your buyer persona before reaching out with Rolling Stone. That is the alternative publicity provides and is a real advantage over conventional persuasion systems.
A new take on e-commerce
A publicity strategy responds to 3 key fundamentals:
- Economy: There’s no need to pay for sponsored content when your brand provides enough value to consumers and the big players on the Web, so much so that it earns a place on their platforms.
- Credibility: User’s endorsement comes innately from the media outlets. Ergo, collaborating with them will save you not only effort but many headaches.
- Efficiency: Refrain from hiring large firms to carry out plans lacking off guarantees and which you cannot follow up on. This is a task that you can begin to shape all by yourself.
The purpose of this scheme is to reach out to the audience with a powerful and attractive corporate identity that proves them they’re valued – in the end remodeling their consumption routine. For example, Rolling Stone’s performance on search engines is amazing with a bounce rate of only 50% and great performance on search engines as part of their 0-paid-keyword strategy.
In order to understand how to do it, let’s first redefine some basic concepts.
The Rolling Stone Race: Building alliances with portals
Having developed in a purely advertising environment, today’s user is smart, critical, demanding, and appreciates credibility over promises (and in some cases, actual performance) in exchange for their purchase, as it happens with Rolling Stone’s readers and your target audience as well.
Therefore, entering this group implies creating an environment with the ideal brand conditions to build a one-on-one bond of identification and mutual benefit.
Of course, the basis of this is communication, which on the Internet, and advertising is comprised of 2 fundamental aspects:
A successful company is one that holds a unique discourse that differentiates it from its competition, as it is transmitted further from the borders of its Owned Media. This is cause for conversation by the press, experts, and ultimately, the users who make up their immediate clientele.
A great example of a brand message is the press coverage on Bill Gates’ recent philanthropic efforts from Microsoft, considering that his slogan is “Be What’s Next”, they give form and humanity to what could only have been seen as a software and hardware manufacturer.
Corporate identities need support for the emitter-receiver relation. In this particular case, intermediation is preferred (wrongfully thought to hinder the overall process) for enhancing the brand’s image through a format as successful as the news.
In previous articles, I talked about how trendy companies like Tesla get clout only from headlines and portals like Rolling STONE. You can do the same from a smaller scale and go up to the desired levels (the feature).
Consequently, we have that publicity takes communication to its original and clean character. Which leads us to the next point.
How to establish enduring relationships with journalists and readers
At this point, you are going to bet on spreading news and messages for free via external media platforms with moderate visibility, and once you’ve accumulated a decent amount of backlinks, you’ll be ready to take your pitch to Rolling Stone or send them your press release.
Clearly, this formula draws very positive progress for your interests but also poses a significant risk. That being the case, you must learn to manage it correctly through different approaches.
What does this mean? That although you cannot control what it is that the portals and even Rolling Stone say about your brand, you still have the power to choose the information they get access to when building their own perception.
Operating according to the media you’re looking for getting featured on includes anticipating what they are interested in tackling; and as a result, reaching out to them or sustaining contact. The meeting point on this equation is content.
A content generation strategy is in charge of capturing the reader’s attention with the sole purpose of conquering a convenient part of the market and get them to talk about your offer. Just like the Rolling Stone journalists do.
This should be applied as follows:
- Providing additional quality value to the user: We have already talked about how you can’t allow your offer to just be a product or a service. Instead, you need to bring full user-experience to the table. Thus, incorporate the most common demands and doubts held by customers in the industry and generate free material around it.
- Being creative and engaging: People respond positively to detailed data displayed in interesting and interactive setups. That’s why many reports arise from surveys or are part of a knowledge funnel.
- Use niche language: Depending on what your target audience is comprised of, the nature of the small portals or the interactions displayed on the Rolling Stone portal, make sure to create content that is similar in tone to the communication readers are accustomed to. However, add an original touch that can only be attributed to your brand.
