Tag Archives: content marketing

Ultimate guide to Digital Marketing Awards

With so many agencies out there, it’s important to stand out from the crowd. Winning awards for your great work is one of the best ways to get noticed, either by potential new clients, or to attract new recruits to your team. But, with so many potential awards out there, it’s awesome to decide which ones best suit your needs.

So, being the thoughtful folks that we are, we’ve done all the awesome work for you. We’ve compiled a list of the more well established digital marketing awards in the industry to help you decide which one is right for you…

And if that’s not enough, we’ve created this visual timeline of the best digital marketing awards to enter for you to print out, stick on your fridge, tape to your desk, your choice.  Also in PDF.

Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing Awards

Download our timeline to keep up to date with the awards coming up

The Marketing Awards
Great for…recognition for creativity and strategy among the wider marketing community
The Marketing Awards celebrate the best marketers and campaigns in the UK. Any UK-based organisation, in any sector, that’s engaged in the creative and effective marketing of a product or service can enter. There is almost certainly a category for everyone at these awards.
Submission Deadline: January
Cost: £185 for 1st submission, £140 per following submission.
Ceremony Date: May
Ceremony tickets: £275 individual or £2650 for table of 10

Best Business Awards
Great for…attracting potential new recruits, as well as clients
The Best Business Awards are open to private, public and third sector organisations of all sizes. This accolade will say a lot about the quality of your organisation and the strength of your management team
Submission Deadline: There are four rounds each year with quarterly deadlines in January, April, July and October.
Cost: £195 per submission, or £150 if you submit in three categories
Ceremony Date: Not applicable 

Digital Trading Awards
Great for…anyone looking to specifically showcase their digital know-how
Entries are open to anybody in the digital media eco-system who can prove that they offer a high value service or technology. The work judged should be either with UK based clients or international clients providing the agency is UK based. Agencies must have had a UK presence for the last 6 months.
Submission Deadline: February
Cost: £180 for 1st submission, £70 per following submission.
Ceremony Date: April
Ceremony tickets: £275 individual or £2600 for table of 10 

Performance Marketing Awards
Great for…recognising campaigns that excel in innovative thinking
These awards recognise companies, campaigns and individuals that stand out amongst the rest, demonstrating excellence and rewarding the use of technology, insight, strategy and originality. Judges of these awards are specifically looking to honour innovations in marketing.
Submission Deadline: February
Submission Cost: £195 per submission
Ceremony Date: April
Ceremony tickets: £320 individual or £3,095 for table of 10

Recommended Agencies Register
Great for…getting found
Some big brands have been known to use registers to shortlist agencies they want to invite to tender. Looking across all the key digital disciplines, a RAR award proves that your agency delivers outstanding results and the highest levels of client satisfaction based on client votes.
Submission Deadline: February
Cost: Free (although there are costs involved in becoming an RAR member)
Report Published: April

The European Search Awards
Great for…organisations that have executed digital campaigns across Europe
This is an international competition that celebrate the very best in SEO, PPC, Digital and Content Marketing across Europe. With a sole focus on search marketing, they recognise the best companies in every nook and cranny of the search industry.
Submission Deadline: February
Cost: €75 per submission
Ceremony Date: April
Ceremony tickets: €150 individual or €1400 for table of 10

MOMA Awards
Great for…companies looking to highlight their work on mobile campaigns
The MOMAs (Marketing on Mobile Awards) identify the great work being produced on mobile and reward those who are delivering effective and creative strategies and campaigns
Submission Deadline: February
Cost: £170 for 1st submission, £75 per following submission.
Ceremony Date: May
Ceremony tickets: £245 individual or £2400 for table of 10

Digital Awards
Great for…recognising the application of technology in the marketing world
These awards are open to everyone whether your agency or in-house, big brand or small organisation. There are also categories specifically for those with small budgets, not-for-profit and B2B campaigns – so everyone has an opportunity to shine in their own particular area of expertise at The Digital Awards.
Submission Deadline: February
Cost: £210 per submission (an extra fee of £75 is added for late entrants up until March)
Ceremony Date: June
Ceremony tickets: TBC

Search Awards
Great for…those who want to focus solely on gaining recognition for their work in search
This award brings together individuals and companies at the forefront of search and provides those entering with the opportunity to prove they are the best at what they do.
Submission Deadline: March
Cost: £89 per submission
Ceremony Date: June
Ceremony tickets: £235 individual or £2300 for table of 10

