0
The Hunter/Gatherer
Why influencers hate the pitch and
what you can do about it
Rob “Holy” Toledo
Head of Outreach @ Distilled
rob.toledo@distilled.net
@stentontoledo
or on Google+
/u/0/11666
666115484
6565570/
I have a
confession
I’m terrible at
PowerPoint
No seriously…
Like…
BAD at
powerpoint
So please don’t judge me
I have another
confession
Despite having sent
thousands of
personalized outreach
emails
And my team of
outreachers having an
active contact list of
approximately 15,000
bloggers and journalists
I can still count on
one hand how many
times I have accepted
an email pitch for my
own websites
So why is that?
A lot of them are great
emails
http://bit.ly/1luXH1h
And it’s not like I write for
the New York Times…
I gave this a think
Asking coworkers,
friends and family
My conspiracy
theorist uncle
knew who to
blame
“Obviously
Obama has
something to
do with this…”
But seriously…
I blame my
instincts
Always on the
hunt for the next
big thing
Here’s Joe…
Here’s Joe with a toy
squirrel in front of him…
Here’s Joe thinking he’s
hunting an actual squirrel…
We enjoy the hunt
for the next thing,
just like Joe prefers
to chase actual
squirrels
Here, you can tweet this:
“I can’t believe @stentontoledo
just compared me to his dog…
What kind of conference is this?!
#...
Here’s me in high
school
I was “really cool”
I was a music snob
(and still am)
While my friends were
listening to…
I was listening to…
I LOVE finding new
music and sharing it
with my “tribe”
An Example (circa 2001)
Example (circa 2001)
Scenario A
Friend: “Wow Rob, you’re such a musical influencer
and tastemaker, I worship the ground yo...
Example (circa 2001)
Scenario B
Friend: “Hey Rob! Check out this new band The
Strokes! They’re blowing up in England!”
Me:...
A quick experiment
Apple > Microsoft
Python is far superior
to JavaScript
The Shawshank
Redemption is a
better movie than
Titanic
This local roasted
organic fair trade
coffee is far superior
to Starbucks
>
Local craft brews put
generic macro beer to
shame
We’re all snobs about
something
Alongside being a music
snob, I’m also a content
snob
A lot of journalists and
influencers are the
same way
They want to find it first
In content discovery
No effort = No reward
We don’t want to share a
rotten meal with our tribe
What I’m not saying:
• Email outreach is dead
• Bloggers and journalists don’t want to hear
from you
• We must try and tri...
Things aren’t that bad…
Most decent outreach
sees response rates
around 40-60%
“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. ...
We should be working
for that other 50%
But when promoting to
the other 50%...
We need to be less
like this…
…and more like this
But it helps to be a bit more clever
We must plant the idea but
not take any credit for it
Great… but how?
Three Main Points
1. Find out where your
“important people” are
hanging out
2. Don’t be afraid to get
exclusive
3. Get more creative with yo...
1. Find out where your
“important people” are
hanging out
2. Don’t be afraid to get exclusive
3. Get more creative with yo...
People will likely talk
about where they
spend their time online
• Web forums they hang out in
• Twitter chats where they participate
• Sites where they contribute and
comment
• Communiti...
Rand Fishkin
• /r/AskScience
• /r/eli5
• /r/LifeProTips
• /r/Fitness
• /r/Food
• /r/Fashion
• /r/Art
• /r/Economics
Rand Fishkin
Rand Fishkin
Likes:
• Nicholas Cage
• Pictures of birds that people have
photoshopped arms onto
• Cute pictures of puppies...
So we built this…
And it worked…
OK but seriously…
A real example
@carson_ward
A real example
• Hoping to break into the tech
space
• Wanted to get featured on high
profile blogs
• Wanted influencers t...
A real example
A real example
So they kept it
simple…
A real example
• They did some research using their
own data
• Wrote a post that appealed to a
specific audience
• Kept it...
http://bit.ly/1jLVGA7
One seed in front of the right
people
The spoils of victory
• ~70k pageviews
• 116 domains sent traffic in 24 hours
• Coverage in major media (Ars, Pando, Reddi...
1. Find out where your “important
people” are hanging out
2. Don’t be afraid to get
exclusive
3. Get more creative with yo...
• Nothing makes journalists salivate
more than exclusives
• The right exclusive story can make a
career
• Exclusives still...
Giving an influencer a
head start with your
content can make
everything easier
The rest of the internet
“Well if [insert major publication] covered
it… then we better get something up
about it as well”
Exclusives
Exclusives make
bosses and clients
nervous
But we can
remove a lot of
the risk
Exclusives
- @Britt_Klontz
“The ‘exclusive’
conversation needs to
start way before the
content or story is
complete”
• You should have the idea in front of
several influencers early in the process
• Subtlety hint that you’re shopping the
i...
