If you’ve spent the last few weeks or months working on your brand, cultivating the perfect topic and building the greatest story the world has ever seen that is sure to get your brand in the spotlight then outreach to the outlets that feed these stories to the public will be the next step. And if the story is as good as you believe than everyone and their dog will share the story far and wide.
Alas, once you wake up from this tremendous dream, or in fact try to share this campaign yourself you will be astutely aware that this couldn’t be further from the truth. You are competing with so much content and so many stories that it will quickly get lost in the ether, or the stack of emails that flood individual inboxes on an hourly basis.
What does this mean? It means you need to be smart in your research, clever in your prospecting and wise in your pitch. It isn’t simple but there is help and advice out there to help. So what do the experts suggest? This SEO marketing agency discuss their top tips and how they train their new recruits in the specialist art of digital PR.
Manual beats machine
When looking for a site to place your story, if you use the title or main words of your story, the likelihood is you’ll find someone who has recently publish the story itself or something so similar they might not be interested in doing the same so soon after their first story. While machines will be able to find.
Use search terms related to your story without directly copying it, and you’ll be likely to find websites more likely to share this story. If you don’t know about advanced search queries, use this article to save you time and effort on future searches.
Think like a reader
Forget everything you know about metrics and marketing dynamics. Look at the website in the same way your reader would, if that means turning off your ad block then do it. It will show you certain ad-heavy sites, and remind you how off-putting this might be for general users. A site covered with ads means that your content will quickly ‘sink beneath the surface’ and shows a low quality website.
Use your Google quality guidelines (these are frequently updated) that you obviously keep beside your computer at all times, as a tool to help understand the quality of your website. Is the site relevant and have content similar to what you are wanting to spread. Do they post frequently or consistently? What is driving their cycle?
Understanding the average length or type of content they produce can help workout whether you story fits their ‘style’. Continue to use the guidelines at this point to check they aren’t spam sites full of articles simply to share links.
Guest Blogging : Do they love it or hate it
Some people may consider the work you are doing, of spreading the word of a brand as nothing more than capitalist propaganda that they wouldn’t want to be a part of even if you was the last story on earth. Others might simply say ‘”No thanks”. Either way, understanding the person/people behind the website will enable you to not waste time or potentially make a negative impact with your brand while just trying to share a story. Check contact/about us pages to find out more their interest in this.
For those stories that are after a link back to their website, you’ll want to do a bit of research on the statistical quality of a site. Use whichever metric tool you favour, be it SEMrush or Ahrefs or many more, to be sure you aren’t met with any hidden surprises. This marketing agency uses Trust Flow (here is an explanation of Trust Flow) and checks the keywords that a site is ranking for. Any sign of ‘toxic’ keywords should be all you need to stop your interest in that site.
When looking for sites to share stories for the public, use your common sense and think like a ‘common man/woman’. Once you’ve found these sites, then you can use your expertise and skills in digital to ensure they are as beneficial to you as they are to the public.