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What is a Media List and How to Build One for Your E-commerce Business

Having a targeted, relevant and up-to-date media list is a must for your e-commerce business. This media list can offer a direct channel to connect with journalists, bloggers, and influencers who can amplify your brand's message to a wider audience.

The concept of a media list is akin to crafting a guest list for an exclusive event, but in this case, the guests are media professionals who can help broadcast your brand's story to the world. Imagine your e-commerce business as a story waiting to be told. A well-compiled media list ensures that your story reaches the right storytellers – those who specialize in the areas that align with your products and services.

Whether you're selling artisanal candles, sustainable fashion, or innovative tech gadgets, there are media outlets eager to feature stories like yours. These outlets can include online magazines, print media outlets, podcasts, YouTube channels, and social media influencers who have a dedicated following interested in your offerings.

By building a well-curated media list, you're essentially crafting your brand's narrative into a press release that resonates with the right audiences. While we don't recommend press releases as a way to get media coverage for your business (you can reach our post on “Why I ditched the press release and what I do instead“), it is very important to be able to tell your story in a way that benefits the media.

The journey of building a media list is an investment in your brand's growth. It requires research, thoughtful curation, and personalized outreach. Just as you carefully select each product you feature in your online store, each contact on your media list is chosen with intention. This selective approach ensures that your pitches are received by individuals who are genuinely interested in your offerings, increasing the likelihood of positive coverage.

Why a media list matters

Let's dive into why having a media list in your e-commerce toolkit is like having a secret sauce for success.

Imagine this: you've got the most amazing e-commerce store, with products that are practically begging to be discovered. But here's the thing – your store is like a hidden gem in a massive online world. How do you get the world to notice your great products? That's where your trusty media list comes in!

  1. Spotlight on Your Brand: A media list is like a spotlight that shines directly on your brand. It's not just about selling stuff; it's about telling a story. Journalists and influencers are always on the hunt for stories that resonate with their audience. When you're on their radar, your brand gets to step into the spotlight and shine bright.
  2. Boost Brand Awareness: Ever heard the phrase “word of mouth is the best marketing”? Well, media coverage is like word of mouth on steroids. When media outlets talk about your e-commerce business, it's like a stamp of approval. Their audience trusts them, and when they see your brand getting attention, they'll want to know more.
  3. Trust and Credibility: Picture this – you stumble upon an article about a cool new gadget. The article says it's the best thing since sliced bread. You're intrigued, right? That's because media coverage brings an instant dose of credibility. People trust the media, so when they see your e-commerce store being praised, they're more likely to believe in your products.
  4. Traffic, Traffic, Traffic: Media coverage isn't just about making your brand look good; it's about driving traffic to your online store. People who read or hear about you in the media are curious and want to know more, so they're likely to click on that link and explore what you've got to offer.
  5. Sales and More Sales: Media coverage isn't just about clicks and likes – it's about making money and sales, too! When more people discover your brand, it translates into potential customers checking out your products. And when those potential customers turn into actual customers, that's when the sales party begins.
  6. Connect with Your Tribe: Your e-commerce store isn't for everyone, right? You've got a specific group of people who are head-over-heels in love with what you do. Your media list helps you connect with your tribe – the people who are genuinely interested in your products and can't wait to hear more.

A media list isn't just a list of names and emails. It's your golden ticket to brand visibility, credibility, and a whole lot of excitement. When you've got media outlets talking about your e-commerce store, it's like the world's best party, and everyone's invited!

Steps to Build Your E-commerce Media List

Let's break down the steps to create your e-commerce media list – your ultimate VIP guest list for getting your brand in the spotlight!

1. Research Relevant Media Outlets

Think of this step as your adventure into the media jungle. Your mission? To find media outlets that are the perfect match for your e-commerce goodies. Look for platforms that cover topics related to your products or industry. If you're selling eco-friendly fashion, you'd want to connect with outlets that are all about sustainable living and style.

One way to do this is to use Google and search for terms like “Travel and outdoor blogs” or “Fashion magazines” or “Magazines about the Midwest.” This can help you discover media outlets that you may not already be familiar with.

