The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Media Kit
Recently, I had several brands request specific information about our platform and the various verticals that our community produces content. They were also interested in seeing media kits from publishers and bloggers within our community. It made me realize that we need an updated media kit, but also that creating a media kit is an important asset that many bloggers overlook.
Media kits are no longer reserved for Fortune 500 companies or massive publications. Whether for business, branding, or professional growth, every blogger should have a media kit. Otherwise, you’re missing a valuable marketing and revenue-generating opportunity. The benefits of these kits include:
- providing a starting point for marketing & PR campaigns
- increases the viability of advertising as a revenue model
- adds a layer of credibility to your blog / service /or expertise
- opens up doors for potential partnerships
If you’re a blogger who has never prepared a media kit, we’ve eliminated the need for trial and error by composing The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Media Kit. This guide will walk you through the elements required to put together an enticing and informative kit for your target advertiser, partner, or customer. Before diving into the nuts and bolts of actually creating a kit, let’s take a moment to understand what exactly is a media kit.
What is a Media Kit?
A media kit is a promotional tool that contains specific information about a website or publication offering advertising, press, or marketing opportunities. Media kits are sometimes confused with biographies, about pages, press kits, or affiliate resources. While they do share some similarities with these aspects of your site, a more appropriate description for a blogger’s media kit is the presentation of key details that help advertisers relate your publication to their target audience. Media kits can serve several promotional benefits, namely:
- Promoting the launch of new products or services
- Promoting partnerships or growth opportunities
- Promoting brand awareness
- Providing detailed information about a company or brand
Note that it’s not simply an information package but also a tool to bridge the gap between you and your ideal avatars or partners. This is why it’s important to create a professional kit that showcases what you can offer advertisers.
Creating a Media Kit that Sells
We write content for our target audience. Bloggers are familiar with the persona of their readers. To speak to your media kit avatar, reverse engineer this process. Put yourself in the position of the avatar and ask yourself the following questions:
- If I were to advertise on another website, what type of data do I need to make an informed decision?
- What type of graphics or imagery would I find appealing?
- What descriptive phrases correspond with my target audience?
- What type of advertising opportunities would I find most valuable?
Answering these questions before starting the creation process will help generate a structure for your media kit. Take the process one step further by creating a storyline / outline that leads directly to your promotional goals.
Media Kit Essentials
We scoured the internet to create a litmus test for media kits. In fact, we dug so deep that Google assumed I was an automated bot doing no good. After finding and analyzing 20 excellent examples of media kits (full list at the bottom), we identified the following components as integral to your media kit.
- A mission statement or concise paragraph that clearly encapsulates your publication
- Traffic statistics (e.g. how many user sessions, type of browser, and traffic by region)
- Demographics (gender, age, education level, and median household income)
- Channels / Blog network (existing partnerships or sister companies)
- Awards, clients, or testimonials
- Product offerings (web, mobile, print, or network type)
- Ad specs (dimensions)
- Contact information
This list of 8 media kit essentials will boost your credibility amongst advertisers. Let’s use real examples to showcase each element of the media kit and draw inspiration for your own.
#1 Showcase Your Mission
It’s difficult to explain what you’re about in one sentence. The first part is always the most important one: you need to capture the reader’s attention and impress them. Generally speaking, you have approximately 9 seconds to captivate the reader.
Hit them with something good, something impressive, something juicy. Right from the get go!
Women’s Health does an excellent job pairing visuals with a clear and concise brand message. Notice how they highlight key phrases that speak directly to their ideal avatar. With just a glance you can immediately see 4 incentives to advertise with Woman’s Health:
- Must have action plan for today’s modern woman
- Propels consumers in to action
- 30 Million consumers to buy
- Different that any other brand
Another excellent example of a publication that instantly showcases it’s mission is Apartment Therapy’s 2016 media kit. The image below clearly defines their niche in the home and kitchen. They even took it a step further by creating a layout that reminds me of a Venn diagram, as if it were an amalgamation of brands. Also, if you look at the text description you’ll notice they speak of a two for one brand opportunity. I can quickly decipher what Apartment Therapy represents, which is:
- A dual brand focused on the apartment living and kitchen / cooking
- Community Driven
By quickly showcasing your website’s mission / about statement, you have a unique opportunity to quickly qualify the ideal partner or advertiser without being salesy.
#2 Traffic Statistics and Reach
Featuring traffic statistics in a media kit is essential. Every kit we reviewed had some form of traffic or reach statistics. Generally, statistics by nature can be a little intimidating. However, in the case of media kit, statistics are usually as simple as data acquired from your Google Analytics account. For example, OneGoodThingByJillee.com’s media kit lists basic figures about her blog’s traffic including: monthly page views, unique visitors per month, # of email subscribers, Alexa rank, Google page rank, and social media following. Pay particular attention to the highlighted note at the bottom.
