Your goal is simple: getting your feature article as many placements in print and online media as possible. There’s one key element to get there: Good MAT release writing. Whether you write an article yourself or work with an experienced contractor to create compelling copy, the angle and writing style used will make or break its success.
So how can you write a MAT release that editors can’t pass up? Here’s a simple formula that makes the seemingly difficult process much easier.
Your lead must immediately pique interest and entice the reader to want to move beyond the first paragraph. Addressing a hot trend, current topic, common problem or surprising statistic are all methods to create a lead that won’t be ignored.
Keep in mind, lead paragraphs should never be branded. Editors (and readers) will immediately turn away and consider the copy as too commercial. Never start the lead with “according to” or “recent reports state.” They are boring phrases. State what’s interesting first, then mention the source, if necessary.
Once you get a lead that hooks editors, the body is your opportunity to inform, educate and entertain. This is where you provide the advice, tips or human-interest story that compels readers to take action. Remember: Readers always want to know what’s in it for them, so useful nuggets of information that are easy to digest and act upon are important parts of the body of the article.
The biggest piece of advice I can provide about writing the “meat” of a good MAT release article is to adopt a writing approach that mimics what an independent writer would use for the story. Never let your desire to promote your product overshadow the bigger story that surrounds it. That’s the one worth telling … that’s the one worth printing.
When it comes to branded mentions, organically sprinkle those throughout the copy. There should be no more than two to four branded mentions per article, including website URLs. In a 500- to 700- word story, an article can get overly branded very quickly, so strategically place commercial messaging in the text so it doesn’t look or sound like an advertisement.
How can you make sure your brand is woven organically into the copy? Quote an expert from your company who can be positioned as a thought leader. Mention a tip that naturally aligns with your product. Quote one or two (no more!) results from a recent survey you conducted. Weave your website information naturally into a paragraph rather than at the end, where it might get ignored.
Perfect the headline last? Yes, this is my suggestion. I always create a title first, but it’s really just to get me in the writing mindset before digging into a project. Almost always, by the end of the article, I have thought of a much more stimulating headline than what I originally created. A good headline should be creative, enticing and inform the reader of the article’s subject, all within 10 words or less. An awesome headline will help your article get noticed. And it can’t get printed if it doesn’t get noticed.
Follow this formula and you’ll be well on your way to creating a MAT release that gets the stellar results you and your clients want. The process is simpler than you think.