I get it. Getting your startup or website much-needed buzz is harder than it seems. But, more than likely, it’s cause your outreach is whack.
The wrong kinda pitches.
Let’s change that, millenials. It’s time to mix new school (digital) with the old (traditional PR) and get our stories out there.
After reading this post, you should know how to get your first brand mention on a Huffington Post-worthy outlet.
I don’t claim to be an expert on PR, but I’ve spent a fair amount of time getting brand mentions on large tech and marketing sites the past two years. It has either landed myself or my client citations on Huffington Post, Forbes, Search Engine Journal, SEM Rush, Yahoo News and Crazy Egg, to name a few.
None of them came from press releases. None of them came from HARO. This was all done using strategic outreach.
Why Online PR?
Online PR wins can sprinkle digital gold on your website, especially if you’re just starting to blog.
Here are 4 of the top
- creates brand exposure
- establishes credibility
- drives referral traffic
- increases search engine traffic
The credibility can cause a PR “momentum swing”, and all of the sudden more publications will actually listen to you.
Plus, it never hurts to slap that credibility on your website, like this marketing company:
You see, the angle is entirely different now.
Instead of seeking a link in the author bio with guest blogging, the idea with online PR is to reap resource page citations, expert mentions, or feature stories with your company or product.
It’s all possible to get these PR wins with a little bit of coaching. You’ll need the right outreach, and the right kind of content placement.
Here we go…
Part 1: Reaching Out
Heavy Lifting Technique
The Heavy Lifting Technique teaches people to do 80% of the work for the editors or publishers. So, instead of just pitching an idea or story, you actually come through with the research, outline, and a rough draft.
Basically, you do the heavy lifting for the editor so they run with the story without doing the research.
Think about it.
Editors get hundreds of pitches every day. Most of the pitches talk about themselves, and merely offer an idea for the editor. By presenting an opportunity that benefits the editor and has already been constructed in rough-draft form, it makes the offer much more appealing.
Show Exactly How You Can Help Them
Josh Steimle is a friend of mine, and also a writer on Forbes, Fast Company, Entrepreneur and Venture Beat, so he knows a thing or two about pitches.
Here is a unique pitch he recently recommended to a StartUp Grind meetup in Hong Kong:
“I notice you write about companies like mine, and that you write for several publications, but you haven’t been on TechCrunch yet. I have a story that can help us both get on TC.”
This pitch offers a unique opportunity with the Techcrunch offer, and it also brilliantly leverages the editor to actually get the story picked up on Techcrunch.
It’s the ultimate win-win scenario. Editors know editors, so the opportunity isn’t far-fetched.
Use A Trending Topic
Trending stories get more views, and when stories get more views, the writers of the stories get happy. So, present a trending story to the writers.
For our web hosting site at Top Ten Reviews, we were all over the bitcoin buzz. That got us into a lot of higher outlets because the story was timely. It gave editors tremendous urgency, because this was hours after Bitcoin-exchange giant Mt. Cox was shut down. One story went live the next day.
Use these words: Next Report, Exclusive, Sneak Preview
As former-Mashable content manager Erica Swallow explained on her blog, nothing is better than offering exclusivity.
Here is a pitch she received that won those honors:
“Are you interested in having a sneak preview of (company name) next report (next week)? I’m open to letting Mashable have the exclusive if it makes sense.”
This angle works better with bigger companies that already have a reputation, but if you are an average-joe that has documented some amazing findings and put them together in case-study form, the “exclusivity” or “sneak preview” factor can also be played.
Part 2: The Harvest (Momentum)
Twitter Love Technique
Now that you have a few posts going live on big publications, it’s time to reap the rewards even further.
Posting on big sites can get great social shares, like this one:
There is actually a lot of opportunity here for future press.
For this particular post, 328 people tweeted it out.
And since this was an article in the marketing space, more than likely, the vast majority of people that tweeted it out are in the marketing space.
These prospects are gold for future content placement. They’ve recently vouched for your work or liked your story, so they are ripe and hot.
So, search the title of the article in Twitter and see who tweeted it out. Then, reply to them on Twitter, using something simple and not pushy:
“@twitterhandle appreciate the share, I’d be up to share some exclusive stuff on (their company name) sometime”
Something like that.
It works great. Relationships are formed, instantly:
Build A PR Database
As you start interacting with several different publishers, editors, bloggers, influencers, make sure you record everything.
Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanion wraps up his “How to Get National Press With No Budget” post on the Tim Ferriss blog by advising people to make a PR spreadsheet.
Keep a tidy list of all of your PR encounters and history, so you can reference them with future projects.
Remember, not all of these relationships will amount to anything the first time, but you’ll want to reference your notes later on when deciding on what type of audience to get in front of your next idea, story or post.
This stuff works.
Like I said earlier, it is pure marketing gold for your brand or business.
I am not part of a startup, so i am using these tactics for a small website of mine and a tech publishing company that I represent. Just on search engine rankings alone, I’ve seen high authority posts rank my Empower Network review page (an uber-competitive affiliate marketing term) for a keyword that gets 49,500 searches a month:
This also works in the health and industry, as my boy Troy Shanks does at Supplement Police.
Or even a forskolin page I created weeks ago, already getting decent keyword traffic. How? Two high authority brand mentions (links).
To me, the end-all goal with online pr isn’t the links, but it still can be very effective for high authority links. As Google seems to rely on authority signals more and more, these are the types of links you want to build.
This is hard work because it forces people to actually build real relationships and put out brilliant content.
Online PR is the Rolls-Royce of brand exposure, but to give it some perspective, it takes 6 months to build a Rolls-Royce and 13 hours to build a Toyota.
It will be well worth your time.
Parts of this post were originally published here: https://seoproleague.com/online-pr/