The author's views are entirely his own (with the exception of the unlikely event of hypnosis) and may not always reflect Moz's views.
In 2021, the media coverage you deserve will be more valuable than ever for your company. Even if your brand is active on social media and your website is optimized for SEO, you are still missing out on organic traffic and customers with no backlinks to your website.
With Google's John Mueller recently weighing digital PR as a tactic worth the same – if not more – effort as technical search engine optimization, implementing an appropriate strategy for earned media is a must.
Collecting media coverage can seem daunting to a PR novice. If you've ever wondered where you are with questions like "How do I write an effective pitch?" Should begin. and "What kind of content does the press deserve?" Continue reading.
In this post, I'm going to show you how my team earned top notch reporting and backlinks for a client in five easy steps Using Content Marketing Strategies And How To Apply The Same Steps To Your Own Branded Content.
Step 1: brainstorming
When developing a content idea, visualize the headlines that you want to see when the content catches media attention. What do you want to find out and where do you want this content to appear?
What discussions in your industry can you contribute to? What new insights or information can you add to the conversation?
For a Fractl customer, Porch.com (a company you connect with repair professionals), we wanted to come up with an idea that uses data to tell a home improvement-related story.
We wanted to appear on wide-reaching national publications like the Washington Post and more industry-specific sites like Realtor.com.
When people want to repair or maintain something in their home, how much it will cost is a big problem. We wanted to learn more about the most expensive parts of home maintenance and where in the US the cost of home maintenance was the lowest.
Try to come up with an idea for your content that not only answers a question but also relates to your brand's service or product offering.
After you've developed some ideas, make sure to evaluate each idea based on the SUCCEss model. SUCCEss is an abbreviation for: Simple, Unexpected, Concrete, Credible and Emotional.
Our campaign idea for Porch.com enables all check boxes in the SUCCEss model.
It's easy: How much does it cost to do a home repair in the US?
It is unexpected: Some areas of home maintenance cost more than you think.
It is concrete: The idea is specific and answers a question.
It is believable: We use data to secure our claims.
It's emotional: Money and home ownership are two emotionally charged issues in the United States.
Once you have your idea and all the elements for success it is time to move on to step two.
Step 2: Create a Content Marketing Campaign
There are many different ways to create a content marketing campaign. How you create a campaign really depends on what data source you are using for your content.
Some of the most popular ideas use one of the following sources for their content:
Social media data (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram)
Google Trends data
Internal company data
Publicly available data source (FDA, WHO, Census Bureau, etc.)
Find out how best to answer your question. Are you trying to get a glimpse into the private lives of American families? A survey might be the best choice. If you want to see how people are feeling about a particular topic, you can try scouring social media platforms like Twitter for mentions of that word. If you want to know how common a query has spread over time, you can use Google Trends. Finally, publicly available data from government sources is a great way to learn more about various topics.
For our Porch.com idea, we could have done a survey asking Americans about the cost of maintaining their homes, but we didn't. Most respondents would use the estimate of the amount they are spending on repairs and the data would not be as reliable.
Instead, we looked at Porch's internal data for more reliable information on US repair costs. We looked at the zip codes in each state with the highest home maintenance costs and the lowest cost, and determined where money will flow each year.
There are many different ways to tackle a project. So, evaluate all other methods of content creation before choosing a tactic.
Step 3: design and copywriting
Designing your content is an important step that you shouldn't miss out on when creating content in order to get backlinks and press coverage. Journalists involved in content projects regularly use graphics and data visualizations from your campaign to aid in storytelling. It's best if you always aim for at least one graphical visualization to tell the story of your data.
Our main goal in creating Porch's campaign was to find out where in the US repair costs were highest and lowest. It made perfect sense to use maps to illustrate our results. Readers in any state can quickly and easily see how their state compares to others.
From this asset, for example, readers can easily tell that New Jersey has the highest home repair costs while Mississippi has the lowest.
