Archive for the ‘Content Marketing’ Category

How to Execute a Winning Campaign Interview With a Publisher

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There are many goals for a content marketing campaign, including to maximize exposure, increase brand awareness, and initiate a conversation with your target audience. Whatever your end goal, an essential element for any successful campaign is a targeted promotions cycle – and the key ingredient in that strategy is earned media. However, a pitch doesn’t always mean an automatic placement: Publishers receive hundreds of pitches and press releases each week, and they only choose to cover a few of them.

The most successful pitches provide only a brief overview of your campaign, so in some cases, a reporter might have additional questions. This is when they’ll ask for an interview – and your answers can determine whether the story gets placed.

These questions can vary significantly: Sometimes a writer wants to learn more about your methodology; other times they want to dig into more sensitive topics. Regardless of the questions, you need to be prepared.

Here, we’ll walk you through a list of common questions, discuss how to answer them, and share the best ways to prepare for your interview:

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Sentiment by Subject

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If you want to maximize your outreach efforts, you should start list building while your content is still in production. A crucial step within the process is to determine which publishers are worth the exclusive versus which should be saved for syndication. When you have content that explores a controversial topic, this process should include one additional step that is often overlooked: Determine the tone of your campaign and explore how similar topics are presented in different publications.

BuzzStream and Fractl examined the sentiment around 10 contentious topics – climate change, evolution, health care, immigration, jobs, marijuana, minimum wage, net neutrality, privacy, and vaccination. Our analysis included 50 articles on each subject from more than 75 popular online publishers, and we determined sentiment using AlchemyAPI (i.e. This helped us determine the tone of article as either positive or negative. For example, a negative sentiment/coverage of a topic like minimum wage could be about protesters wanting an increase in it).

Here, we’ll walk you through four key takeaways to keep in mind during your next promotions cycle. This information will help you determine which publishers will lean more favorably toward your topic than others.

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The Average Facebook User for 20 Publishers

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Knowing your audience is critical not only for successful content marketing campaigns but also for any form of communication – highly targeted messages are what compel people to share your content. You can also find out a lot about who is sharing your content via social platforms, which is what we did in our latest study.

Partnering with Fractl, BuzzStream analyzed 20 publishers’ active Facebook users via Facebook’s Audience Insights to uncover key characteristics and determine if there were any overlaps or unique differences. We charted demographics such as gender, age, education, and profession and compared them with the average Facebook user to see how these publishers’ audiences align.

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Facebook Audience Insights for NY Times

Here we’ll walk you through four key takeaways you’ll want to consider when pitching your next campaigns to top-tier publishers.

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Creating Newsworthy Content

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When it comes to ideation, as a creative strategist you have to balance client requests with what you deem compelling content. Coming up with fresh ideas that will both ignite a conversation with your audience and please the client can be a constant struggle, but a great bridge between the two is the level of newsworthiness.

Leveraging trending stories is an easy way for you to capitalize on a current event – and a great way for your promotions team to earn multiple placements quickly – but discovering newsworthiness through methods other than focusing on what’s currently trending will make your content stand out from the rest. Localizing national topics and focusing on a human interest and other relatable angles can increase your campaign’s reach.

Here, we’ll walk you through a list of newsworthy angles and provide tools you can use to create content that extends beyond your target audience.

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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.

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7 Practices That Maximize the ROI of Negative Pitch Replies

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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.

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How To Earn More Links for Your Campaign with Link Reclamation

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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