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.
Often the bane of outreach associates, tracking analytics can sometimes be demoralizing. This is especially true in a field in which the end result relies on the publisher no matter how hard the associate works. That being said, if you use analytics as a way to improve rather than scrutinize your team, you can improve both your their performance and the overall quality of your campaigns.
1. Placement rate
Placement rate is calculated by dividing the number of placements secured by the number of pitches sent. According to a 2012 study by BuzzStream and iAcquire, the industry average placement rate falls between 4.5%–4.8%. Because your outreach team should be focusing on quality of pitches, rather than quantity, you can use placement rate to estimate the number of placements each associate will secure per week (on average). (more…)
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…)
While there are several aspects of outreach that aren’t necessarily easy, finding the correct email address for a writer you want to contact can sometimes prove particularly difficult, especially for those new to the game. Wouldn’t it be nice if there were one centralized resource that housed every email address you’d ever need? Never fear – we’ll walk through this process and after you’ve finished reading this post, I dare say you’ll have everything you’ll need at your disposal.
After finding an appropriate journalist you’d like to contact, the first thing you should do is go to their bio page on the publisher website. (If you’re using BuzzStream, you can hit the BuzzMarker to let BuzzStream check for you.) (more…)
In a survey of 500 top-tier publishers, Fractl discovered that 81% of editors prefer email pitches over other channels like social media, contact forms, and phone calls. We also found that 85% of editors open pitches based on your subject line. With subject lines being the ultimate gatekeeper for your open rates, Fractl and BuzzStream decided to collaborate on a new publisher survey to discover how they would improve your subject lines.
1. Lifestyle, Entertainment and Technology writers take the brunt of your pitches
In our study, we found Lifestyle, Entertainment and Technology writers account for 60% of the verticals getting pitched over 300x/day. Knowing that these verticals suffer the most news release fatigue, you should trim down your pitches to the preferred 100-200 word count. In comparison, there is significantly less competition in verticals such as Jobs, Animals, and Climate, each of which receive an average of 10 pitches/day. (more…)
Every marketer dreams of creating the next viral hit; however, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel to go viral. In fact, some of the most successful campaigns simply ride the wave of the social phenomenons sweeping the web.
Let’s use #selfies as an example. While self-taken photographs have existed since the 1800s, Google trends reveals that the term “selfie” went mainstream in late 2012:
Today’s guest post comes from Brad Shorr, the B2B Marketing Director of Straight North, a SEO agency headquartered near Chicago. Brad writes frequently on content marketing, SEO and social media.
Publishers are inundated with spammy content pitches 24/7/365. Thanks to the plethora of pitiful pitch slingers, a good pitch from a serious SEO is no longer good enough; it takes a great pitch to get the attention of busy, successful publishers.
Being a writer, a publisher and part of our agency’s SEO group, I see content pitches from all sides. Based on that experience, here are several suggestions to transform your good pitches into great ones.
Many content marketers view “promotion” as a phase that begins once content goes live. The truth is, promotion should begin much earlier than that, running parallel to production, and most of the promotion work should be completed before launch. Here’s a plan framework you can use for your next content campaign.
A good promotion plan begins with audience research and the development of targeted messaging.
If you have the time and budget, doing research like survey analysis is really helpful. At BuzzStream, we’re a bit more informal. Our planning stage usually involves a discussion of who we’re creating the content for and what their needs are. We use analytics data from previous pieces, information about what we’ve seen performing well on Twitter, and insight from conversations we’ve had with customers. (more…)