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Every September, hundreds of professionals from the SEO, Digital Marketing, Digital PR, PPC and Social Media sectors travel to Brighton to share their knowledge of the industry. I had the opportunity to attend the Branded3’s Digital PR and Link Building Training – here are the key takeaways!
Always think about the ‘Zero Moment of Truth’
It is no secret that the Internet has revolutionised the way we shop and buy things. Consumers have moved from entering a shop and handling the item to researching and reading reviews about the product they want to purchase online. Google refers to this decision-making as the ZMOT – ‘Zero Moment of Truth’. According to research, the ZMOT has more of an impact than any other stage when it comes to making a purchase, and this is what every Digital PR professional should be targeting. On average, it is thought that potential customers consume 10.4 pieces of content before deciding to make that purchase.
The 2017 Edelman Annual Trust Barometer showed that trust in Search Engines is Increasing
The Edelman Annual Trust Barometer is a very interesting study, gathering data from 33,000+ people from 28 countries. In this study, they had found that trust was in a ‘global crisis’ when it came to consumers and traditional media platforms. Compared to 2016, trust in traditional media platforms is down by 5 points, but the information given by search engines has increased by 3 points. However, the Google Confidence Report contradicts this study, as their results had shown that 52% of people feel that Google’s results are biased.
76% of Journalists are concerned about the shareability of their articles
If you’re able to pitch a story to a journalist that has the potential to go viral on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin, then you have a stronger chance of getting your content out there. Alongside this, there are five aspects that improves the shareability of content. These are:
- Videos and images.
- The brevity of the piece – can it be summarised in more than 140 characters.
- The localisation of the article – including age, gender and location.
- Utilise the human voice – this can be done case studies.
- Proximity to any trending topics
A great example of this was the #iconquered campaign by conference call software company, Powwownow. Their out of the box campaign focused on people conquering their biggest fears – including the fear of conference calls. This campaign utilised celebrities (including the likes of Michelle Visage) and ‘normal’ people. What made this campaign so linkable were the themes explored. From mental health to illness and sexism, this campaign had leverage in national, regional and niche platforms.
Make sure you’re giving Journalists content they have to link to
Getting a link back from a publication is one of the main points when it comes to Digital PR, which is why it can be a real kick in the teeth if you’ve put all your effort into creating and curating a great campaign that receives coverage but no links back to the site. How can you defeat this? By giving journalists a piece of content they have to link back to.
For example, Taxi insurance firm Staveley Head had a campaign focusing on the amount of germs on London’s Public Transport. Ordinarily, this headline wouldn’t necessarily give them a link back, so their agency created a page where users could see where the germs were found on the tube, bus or taxi. This meant that each publication had to link back to the tool. You can check it out here.
Data is a great way to get that hook.
Whether it is through expert commentaries, a page the journalist needs to use or a graphic, the key is to give the Journalist a story they can’t write about without linking to. There are six different types of data that can help you achieve this:
- Public – FOI requests, Google Public Data, Office National Stats for the UK.
- Business – purchased data (in this instance the data belonging to the client) and data provided by customers.
- Purchased – data from surveys and third-party data.
- Created data – Data created from quizzes, polls and surveys.
- Social Media – Salesforce, Brandwatch & Crimson Hexagon.
Whilst sourcing the data and creating link worthy content for the campaign may take longer, you’ll be sure to secure that all-important link. From mass-data to interviews, there are many ways to curate and create content that has to be linked back to!
The client’s wants and needs should always be the priority.
This point may seem very obvious when coming up with ideas for campaigns, it can be easy to forget the requirements of the client. Here are a few things we should always consider when working with clients.
- Whether you’re in-house or agency, we always need to show the value that the campaign can add.
- Communicate with clients and find out what campaigns they are doing. Think about how we can support them in what they are doing.
- Find out your client’s KPIs and help them to reach them.
- SEO tools can help you measure the value of PR campaigns. You’d be surprised to know that many internal PR teams haven’t even heard of Google Analytics. Reporting with facts, figures and statistics is a great way to show the value of the campaigns created, and assist on the KPI front.
- Can you involve your client in the brainstorming process and planning? This will reassure them that you’re the right fit for the job.
- Offer one-off training for your clients. It’s up to them to take it, and it can help a traditional PR team or content team stay on the same page.
Give both the client and Journalist an idea they can’t refuse.
Brainstorming is a huge part of Digital PR and is often one of the biggest hurdles. From staying on top of #journorequests to obtaining FOI requests, creating quizzes, sending surveys or looking at Statista, there is a magnitude of platforms to curate information and get ideas. Staying up to date with PR news platforms such as PR Week, The Drum and PRCA can also inspire you. Oh, and don’t forget free tools such as Answer The Public and LSI Graph…
Consider the conversational aspects of your idea
You could come up with what you think is the best idea in the world, but if the idea won’t generate conversation in real life scenarios (in a pub or between colleagues), then there’s a strong chance it won’t get picked up. Every time you consider a campaign idea, imagine someone chatting about it in the pub or by the water cooler at work. If you can’t imagine people talking it then start again.
Building a rapport with journalists doesn’t have to be a challenge…
If you’ve collaborated with a journalist before, then stick with them or ask for a referral. If the journalist knows you’ll provide them with all the information needed, and they don’t have to go back and forth, then you’re in for a winner. When approaching new journalists, emailing them with the idea you have and how you can make it work for them is a great way to get noticed. This means that they’re able to tell you what you could you provide to make the campaign work for them and give them they want. This tactic is a great way of sparking a relationship with the journalist.
Should you and the journalist have some spare time (as rare as gold dust), then offer to go for lunch or drinks. This means that you’ll be able to put names to faces and talk about your wants and needs face-to-face. This tactic is very difficult and rarely happens – but when it does, they appreciate the effort.
If you’d like some advice regarding your Digital PR strategy, then do not hesitate to get in touch with Ricemedia – we’re more than happy to help!