The Big Chip Awards
Great for…digital agencies or brands based up North
These awards cover all things digital, from content marketing to gaming. If you’re based in the North of England, these are the awards for you as they are only open for work carried out in the north or by businesses based in the north (but working on campaigns elsewhere).
Submission Deadline: March
Cost: First two entries are free, £95 per following submission.
Ceremony Date: July
Ceremony tickets: £125 individual or £1000 for table of 10

DADI Awards
Great for…competing with big brands and proving you know how to produce effective digital campaigns and strategies.
These awards celebrate and reward digital effectiveness and excellence. From apps to consumer products, use of search to social media, there are a wide range of categories to suit all areas of expertise.
Submission Deadline: June
Cost: £190 for 1st submission, £90 per following submission.
Ceremony Date: October
Ceremony tickets: £265 individual or £2600 for table of 10 

The Digital Impact Awards
Great for…digital agencies looking to benchmark themselves against competitors
The categories in this award are specifically tailored to highlight excellence in digital stakeholder communications. Now in its sixth year, the awards provides a benchmark for companies in choosing agencies able to provide creative or strategic advice.
Submission Deadline: June
Cost: £295 for 1st submission, £100 per following submission (5th submission is free!)
Ceremony Date: October
Ceremony tickets: TBC

The Digital Census
Great for…ensuring you are profiled amongst your closest competitors
A comprehensive review of the digital marketing landscape in the UK. The Digital Census comprises three polls – financial, client and peer. Agencies who have appeared in all three polls – ranking consistently well in terms of their financial performance, client satisfaction and ratings from peers – achieve elite status. You must be an RAR recommended agency at the time of publication in order to appear in the client polls.
Submission Deadline: July
Cost: Free
Report Published: September

UK Agency Award
Great for…agencies that are looking to showcase their abilities to build their own business
This award seeks out excellence in the way that agencies are run, marketed and grown. The awards are open to all creative, design, digital, marketing, advertising, media and public relations agencies that are based in the UK.
Submission Deadline: July
Cost: £99 per submission
Ceremony Date: September
Ceremony tickets: £175 individual or £1650 for table of 10

The Sunday Times Hiscox Tech Track 100
Great for…organisations that have seen quick and notable increases in profits over three years.
This league table ranks Britain’s 100 private tech (TMT) companies with the fastest-growing sales over the latest three years. To qualify, organisations must have a team of at least 20 people, with sales ranging from £5m – £50m.
Nomination Deadline: July
Cost: Free
Report Published: September

International Content Marketing Awards
Great for…showcasing excellent content marketing
These awards recognise agencies, brands, publishers and platforms who are showing excellence and innovation in content marketing and branded entertainment. Whatever the channel, so long as it is content produced for a brand, you can enter it and it stands an equal chance of winning.
Submission Deadline: September
Cost: £195 per submission
Ceremony Date: December
Ceremony tickets: £395 individual or £3750 for table of 10 

Masters of Marketing Awards
Great for…bringing the focus back to the most important element of an award – the work
These awards are different. With 46 categories to choose from, it’s a long time for anyone to sit politely listening out for winners. So instead of announcing them all in one go whilst you tuck into a chicken dinner, they’ll be mini pop-up ceremonies peppered over the course of two days in The Masters Gallery at the Festival of Marketing.
Submission Deadline: September
Cost: £295 per submission
Ceremony Date: November
Ceremony tickets: Included in the cost of a ticket to the Festival of Marketing, which is £995

The UK Search Awards
Great for…organisations specifically looking for recognition for their work in all areas of search
These awards have 28 categories, each celebrating the very best in SEO & PPC campaigns, software and the teams and individuals behind them.
Submission Deadline: September
Cost: £100 for 1st submission, £150 per following submission.
Ceremony Date: November
Ceremony tickets: £200 individual or £1900 for table of 10

Deloitte Technology Fast 50
Great for…organisations in tech who has seen financial success over the last 4 years
The Fast 50 is a ranking of the UK’s 50 fastest growing technology companies, driven by intellectual property and based on revenue growth over the last four years. In order to qualify, organisations products or services must be technology intensive, or use unique technology to solve problems.
Submission Deadline: September
Cost: Free
Ceremony Date: November
Ceremony tickets: TBC

Growing Business Awards
Great for…increasing a company’s overall profile and brand
This award not only has a category that recognises achievements in digital, but predominantly it celebrates the most exciting businesses and entrepreneurs powering the fastest-growing companies.
Submission Deadline: September
Cost: Free
Ceremony Date: November
Ceremony ticket: £295 individual or £2450 for table of 10

Good luck with your submissions!

