BrightonSEO Roundup: A Practical Guide To Winning Big Links

September 20, 2019 0 By david

September 28 2018 meant one thing for most digital marketing folk and Koozai were no exception – it was time for the annual pilgrimage to Brighton for the UK’s leading digital marketing conference, BrightonSEO.

As soon as I arrived, I grabbed a coffee and took my seat in Auditorium 1, ready for the Content Marketing talk.

My interest was piqued by Ross Tavendale, Managing Director at Type A Media who took the audience through a talk on “A Practical Guide To Winning Big Links”.

Harness Journalist Input Ahead of Creating Campaigns

The talk centred around using data journalism to get links and how this approach has helped Type A Media build high quality links for their clients ever since.

The story started with the agency winning the contract of a big airline who were on a brand-new domain so needed links and had a big budget to play with.

Initial creative sessions resulted in a bunch of ideas before they decided on coming up with an infographic. They pitched the idea to the client and they approved. The team started outreach, and ended up with a grand total of zero links.

The failure of the campaign was due to several factors:

  • There was no objective other than to “get links”
  • There was no framework, with the infographic based only on people in the agency/the client thought would be successful – they didn’t ask for any outside opinions
  • There was no concept of flop risk, and the idea doing terribly… as it did

The next logical step was to come up with a new campaign and a better way of working moving forwards, and it was decided that a data-led approach was the way to go.

Using Data in the Research Stage

This started with RAP (Research, Angle, Pitch), otherwise known as creating a document detailing the research of new ideas and the data available, and defining the numerous angles that can be approached using these.

Ross explained that this will typically give you three angles, three headlines and nine attempts to pitch to journalists, meaning you actually only need to win 11% of the time to be successful.

With this new methodology in mind, the next step was to obtain as much data about the client’s audience as possible, and this is when first-party data is particularly useful.

Using First-Party Data

Inputting this data into Facebook audience insights gives a holistic insight of your audience, meaning that you can not only see who they are, but you can also research what they’re interested in and what they’ll engage with. This, in turn, gives you the ammunition to say to journalists “if we create this piece, we know our client’s audience will be interested in it, so you should cover it”.

What to Consider when Creating Content Campaigns

To summarise the above, there are three important steps you should complete before coming up with a campaign:

  • Define who your audience is/who it is not focusing on
  • Research their identity (who your audience are and what their interests are)
  • Review their social information (this defines who they perceive themselves to be and is the type of information they share via social media)

Put simply, your audience and their interests should shape the type of content marketing campaigns you should create in order to garner results.

Overcoming Obstacles when Accessing First-Party Data

What if you don’t have access to a client’s first-party data? There are multiple sources of data which can be used to get a better idea of your audience…

  • Public Data: you can use data already out there about potential customers, i.e. it’s in the press
  • Survey Data: you can even create your own data about potential customers, which whilst not as comprehensive as first-party data, it’s still gives you an understanding of your potential audience’s interests
  • Freedom of Information Request – you can email a public body to get publicly-accessible information
  • Data Merge: you can merge all of the data above, which is particularly useful if you only have small amounts of private, public and (or) survey data.

The above provides the initial steps to creating a data-led campaign, aimed at your audience, and considers the type of content they would more than likely engage with.

This should provide you with enough clout to say to a journalist that you know the idea will work, and so they should cover it.

Journalists are judged on page views, so the more eyeballs they can get on a piece, the more successful they will be. Give them the reason to cover your campaign and get the coverage/links it deserves!

You can find Ross’s slides from the talk here:

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