Links are still a tricky subject.
While Google’s doing everything in its power to stop low-quality link building practices there’s no doubt that building great links back to your site is still an essential part of SEO.
Guest blogging is the latest method to feel the pinch which has caused scores of search marketers to proclaim the death of search engine optimisation.
I’m always getting asked about the best ways to build links is and how best to approach it in the future.
The answers are simple and have always been preached. Quality and revelance.
Relevant and benevolent
An example I keep pushing is MoneySuperMarket’s excellent campaign in January.
Why do I keep highlighting it? Because it’s the perfect example of a brand gathering useful data for all the right reasons, pitching it perfectly to the right people, and reaping the rewards of positive persistence.
And MoneySuperMarket’s track record shows that the company’s ambition has been rewarded time and again for its creative online campaigns.
A budget that attracts Snoop Dogg (or Lion?) to its ads means nothing when it comes to building the above links.
Rather, the company is seeing the online benefits from building positive relationships with the press and knowing how to pitch to the right people.
Plus the beauty of this approach is that anyone can do it.
How do you approach influencers and pitch your ideas to journalists? Have your ideas worked so far? Let me know in the comments section below.
You have five seconds…
Whether you’re trying to pitch to staff writers, journalists, subs, editors, or other you have to consider that there are hundreds of other people trying to catch their attention all at once.
What’s more all of these people are trying to take up the most important thing in their professional lives: time.
Then, you’re trying to take something else of theirs. Space. Whether that’s space online, in a publication, airtime, or other.
These people owe you nothing, have never met you, and know you’re after free publicity.
Why should they listen and give it to you over everyone else?
Because you’re worth it?
Factors such as these are one of the reasons why how you use your data is so important when you’re looking at your long-term content strategy.
Constructing something creative with your data is the way forward for link building and sharing your content online.
But sometimes that may not be enough.
Some writers, journalists, and editors only have time to take a look at the subject line of an email – it can be that difficult to catch their attention.
Have you ever tried catching the attention of the media? How did it go, and have you been able to build on the relationships you made? Let me know below!
Three tips to boost press success
So, how do you keep out of spam folders and create a pitch that’s more likely to be followed up than see you blacklisted?
1: Target the right people
I hope the message is getting through about how serious content marketing should be taken, and that it isn’t about dusting off Microsoft Word and doing the odd blog here and there.
Creating in-depth media lists of people working in all levels of your industry’s media publications and outlets is an incredibly lengthy and important process. Dividing those people up into much smaller groups for efficiency and maximum impact is also time-consuming.
Tools like Gorkana are fantastic for helping you discover journalists, PRs, marketers, and others in your industry to target your media alerts to. It can be pricey, though – another example of why outsourcing your marketing is justifiably expensive.
BuzzStream is more affordable and is a useful PR outreach tool perfect for building relationships.
The alternative to using tools is combing through every media publication that’s related to your industry and trying to dig out its editorial team, checking them up on social media, and personally creating a list that will hopefully stand the test of time.
2: Punchy press releases with killer information
“I hope you’re well. I’m getting in touch because…”
While intentions are good an editor may lose interest by then. Consider the inverted pyramid system when drafting a press release and put the most important information in the first paragraph.
Most importantly get all of the information you want to convey in a sharp, punchy subject heading to work as the title of your release to encourage people to click and read. If you can’t sum up your release in a sentence then, as (possibly) Einstein suggested, you don’t understand it well enough.
Bullet point the key talking points at the top of the release and summarise the most important information as soon as possible, filtering down to the bottom of your release. Finally, don’t forget to include as much contact information as possible: social links, email addresses, phone numbers, and that all-important natural link to your site.
3: Take some time to get it right
Remember, you only ever get to make one first impression. For instance, I received the same press release seven times in the space of five minutes last week from somebody I’ve never heard from before.
The release itself wasn’t too bad but the infuriating level of spam made sure I’d remember him and the company involved for all the wrong reasons. I’m in the marketing profession; can you imagine what a national editorial team would think?
Check all your facts and sources are 100 per cent reliable before sending. Make sure grammar is up to scratch. Cut out the PR faff. If you’re sending in bulk be sure to BCC the correct list. Make sure you spell the recipients’ names right (believe me, it happens).
Even if you have to delay the alert’s release by an hour while everything’s double-checked, it’s worth it to know that if the release hasn’t been picked up or reported on, it’s not because of some silly mistake that you only noticed after pressing send.
To learn more about link building with content marketing for your brand contact the Webpresence team today!