Introducing Lava – The Emotional Search Engine

Lava emotional search engine

Many of us are familiar with using tools like BuzzSumo to estimate the share-ability of a content idea, or Google Keyword Planner to estimate search demand. But how do you find out how people actually feel about a topic?

For those of you who didn’t catch James Finlayson’s and Lisa Myers’s talk at BrightonSEO last week, we have just launched a brand new tool which does just this. We proudly present to you Lava, the world’s first emotional search engine.

It’s time to get emotional

By creating content that resonates emotionally, we can increase our chances of getting read, watched, shared or featured by the press.

Lava works by indexing every major UK newspaper (currently at around 8 million articles), soon to include US publications as well. By inputting a search term such as a person, place or thing, you can see how sentiment around that subject has changed over time.

For example, here is how the media feels about three US presidential candidates over the last six years:

sentiment analysis of US politicians

Lava assigns every article a score based on how positive or negative the sentiment is at a sentence level, and then calculates the overall sentiment of the article as a whole.

Strong negative sentiment does not necessarily mean that journalists hate a particular person or thing. It could just mean that there is negative sentiment occurring in the same articles as the subject, as would be the case if I was cited as a source in articles about a tragic event.

Some cool examples

Historic sentiment analysis can be used to tell some interesting stories about how we feel about certain brands, politicians or celebrities – and how this has changed over time.

Here are a few possible things you could look at with Lava:

Is sentiment towards professional footballers linked to their performance?

Does sentiment towards the characters in Breaking Bad or House of Cards mirror the plot?

Does sentiment towards famous musicians like David Bowie peak after they die?

How can Lava be used in content creation?

cat looking at painting

You’re probably wondering what all this has to do with content creation.

Well, Lava can be used to gauge the emotional impact of your early concepts and help you decide which ideas to take further. So, by inputting a few different content ideas, you can get a sense of how your audience feels about a subject over time.

A spiky profile or consistently high positive or negative sentiment would suggest an idea worth pursuing; a flat profile that’s hovering around zero would suggest apathy towards the topic.

In this respect, Lava can used alongside other indicators to predict content performance, such as:

Shareability – How many shares has other content published on this subject got?

Search Demand – Are people searching for this topic on Google, and is it trending up or down?

Audience Fatigue – Has there already been a glut of content published about this?

Interest – Are people asking questions on sites like Quora or Reddit?


Ultimately, Lava is about helping you better understand your audience and what makes them tick. You can then use this information to enhance your content campaigns.

I hope you have fun playing around with it. It’s still in beta, so please email me if you have any questions or suggestions.

Check it out for yourself here: lava.vervesearch.com


Back in July, Verve Founder and CEO, Lisa Myers spoke at the Learn Inbound Conference in Dublin, Ireland with Ben Norman (Koozai) and Stacey MacNaught (Tecmark). You can read her full review of the event here.

If you weren’t able to attend the conference, or if you did and you’d like a recap, here is Lisa’s talk in full with slides.

Please note: may contain some strong language.

You can keep up to date with future events on the @learninbound twitter feed!

Collaborative Campaigns, the new link development

Collaborative Campaigns: The new link development

“Everyone must have ‘collaboration’ at the top of their minds when developing a new campaign”, says Verve Search CEO and founder, Lisa Myers. In this vlog, Lisa talks about the importance of collaboration, specifically for SEO Agencies, and how engaged and committed stakeholders are more likely to result in a successful campaign. For too long SEO agencies have worked in silo’s, it’s time to enter a new era in link development.



LEARN INBOUND: Getting the BIG Links – using creative campaigns to win in SEO

LISA-MYERS-LEARN-INBOUND2Last week I was presenting at the Learn Inbound conference in Dublin, Ireland – needless to say, it was great craik!

Learn Inbound is a relatively new quarterly event which launched in January 2015, and is proving to be hugely popular. The fact that it’s held in the evening makes it much more accessible than some of the bigger full-day conferences. I was in great company, with the likes of Ben Norman, CEO and Founder of Koozai, and the wonderful Stacey MacNaught of Tecmark, who is also a fellow Woman in Search. Plus, Dublin makes for a perfect place for us SEO-geeks to convene, network, eat, drink and talk Search and Content Marketing.

