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The Hunter Gatherer - Rob Toldeo - SearchLove Boston 2014


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  • 1. The Hunter/Gatherer Why influencers hate the pitch and what you can do about it
  • 2. Rob “Holy” Toledo Head of Outreach @ Distilled @stentontoledo
  • 3. or on Google+ /u/0/11666 666115484 6565570/
  • 4. I have a confession
  • 5. I’m terrible at PowerPoint
  • 6. No seriously… Like… BAD at powerpoint
  • 7. So please don’t judge me
  • 8. I have another confession
  • 9. Despite having sent thousands of personalized outreach emails
  • 10. And my team of outreachers having an active contact list of approximately 15,000 bloggers and journalists
  • 11. I can still count on one hand how many times I have accepted an email pitch for my own websites
  • 12. So why is that?
  • 13. A lot of them are great emails
  • 14. And it’s not like I write for the New York Times…
  • 15. I gave this a think
  • 16. Asking coworkers, friends and family
  • 17. My conspiracy theorist uncle knew who to blame
  • 18. “Obviously Obama has something to do with this…”
  • 19. But seriously…
  • 20. I blame my instincts
  • 21. Always on the hunt for the next big thing
  • 22. Here’s Joe…
  • 23. Here’s Joe with a toy squirrel in front of him…
  • 24. Here’s Joe thinking he’s hunting an actual squirrel…
  • 25. We enjoy the hunt for the next thing, just like Joe prefers to chase actual squirrels
  • 26. Here, you can tweet this: “I can’t believe @stentontoledo just compared me to his dog… What kind of conference is this?! #SearchLove”
  • 27. Here’s me in high school I was “really cool”
  • 28. I was a music snob (and still am)
  • 29. While my friends were listening to…
  • 30. I was listening to…
  • 31. I LOVE finding new music and sharing it with my “tribe”
  • 32. An Example (circa 2001)
  • 33. Example (circa 2001) Scenario A Friend: “Wow Rob, you’re such a musical influencer and tastemaker, I worship the ground you walk on” Me: “Have you guys heard of this new band, The Strokes? They’re incredible, total game changers”
  • 34. Example (circa 2001) Scenario B Friend: “Hey Rob! Check out this new band The Strokes! They’re blowing up in England!” Me: “Yeah they’re alright, I guess, man, whatever”
  • 35. A quick experiment
  • 36. Apple > Microsoft
  • 37. Python is far superior to JavaScript
  • 38. The Shawshank Redemption is a better movie than Titanic
  • 39. This local roasted organic fair trade coffee is far superior to Starbucks
  • 40. >
  • 41. Local craft brews put generic macro beer to shame
  • 42. We’re all snobs about something
  • 43. Alongside being a music snob, I’m also a content snob
  • 44. A lot of journalists and influencers are the same way
  • 45. They want to find it first
  • 46. In content discovery No effort = No reward
  • 47. We don’t want to share a rotten meal with our tribe
  • 48. What I’m not saying: • Email outreach is dead • Bloggers and journalists don’t want to hear from you • We must try and trick people into sharing our content • That the Moon landing was faked
  • 49. Things aren’t that bad…
  • 50. Most decent outreach sees response rates around 40-60%
  • 51. “You’re happy with 50 percent? You’re on top, and you don’t have enough. You’re happy because you’re successful. For now. But what is happiness? It’s a moment before you need more happiness. I won’t settle for 50 percent of anything. I want 100 percent. You’re happy with your agency? You’re not happy with anything. You don’t want most of it, you want all of it. And I won’t stop until you get all of it.”
  • 52. We should be working for that other 50%
  • 53. But when promoting to the other 50%...
  • 54. We need to be less like this…
  • 55. …and more like this
  • 56. But it helps to be a bit more clever We must plant the idea but not take any credit for it
  • 57. Great… but how?
  • 58. Three Main Points
  • 59. 1. Find out where your “important people” are hanging out 2. Don’t be afraid to get exclusive 3. Get more creative with your promotion
  • 60. 1. Find out where your “important people” are hanging out 2. Don’t be afraid to get exclusive 3. Get more creative with your promotion
  • 61. People will likely talk about where they spend their time online
  • 62. • Web forums they hang out in • Twitter chats where they participate • Sites where they contribute and comment • Communities they identify with Where in the world are your influencers
  • 63. Rand Fishkin
  • 64. • /r/AskScience • /r/eli5 • /r/LifeProTips • /r/Fitness • /r/Food • /r/Fashion • /r/Art • /r/Economics
  • 65. Rand Fishkin
  • 66. Rand Fishkin Likes: • Nicholas Cage • Pictures of birds that people have photoshopped arms onto • Cute pictures of puppies • Business related topics
  • 67. So we built this…
  • 68. And it worked…
  • 69. OK but seriously…
  • 70. A real example @carson_ward
  • 71. A real example • Hoping to break into the tech space • Wanted to get featured on high profile blogs • Wanted influencers to share socially
  • 72. A real example
  • 73. A real example So they kept it simple…
  • 74. A real example • They did some research using their own data • Wrote a post that appealed to a specific audience • Kept it relevant to current news • In total about 8 hours of work
  • 75.
