How to Create a Viral Idea in a Boring Vertical

How To Create a Viral Idea in a Boring Vertical

As much as we love variety, let’s face it: Some things are just plain boring. This can feel especially true when you’re working with multiple clients – some days you’re offering endless ideas about comic book characters and movies; the next you’re trying to make any inch of linoleum seem cool. It’s a daunting task, but it’s not impossible.

You can successfully create viral content within boring verticals; however, it requires you to conduct a focused research strategy and curate a very specific outreach plan. It all comes down to who will link to it and who will share it.

Here, we’ll walk you through five steps to improving your chances of creating content that will not only reach your niche audience but land your content on the screens of potential consumers.



Product Update: New Usability Improvements

We’ve implemented a number of usability improvements that should make your workflow in BuzzStream more efficient. These improvements will decrease the time you spend on tedious tasks so you can focus on building and maintaining contacts.

Bulk edit your ‘Do Not Contact’ list

BuzzStream is designed to serve as a central repository for all of your outreach relationships and it gives you a way to apply them to specific campaigns. As part of this, you have the ability to mark a domain or an email address with a “Do Not Contact” flag in BuzzStream. With this release, you can now quickly add in a list of email addresses or domains to your “Do Not Contact” list instead of adding them one at a time.

To add a list, just click on the gear icon in the top right-hand corner and go to the ‘Do Not Contact Rules’ page. Click on the ‘Add’ button and paste in your list.


Set Default Email Address For Projects

We’ve changed the way you set default emails in the project so that the app better supports the way most customers work across different projects. Now, when you start outreach in a project, you can set the default email address used for that project. This will ensure that you are always conducting outreach from the email address of your choice and will not impede your workflow as you reach out to your contacts. The process is really simple. When you first select an email address to send outreach, that email address will be set as the default. If you later change it, you will be asked if you’d like to set the new email address as your default.



Improved Outreach Behavior When You Click An Email Address

Prior to this release, when you clicked an email address from within the app you were usually directed to your mail client within the same tab. This was disruptive, so we’ve made the system much more intelligent. Now, as long as you’ve connected your email address to BuzzStream, we’ll open our email composer with the “To” address populated with the email address you’ve just clicked. If you haven’t connected your email address, we will simply open your email client in a new tab so your workflow isn’t disrupted.





Show Payment Fields In The Buzzmarker

People love the Buzzmarker because it provides much of the flexibility and functionality you can find in BuzzStream from wherever you are on the web. This improvement gives you the ability to show payment fields when you set the acquisition method as “Purchase”. It is no longer necessary to edit the contact from the BuzzStream app if you need to track payment info for your links.


Let Us Know What You Think!

Please let us know what you think – drop us an email at, leave a comment, or tweet us @BuzzStream. We read every single message, and we’d love to hear from you as we continue to make BuzzStream more powerful and easier to use.

And if you don’t already have a BuzzStream account, you can start a free trial today.


7 Practices That Maximize the ROI of Negative Pitch Replies


Nobody likes negative feedback. Even if you mask it as “constructive criticism,” it still stings. In promotions, it’s not uncommon to receive a negative response from an editor – some of the worst I’ve received is a simple, “No.” However, what you might not realize is that a negative response isn’t a dead end – it’s an opportunity to continue a conversation with the editor. They’ve opened the door to build a relationship and earn future placements, but the trick is how to get there.

The best response should sound like the beginning of a natural conversation – you want an editor to know that you’re interested in their feedback and are willing to listen to what they have to say. You want to come across as genuine if you want to get the very best feedback from them.

Here, we’ll walk you through seven practices that can improve your ROI for negative pitch replies, increasing the likelihood of future coverage and a mutually beneficial relationship with an editor.



How To Earn More Links for Your Campaign with Link Reclamation

Establishing a diverse, high-quality link portfolio is crucial to increasing your organic rankings. Between July 2013 and July 2014, more than 80 percent of companies increased their spending on tactics that earn links.

When launching a campaign, you must be acutely aware of where your campaign spreads after the first exclusive goes live. Most campaigns that earn a top-tier pickup will spread through social networks, messaging systems, news sites, and blogs, allowing you to secure a cascade of links from your original placement.


If you’re not monitoring this spread and optimizing it for your clients’ benefit, you’ll end up missing out on establishing a more diverse, high-quality link portfolio that would require little additional work from your team. Here’s where you should start:

Link Reclamation – The process of finding natural syndications of your campaign and working with the editor to optimize the story for the biggest client impact.

Link reclamation should occur shortly after your first exclusive goes live, allowing you to leverage the recency effect.

Recency Effect – When people are asked to recall a list of items that are presented to them, they tend to be able to best recall those at the end of the list (the recency effect) and those at the beginning of the list (the primacy effect) better than those in the middle of the list.

Using this theory, you’ll want to reach out to writers shortly after they’ve published your campaign, so it’s fresh in their minds and ripe for updates; if you reach out several weeks after they’ve published, sometimes the story can be too stale for an update.

Below, I’ve outlined the important steps of link reclamation and the strategies that will have the biggest impact for your client.



