Achieving coverage from both national press and industry specific sites is becoming increasingly difficult for brands. The boom of content marketing has meant that website owners and journalists are now drowning in hundreds of pitches a day.
Here’s a blue print on how to achieve coverage using content.
1. Research & idea generation
All the promotion in the world won’t help an uneducated content idea achieve its goals. A good idea based on solid research is a necessity, put yourself in the shoes of the journalists and web owners you want to achieve coverage off. With every campaign we ask ourselves the following questions:
- What subject areas are talked about by our target publishers and sites?
- Is there enough evidence that publishers care about our client’s specific product or service range? Are there any complimenting subject areas that are more popular subjects?
- Are there enough potential sites within this niche that would be interested in covering our content piece?
- Are there any particular content types that perform better?
- Is there enough depth to this concept? Can we put an interesting twist on it that will get people talking?
If ideas don’t satisfy the above questions then they are canned.
In a past campaign, we were generating ideas for the automotive industry as the client sold personalised number plates. There wasn’t enough evidence that this particular area would grab our target publisher’s attention. However they had a product offering that overlaps with an aspirational lifestyle.
The subject area of ‘celebrity car collections’ and in particular, ‘footballer’s cars’ was often talked about amongst our target publishers. It generated good discussions, was still newsworthy and we could put a number of twists on the content piece to add to its depth.
Worth noting: Product or brand heavy content is hard to get coverage with. You need to focus on what people want to engage with and what the target publishers are interested in talking about.
2. Content creation
In this instance we created a calculator that showed you how long you would have to work to afford a footballers trademark car vs how long they had to work to afford it. A tad depressing? Maybe but the research showed that us Brits were at a level where we now understood the madness of footballer’s wages and would understand that this type of content wasn’t to be taken too seriously. More importantly, our target publishers talked about it heavily.
You can take a look at the content here
When creating your content you should again put yourself in the shoes of your target publishers. What data would they need to be able to produce a newsworthy feature? Is there enough data within your content piece? Is it digestible enough? Can the publisher easily take graphics and design elements to help populate their story?
Infographics still can work in this area, although they have been done to death over the years. As long as there is a story there to be had within the piece it doesn’t really matter how it’s formatted. If you produce a campaign that is hosted in code on your site, like the above, it allows the publisher to link back to the original piece for further reading. This is great when it comes to driving traffic back to your site and improving your link profiles from an SEO perspective.
3. The Outreach
Using the above campaign as an example, we were able to reuse work from the initial research phase and pull through our targeted publishers. You can do this using tools such as Buzzsumo. We had evidence that they were already interested in the subject matter so the content had a good chance of grabbing their attention. Again, a research based idea improves your chances of your outreach phase succeeding.
Outreach for coverage can be tricky, in this case we weren’t actually giving these publishers anything to host. The content piece was a tool based around a popular discussion point. So in our outreach we first had to sell the discussion point and prove how well the subject had performed in terms of social shares, comments etc in previous months. Then we provided any assets the publisher might need to create a piece of coverage on this subject.
There were lots of angles we could go with:
- Did you know Cristiano Ronaldo can afford a Renault Clio every hour? Whereas the average Brit would have to save for 1602 weeks to buy his supercar. – Personal finance
- Did you know you could own this car if you work insanely hard for 36 years – Car lovers
- Did you know Rooney owned this car?- Football fans
- Do you need something to add on to any round up finance/football/car news articles for jovial Christmas/New Year content?
Quite often the publisher was able to see the potential angle for the story, we just provided them with the ammunition they needed to create the piece. Screenshots, copy, more information on the figures used. We even offered to track referral traffic for them to help them decide if this subject area was worth covering again in the future.
It’s all in the effort put in to form a relationship and going the extra mile to help your contacts out.
4. The Performance
The piece achieved coverage across The Daily Mail, Topgear.com, This is Money and popular car news site Car Throttle. On top of this is it also received social shares from viral car sites and the likes of Money Super Market.
It’s important to track the effectiveness the content pieces have in terms of referral traffic, on site metrics and assisted conversions. You’ll learn a lot about the sites you have achieved coverage from, we actually find that the more viral led sites drive 100x more traffic than national press.