Targeted Musings on Financial Marketing

Submission Pieces: A Key Marketing Tool

13 Dec 2017

As an ETF issuer or financial professional, you’re constantly looking for ways to get your products and services out there. While you may already be producing content and utilizing PR in your marketing plan, there still may be an important missing component: submission pieces.

Submission pieces can be an underutilized weapon in your marketing and PR arsenal. They are your opportunity to reach a broader audience on a trusted media platform, and say exactly what it is you have to say about a given topic, unfiltered by a reporter’s interview.

How does one go about placing a submission piece? Often enough, they arise out of your existing PR campaign. You or your PR firm may get in touch with an editor regarding an ongoing story, and the editor may simply suggest that you submit an article, rather than speak to one of their reporters. Another option is to look around your specific niche’s media outlets, and inquire as to whether they accept submissions. In some cases, it may be a “pay-to-play” scenario. Carefully weigh whether the cost of submission will be worth the benefit.

Related: Matching Message to Medium: A Breakdown of Repurposing Long Form Content

Once you’ve lined up an opportunity, the question becomes: how do you write the best possible submission? For starters, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the outlet and its audience. What sorts of topics do other submissions address? How sophisticated are they? You’ll want to be sure you’re speaking to the concerns and interests of your target audience, or all of your effort will be for naught.

After getting a bird’s eye view of the publication and its audience, you’ll want to dive into the actual crafting of the piece. Choose a topic that speaks to your target audience and demonstrates your expertise. If at all possible, the topic should be timely and relevant to the current moment. After all, no one wants yesterday’s news. Don’t hesitate to take a provocative or contrarian view if it aligns with your actual outlook. It’s much more interesting to read a submission piece that challenges prevailing wisdom, rather than going with what everyone else is saying.

The next bit is very important: although it will be extremely tempting, do not write about your own company’s products or services, at least not directly. Unless the publication has invited you to specifically write about your own company, it’s highly unlikely that they will want you writing about yourself. The editor is likely to excise all references to your company anyway, so as to preserve a neutral tone in the piece.

We can’t stress this enough: talking about your own company or products is a good way to lose out on a submission opportunity. We’ve seen submissions rejected for this precise reason.

On the other hand, it’s absolutely fine to speak generally about products that may resemble yours, or about a problem that your products happen to solve. Intelligent readers will draw a connection between your article and your company, and may want to learn more. But the references should always be implicit—never explicit.

By taking heed of these simple tenets, you’ll be well on your way to placing, writing, and submitting a winning submission piece. A clear marketing win.