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Inbound PR - Building Links with Less Cold Outreach

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Inbound PR: Less Cold
Outreach, More Links
Please
Stacey MacNaught | MacNaught Digital
slideshare.net/staceycav
@staceycav

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@staceycav #brightonseo

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@staceycav #brightonseo

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Inbound PR - Building Links with Less Cold Outreach

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Producing content and pitching it to journalists to build links is getting harder all the time. Digital PR and outreach professionals are experiencing their job becoming more competitive and more difficult.

But there are ways to win press links using the things you already have in your business (as opposed to creating big content pieces). You've got product or service, expertise and stories. And in my BrightonSEO talk in September 2021, I talked about how we use media enquiry services like HARO, ResponseSource and others to earn links, build credibility with journalists and ultimately get to a point where journalists are coming to us with requests.

Producing content and pitching it to journalists to build links is getting harder all the time. Digital PR and outreach professionals are experiencing their job becoming more competitive and more difficult.

But there are ways to win press links using the things you already have in your business (as opposed to creating big content pieces). You've got product or service, expertise and stories. And in my BrightonSEO talk in September 2021, I talked about how we use media enquiry services like HARO, ResponseSource and others to earn links, build credibility with journalists and ultimately get to a point where journalists are coming to us with requests.

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Inbound PR - Building Links with Less Cold Outreach