101 Questions Your Team Needs to Answer Before Pitching a Publisher

101 Questions

A successful content marketing campaign can be broken down into three main stages: ideation, production, and promotion. To maximize your efforts, all three should build off each other by focusing on one common goal—creating content that will inspire your audience and compel them to share.

Here we’ll walk you through the questions you need to ask yourself during the three phases in order to produce a campaign that will reach high levels of social traction.



Sound in Viral Videos: How It Significantly Impacts 69% of Consumers

Content marketing continues to grow in popularity among digital strategists, and that means rising above the noise is becoming even more difficult. In order to stand out, you’ve got to be different, and video has proven it can uniquely deliver highly memorable and emotional content to a target audience. A big reason for its success? The power of sound.

BuzzStream and Fractl conducted a survey of over 1,000 consumers to better understand the emotional impact of sound and how it relates to content marketing. Survey respondents were asked to play five viral videos from the last couple of years and then pick which emotions were activated when the video was played. Each group was presented with a different viewing format. The first group had to watch the videos with sound, but without captions; the second group had to watch the videos without sound, but with captions; and the third group was only able to listen to the video’s sound and was not allowed to watch the video. Robert Plutchik’s comprehensive Wheel of Emotions was used to categorize emotions.




The Advanced Guide to Improving Your Social Media Presence for Outreach

Yesterday, I came across Gideon Lichfield’s post Dear PR person who just sent me a robo-pitch. The senior editor at Quartz gets bombarded with pitches so frequently that he set up a series of email filters automatically deleting the worst offenders. Lichfield realizes he might miss the occasional gem with this slash-and-burn approach, but he doesn’t have time to sort through the spam of press releases to discover it.

So what should you do instead? Lichfield highlighted his idea of a winning outreach strategy:

  • Really getting to know the journalists
    • What they’ve written before
    • What they’re experts in
    • Where they’ve lived
    • Things they believe in
    • Things they love
    • Things that make them mad
  • Understanding the nuances of their news outlet
    • Who it writes for
    • How it frames its stories (people or issues, gossipy or wonky?)
    • How its readers find those stories

He admits “this high-touch strategy is extremely time-consuming.” But the mass-emailing approach that most traditional firms pursue? “I call it failure.

high touch outreach



Product Update: Custom Exports

We released an update to the export capabilities in BuzzStream that will make it much easier to get the exact information you need for reporting purposes or for list building. Rather than exporting all fields, you can now select the specific information you need and save the export format for future use.

Introducing BuzzStream Custom Exports

Our custom exports are easy to use. You’ll find them right under the “More” button on your projects, exactly where your exports were previously.

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If you want to quickly export all of the information in your project, you can easily do so by selecting “All Fields” from the export menu.

All Fields

To select specific fields for export, just select “Custom Export” from the export menu.

Custom Export

This will open a lightbox that contains all of the fields in your project. To add fields to your custom export, simply check the boxes on the left hand side and they will appear in the export fields list on the right. From there, you can click the Export button and your custom export will download.

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We have also added the ability to save a custom export if you think you will want to review the same specific fields frequently. To save a custom export, select the fields you want using the process mentioned above, then click the “Save As…” button. This will open a box where you can give your export a name and save it.

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Once you do, it will appear in your list of saved exports under the “More” button on your projects pages.


Let Us Know What You Think!

Please let us know what you think – drop us an email at, leave a comment, or tweet us @BuzzStream. We read every single message, and we’d love to hear from you as we continue to make BuzzStream more powerful and easier to use.

And if you don’t already have a BuzzStream account, you can start a free trial today.


The Unfollow Algorithm

Today, it’s not enough for a brand to simply have a social network strategy. To be competitive, they have to use the platform in new and innovative ways. But they also need to remain focused on retaining followers.

For brands, retention is especially crucial because followers are often direct consumers. For example, on Twitter, 72% of followers of a brand are more likely to purchase a product from them.

So why do people start and stop following brands? BuzzStream and Fractl conducted a survey with more than 900 respondents to better understand why people unfollow brands in social networks.

How can you grow your following on social media?

If someone likes a brand, there’s a good chance they’ll consider following it via social media. According to our survey, strategists can have a big impact with special promotions and offers that can only be seen by followers. Just don’t expect your new followers to jump into a conversation ― only 4% of our respondents said that they follow brands on social media to give brand feedback.

  • 16% of the respondents said they will follow a brand because they like the brand
  • 15% said they follow brands to be notified of special offers / promotions
  • 12% said they follow brands to learn about new products and services




How Much Branding Is Too Much?

The notion that too much branding leads to a loss of credibility isn’t always true. Google’s viral video, Dear Sophie, is an advertisement for Google Chrome that contained a significant amount of branding for applications like Gmail, YouTube, and Google Maps. According to a survey with more than 900 respondents undertaken by BuzzStream and Fractl, the Google brand gained credibility with the video. However, 86% of the respondents incorrectly identified the brand that was supposed to be the focus of the video. As part of the survey, respondents had to watch the video without seeing the Chrome logo appear at the beginning and end of the video. The Google advertisement had so much variety in terms of branding that it confused viewers, leaving 80% of them thinking that the focus of the video was Gmail. Is this a case of too much branding? Although viewers didn’t identify Google’s Chrome browser as the focus of the video, it still had a positive impact on the overall perception of the brand.