• Interesting proprietary data
• A high quality piece of content
• An anecdotal story about your business
• A new product ...
1. Find out where your
“important people” are
hanging out
2. Don’t be afraid to get
exclusive
3. Get more creative with yo...
Email is
overwhelming
journalists
“I am someone with upwards of 5000 unread
messages at any given time” - @jordancrook
http://tcrn.ch/1edhgd2
Even the best
brands and
coolest content
can get ignored
Think outside the
inbox
Creative Promotion
• Snail mail
• PR stunts
• Creating a mystery
Creative Promotion
• Snail mail
• PR stunts
• Creating a mystery
When was the last time
you got something fun in
the mail?
Snail mail
• Previous efforts saw a response rate of only 10%
• Had over 70% of people activate the turntable via
their sm...
Creative Promotion
• Snail mail
• PR stunts
• Creating a mystery
But wait…
There’s a real thin line
between true creativity and
over the top craziness
An extreme
example
PR Stunts
OK realistically, you’re
not creating a drone
delivery service but…
…there’s a lesson here
• Timing is everything – the drone stunt was right
before Black Friday, all eyes on Amazon
• It doe...
The cheapest PR stunt
I’ve ever seen
PR stunts don’t have to
be expensive like the
drone, they just have to
be smart like the ‘now
hiring’ sign
A well done PR stunt
feels really ripe for
coverage
Creative Promotion
• Snail mail
• PR stunts
• Creating a mystery
A boat's a boat, but the
Mystery Box could be
anything! It could even
be a boat!
In this world of social /
transparent / storytelling
/ open book branding…
(which is great)
Brands have become
Kimmy Gibbler
But they should occasionally
be like the guy from Twilight
“Humans naturally want to
finish the story”
-Matt Summers, @mattsummers
http://slidesha.re/NUqSPG
Sure, HBO could have
emailed Jacob and
told him some fun
stuff about the new
show but…
>
How much more exciting is it
for him to share that surprise
with his readers?
Don’t be the
shithead at the
party who tells
the birthday kid
what you got
them as a gift
We want to unwrap the
mystery ourselves
Key takeaways
• Play into the psychological elements of how
influencers choose what to share
• Seek a high level exclusive...
People like to hunt
Give them the
opportunity
Thank you!
@stentontoledo rob.toledo@distilled.net
The Hunter Gatherer - Rob Toldeo - SearchLove Boston 2014
The Hunter Gatherer - Rob Toldeo - SearchLove Boston 2014
The Hunter Gatherer - Rob Toldeo - SearchLove Boston 2014
The Hunter Gatherer - Rob Toldeo - SearchLove Boston 2014
The Hunter Gatherer - Rob Toldeo - SearchLove Boston 2014
The Hunter Gatherer - Rob Toldeo - SearchLove Boston 2014
The Hunter Gatherer - Rob Toldeo - SearchLove Boston 2014
The Hunter Gatherer - Rob Toldeo - SearchLove Boston 2014
The Hunter Gatherer - Rob Toldeo - SearchLove Boston 2014
The Hunter Gatherer - Rob Toldeo - SearchLove Boston 2014
The Hunter Gatherer - Rob Toldeo - SearchLove Boston 2014
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Transcript of "The Hunter Gatherer - Rob Toldeo - SearchLove Boston 2014"

  1. 1. The Hunter/Gatherer Why influencers hate the pitch and what you can do about it
  2. 2. Rob “Holy” Toledo Head of Outreach @ Distilled rob.toledo@distilled.net @stentontoledo
  3. 3. or on Google+ /u/0/11666 666115484 6565570/
  4. 4. I have a confession
  5. 5. I’m terrible at PowerPoint
  6. 6. No seriously… Like… BAD at powerpoint
  7. 7. So please don’t judge me
  8. 8. I have another confession
  9. 9. Despite having sent thousands of personalized outreach emails
  10. 10. And my team of outreachers having an active contact list of approximately 15,000 bloggers and journalists
  11. 11. I can still count on one hand how many times I have accepted an email pitch for my own websites
  12. 12. So why is that?