  1. 1. Inbound PR: Less Cold Outreach, More Links Please Stacey MacNaught | MacNaught Digital slideshare.net/staceycav @staceycav
  2. 2. @staceycav #brightonseo
  3. 3. @staceycav #brightonseo
  4. 4. We can be guilty of being too short sighted when measuring link building activities. @staceycav #brightonseo
  5. 5. That’s one reason I believe outreach led roles are getting tougher and tougher. @staceycav #brightonseo
  6. 6. Unscientific, statistically insignificant, anecdotal social media poll claxon… @staceycav #brightonseo
  7. 7. @staceycav #brightonseo
  8. 8. @staceycav #brightonseo
  9. 9. A campaign not building the links you expected it to build…. @staceycav #brightonseo
  10. 10. Does not make you bad at your job. @staceycav #brightonseo
  11. 11. Someone who is bad at their job…. @staceycav #brightonseo
  12. 12. You are not Boris Johnson. @staceycav #brightonseo
  13. 13. https://www.aira.net/state-of-link-building/content-led-link-building/ @staceycav #brightonseo
  14. 14. 31% of people who produce content for links have launched a campaign in the past 12 months that generated zero links. @staceycav #brightonseo
  15. 15. 60% have launched a campaign in the past 12 months that generated 1 – 9 links. @staceycav #brightonseo
  16. 16. There are 4.3 billion* things with this sort of work that are out of your control.
  17. 17. *ish There are 4.3 billion* things with this sort of work that are out of your control.
  18. 18. Amongst them, the volume of emails you’re competing with. @staceycav #brightonseo
  19. 19. “I get 100 pitches on a quiet day and up to 200 on some days. I can’t ever read them all let alone reply…” @staceycav #brightonseo A UK National Women’s Interest Writer
  20. 20. “1 in 30 pitches I receive is relevant.” @staceycav #brightonseo A UK National Women’s Interest Writer
  21. 21. Bad habits lead to…. @staceycav #brightonseo
  22. 22. @staceycav #brightonseo Spamming journalists with irrelevant press releases
  23. 23. @staceycav #brightonseo
  24. 24. Pitching stories that the journalist has recently run…. @staceycav #brightonseo
  25. 25. Pitching stories that the journalist has publicly stated they’ve no interest in… @staceycav #brightonseo
  26. 26. Pitching journalists who’ve been clear they don’t take any pitches. @staceycav #brightonseo
  27. 27. Surena is still getting 5 pitches/day after Tweeting this. @staceycav #brightonseo
  28. 28. Plenty of journalists (Surena in particular) are going above and beyond to try and help PRs… @staceycav #brightonseo https://www.buzzstream.com/blog/how-to-write-a-pitch.html
  29. 29. But plenty of others are experiencing fatigue with SEOs and PRs as a consequence @staceycav #brightonseo
  30. 30. And that means that even if you’re doing everything right… @staceycav #brightonseo
  31. 31. You’re still up against it @staceycav #brightonseo
  32. 32. I’m not saying outreach led content pieces don’t work. @staceycav #brightonseo
  33. 33. There are LOADS of mega creative examples out there and agencies doing this stuff well. @staceycav #brightonseo
  34. 34. @staceycav #brightonseo Non-exhaustive list…
  35. 35. I’m not saying “stop doing outreach and digital PR.” @staceycav #brightonseo
  36. 36. But…. @staceycav #brightonseo
  37. 37. If you’re measured on organic search performance @staceycav #brightonseo
  38. 38. And yes, therefore links… @staceycav #brightonseo
  39. 39. Don’t rely 100% on cold outreach to achieve them. @staceycav #brightonseo
  40. 40. @staceycav #brightonseo
  41. 41. @staceycav #brightonseo
  42. 42. And what I call “inbound PR” @staceycav #brightonseo
  43. 43. Pitching journalists at a time they’re actively looking for the thing you’ve got. @staceycav #brightonseo
  44. 44. Or better still… ultimately having them come to you directly when they’re looking for something. @staceycav #brightonseo
  45. 45. With the help of services like HARO, Response Source and others… @staceycav #brightonseo
  46. 46. @staceycav #brightonseo
  47. 47. @staceycav #brightonseo
  48. 48. @staceycav #brightonseo
  49. 49. Top end links with no more content required than a few sentences, an opinion or some product photos. @staceycav #brightonseo
  50. 50. This type of activity vs cold pitching…
  51. 51. It’s the difference between pitching your story about flu to a health journalist… @staceycav #brightonseo
  52. 52. And pitching it to a writer who’s actively writing a feature about the flu right now. @staceycav #brightonseo
  53. 53. We can all sympathise with pitch fatigue
  54. 54. @staceycav #brightonseo “Our records indicate you own a home. Want new windows?”
  55. 55. @staceycav #brightonseo “I don’t want windows.”
  56. 56. @staceycav #brightonseo Another approach….
  57. 57. @staceycav #brightonseo “You requested a quote for some new windows?”
  58. 58. @staceycav #brightonseo “Yes please. I’d love a quote for some new windows.”
  59. 59. @staceycav #brightonseo And everybody lived happily ever after…
  60. 60. @staceycav #brightonseo They did a good job. So I’ll go back.
  61. 61. @staceycav #brightonseo
  62. 62. @staceycav #brightonseo And I’ll recommend them to friends.
  63. 63. @staceycav #brightonseo
  64. 64. @staceycav #brightonseo
  65. 65. @staceycav #brightonseo This activity is great for link acquisition
  66. 66. @staceycav #brightonseo But also a route to building relationships
  67. 67. Types. Tools. Tactics.
  68. 68. @staceycav #brightonseo https://bit.ly/lazy-link-list
  69. 69. Types of assets you ALREADY have that are useful to journalists
  70. 70. @staceycav #brightonseo Product. Expertise. Experience/Opinion.
  71. 71. @staceycav #brightonseo Product placement where your product IS the story (my favourite)
  72. 72. @staceycav #brightonseo
  73. 73. @staceycav #brightonseo Product placement where your product is one in a list…
  74. 74. @staceycav #brightonseo
  75. 75. @staceycav #brightonseo
  76. 76. @staceycav #brightonseo Yeh, the link is great.
  77. 77. @staceycav #brightonseo Yeh, the link is great. But the direct sales are one Hell of a bonus
  78. 78. @staceycav #brightonseo Expertise placement…
  79. 79. @staceycav #brightonseo
  80. 80. @staceycav #brightonseo
  81. 81. @staceycav #brightonseo Experience or opinion
  82. 82. @staceycav #brightonseo
  83. 83. Tools to find the opportunities
  84. 84. @staceycav #brightonseo Tools are only the starting point.
  85. 85. @staceycav #brightonseo My end goal is always to become the go-to
  86. 86. @staceycav #brightonseo https://www.helpareporter.com/
