To round up the Content session of BrightonSEO 2017, Julia Ogden (@JuliaOgden2) from Zazzle Media – an ex-journalist turned digital marketer – presented a ten-point checklist for content distribution success.
Julia started by confirming that storytelling is as important as ever, it’s only the platforms that have changed.
She illustrated her ten point checklist on a fictional campaign for a train service provider.
1. Set objectives
Julia outlined the key objectives for content marketing campaigns:
- Brand awareness
- Keyword rankings
- High-quality links
She emphasised that to achieve number 3, you have to get checkbox number 2 spot on…
2. Audience – who are you talking to?
Julia reminded us that marketing starts and ends with people, and recommended using tools to bring audiences to life and refine content to this effect. For her fictional campaign, Julia described the use of the following tools to define the audience for her fictional campaign:
Facebook Insights, which revealed a female heavy, young, single audience that are interested in fashion, music and tech.
YouGov Profiles, which presented a demographic of young, affluent males living in London, who have a pet fish!
From her audience research, Julia outlined the following audience for her content:
- Men and women aged between 18-34
- They spend a lot of time online – 6-10 hours a day
- They engage with brands that improve their knowledge
- They are interested in technology
- They are relatively well off
The next step was the creation of personas that add personality to these outlines.
We were introduced to:
Alice: 20, single, likes to engage with vloggers and bloggers while on the train, which she uses for work and social life.
Aidan: 34, married, likes content that helps him improve his image and a brand that simplifies life, travels often on trains and in first class.
Steph: 29, engaged, is attracted by celebrity and influencer endorsement, spends 6 hours per day online – often on her phone – uses trains to visit family on the other side of the country.
Pain Points & Micro-moments
This is when consumers are looking for content. They search for an answer to a question or a problem.
Julia outlined three micro-moments:
I want to know – the user is exploring or researching their options but is not yet in the mindset to make steps towards purchasing.
I want to do – the user wants to make a change or try something different, either before or after they have sought help.
I want to buy – the user has actively acknowledged that they want to buy and is ready to take action to achieve this.
3. The awesome idea
Julia stressed the importance of covering every angle possible during ideation and provided the following checklist:
- News and seasonal ideas
- Unique data opportunity
- Human interest stories – people like to read about other people
- Wider marketing plans
- Freedom of Information Requests
- CRAZY, BIG ideas
The fictional idea
Journeys by Hyperloop.
Inspired by Elon Musk’s concept of a high-speed travel pod, this tool would give users the opportunity to compare their normal rail journey time with that of the Hyperloop.
This concept would be a link bait opportunity and would have a strong chance of gaining coverage from regional city press.
The tool would be hosted on the rail service provider’s website. Users could enter their from and to destinations and be presented with a comparison of journey times.
4. Decide how to shout about it
The power of supporting content
Julia acknowledged that journalists are under-resourced and that PRs can increase their chances of securing coverage by creating and writing feature articles and pitching them to journalists who can then easily cut and paste this content. Ideas for features that could be used to promote the fictional campaign included, Hyper loop vs HS2; The race for speed; Life at 700mph and a survey “Has the UK got a need for speed?”
“Survey = unique data = PR dream” – hear hear Julia!
5. Validate – who else cares?
Julia stated the importance of validating any idea by asking the following questions:
6. Check with the professionals
Next, Julia recommended sounding your idea of the people who will be hosting and featuring the content piece using the following process:
- Identify sites and influencers.
- Research other content pieces that they have covered and include this information in the pitch.
- Contact them via email or phone.
- Ask for feedback on the idea – if it’s a no, why is it a no?
7. Know what success looks like
Julia stressed the importance of setting goals and metrics before the distribution process begins.
In the case of the fictional campaign, the metrics were:
- Trust Flow/ Citation Flow of placements/ links – e.g. 25+
- Number of placements links – e.g. 13
- Hitwise score – e.g 15 million
This would be measured using:
Trust flow and Citation flow – Majestic
Domain authority – Moz
Estimated organic search traffic, visibility and ranking keywords – SEMrush
Site engagement and social activity – Hitwise
Julia emphasised that distributors should be using every channel available to them with the three main categories being:
Website, blog, email marketing, customer database, organic social.
Sharing with an audience that already know that the brand exists in the hope of them sharing this content themselves.
Content outreached to and shared by others as part of PR work, including traditional and digital PR targets, and content aggregators.
Julia cited the forums of Reddit and StumbleUpon as good places to share content, as well as the use of the more traditional press release and/or influencer outreach.
Advertorials on TV, radio or in print, paid social media, biddable media.
Julia acknowledged that while distribution need not cost a penny, “money talks”.
Julia recommends using the following set of plans to keep track of the campaign and to make sure all parties are reading from the same page throughout the project. Visuals of the plans can be found here (at 3.25.01 onwards)
- Campaign overview
- Campaign timeline
- Owned channels
- Earned channels – record links, DA, citation flow etc and evaluating against KPIs
- Paid channels – targeting/ messaging
10. Measuring success
Did the campaign hit the objectives? “Did it set the web on fire?”
Julia focused on the importance of continued reporting at the end of the campaign and then 3, 6, 9 and 12 months afterward, which can provide useful insight for both an agency and the client.