I want to make clear that this is not a general trend or a stage, but I recommend fully committing on your part towards sticking to the needs within your particular industry. Create content thinking about loyalty and not the numbers, because the first necessarily modifies the second.
What type of content should you generate for Rolling Stone to notice you
Regarding the previous points, consider that a piece of content capable of capturing the eyes of journalists and experts must take into account the user response process; specific behavior as well as the influence it has on the development of information.
In this way, start b implementing the following terms:
Relevance: Rather than viewing articles or posts as individual elements, conceive them as part of one big media plan. In this way, each message is set to provide value that furthers the process concerning the main goal, which is to produce trust.
The correct way to do it is to start from a premise as well as to diversify content that follows and transmits it.
- Power: A good method for managing the efforts applied is to formulate a “big picture” made of smaller targets. Therefore, the engagement can be divided into lines such as positive comments, retweets, share rate, and journalists’ communications.
On the other hand, their response is included in case you have sent a press release. Mind that they will verify the fingerprint that your brand has left to date.
A huge portion of this plan, as well as the coordination of communication tools and messages, is to have a publication schedule that places a routine on all platforms, depending on the level of interaction of your buyer persona:
Hinged on both Rolling Stone and the connections you’re making along the way, brand narratives secure the success of integrated communication. Therefore, you can boost content on your blog by posting a fragment of it into a forum. This way you will get more verifiable backlinks when the journalists decide whether yours is a piece of newsworthy of being published or not.
The structure behind a publicity strategy made for Rolling Stone
There are different stages that a consumer goes through once they get to know about it. And when it comes to publicity, these serve to optimize actions that will be carried out for gaining loyalty and convince the press of taking your offer seriously.
Therefore, we are going to shed light on this matter by looking at the definition and key concepts of each one:
This stage concentrates the steps by which an Internet user decides to read your article or subscribe to your Newsletter – to name a few forms of interaction. The most common circumstances are interest, demand, and action.
This last one is the figure that you should boost the most because even though we are not talking about coercing the purchase, you will be building a community around the brand that is receptive to future launch news and offer notifications.
The reaction segment involves the effects that quality content has within a certain period. What I mean by this is monitoring. The peaks of visits are very important. Here is a sample of the Rolling Stone:
For example, if you share interesting material within the forum of a news portal, you can measure the reactions you get.
When I mention users within a fluid ecosystem such as digital, it is inevitably necessary to contemplate how their dynamics will evolve – even in a matter of months as we have seen this year.
Avoid jumping to conclusions about whether the market or Rolling Stone are not open enough to a proposal, and go through it. Trust me: brands that pride themselves on being truly innovative take risks. And they do it while applying a logical and coordinated approach.
For example: carry out different tests of content and formats in the media and calculate their effectiveness to know which ones you can adopt to get in contact with the portal.
Effective means of communication
At this point, your priority is to talk about both your products and your brand without having to pay, since your brand has won the approval of well-known characters like Rolling Stone.
How can you support these results? By taking a stand via corporate responsibility actions. These are usually some great techniques for forming news because it associates your company directly with social causes.
But of course, press coverage will not generate itself. For this, you must give enough promotion in your Owned Media and communicate it to the media outlet in a single text reserved for this purpose.
If you manage to get the attention of receivers, be sure that they will contact you back to tell you about the details of the publication.
In short, we can summarize that the goal of designing a publicity strategy meant for Rolling Stone translates into focus, dynamism, openness to interaction, and news thinking about the benefits of your own company. As you can see, publicity itself is cost-less, only requiring a coordinated effort of marketing, PR, and advertising principles.
Of course, keep in mind that the efforts you can achieve by yourself do have a limit. And this is where the other alternatives come in. Professionals can manage everything related to brand positioning, from creating valuable content to writing and even contacting Rolling Stone and other portals that could only be accessed by bigger players.
If you want your company to get the distribution and visibility it deserves in the digital press and authority spaces, feel free to check out our “Pricing” section. In it, we have specified our different plans, where you will only pay for results, not just promises.