One of the best ways to promote a company or product is through opinion articles. Many magazines (online and print) welcome well-written articles. These articles should not be biased though – nobody wants to read a (blatant) sales pitch. As marketing professions will tell you – educating your target audience/potential customers is an effective marketing strategy.
Before starting to write, you need to identify the target audience. Who are the readers of the magazine you want to send the article to? What are their interests? Do you have a direct connection to the editor, or only via a PR company? Does the magazine allow hyperlinks? Do they also want original illustrations? In short – you need to do your homework.
Many marketing and copywriters ghostwrite – they write the opinion articles for a company’s CEO, CMO or CTO, and when published, it will be under the executive's name.
Following are some points of attention when writing an opinion piece:
- It must be informative. The reader should learn something from reading the article.
- It must be interesting. The text should flow and keep the reader interested to go on reading.
- It must be based on facts, and not assumptions. References to recent events that were covered in the global media are a good hook, as are reports of leading analysts such as Gartner and Forrester.
- It must be neutral. As mentioned before, nobody wants to read a sales pitch. A neutral article covering new or future trends, or “how to…” articles are popular. At the end of the year, articles about predictions for the coming year are in demand.
- It should have hyperlinks (if allowed by the newspaper), footnotes and references. It makes the article trustworthy and increases the chance for publication.
- Most magazines will ask for illustrations. Try to have original images in high resolution. No matter what industry you are in, the chance that your competitors use the same stock photos is high. Diagrams are always popular in tech pieces, as are product photos. Make sure to send different photos to various magazines – don’t forget, they all want to have original content!
- Custom write your story, tailored to each magazine. Sending the same article to several tech mags is professional suicide, especially in today’s viral media
- Make sure to put a short bio with contact details at the bottom of the article.
- Follow up. Once you see that your article in published, drop a thank-you note to the magazine (or journalist). Blog and tweet about it, and make sure to include the URL of the publication.
For an example of an opinion piece, click here