  • 76. One seed in front of the right people
  • 77. The spoils of victory • ~70k pageviews • 116 domains sent traffic in 24 hours • Coverage in major media (Ars, Pando, Reddit) • ~500 social shares • More journalists believe them to be an authority with future stories now (credibility increase)
  • 78. 1. Find out where your “important people” are hanging out 2. Don’t be afraid to get exclusive 3. Get more creative with your promotion
  • 79. • Nothing makes journalists salivate more than exclusives • The right exclusive story can make a career • Exclusives still give the perception of influence, even when pitched Exclusives
  • 80. Giving an influencer a head start with your content can make everything easier
  • 81. The rest of the internet
  • 82. “Well if [insert major publication] covered it… then we better get something up about it as well” Exclusives
  • 83. Exclusives make bosses and clients nervous
  • 84. But we can remove a lot of the risk
  • 85. Exclusives - @Britt_Klontz “The ‘exclusive’ conversation needs to start way before the content or story is complete”
  • 86. • You should have the idea in front of several influencers early in the process • Subtlety hint that you’re shopping the idea around (competition) • Figure out who is most interested and give them exclusive access to the finished product Exclusives
  • 87. • Interesting proprietary data • A high quality piece of content • An anecdotal story about your business • A new product or service release • Interviews with high level employees What makes a good exclusive
  • 88. 1. Find out where your “important people” are hanging out 2. Don’t be afraid to get exclusive 3. Get more creative with your promotion
  • 89. Email is overwhelming journalists
  • 90. “I am someone with upwards of 5000 unread messages at any given time” - @jordancrook
  • 91. Even the best brands and coolest content can get ignored
  • 92. Think outside the inbox
  • 93. Creative Promotion • Snail mail • PR stunts • Creating a mystery
  • 94. Creative Promotion • Snail mail • PR stunts • Creating a mystery
  • 95. When was the last time you got something fun in the mail?
  • 96. Snail mail • Previous efforts saw a response rate of only 10% • Had over 70% of people activate the turntable via their smartphones • 42% clicked on a link to the Kontor Records website on their phones • Covered by SPIN, TrendHunter and Hypebot (double whammy, coverage and conversion)
  • 97. Creative Promotion • Snail mail • PR stunts • Creating a mystery
  • 98. But wait… There’s a real thin line between true creativity and over the top craziness
  • 99. An extreme example
  • 100. PR Stunts OK realistically, you’re not creating a drone delivery service but…
  • 101. …there’s a lesson here • Timing is everything – the drone stunt was right before Black Friday, all eyes on Amazon • It doesn’t need to be “real” • Keep it related to your brand • Find a hook, something that will really grab the attention of the media based on relevance
  • 102. The cheapest PR stunt I’ve ever seen
  • 103. PR stunts don’t have to be expensive like the drone, they just have to be smart like the ‘now hiring’ sign
  • 104. A well done PR stunt feels really ripe for coverage
  • 105. Creative Promotion • Snail mail • PR stunts • Creating a mystery
  • 106. A boat's a boat, but the Mystery Box could be anything! It could even be a boat!
  • 107. In this world of social / transparent / storytelling / open book branding… (which is great)
  • 108. Brands have become Kimmy Gibbler
  • 109. But they should occasionally be like the guy from Twilight
  • 110. “Humans naturally want to finish the story” -Matt Summers, @mattsummers
  • 111. Sure, HBO could have emailed Jacob and told him some fun stuff about the new show but…
  • 112. >
  • 113. How much more exciting is it for him to share that surprise with his readers?
  • 114. Don’t be the shithead at the party who tells the birthday kid what you got them as a gift
  • 115. We want to unwrap the mystery ourselves
  • 116. Key takeaways • Play into the psychological elements of how influencers choose what to share • Seek a high level exclusive before mass promotion • Create a mystery around new and exciting things you’re working on
  • 117. People like to hunt Give them the opportunity
  • 118. Thank you! @stentontoledo