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.
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.”
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
Ever wish you could be a fly on the wall and overhear dozens – maybe even thousands – of conversations at once? We decided to eavesdrop on the discussions surrounding some of the most popular terms in the digital PR industry to find out what top influencers have to say about hot topics. This glimpse of influencer marketing on Twitter gives us an idea of the current state of the industry and where it may be headed.
BuzzStream and Fractl joined forces and utilized Peer Index, Twitonomy, and the Alchemy API to analyze nearly 5,000 tweets and learn more about these hashtags and keywords:
- Media Relations
- Influencer Marketing
- Digital PR
- Outbound Marketing
- Brand Recognition
- Earned Media
- Public Relations
- Press Release
From this study we found the tweet types, sentiments, and key influencers in the marketing discussion on Twitter. You can download our raw data to dive deep into the findings or read on for our key takeaways.
Takeaways: Influencer Marketing on Twitter
If you know that all caps is like online shouting, excessive exclamation points are unprofessional, and emojis are content marketing mistakes, then you have passed Content Promotion 101. With your grammar basics mastered, the next step in good publisher relations is understanding the more nuanced pet peeves that hurt both your placement rates and your reputation.
If you’re not sure what causes publishers to delete (or worse, autodelete) pitches, then the Media Relations Guide to Etiquette is the eBook for you. BuzzStream and Fractl reviewed media guides and surveyed top-tier publications to learn the worst practices plaguing our industry. Their responses revealed 25 tactics that turn publishers off no matter how good your content is.
Check out eight of the most lamented content promotion fouls here, then download the free eBook to learn what else to nix from your pitches.
#10: Self-promotional pitch
“Many [PR professionals] have a misunderstanding when it comes to the difference between advertorial and guest posts.” The Gigaom guest post policy speaks for the majority of publishers in reminding us that publishers want to be pitched high-quality news and content, not advertisements for your brand.
#9: Generic angle to a common study
Publishers aren’t in the business of regurgitating information everyone already knows, and you shouldn’t be either. Instead, 66% of publishers want you to bring something new to the table with exclusive research or breaking news. This doesn’t mean you have to embark on a PhD-level investigation. Instead, follow trends relevant to your industry and capitalize on your insider knowledge.
#8: Copy of a press release
While a press release can contain valuable information, 95% of publishers told us that this isn’t a content format they’re interested in. Instead:
- 85% of publishers want the raw data from your study or campaign.
- 65% want data visualizations such as infographics, mixed-media pieces, images, or videos.
- 70% would be excited to collaborate with you on a story, rather than receiving a finished asset.
Social shares are what amplify your message beyond a publisher’s landing page. The more shares you earn, the more eyes see your brand and the wider your pool of prospective customers becomes. But which influencers earn traction on which social networks – and in which verticals?
Understanding how verticals, publishers, and platforms work together will help you pitch the right content to the right publishers and amplifiers to earn the most shares possible. Targeting your promotion efforts to maximize your potential for social traction is an important step in creating an effective and efficient viral strategy.
To get you started, BuzzStream and Fractl analyzed 220 websites from 11 major verticals that actively produce content:
Guest blogging opportunities are everywhere. Some of them are easily searchable on Google, while others require you to be a bit more resourceful. You can fish out the latter using one of the world’s most popular social networking sites: Twitter.
Why Twitter? Well, for one thing, connecting with anyone on that site is as simple as clicking the “Follow” button. Also, you have the real-time updates, the trending hashtags, the mentions and other metrics that quantify a person’s/company’s/brand’s influence on Twitter. It’s an outreach machine, basically.
In order to make the most of Twitter, try some of the following outreach strategies on for size.
Conduct a (Strategic) Social Search
The first thing to try is just searching for people looking for guest bloggers. Don’t underestimate the power of a simple search for any of the following terms:
Should you pitch an editor for a tech publication the same way you’d pitch a publisher in the food vertical? Absolutely not. Pitches for education columns ought to look different than those for automotive features, too. You see where we’re going with this: your outreach strategy and pitching approach should vary based on your vertical.
But how should you begin to understand the nuances between the verticals? BuzzStream and Fractl have helped you get started with the new Guide to Publisher Personas. Using recent articles, LinkedIn and Google+ profiles, and bios from personal and publication pages, we outlined the personas you’re likely to meet in 11 different verticals: automotive, business, education, entertainment, finance, food, health, lifestyle, news, tech, and travel.
Five Traits to Learn
Based on our research, we found that five traits factor heavily in determining the type of editor you’ll most often find yourself working with.
64% of publishers agree that you should learn about them via their social media or published posts and reach out to establish a personal connection before you pitch. Your background research should yield more than a shared love of cats or support of a sports team, however. You can use social media (especially LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google+) and publication bio pages to discover how much they may already know about your topic, the audience they want to connect with, the assets they typically prefer, and – most importantly – the tone and scope of their beat.
Contrary to popular belief, crafting the perfect pitch doesn’t begin with writing a pitch at all. Before you ever type a word to describe your content, you should begin by learning about the people you’re describing your content to – your list of prospective publishing contacts.
The most effective, efficient list building process begins with knowing which publishers will be most receptive to your content. It’s not enough to blast a mass email to everyone in a specific vertical; to earn the largest reach for your content, you’ll need to laser-target your pitches and know exactly what your contacts are looking for.
Employ these five tips and tools in your content promotion strategy and your lists will be pitch-perfect, every time.
There are innumerable articles out there giving tips on how to pitch journalists, but most don’t contain specific pitch examples outlining why they were successful. In outreach, imitation can be very effective, so we’ve compiled 10 pitches with commentary that elaborates on why they resulted in exclusive placements with top-tier publishers.