  87. 87. @staceycav #brightonseo https://www.helpareporter.com/
  88. 88. @staceycav #brightonseo https://www.responsesource.com
  89. 89. @staceycav #brightonseo
  90. 90. @staceycav #brightonseo https://pressplugs.co.uk
  91. 91. @staceycav #brightonseo https://helpab2bwriter.com/
  92. 92. @staceycav #brightonseo https://dotstar.media
  93. 93. @staceycav #brightonseo https://www.qwoted.com/
  94. 94. @staceycav #brightonseo https://presshunt.co/
  95. 95. @staceycav #brightonseo https://www.pressloft.com/
  96. 96. @staceycav #brightonseo https://twitter.com/search?q=%23journorequest&src=typed_query
  97. 97. @staceycav #brightonseo https://twitter.com/search?q=%23prrequest&src=typed_query
  98. 98. @staceycav #brightonseo H/T Surena Chande!!
  99. 99. @staceycav #brightonseo https://twitter.com/searchandrew/status/1433448180184752137?s=20
  100. 100. Tactics to improve pitches
  101. 101. @staceycav #brightonseo Tools ≠ Success
  102. 102. @staceycav #brightonseo
  103. 103. @staceycav #brightonseo Marcio lists 4 requests on Twitter/HARO each week
  104. 104. @staceycav #brightonseo ”60 pitches per article”
  105. 105. @staceycav #brightonseo “I don’t even use 5% of those.”
  106. 106. @staceycav #brightonseo Material is often unusable on the basis that it’s “incomplete”
  107. 107. @staceycav #brightonseo Or so “overly promotional that, in order to salvage something, I would have to spend time contacting the PR agency, interviewing their client, and re-write the whole thing from scratch.”
  108. 108. @staceycav #brightonseo “I just don’t have paid time allocated for that 1-to-1 journey”
  109. 109. @staceycav #brightonseo There’s a big opportunity in getting it right….
  110. 110. @staceycav #brightonseo Here’s what we find works for us….
  111. 111. @staceycav #brightonseo Responding VERY Selectively
  112. 112. @staceycav #brightonseo Only if we have absolutely the right person
  113. 113. @staceycav #brightonseo “I’m looking for a vet” ≠ “I’m looking for someone who owns a pet insurance business”
  114. 114. @staceycav #brightonseo Speed
  115. 115. @staceycav #brightonseo
  116. 116. @staceycav #brightonseo
  117. 117. @staceycav #brightonseo Translation: 3rd September unless someone gets in quicker
  118. 118. @staceycav #brightonseo Spoiler alert: They probably will.
  119. 119. @staceycav #brightonseo So, we pre-prepare.
  120. 120. @staceycav #brightonseo We ask new clients a long list of questions early. https://bit.ly/inbound-pr-qs
  121. 121. @staceycav #brightonseo https://bit.ly/inbound-pr-qs
  122. 122. @staceycav #brightonseo And use this info to create a Google Drive folder with images, pre signed off comment etc
  123. 123. @staceycav #brightonseo Expand that questionnaire with questions related to the types of relevant queries you anticipate might come through
  124. 124. @staceycav #brightonseo Look back through old queries….
  125. 125. @staceycav #brightonseo Working with a family solicitor?
  126. 126. @staceycav #brightonseo
  127. 127. @staceycav #brightonseo
  128. 128. @staceycav #brightonseo Check out what the journalist actually used…
  129. 129. @staceycav #brightonseo
  130. 130. @staceycav #brightonseo
  131. 131. @staceycav #brightonseo https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/divorce-bill-blm-instagram-facebook-b1841784.html
  132. 132. @staceycav #brightonseo https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/divorce-bill-blm-instagram-facebook-b1841784.html
  133. 133. @staceycav #brightonseo So, prepare comment on the topic for your client so the next time there’s a high profile divorce, you’re ready and the comment is already signed off.
  134. 134. @staceycav #brightonseo You can use this eye ball test to improve the quality of your pitches too.
  135. 135. @staceycav #brightonseo Journalists using enquiry services often do so regularly…
  136. 136. @staceycav #brightonseo So before responding to their pitch, go take a look at what they’ve used from other enquiries recently
  137. 137. @staceycav #brightonseo
  138. 138. @staceycav #brightonseo
  139. 139. @staceycav #brightonseo
  140. 140. @staceycav #brightonseo
  141. 141. @staceycav #brightonseo
  142. 142. @staceycav #brightonseo Looking at their previous request outcomes helps you to get an idea of:
  143. 143. @staceycav #brightonseo What types of experts they’re using
  144. 144. @staceycav #brightonseo Typical time between requesting comment and publishing… helps with expectation setting
  145. 145. @staceycav #brightonseo Whether and where they’re linking
  146. 146. @staceycav #brightonseo You can tailor your pitch accordingly
  147. 147. @staceycav #brightonseo Journalists reluctant to link to homepages? Create simple profile pages.
  148. 148. @staceycav #brightonseo
  149. 149. Want to go a bit more proactive?
  150. 150. @staceycav #brightonseo Contact journalists regularly using media enquiry services to introduce relevant contacts
  151. 151. @staceycav #brightonseo Find journalists regularly using experts through Google News…
  152. 152. @staceycav #brightonseo
  153. 153. @staceycav #brightonseo Casual, non promotional intro works best, we find
  154. 154. @staceycav #brightonseo Ecommerce? Find the writers who regularly do product round ups like Indybest and ask for a list of what’s coming…
  155. 155. @staceycav #brightonseo
  156. 156. @staceycav #brightonseo Seasonal products? Find everyone who did last year’s round ups and contact them…
  157. 157. @staceycav #brightonseo
  158. 158. @staceycav #brightonseo
  159. 159. @staceycav #brightonseo https://bit.ly/xmas-roundups
  160. 160. @staceycav #brightonseo Start pitching well in advance for each seasonal event.
  161. 161. And most importantly…
  162. 162. @staceycav #brightonseo Don’t focus on one link stands
  163. 163. @staceycav #brightonseo Think longer term working relationships
  164. 164. @staceycav #brightonseo Be reliable.
  165. 165. @staceycav #brightonseo “I just don’t have paid time allocated for that 1-to-1 journey”
  166. 166. @staceycav #brightonseo So make it easy. Include….
  167. 167. @staceycav #brightonseo Features. Pricing. Link to high res imagery
  168. 168. @staceycav #brightonseo Any comment Attribution instruction Where to link
  169. 169. @staceycav #brightonseo Remember this should be mutually beneficial
  170. 170. Questions? Twitter DMS open - @staceycav Email: stacey@macnaughtdigital.co.uk

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