What we learnt at BrightonSEO: Part 3

If content is king, then PR is Meghan Markle and SEO is Baby Sussex which ties them both together.

Yesterday we covered our favourite talks on SEO and UX and today we’re focusing on the key advice our content creators learnt from the whole host of great talks from BrightonSEO had on the topic.

The Content Comeback: 5 Steps for Bouncing Back When Your Campaign Fails, Shannon McGuirk

This was one of my favourite talks of Brighton SEO this year, not only due to the audience participation but also the really useful tips.  As content marketers, we’ve all been in that grey place when our campaigns don’t achieve what we thought they would.

It was refreshing to hear Shannon talk about her top tips for turning your campaigns around, I know we will be using these tips if we ever find ourselves in hot water:

  1. Revaluate – Whether you look at when you launched your campaign or the topic itself you need to evaluate the whole subject.
  2. Find your story – stories themselves win overstatements, make sure your outreach material tells a story and is relatable to the audiences.
  3. Ask an expert- Can you run your story past any warm journalist contacts or freelance journalists to test it and offer feedback that will strengthen your campaign.
  4. Press pack- make sure you have as much information as possible for journalists, this can be a press pack available onsite on your asset offering more data, the full press release, imagery and any case studies to strengthen your campaign.
  5. Relaunch- once you’ve followed all of those steps and you have a successful seeding list, editorial calendar to join with any awareness days etc. you are ready for the relaunch. Try to set up an exclusive which you can hold for 24 hours to launch the campaign.

I said this on the day, and I still stand by it. Oliver’s talk on How to Make Fake News for Links was easily the BEST talk I’ve seen.

Not just at Brighton, but ever. Why? He is absolutely hilarious (my ugly laugh came out a few times) but insightful also. We all have those clients with small budgets and a brand name that no-one has ever heard of, and Oliver’s talk appealed to exactly that!

Oliver is SEO Manager at Screaming Frog and has a brave approach to link building by orchestrating his own hilarious viral news stories (what he called fake news) has resulted in links from some of the world’s top publications – he says all you need is photoshop and a good idea.

Key Points:

  1. Link bait – create content designed to attract attention and encourage links. He used the famous example of editmyex.com created by Mark Rofe which attracted links internationally including Marie Claire and Metro as well as Japanese papers and US TV.
  2. Spot opportunities to newsjack (and focus on timing) – jump on current events or news stories with your campaigns. He used an example of when they launched an England T-shirt around the world cup which, through the press of a button, turned into a Russian t-shirt when needing to dodge the hooligan and violent antics that came with the tournament. Clever ay?
  3. He says always be funny (it won’t work if it’s not)
  4. And never promise anything. If you make promises that you can’t keep, you can ruin journalists’ relationships.
  5. But also don’t be obvious that it’s not real. Needs to have an element of ‘this is actually a thing’.
  6. Photoshops have to be realistic – there’s plenty of cheap freelancers out there that can help you. Share your brief on Upwork.com and I’m sure you’ll get plenty of response
  7. Fake branding adds authenticity
  8. However, you do need the right client. Not everyone is going to sign off an idea like this so choose an ambitious brand with a client contact that trusts you.
  9. You need to move quickly and don’t hesitate. If you have a good idea and it gets watered down, scrap it and start again.
  10. Have fun and make sure to follow his Twitter account @LordOfTheSERPs

See the full slides here

The Art of Content Necromancy: How to Resurrect a Dead Campaign, Kat Kynes

As someone who has been guilty of spending months on a piece of content and not got the leads I expected, I was very excited to hear Kat’s talk on how to resurrect past campaigns and breathe new life into them.  It’s nice to remember that everyone has been there and to not give up on your work – sometimes it’s just about perspective.

Here are Kat’s 6 steps to (re)success:

  • If you can, get the content right first time. 
    Don’t spread yourself too thinly and think of the most newsworthy headline.  It’s very easy to fall in love with your own work so even before you start, pitch your idea and qualify the content with journalists to see it’s the type of content they’re looking for
  • Work with Internal PR teams
    Work with client internal teams to see what you can divide and conquer to make sure that all your content is aligned correctly with their messaging as well as splitting the potential workload
  • Think outside the box
    Sometimes the lead vertical publication isn’t always the way to go.  A niche publication may be a good route for having a more engaged smaller audience which will drive the activity every campaign ultimately wants – conversions.
  • Don’t be afraid to get personal
    Don’t just reach out broadly, if you are writing on a particular topic do diligent research into which journalists are writing in the same sphere and contact them directly via social.
  • Timing is everything
    Firstly, give yourself enough time to create the content and don’t rush.  Keep a social calendar to see what will take up all coverage at that time (here’s looking at you Brexit).  Even if it means delaying for a few weeks, it will make an impact on your return.
  • Don’t give up
    Most of all, sometimes content doesn’t go the way you expect.  If that’s the case, review what you did and look at what you can do differently.  Was it the wrong angle? Were you reaching out to the wrong publications?  Manage your client’s expectations and try again.

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