My one big tip for better Content Outreach is…
Content outreach can be quite a thankless task at times. You do everything by the book; you have a great campaign, you’ve got your list of targets and you’ve approached them with all the charm you can muster. Inevitably, though, not every response is as positive as you’d hope – with some not even responding at all.
I spoke to our expert team of outreach specialists and asked them each to share with you one piece of solid advice that will ensure you get more link love than link losses. Here’s what they had to say:
You have to have a great story and you have to tell it in an imaginative way! The results I get from outreach is closely linked to the quality of the campaigns I am working on, but it is also my job to find the interesting and relevant angle for people I’m targeting. You need to think outside of the box. Connect the campaign to specific days or local news is a great way to do this. For example, for our recent Nordic Migration campaign for Expedia, I used the 4th July as an angle as it’s celebrated both in the US and Denmark, which as a result secured coverage from one of the biggest publications in Denmark.
Whatever campaign you’re working on, you’ll instantly think of a bunch of publications that would make great targets. You outreach to them, but then you hit a wall. There are potentially hundreds of writers and journalists that could be interested, but pulling together a full and comprehensive list is a major task. My tip is all around prioritisation. It’s amazing how many journalists at top-tier publications are weary of covering a story if their competitors have already featured it. So build that list early, split by category/vertical and within each vertical prioritise prioritise prioritise!
I would advise to only target the most relevant influencers. That is, if you are running a travel related campaign aim for influencers within that field. To put it in perspective, let’s say you are a business journalist and someone sends you a pitch for MyRealLondon, a site about unusual things to do whilst visiting London, would you write about it? Probably not. There are plenty of tools out there to help you do this, my favourites include FollowerWonk and BuzzSumo, but often I find it’s just as easy to look at curated Twitter groups of experts in those areas.
Don’t be afraid to go after the big fish – afraid being the key word here. Journalists, well known reporters and respected writers all need to get their story ideas from somewhere so why not from you? If it’s something relevant, they will not only appreciate your email, they will also cover it. If you fear pressing the send button though, they’ll notice. It’ll bleed through in your writing style. At the end of the day we’re all humans so be bold, brazen and email the Royal Family.
Finding out something personal about the prospect always helps when opening up conversations. Twitter is a great source of information to help you understand what makes your target tick, their conversational style and how likely they are to be interested in your campaign. I always use any relevant information in my subject line or bring it up in my initial conversation…but not in a creepy way. For example, I noticed an MTV journalist tweeted about watching ‘Don’t Tell The Bride’ so I had a chat with her on Twitter about the show, which led to a deeper conversation and her publishing my links for the Expedia Music Festival Playlister.
Make sure the people you are outreaching to understand the benefits your campaign will bring to their site. Highlight the relevancy and the credibility, give examples of the impact your previous campaigns have had on other sites. If you’ve got coverage for the same campaign in a different country, vertical or from a bigger site already lean on that too – it shows them how much their audience might appreciate the content.
And finally, if I was going to give you one piece of advice to help you:
Always be prepared to adapt your pitching style. Nurture relationships and learn how a contact prefers to be approached. If you notice that a particular journalist likes to be presented with the facts without the personal touch, be aware of that for next time. If a journalist is particularly friendly and chatty, leverage that for your next email and engage them. If you find yourself sending out the same blanket email to all your contacts you’ll not only find you won’t get as many links as you’d like, but you’re also not likely to build long-lasting relationship.
If you need some more deeper insights into how you should be conducting your Content Outreach, drop us a line. We’d be more than happy to help!