When we pitch beauty clients to media outlets and press, we adhere to a strict policy of do’s and don’ts to ensure the thought-leaders and influencers we are reaching out to don’t just hit delete along with the hundreds of other pitches they receive every day. So what’s the secret to our success? It could be yours too because we’re about to spill some coveted secrets.
To clarify, pitching entails emailing a publication such as Vogue and both introducing them to a beauty product as well as offering them a chance at an interview with the owner or, for example, exclusive photographs of a new line that’s about to launch or an opportunity to try the product.
Photos, photos, photos
We always include photos in our initial pitch. As this business caters to (and is partial to) aesthetics, we want to show off the packaging, the sizing, and the branding. We’ve found that one or two product shots work great – or we can go for an infographic that presents the information in a striking package. We’d need to work on that pitch with you beforehand, ensuring the right information is being conveyed.
We also list the ingredients and any facts surrounding the product that will perk up ears and interest. For example, clean and cruelty-free products are very popular at the moment. Couple that with the demand for brand transparency from consumers and we can create a compelling pitch. We talk about what’s going on their face and going in their bodies with these product pitches – which translates into a huge sell if your product uses a few simple ingredients or super ingredients (vitamins, oils, extracts, etc). But we don’t stop there. What else makes the product stand out? We supply facts, figures, and background information while at the same time remaining as concise as possible.
Buyers and journalists are also looking for credentials. Do you have any testimonials, quotes, or reviews? We utilize them to help your product stand out from competitors who don’t have any. We also add logos to our pitches to make them appear more visually appealing as well as adding credibility. Beauty is a saturated market so it is vital to show as quickly as possible why your product is better than anyone else’s.
We also recommend micro-influencers – those that have between 10,000-50,000 followers on social media. Here, the return of investment is higher than those connected to macro-influencers; firstly, they don’t expect that much compensation. Secondly, they’re more flexible. And thirdly, despite having a smaller following, that audience comes with a larger sense of community, trust, and engagement.
You should also concentrate on one topic; overselling something, throwing in other items, etc, drown out your initial pitch. If you have someone on the hook, just talk about what it is you’re pitching instead of wasting their time (and yours) changing the subject to other topics they most likely have zero interest in.
Other Do’s include: heavily researching the audience of whomever you are pitching and forging a genuine relationship with the person(s) you’re pitching to. You also should gather as much content for social media as you can such as before-and-after photos, encouraging customers to leave testimonials you can use.
There are also a series of Don’ts that we employ that are just as important. Firstly, we ensure not to overuse adjectives and adverbs. We’ve all read (and lost count of) those press releases that tell us a product is the best thing ever – and tells us so over and over again. Instead, we package the message concisely and make sure to use facts to back up every claim we make. We also suggest keeping those pitches under 500 words.
Once your query has been sent, the best way to torpedo it before anyone’s really taken the chance to look at it yet is to send countless follow-ups asking for their response or, worse, giving them fictional deadlines as to when their response is required. People are bombarded with pitches every hour of every day so their plates are full. Bugging them about your product around the clock is probably the fastest way to get them to delete it entirely and assign you permanently to their junk folder.
We suggest sending a polite follow up after a week and then, with a one-to-two week buffer in between, two follow-ups at most. Often, people have indeed seen the pitch and aren’t interested. If you do get a negative response, though, that’s great as it opens up the door for communications later down the line. You can keep them in mind for future opportunities because at least you know they’ve looked at your pitch and taken the time to let you know it’s not for them.
Another thing you should never do is pitch the product without trying it first. The best sellers of a product are the ones who genuinely love it and you won’t know if you love it until you’ve tried it. If you do like the product, that will come through in your voice and that genuine affection will prove to be very infectious.
We also suggest avoiding pitching influencers who don’t really fit your brand. Just like they’re extremely picky with who they choose to align themselves with for the sake of their brand, you should do the same thing and not be swayed by a large following.
Ultimately, a happy, ongoing relationship is something you need to build with the many media contacts out there. But we get that you only have so many hours in the day which is why we can do it for you.