Pins from the One Good Thing website are viewed roughly 7 million times a day by nearly 3 million unique viewers.
While the site’s statistics alone are impressive, by highlighting Pinterest traffic she adds a unique proposition to avatars who are searching for traffic that corresponds to the Pinterest demographic. The key here is to showcase specific unique propositions that are not easily replicated on other sites. For small websites, social media reach may be a distinctive factor. In contrast, larger sites like Apartment Therapy may choose to focus on their impressive traffic.
What if you’re blog / website provides a combination of digital and print media?
If you have both print and digital ad products, you’ll want to feature both audiences in your media kit. Saveur is an excellent example of a company showcasing stats for both digital and print.
As digital media continues to evolve, many websites will move towards cross-promotional advertising. This basically means you may have more than two advertising vehicles such as:
- website or multiple websites
- mobile app
- web app or tool
- digital publication (montly magazine in PDF or downloadable format)
- print publications
- podcast or podcasts
Some bloggers are already capitalizing on multiple channels. These trailblazers have equally impressive media kits to boot such as the Yoga Journal. The image below showcases a simple figures detailing the audience size for each advertising vehicle. What Yoga Journal does exceptionally well is keep things simple. If you have a larger offering, Yoga Jounal is an excellent example to emulate.
Another great example is Real Simple which uses webpages rather than a PDF file to showcase their media kit. Their media kit includes a vertical navigation bar that expands and collapses sections dedicated to each of their channels. True to their brand, Real Simple took what could easily have become an overwhelming amount of information and presents it in a real simple way.
Demographics are basically the anatomy of your audience. Generally, user demographics include the following:
- median household income
- level of education
- relationship status
- percentage of parents
IFLScience.com’s media kit provides a great example of showcasing general user demographics.
Seems simple enough, right? You can usually find standard user demographics in Google Analytics. Though, if you’re really an over-achiever and data nerd, look into providing “psychographics” to take your media kit to the next level.
Psychographics can be defined as the study and classification of people according to their attitudes, aspirations, and other psychological criteria, especially in market research.
You’ll notice we use the word “avatar” in this post quite often. The idea of an ideal avatar or buyer persona in marketing is the simplest example of psychographics. Take a moment to think about this concept from a very basic level. Imagine the raw idea of who your readers are. Then, take that vision and describe your readers in a few simple statements. A good example of a media kit that uses this process is Nylon. Take a look at the pyschographic below to see just how useful these can be to potential advertisers. Marketing!
Essence also does an great job at highlighting their audience with a short statement and corresponding imagery. We gather the following about their audience:
- She loves her culture and the diversity it represents
- She is influenced heavily by other women in her community
- She is empowered by stories the speak to real experiences
By reading this short statement, experienced media buyers will gain a great deal of insight into the Essence brand and audience.
If you’re a publication with large readership, it’s a good idea to showcase psychographics to potential media buyers. A great example of a media company showcasing an extensive psychographic dataset is Women’s Health Magazine who managed to capture the preferences of their readership into a useful table for media buyers.
#4 Channels and Network
If you’re running a blog network, that’s a unique opportunity to highlight the value and strength of the network to advertisers. For example, National Geographic’s media kit showcases its four content platforms.
In other cases, the talent of your editorial team may be an attractive selling point. For example, Racked features their website’s influencer talent in their media kit.
If you’re a solo blogger, make it a point to share your areas of influence. For example, Aubrey Griffin from HomeGrownandHealthy.com’s media graphic lists her areas of influence. This is an excellent option for small niche blogs with vibrant communities.
#5 Awards, Accolades, or Press
This section is basically your badge of honor. Refinery29’s media kit provides a great example of showcasing a website’s credibility and accomplishments in a unique and visually engaging way.
Another unique example of showcasing accomplishments is The Culture Trip’s media kit. Instead of showcasing awards or recognition, they provide a case study of their client’s success — Airbnb (kudos! Culture Trip). They describe the campaign brief as well as the deliverables allowing prospective advertisers to clearly understand what’s possible = results!
#6 Product Offerings
Advertising products — not to be confused with ad specifications — describe the various products being offered by the publication. Earlier we discussed the demographics of different advertising vehicles, and below we expand on those demographics by explaining the various advertising products within those vehicles. TheMerryMakerSisters.com is an excellent example of a simple but effective list of product offerings.