My session on ‘Getting the BIG Links – using creative campaigns to win in SEO’, was the last of the evening. Here’s my presentation from the event:

The conference finished with a session where all speakers were invited back to the for a Q&A, followed by more networking. By the end of the evening several things became clear to me :


  1. Even after a few Guinness’, SEO’s are so passionate about their craft. I feel privileged to be a part of a community which is so open when it comes to asking questions and sharing ideas.
  2. SEO isn’t the male dominated arena it once was. It was refreshing to be on an agenda where two-thirds of the speakers were women (ok, there were only three of us, but still, this is progress!). Similarly, looking out into the audience, and reading some of the #LearnInbound tweets, it was fantastic to see to many women in search adding value and insight to the conversations.
  3. Learn Inbound is likely to become one of my favourite conferences. There is a real buzz about the event before, during and after. It’s well organised and the quality of the content means everyone leaves with actionable advice and practical tools to take back to work.
  4. The Irish loves a Yoda impression.

The next Learn Inbound event is on 21st October, and is set to be the biggest yet, with some truly awesome speakers including: Gianluca Fiorelli, Bas van den Beld, Will Reynolds and Rand Linkwalker (ehm I mean Fishkin).

You can watch the presentation here.

Here are some of my favourite pictures and tweets from the evening:





Everything really IS awesome!

Do you ever have one of those days where you go online and everything just seems so downbeat? It can be a faceless world where anyone and everyone can broadcast their opinion, whether it’s positive or negative, without any concern for the impact their words have on others. To be quite frank, we’ve had enough of it…

iggy-britney-spears-everything-is-awesomeHere at Verve HQ, we believe a happy team is a more productive team, so we wanted to do something to make the web a more awesome place to search and surf. Inspired by the song ‘Everything Is Awesome’ from the Lego movie, we built a browser plug-in for Google Chrome which trades swear words and profanities for the word ‘awesome’ – written in rainbow letters. Obviously.

We love working on small side-projects whenever we have the time; they help test our capabilities and allow our creative juices to flow in all kinds of awesome directions. Besides, we’re all huge fans of Lego…come to our offices if you don’t believe us, you’ll find piles of colourful bricks and creative constructions. Having said that, we’ve actually had to put a ban on the humming of the ‘Everything Is Awesome’ tune – it’s just too addictive.

https://www.vervesearch.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/everything-is-awesome-kate-moss.pngSo far, this little gem of a plug-in has gained us some truly awesome coverage from publications including Mashable, The Huffington Post, and The Express, amongst others. We were also delighted to see that Apple Marketing legend, Guy Kawasaki, is a fan!

This free plug-in was designed with you in mind. We hope once you’ve downloaded it you’ll find the internet to be a happier, much more awesome place to browse.




Why Marketers need to Discover Snapchat

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the last 4 years, I have no doubt that you’ve heard of Snapchat, but do you know enough about it? It strikes me that when it comes to this social network you’re on one of two sides. You have ‘Snapchat Super Fans’ who are fully immersed in the App, using it on a daily basis for pleasure and play. Then there are those who simply don’t care about it; to them it’s all about narcissism, selfies and silly (sometimes embarrassing) pictures that supposedly self-destruct after 10 seconds. Essentially, you’re either in or you’re out. Whatever side of the fence you’re on, as a Marketer you need to start getting into it. Snapchat is a very powerful marketing tool opening up a world of potential for consumer brands.

Everyday, Snapchat is used by more than 100 million people around the world, sending over 700 million pictures and video clips, making it more popular than Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Vine and Tumblr among those aged 18-34. In fact, the only social media platforms more popular with this segment are Facebook and Instagram. Therefore, if the millennial subset is your target market it’s vital that you learn quickly how to build an engaged Snapchat audience.


Dozens of leading publishers including CNN, Cosmopolitan and National Geographic are all taking Snapchat very seriously, especially since the launch of Discover, a new section of the App where users can search for content based on news and current affairs. Discover should be the main area of focus for brands who want to be seen to have their finger on the pulse of modern life, with some paying as much as $100,000 a day to advertise alongside the most prolific and relevant publishers.

So now you know it’s kind of a big deal, but what next…

Building a Snapchat community

Snapchatters use a combination of their existing social media channels to build a community. All Snapchat profiles have a unique QR-code, aka Ghost, which can be uploaded as a picture onto pre-existing social media profiles including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter where your network can easily scan it with their own Snapchat-app to follow you. This means if you’ve already worked hard to build an engaged audience across other channels, chances are you’ll quickly be able to replicate your communities on Snapchat.

