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.
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.”
Why do publishers pick some pitches over others? Basic psychology may play a bigger role than you think.
A bright red dress is more likely to catch your attention over a more neutral option. You’re more likely to take a sip from a drink if a person you’re sitting with drinks first (go ahead, watch this in action at lunch tomorrow). There are a myriad of conscious and subconscious stimuli that affect the decisions we make every day, and that applies to publishers and their pitch choices, too.
BuzzStream and Fractl uncovered several psychological theories that can give you an edge in influencer marketing. These four takeaways can get you inside publishers’ heads – and get your content into their publications.
When it comes to options, less is more.
Publishers are eager for opportunities to collaborate. In a publisher study, 70% of editors and writers said they’d rather be pitched opportunities to work with marketers on stories rather than receive finished assets. Providing choices in your pitch gives influencers more flexibility to craft the story they want to publish and can give your promotion efforts a significant psychological advantage. But don’t overdo it with options; research suggests that too many choices can be overwhelming and cause people to decide to pass on the opportunity altogether.
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
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:
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.
In order to be the best at your craft you must learn from the best. But “the best” doesn’t have to be limited to fellow marketers; recently I’ve picked up some valuable, if seemingly unlikely, insights from TED, an organization that hosts seminars around the world to discuss “ideas worth spreading.”
In this post, I’ll share what I’ve learned about using storytelling, seduction, ideas, and perception to make your content stand out.
The Importance of Storytelling
“Maybe some of you have tried to convey your idea, and it wasn’t adopted and some other mediocre idea was adopted. The only difference between the two was the way it was communicated.” So says Nancy Durante, speaking on storytelling structure. But how do you tell a story through your pitches? Durante says that communicators (like Steve Jobs) use a specific shape to tell a story, and it looks like this: (more…)
Hiring for an outreach position can be fairly difficult, because no matter how impressive an applicant’s hard skillset may look on paper, soft skills are much more critical to success in this role. By learning to recognize the applicant’s key skills and to read between the lines during the vetting process, you can be sure that your new outreach hires will be well on their way to becoming outreach all-stars!
Because you’re building a team that will impact both your company performance and culture, your vetting process should be very comprehensive (if not rigorous). I would suggest including several steps between the traditional resume → interview process. (more…)
This is a guest post from Adrienne Erin. Find her on Twitter.
If you don’t change with the times, you get left behind.
That’s true in any industry, but it’s especially true in SEO, where a tiny tweak to Google’s algorithm can turn last week’s surefire search strategy into this week’s surefire way to get penalized. Things change quickly in SEO, and one thing that underscores the constant churning is the recent evolution of link building.
Once upon a time, you stuck links wherever you could squeeze them. You blasted the pages you wanted to promote with inbound links, and you could put those links on low-quality sites where it was easy to get mentions. You begged and pleaded people to accept links elsewhere, too, and back in those days not as many people saw the danger of giving in.