Making a list of these outlets, as well as outlets that you are already familiar with and want to get your products featured in, is the first step to building your media list. By including outlets that align with your brand's mission and voice, you're ensuring that your story reaches the right ears (or eyes!).

This targeted approach means you're not just throwing your story out into to every media outlet possible – you're targeting only the relevant ones for your brand.

2. Identify Key Contacts

Now it's time to play detective. Within these media outlets, there are some editors and writers who are going to be your key contacts. For some media outlets, this may be very straightforward – for example, a blog who only has one writer or a regional magazine who has on editor. However, it can get a bit more complicated for larger media outlets like Forbes.com, Vogue Magazine, BuzzFeed, or Good Housekeeping Magazine.

If you are If you're not sure what type of editors you should include on your list, check out our post on “Who should you contact when pitching your products to magazines?”

Dig deep and find out who's responsible for the kind of content that aligns with your e-commerce store. Who's been writing about similar products or trends? Collect their names, email addresses, and maybe even follow them on social media. You can use a tool like our very own Media Leads platform to get their email addresses. Or, if you want access to millions of media email contacts, check out Prowly.

3. Organize Your Contacts

Use a spreadsheet or a nifty PR tool to keep everything organized. At Launch Grow Joy, we love Airtable and Google Spreadsheets for this purpose. Group your contacts based on the type of media outlet – magazines, blogs, podcasts, you name it.

You can also categorize contacts based on their roles – are they writers, editors, or influencers? This organized setup is your secret weapon. When you're ready to reach out, you won't be fumbling through a virtual stack of business cards – you'll have a streamlined process that's as smooth as silk.

4. Craft a Compelling Pitch

Alright, this is where the magic happens – crafting a pitch that's relevant to the media! Your pitch should be personalized, like a message from a friend rather than a generic sales pitch.

Introduce yourself, share a bit about your e-commerce brand, and highlight why your story is a perfect fit for their audience. Are you launching a new line of organic teas? Tell them why their tea-loving readers will be over the moon to hear about it. Keep it short, sweet, and engaging. You can view some sample pitches here.

By nailing these steps, you're setting the stage for media coverage that's tailor-made for your brand. Your e-commerce media list isn't just a list – it's your backstage pass to getting your story out there, connecting with your audience, and making waves in the media world.

Nurture Relationships with the Media

Your relationship with the media should be a two way street that benefits both your business and the media outlet and its readers. It's a relationship that should be nurtured on an ongoing basis through the following:

Engaging on Social Media: Social media isn't just for sharing memes – it's a bridge to connect with the media. Follow them, comment on their posts, and share their content. This shows that you're genuinely interested in what they have to say. However, do not pitch them via their social media channels.

Being Authentic: Just like in any relationship, authenticity is key. When you reach out, let your personality shine through. Be genuine in your interactions and avoid sounding overly salesy.

Showing Gratitude: If a media contact features your e-commerce business, be sure to thank them and share the story on all your social media channels, your website, your newsletter and with your customers/retailers. A simple email expressing your gratitude and a share on social media can go a long way in building goodwill.

As you embark on this media-list-driven adventure, keep these key takeaways in mind:

Personalization Pays Off: Personalized pitches show that you've done your homework and genuinely care about connecting with the media contacts you're reaching out to.

Relationships Matter: Nurturing relationships with the media isn't just a one-time thing. It's an ongoing effort that can lead to repeat exposure, collaborations, and a network of valuable connections.

Your Brand's Voice Matters: Crafting compelling pitches isn't just about selling products; it's about telling your brand's unique story in a way that resonates with media outlets and their audiences.

Be Patient and Persistent: Building media relationships takes time. Don't be discouraged if you don't get an immediate response. Persistence and consistent effort pay off.

Your media list isn't just a list – it's a gateway to endless possibilities. From magazine features to podcast interviews, your brand's journey is just beginning. So go ahead, put your media list to work, and watch as your e-commerce business shines bright in the media landscape. Here's to a future filled with media coverage, brand growth, and the fulfillment of your e-commerce dreams!

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