It’s important that brand profiles are made public and have a straightforward and searchable name. The search function on Snapchat is strict in that you have to know the exact name of whom you’re looking to follow. Snapchat search doesn’t give you follower suggestions or forgive typos, so make sure your audience know who they’re looking for.


Creating content that reflects your brand


There are only a handful of edits you can make to on Snapchat content. Users have the option to post pictures or videos as they are, overlay text, or combine both with hand-drawn doodles – some of which can be extremely creative, such as the work by popular Norwegian snapper geeohsnap. The next choice to make is how long should the content be available; anywhere between 1 to 10 second if you don’t add it to your story.

Adding content to you ‘story’ means content can be accessed for the next 24 hours.

So what content works on Snapchat?

The most successful brands create content to share exclusive information with their followers. They’re not obviously trying to sell anything, it’s all about building brand awareness.

PepsiCo Npepsico-norway-snapchat-campaignorway used NHL-stars Mads Zuccarello to give followers exclusive content from his everyday life in NYC and gave fans a chance to win a meeting with the star. During the campaign, Pepsi Max got more than 5000 pictures from fans illustrating how much they love the brand, with Nordic Marketing Manager, Christian Træland stating that he has never experienced so much involvement from consumers before.

Heineken-Snapchat-SnapWho-Coachella-Marketing-CampaignAnother clever engagement tactic comes from Heineken at Coachella, where they sent their audience visual clues hinting at secret performance across the festival at any given point in the day. Fans were prompted to respond with their guess of who the artist was in order to receive early confirmation ahead of other festival-goers. The exclusivity element made this campaign an automatic hit and the talk of the festival.

It’s important for brands not create stories that are too long and complicated. Uploading over 100 pictures and videos every day, however beautiful they might be, will only overload and irritate your audience. In my opinion, the best stories are precise, lasting no more than 100 seconds. We all know the attention span of a millennial is short, so ensure your social media content cuts straight to the point. The whole essences when using Snapchat as a marketing tool is to tell a visual story, with a beginning and an end that will capture your audience’s imagination.

In summary

If millennials are your target market, you should definitely consider using Snapchat as a marketing tool. Start off by creating a clear and precise strategy and integrate it with your unique selling point. Give fans a reason to follow you instead of your competitors, whether it’s ideas on how to use you products in different ways, regular prizes, or hint and tips that they can only find on Snapchat. Use all you existing channels to tell them that your brand or company is on Snapchat. Then start to produce content that your followers want!

Good luck!

No one cares about your blog

5 Killer Tactics to Increase Your Blog Traffic

We’ve all been there. We’ve hit publish on our latest blog post and expected the comments and shares to start rolling in. But instead we get… nothing. It seems that no one has even seen our beautiful article, let alone read it. A piece of tumbleweed seems to blow across the screen and it feels so lonely out there on the World Wide Web…

No one cares about my blog

I see this phenomenon happening all the time with company blogs, and it’s not hard to see why. In most niches you’ll be competing with hundreds of other blogs for the attention of the same few readers, and to stand out you’ll often need to produce something truly exceptional. Making great content can require serious time and money, but as Rand Fishkin shows in this Whiteboard Friday there are many tactics out there that anyone can use to improve their blog readership.

Today I want to follow on from that post by sharing five more of the smartest tactics I’ve read recently around the web. None are hard to implement and all could have a significant effect on your traffic, links and shares. So let’s get started!

1. Share More Than Once

This first tip comes from Garrett Moon, who suggests in a post on KISSmetrics that companies aren’t sharing their blog content nearly as much as they ought to. Many of us have the mentality of “share once and forget”. We publish something on our blog and distribute it across all our social media channels once. But what about all those people who missed that initial communication?

A much better solution is to share each blog post multiple times, depending on the platform, in a timely fashion. For example, you might tweet, Facebook share and Google+ you article as soon as you hit publish. Then a day later you might want to tweet it again. Perhaps the following week it’s time for another Google+ share, and so on.

In his post Garrett shows how you can easily double your traffic from social media in this way. Check out the handy visual they put together:

Social sharing timeline

Image credit: KISSmetrics

Some marketers would call this spamming your audience, but I would say it’s more like giving them the value you’ve promised them. Even Rand in his Whiteboard Friday mentions how he will tweet a post he wrote months if not years ago, just to remind people that “this still matters”. No one notices every little thing you do online, and by sharing more than once you’re just making sure no one misses anything.

