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.
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.
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.
As the internet has become increasingly pervasive, establishing a brand presence and making your content easy to find online has become more important than ever. Consumers have become savvy to – and frequently annoyed by – tactics like mass emails and paid advertising. This means you have to work harder to get your product or service in front of the right consumers, and this is where link building comes into play.
BuzzStream and Fractl have collaborated to review the trends in outbound versus inbound marketing techniques and tell you why link building is essential to your digital strategy. By analyzing reported results, costs, and trends in online marketing, we show you how to judge for yourself whether the ROI is worth the investment for your brand.
What link building achieves
The most important thing to understand about link building is the results this strategy can achieve, especially in comparison to old PR methods.
Consider this: According to research from Nielsen and GroupM UK, only 6% of search engine users click on paid ads, but 94% click on organic search results. When it comes to earning click-through in organic results, however, ranking has an impact that can’t be understated. 90% of users will click on one of the first three results when searching for branded terms, and 61% will stay within the first three results for non-branded term searches. The average for clicks below the first three results is just 32%, meaning that your content needs to rank highly in order to earn the most traffic from organic search.
Web searches are one of the best indicators of public interest. That fact is a basic underpinning of online marketing and SEO tactics – but what can web searches tell us about these very same industries?
Inspired by the year-end Google Trends campaign, we decided to look at some of the most common keywords from our own profession to see what terms are falling and rising in popularity. By using Google Trends to analyze seven years’ worth of data – from January of 2008 to November of 2014 – on 20 words related to online marketing terminology, design, and strategies, we created a review of the evolution of the industry and some predictions for its future. This new marketing trend report gives us a long-term global analysis as well as more recent regional insights.
Public Relations and Press Releases vs. Content Marketing and Inbound Marketing
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.
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…)