The key to creating a great graphical asset is to keep it simple, and most importantly, easy to understand. Use simple charts such as pie charts, bar charts, and maps to help the reader process information quickly. Keep the design in line with your company's branding and always put your company logo somewhere in the graphic so people know who did the research when your campaign is covered with no link.
When it comes to text writing, storytelling is crucial for data campaigns. How does this data contribute to the conversation? What decisions can readers make based on this information? Tell a story with your data and make sure you highlight the key takeaways.
When creating written content for a campaign, all of the components apply to writing a great blog post. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
Use compelling headlines.
Write in a talkative but authoritative style. The reader does not need to have a thesaurus ready to decipher the core of your project.
Write with empathy. Does this data reinforce or contradict real-world problems that are occurring? Think about how someone affected by the topic will respond to your findings.
Consider the goal of the content. If you're creating a piece of content for digital PR, Your primary audience should be the journalists you target. You write for them. So you don't necessarily need loud CTAs like you might include in a regular blog post. Not all goals can (or should) be achieved with all content.
Don't let the reader comb through tons of data to find the good stuff. Journalists don't have time to figure out why your project is relevant to them. You have to tell them. Show the most interesting data points – and create real connections to these data points for the journalist. Include current events relevant to your story.
Step 4: media relations
Once your content is created, it's time to take what is arguably the most daunting step of all: digital PR reach. Outreach can be intimidating for novice PR, as all of the work leads up to this moment: will you be able to ensure the media coverage and make it worth the effort?
The good news is that if you have great content and follow our media outreach guide, you should be able to achieve all of your outreach goals.
List creation for email contact
Making lists is the first step in getting media coverage, and it all starts with your content. Understand the results of the content your team creates, such as: B. the back of your hand. If you know it inside out, you can access the list builder.
Make a list of all actionable insights your content contains. What potential headlines could you see as your content is created? What kind of angles could a journalist take with the data you provided?
We followed three journalistic aspects for Porch's home maintenance campaign: regional, industrial and financial. This topic uses tons of regional data and is related to both industry and personal finance.
Once you have your points of view, find journalists who frequently cover topics related to your content. For us, we looked at writers who dealt with mortgages, home improvement, and home improvement.
Pitch writing for email outreach
Once you know who to target, create bulleted lists of various results from your content that may be of interest to different publishers. The financial journalists may be more interested in the financial implications of home repairs, while the industry sites may want to learn more about the actual maintenance aspects.
When writing a pitch, keep your email short – no more than 200 words per email. Make sure that in the first paragraph you tell the journalist why you are reaching out to them. How do you know this content is relevant to them?
Journalists receive dozens of email slots every day. Make sure to get noticed by connecting with them and don't waste their time on a lengthy email once you get their attention. Give them the gist of the project, including relevant stats that match their pace, and send them a link across the page so they can take a closer look at the project if it fits well.
In 2019, Fractl surveyed over 500 journalists to ask them what they loved and hated in a PR pitch. Here are the ten biggest pet sleeves when it comes to email pitches.
Step 5: Success Reporting
Using the pitching process outlined above, our simple idea of researching home maintenance costs turned into over 188 contribution margins and 82 do-follow links. Our campaign for Porch.com has been featured in the Washington Post, Mortgage Reports, Realtor.com, Reader & # 39; s Digest, and others.
Track each placement on a table as soon as you see cover come in. Make sure to include the URL of the coverage, the type of link they had (No Follow or Do Follow), the site's domain authority, and community service numbers. You can use these metrics to track your campaign success compared to other campaigns you have created.
Earned media will be widespread in 2021
Content marketing doesn't have to be complicated. This five-step method is a fail-safe way to get media attention of a wide variety of digital publishers while giving you backlinks in the process.
Earned media is by far the most beneficial PR tactic in 2021 and beyond. If you create data-driven content campaigns that lead to discussions in your industry, you also increase your brand awareness, trustworthiness and placement in the SERPS. It is a win-win-win tactic and will continue to take the lead when it comes to marketing tactics.