How can you earn those coveted links and mentions in news and media sites that generate an incredible influx in domain authority?
When combining SEO, PR, and content marketing, you create a winning formula for increased organic visibility, brand awareness, and social amplification.
In this article, we’ll go through the steps required to create a cohesive strategy that integrates SEO and PR and maximizes the reach and outcome of both.
1. Research & ideation
When determining the content that will resonate most with editors, journalists, and consumers, make sure you research and have as much data as possible at your disposal:
Who are your buyer personas?
What are the different stages of the buying cycle for your particular products and services?
Include psychographic research and data. What do they love? What are their pain points?
What are the keywords that each of those buyer personas typing in at each state of the buying funnel?
What keywords and articles are your competitors targeting to reach your target audience? With SEMrush, you can identify keywords your competitors are ranking for and traffic trends.
What questions are your target consumers posting on sites like quora or forums related to your products or services?
What content related to your industry is getting the most social amplification? Use Buzzsumo to search for related keywords, competitor contents, and set up alerts for your most relevant keywords
What holidays, awareness months, or special days are relevant to your audience?
What stories have broken that are relevant for your target audience? Trendjacking is a MUST when you are working with public relations teams.
Unless you’ve taken time to perform extensive research and have comprehensive data to work with, your entire amplification strategy may fail as it will not capture the interest of the journalists, bloggers, and influencers that you are trying to reach.
Segmenting audiences and crafting your editorial calendar to target each of these segments will increase the likelihood of earning media coverage.
2. Content creation
Once all of your research is completed, you have to wrap it all together into an editorial calendar. Your social, content, and press editorial calendar should be synced with each other.
If PR has identified a topic that is of interest to a journalist, this concept can be used by the content marketing team to create content for the blog, infographics, explainer videos, and social media posts. These visual assets can then be sent to the media using a press release and direct media outreach.
A 2012 study by PR Newswire found that press releases with photos garnered twice as many views as text alone. Infographics, data visualizations, live or animated videos, and reports or case studies are powerful assets used by PR teams which can be spearheaded and created by the SEO /Content Marketing team.
Whatever format you choose to use, avoid the one-and-done mentality. A survey can be used to create an infographic, which can then be turned into an animated video, which can then be shared on a blog post and used for outreach.
For our client, Teensafe, a smartphone monitoring app, we created an infographic titled the 2016 App Blacklist for Teens:
The infographic was sent out through a press release, and PR followed up with different media outlets. As a result, Redbookmag picked up the topic, creating their own post in response:
At the ideation stage, both teams worked together to come up with the concept for the infographic. Once the infographic was created, the work done with PR made it possible for the piece to be placed on this, and other media websites, generating powerful links, brand awareness, and traffic.
3. PR & influencer outreach
For PR, it’s important to have different content assets to use when pitching different media outlets. Some editors will resonate well with playful infographics, while others may respond to a report announcing the release of new data, while yet others may be happy to share videos.
Targeting each outlet & editor with the most relevant asset is half the battle.
Complement the media outreach with an influencer and blogger outreach campaign. To do so, use the media hits already acquired by PR.
In the example above, you can then use that link to Redbook Mag in the pitch email that you send to bloggers. Name dropping will get your bloggers to notice and want to jump on the bandwagon!
To create your influencer and blogger outreach list, use google search operators to find people who have talked about relevant topics. You can also use a tool like PressRush to help you identify the best editors or influencers to reach out to. Once again, Buzzsumo is also invaluable at this stage.
For Homeselfe, an energy efficiency app, we created a report about 10 ways that individuals can save energy and reduce utility bills. US News ran with it, featuring Homeselfe as one of those 10 ways to save money on utility bills.
4. Social Amplification
Every media hit should be used to help you gain others, establish brand credibility, and for social amplification.
Each media hit should be shared on all your social channels multiple times. Of course, you should @mention the media outlet that shared, and use that as an opportunity to deepen the connection with that journalist or influencer.
Write a blog post on your site including a screen grab of the media hit, and share that post on your social channels as well, multiple times. MissingLettr can be used to craft various tweets for each blog post, making sure that media hit is continuously shared with your audience.
Finally, consider creating an Facebook ad campaign with your media hits. One campaign could be targeted at your buyer personas, while another could be targeted at editors of relevant magazines and newspapers.
By placing your media hits in front of other editors, you are planting seeds to let them know that you are newsworthy, and when your PR team reaches out to them with a direct pitch, they’ll be more likely to accept.
Above is an example of a post that was advertised to an audience of parents. With less than $250 dollars, we generated 6500 post engagements, each at less than 5 cents.
Even though the traffic wasn’t sent directly to the client’s site, this strategy resulted in brand awareness and several members of the other site’s audience reaching out to Teensafe.
You don’t need to have a PR team on board to earn powerful media hits. If you have a strong content marketing campaign in place, start reaching out to the media and sharing your content assets.
Earning media mentions is worth the effort, and with a strategic approach, you’ll be sure to earn those coveted placements!