  13. 13. A lot of them are great emails http://bit.ly/1luXH1h
  14. 14. And it’s not like I write for the New York Times…
  15. 15. I gave this a think
  16. 16. Asking coworkers, friends and family
  17. 17. My conspiracy theorist uncle knew who to blame
  18. 18. “Obviously Obama has something to do with this…”
  19. 19. But seriously…
  20. 20. I blame my instincts
  21. 21. Always on the hunt for the next big thing
  22. 22. Here’s Joe…
  23. 23. Here’s Joe with a toy squirrel in front of him…
  24. 24. Here’s Joe thinking he’s hunting an actual squirrel…
  25. 25. We enjoy the hunt for the next thing, just like Joe prefers to chase actual squirrels
  26. 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. 27. Here’s me in high school I was “really cool”
  28. 28. I was a music snob (and still am)
  29. 29. While my friends were listening to…
  30. 30. I was listening to…
  31. 31. I LOVE finding new music and sharing it with my “tribe”
  32. 32. An Example (circa 2001)
  33. 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. 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. 35. A quick experiment
  36. 36. Apple > Microsoft
  37. 37. Python is far superior to JavaScript
  38. 38. The Shawshank Redemption is a better movie than Titanic
  39. 39. This local roasted organic fair trade coffee is far superior to Starbucks
  40. 40. >
  41. 41. Local craft brews put generic macro beer to shame
  42. 42. We’re all snobs about something
  43. 43. Alongside being a music snob, I’m also a content snob
  44. 44. A lot of journalists and influencers are the same way
  45. 45. They want to find it first
  46. 46. In content discovery No effort = No reward
  47. 47. We don’t want to share a rotten meal with our tribe
  48. 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. 49. Things aren’t that bad…
  50. 50. Most decent outreach sees response rates around 40-60%
  51. 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. 52. We should be working for that other 50%
  53. 53. But when promoting to the other 50%...
  54. 54. We need to be less like this…
  55. 55. …and more like this
  56. 56. But it helps to be a bit more clever We must plant the idea but not take any credit for it
  57. 57. Great… but how?
  58. 58. Three Main Points
  59. 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. 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. 61. People will likely talk about where they spend their time online
  62. 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. 63. Rand Fishkin
  64. 64. • /r/AskScience • /r/eli5 • /r/LifeProTips • /r/Fitness • /r/Food • /r/Fashion • /r/Art • /r/Economics
  65. 65. Rand Fishkin
  66. 66. Rand Fishkin Likes: • Nicholas Cage • Pictures of birds that people have photoshopped arms onto • Cute pictures of puppies • Business related topics
  67. 67. So we built this…
  68. 68. And it worked…
  69. 69. OK but seriously…
  70. 70. A real example @carson_ward
  71. 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. 72. A real example
  73. 73. A real example So they kept it simple…
  74. 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. 75. http://bit.ly/1jLVGA7
  76. 76. One seed in front of the right people
  77. 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. 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. 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. 80. Giving an influencer a head start with your content can make everything easier
  81. 81. The rest of the internet
  82. 82. “Well if [insert major publication] covered it… then we better get something up about it as well” Exclusives
  83. 83. Exclusives make bosses and clients nervous
  84. 84. But we can remove a lot of the risk
  85. 85. Exclusives - @Britt_Klontz “The ‘exclusive’ conversation needs to start way before the content or story is complete”
  86. 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. 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. 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. 89. Email is overwhelming journalists
  90. 90. “I am someone with upwards of 5000 unread messages at any given time” - @jordancrook http://tcrn.ch/1edhgd2
  91. 91. Even the best brands and coolest content can get ignored
  92. 92. Think outside the inbox
  93. 93. Creative Promotion • Snail mail • PR stunts • Creating a mystery
  94. 94. Creative Promotion • Snail mail • PR stunts • Creating a mystery
  95. 95. When was the last time you got something fun in the mail?
  96. 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. 97. Creative Promotion • Snail mail • PR stunts • Creating a mystery
  98. 98. But wait… There’s a real thin line between true creativity and over the top craziness
  99. 99. An extreme example
  100. 100. PR Stunts OK realistically, you’re not creating a drone delivery service but…
  101. 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. 102. The cheapest PR stunt I’ve ever seen
  103. 103. PR stunts don’t have to be expensive like the drone, they just have to be smart like the ‘now hiring’ sign
  104. 104. A well done PR stunt feels really ripe for coverage
  105. 105. Creative Promotion • Snail mail • PR stunts • Creating a mystery
  106. 106. A boat's a boat, but the Mystery Box could be anything! It could even be a boat!
  107. 107. In this world of social / transparent / storytelling / open book branding… (which is great)
  108. 108. Brands have become Kimmy Gibbler
  109. 109. But they should occasionally be like the guy from Twilight
  110. 110. “Humans naturally want to finish the story” -Matt Summers, @mattsummers http://slidesha.re/NUqSPG
  111. 111. Sure, HBO could have emailed Jacob and told him some fun stuff about the new show but…
  112. 112. >
  113. 113. How much more exciting is it for him to share that surprise with his readers?
  114. 114. Don’t be the shithead at the party who tells the birthday kid what you got them as a gift
  115. 115. We want to unwrap the mystery ourselves
  116. 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. 117. People like to hunt Give them the opportunity
  118. 118. Thank you! @stentontoledo rob.toledo@distilled.net
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