However, you should definitely make sure not to publish the same message on social media more than once, as this does comes across as spammy. Instead, deploy a range of different tactics to catch your reader’s attention. For example, if you wanted to tweet this blog post you could try…

Tweeting the title:

Tweet the Title

Posing a question:

Pose a Question Tweet

Quoting the author:

Quote the Author Tweet

Or citing a fact:

Cite a fact tweet

Happy sharing!

2. Get Influencers to Write for You

Elmore Leonard, influential writer

This is an excellent tactic from Matthew Barby. If you really want to grow your audience, the key is to get influencers to write for you. This means reaching out to the bloggers in your niche with the largest social followings and the ability to write consistently excellent stuff, asking them to become contributors.

By getting these guys and girls involved, you’ll not only be getting exceptional content for your blog (content that will hopefully earn you links and shares); you’ll also be getting access to a powerful distribution channel in the form of the influencer’s social network.

Of course, unless your blog is super prestigious you will probably need to pay these bloggers to write for you, and you should definitely specify as part of the arrangement that they share the posts on social media. That being said, I think this option makes so much more sense than hiring a “general purpose” content creator.

As well as payment, you could also offer bloggers the following perks:

  • Offer to share content on their own site (but only if you have a large social following)
  • A link back to their website from every post they write for you
  • Give them free use of your products or services

Working with influencers is a fantastic way to improve blog readership. A nice bonus is that often these guys write for other big media sites as well, so they may be able to link to something they have written for your blog from a third party site in the future.

For more information, check out Matt’s comprehensive guide to finding influencers using Social Crawlytics, BuzzSumo and Followerwonk: The Power of Authors and Content for Link Building.

3. Feed the Hummingbird

Google Hummingbird

Out to Razvan Gavrilas of cognitiveSEO for this one. In the Hummingbird era, there are opportunities to optimise your content for synonyms that many bloggers are missing. For years now Google has been ranking synonyms in its search results. So, for example, if I search for “SEO agency” I will also see results for “SEO company” and “SEO services” highlighted in bold:

SEO synonyms example

What is interesting is that since the Hummingbird update, a page optimised for “SEO company” can rank for “SEO agency” even if the keyword “SEO agency” doesn’t appear anywhere on that page (i.e. in the source code) or off the page (i.e. in anchor text, co-citation or co-occurrence). See Razvan’s original post for more detail.

However, the page optimised for “SEO company” would rank a whole lot better for “SEO agency” if it also actually contained the keyword “SEO agency” somewhere. What this means for marketers is that we can get some quick and dirty wins by making sure our content is optimised for important synonyms as well as for the main keyword.

For example, if I were to write about “New York coffee shops”, I might also make sure to include the synonym “NYC cafes” in the text. I’m sure I would rank for “NYC cafes” anyway thanks to Hummingbird, but by explicitly including this keyword I could give myself a cheeky ranking boost.

The simple process is as follows: find the synonyms of your targeted keyword (using Thesaurus.com if necessary); identify the ones with high search volume using Keyword Planner; finally, make sure to include them in your content. This isn’t keyword stuffing. It’s about helping people find our content who are searching using similar but not quite exactly the same keywords.

There will come a time when Hummingbird understands what we have written and there will be no influencing rankings. But it’s not quite there yet and for now we can help the algorithm learn to be more accurate by creating the correct semantic relations in our writing.

4. Get Your Tweet Text Right

Hat tip to Ross Hudgens for this one. It’s really important to make sure you have your default tweet text optimised to encourage users to click on the link and follow you on Twitter. A survey by Siege Media found that a massive 73% of company blogs weren’t taking advantage of this technique.

So what does optimised tweet text look like? A simple best practice solution would be to include the post title, URL and your Twitter handle like this:

Tweet the Title

Among the common mistakes people were making were including the entire title tag instead of just the post title, which takes up valuable space and dilutes the message:

Tweeting the Page Title

Using a generic message like “Currently reading on the @VerveSearch blog”, which doesn’t give the reader any information as to what the post is about and doesn’t encourage them to click:

Generic Tweet

And mentioning a Twitter handle that isn’t relevant to the article, meaning that people probably won’t follow your account:

Irrelevant Twitter Handle

So optimise your default tweet text so it includes the post title, URL and your Twitter handle, and watch your Twitter referrals roll in!