The Urban List bundles several product offerings into a set of event advertising packages (see below).
#7 Ad Specifications
Ad specifications describe how ads should be formatted. Some of the components included in the ad specifications sections include:
- Standard Guidelines
- Ad dimensions
- Formatting guidelines (media types or scripts)
Working Mother has a good example of ad specifications inside their media kit. Note that this section of your media kit should be extremely specific and detailed to help you streamline the advertising process. The last thing you want is to have advertisers create assets that do not fit your brand or website.
Another good accompaniment to help streamline the media buying process is to include a publishing schedule or editorial calendar. On larger blogs, certain types of product offerings go live on specific days or months, whereas smaller blogs will specify the turnaround time for ads, or due dates and times for time-sensitive ad runs.
#8 Contact Information
Of course you want to be sure your avatars have the ability to contact you. A common location for contact information in media kits is usually at the end a PDF document or webpage. For example, the image below shows contact information within the Gothamist’s media kit.
Another example of an enticing contact section is located on Islands‘ media kit. The imagery speaks to the avatar who is seeking media buys in travel or island destinations. In this example, notice the contact information is distributed across different regions. This is an excellent method for directing users to contact the right people within the team. If you’re a solo blogger you might want to setup a specific email address to ensure inquiries are effectively managed.
Media Kit FAQ’s
While researching this topic, we learned a few more practical pieces of information things that will prove useful when creating a media kit. Below are some of the questions we thought we might have if we were using a media kit guide for ourselves.
What is the best format for a media kit?
Media kits are most commonly formatted as PDF files. That’s the quick and easy route so if you’re a procrastinator, then keep it simple superstar. Other alternatives are to use a webpage, a video, embedded slideshow, or a combination of all of these. Many of the kits we reviewed simply placed a downloadable PDF link on their website. One media kit used Issuu, the digital magazine platform, to embed an interactive version on their website. A few publications used the traditional optin form to automatically send a copy of the kit to our email address.
Where should I place the link to my media kit?
Media kit links are commonly found in the footer links on most websites, or on the ‘Advertising’ page. Some websites make it extremely difficult to locate their media kits. Without Google’s advanced search operators, they’re impossible to find. The way I see it, if you’re going through the exercise of making a media kit, don’t hide it.
Should I include pricing in my media kit?
The answer will largely depend on your revenue goals and your sales process. A misconception is that larger brands do not include pricing in their kits. However, as shown in our examples above, Women’s Health & Inc. do include rates directly in their media kits. Some smaller sites directed users to request their rate cards. Whether or not you want to publicly disclose your pricing will largely depend on your internal sales process, the quality of inquiring advertisers and partners, and how prominent advertising is as a revenue stream for your publication.
Links to 20 Media Kit Examples Featured in This Post
- The Urban List A Curated Guide To Your Life In The City
- Inc.com Small Business Ideas and Resources for Entrepreneurs
- Apartment Therapy Saving the World One Room at a Time
- IFLScience Make science exciting and present it in a creative, engaging, & entertaining…
- Refinary29 A modern woman’s destination for how to live a stylish, well-rounded life.
- Racked The Shopping Authority
- Gothamist National Media News, Food, Art, & Events
- Yoga Journal Life in Balance
- National Geographic Inspiring People To Care About The Planet Since 1888
- Real Simple The Empowered Woman’s Guide to a Beautiful and Dynamic Life
- Womens’ Health Magazine The Must Have Action Plan for Today’s Modern Woman
- Essence Tells Black Women’s Stories Like No One Else Can
- Nylon The reigning authority on fashion, music, and beauty for the modern and intelligent young woman.
- The Merry Maker Sisters Communication Professionals Turned Health and Happiness Bloggers
- OneGoodThingByJillee Share One Good Things With Our Readers Each Day
- HomeGrownandHealthy A collaboration that’s been evolving since 2011.
- Islands The Global Authority on Island Destinations
- The Culture Trip The best art, food, culture, travel
- Working Mother Mentor, role model and advocate for the country’s more than 17 million moms who are devoted to their families and committed to their careers.
- Saveur For People Who Experience the World Food First
Final Thoughts on Creating The Ultimate Media Kit
Creating a media kit is all about providing compelling information with a pinch of promotion. It’s one of the most valuable opportunities to highlight your company without having to worry about being spammy. Your media kit is your time to shine. Now that you’re armed with the information needed to create a media kit masterpiece, get to it. If you have any questions, let us know.
Do you have an amazing media kit for your blog? Send us a screenshot or share the link in the comments section below.
This post was originally published on June 15, 2016 via Triberr.com