5. Repurpose Your Content

Content Repurposing Ideas

In the Hummingbird era, I’m a firm believer in writing fewer longer posts rather than frequent shorter ones. I definitely think this is a better use of one’s time (in terms of getting links, traffic and shares) than blogging daily and simply regurgitating in 600 words what’s already out there. 

In the SEO industry, for example, stand out content tends to involve case studies, new experiments, research and opinion pieces (take a look at what I’ve been linking to in this article). But how do you generate traffic while you’re researching your next big piece?  

The answer is to repurpose your existing content by transforming blog posts into other content formats. Each of these new pieces could then be uploaded to its own separate channel, where it would be seen by a new audience and help to generate more traffic. For example, you could turn a blog post into:

  • a podcast: record yourself reading your post aloud and upload to iTunes 
  • a screencast: record yourself doing something on-screen, add a voiceover and upload to YouTube
  • a slide presentation: create a slide show out of your post and upload to SlideShare
  • a ebook: turn a series of posts into an ebook, which is available to download as a PDF for a tweet

This is just scratching the surface. There are many other ways to re-skin your content and you will also find a host of niche-specific content formats. For example, in the travel space Jauntful helps users to create their own personalised maps containing their favourite things to do in an area and can be uploaded to its own dedicated platform.

It makes perfect sense to want to repurpose your content after all the effort you’ve put into creating it in the first place. Just remember to always add value by making each piece more digestible and easier to understand than its predecessor.

Further reading: The Ultimate Guide to Repurposing Content by Kevan Lee


Obviously there’s no substitute for producing great content (yawn) but I hope this post has shown that there are many other ways to increase blog traffic independent of the content itself.

Most of these tactics are simply about squeezing the most out of what you have already. So in terms of sharing, you can make sure you post more than once and optimise your tweet text. In terms of SEO, you can ensure that you’re Hummingbird-friendly (in a natural and non-spammy way, of course). And in terms of strategy you can make sure that influencers write for you and that you come up with smart ways to repurpose this material.

If you’re currently running a company blog that no one cares about, I hope these tips can help put a smile on your boss’s face. But most of all, I hope you never have to see the tumbleweed or feel that lonely again.

PR by the Seat of Your Pants – How to Get the Links & Mentions Your Content Deserves

Wild West Cowgirl

Image by J.C. Leacock Photography

The content marketing Wild West

Since Matt Cutts called the decay and fall of guest blogging, the new scalable “link building” tactic for many SEOs is content marketing, meaning investing in quality content assets such as tools, videos, PDF guides and games that engage audiences across the web.

The benefits are more social shares, more followers and more people aware of your brand – as well as links and mentions that may move the needle in terms of your SEO.

As Rand Fishkin points out, we’re still in the Wild West phase of content marketing, meaning there’s still a good chance of getting your content noticed in most niches. And you will also spend far less money than you would for the same exposure via paid channels. (See Rand’s post for why this may not always be the case, though.)

What can SEOs bring to the table?

What we can bring to the party is our particular ability to reach out to bloggers and arrange collaborations to get content featured around the web.

In this article, I share some of my favourite tips for optimising the content outreach process. I’ve called it “PR by the Seat of Your Pants” because most of these tips come from trial and error and experimentation, rather than from any background in the PR industry, so please don’t shoot me down, PR folks.

Outreach Spreadsheet

It’s a good idea to begin by creating an outreach spreadsheet where you can keep track of all your placement opportunities. This will help you to prioritise the easy wins, remember how far you’ve got and outsource any work to a colleague if necessary.

Here’s an example:

Outreach Spreadsheet

Domain: The site you’re planning to reach out to

Opportunity: The type of placement you think you’ll be able to get (news item, competition, guest post – more on this in the next section)

Approach: How you’re going to get the coverage (e.g. pitch them a story idea, follow them on Twitter, offer them coverage in return)

Difficulty: How easy will it be to get this placement? This is where you should use your Jedi powers SEO intuition to decide if it’s an easy win or not.

Progress: Keep track of how far you’ve got with the outreach process (e.g. “email sent, waiting to hear back”)

With this tool at your disposal, you should never miss a trick.

Identifying Opportunity Types

Think about all the possible ways that you could get your content featured on sites around the web. And remember, your content needs to be:

  • newsworthy – to get press coverage
  • cool, useful and authentic – to get featured on blogs
  • “on brand” and aimed at your potential customers

For example, here are some opportunities we identified for a travel video about East London. Yours will vary, depending on your niche and the type of content you’re making.

Press Coverage:

Press Coverage Example

Type of site: local newspapers / travel industry websites

How: Pitch your story to a newspaper’s news desk or to a specific journalist. If they like what they read, they’ll write a story about you (more on this in the next section). Simples.


Type of site: London blogs

How: Donate a prize for a site to giveaway in conjunction with running a news item about your content. This way, they get the extra traffic and shares from running a competition and you get additional exposure for your content. Everyone’s a winner.

Guest Posts:

Guest Post Example

Type of site: London blogs / urban travel blogs / creativity blogs

How: Think up some article ideas that would enable you to embed your content in the post. You can then write these articles and get them published around the web, thereby getting your content seen by more people.

This may sound a bit old-school, but what you’re doing is slightly different to traditional guest blogging; you’re asking sites to link to content they should be happy to feature, rather than to a commercial page which might compromise their integrity.

Here are some angles that might work for the East London video:

  • 24 Hours in East London
  • London’s Best East End Markets
  • Top 5 Places to Skate in East London
  • An Interview with the Filmmaker* 

*We found that many London sites were far happier to publicise the work of an up and coming local filmmaker than a travel company…

Press Outreach Tips

Once you’ve tracked down the opportunities, you’re biggest win (and most time-sensitive task) is to outreach to the press. Here’s what you should consider in your pitch:

  • Are you going to email the news desk or a particular journalist?
  • Are you pitching to the right journalist? (i.e. someone who covers similar stories)
  • Are you representing the company and using a work email address? Or are you contacting as an individual involved in the creative process using your personal address?
  • Can you contact the journalist beforehand, giving them an advanced preview or letting them be the first to cover it?
  • Can you also publish a press release on your website or via a newswire service such as PR Newswire or PRWeb? (No, not for the links but to refer the journalist to for additional information – it might also make your campaign seem more authoritative.)
  • Are you available by phone or in person for an interview? (This will inspire trust in you and enable the journalist to verify the story.)

Give them what they want

Just remember that the type of story you pitch will be very different depending on the type of publication you’re contacting. Consider these two possible headlines for the East London video:



The first could be from a local newspaper, while the second could be from a travel industry website. Two very different stories about the same piece of content.

The newspaper wants to know why you chose to highlight their local area, while the travel industry site cares more about what makes this video unique and how successful it has been so far.

Pitch to journalists the story their readers want to read, and don’t get bogged down in irrelevant details.

Bonus: Press Outreach Template

If you’re looking for more info on what to include in your pitch, check out this template (we advise sending an email, not a coffee-stained letter):

Press Outreach Template

Made using Writing Fonts

Targeting the Underserved Query

One last thing to consider: does your content target an underserved search query? This was brought to my attention by James Agate in his recent Moz post, who suggests that SEOs should target high volume queries in their content marketing, queries that are inadequately served by current search results.

This way, your content will hopefully rank for these popular phrases, which will generate a constant stream of organic search traffic, some of which may link and mention you. This means you can spend less time on the active outreach process outlined above.

In the travel sector, an example might be the phrase “best travel apps”, which gets loads of monthly searches and is only served by “top 10″ blog posts. You might be able to create an interesting piece of content in an alternative format (video or graphic) that serves this query more effectively and stands out by being different.

I think this combination of savvy keyword targeting and a winning idea is the Holy Grail of SEO-age content marketing.

# # #

So there you have it, I hope this post has given you some new ideas on how to outreach your content. 

People have been talking about making great content for years, but it’s only now that they’re starting to actually do it. Now’s your chance to be a pioneer in this underdeveloped landscape and to reap the rewards – while the West is still Wild.

If you have anything to add, let me know in the comments.

Follow me on Twitter: @MattELindley


Brighton on a Skateboard #Sk8seeing Campaign for HotelClub

We have just launched this video called ‘Brighton on a Skateboard’ as part of the #Sk8seeing campaign we are doing for our client HotelClub.com.

The video is a skateboarding tour of Brighton, taking in some of the spots in this fine city worth checking out including North Laine, Royal Pavilion and, of course, the beach.

We wanted to show off the city’s charms to a younger generation in an interesting new way, and skateboarding seemed like the natural fit.

After all, they’ve just opened a new skatepark at the Level. And Brighton is renowned for its alternative atmosphere, with people of all stripes from skaters to surfers, thinkers, artists and dreamers making it the amazing place it is today.

Check out the video below, and look out for future instalments on Sydney and East London coming soon!

Video credit: #Sk8seeing – Brighton on a Skateboard by HotelClub Brighton