Tag Archive | "Digital"

Fiverr Is The Everything Store For Digital Services, Says CEO

“Fiverr is the everything store for digital services,” says Fiverr CEO Micha Kaufman. “The way people usually find freelancers is they post on Facebook asking if someone knows a good graphics designer. What we’re doing is we’re making it a one-click experience. There’s no bidding, betting, negotiating. There’s browse, search, buy. It’s an Amazon experience to buy a digital service.”

Micha Kaufman, CEO of Fiverr, discusses today’s IPO and how Fiverr has become the Amazon for digital services in an interview on CNBC:

Fiverr Is The Everything Store For Digital Services

Fiverr connects freelancers with businesses of all sizes. Really, the uniqueness of the platform is that the experience of buying a digital service on Fiverr is very similar to shopping on Amazon. You browse, you search, you find something, you click order, and it’s done. Graphic design is one of our most popular services on the platform. Also popular are content marketing, videography, animation, music services, and marketing and advertising. Anything you can imagine.

It’s the everything store for digital services. The system helps you productize your offering. You can define what you’re offering, how much time it’s going to take you to deliver, and the asking price. All the buyers have to do is screen through the offerings, find something they like, click order and pay, and they are done.

It’s An Amazon Experience To Buy a Digital Product

In the categories in which we operate there is a volume of activity of $ 100 billion in the US alone. It’s still only a single digit percentage online. It’s a very old-school business. The way people usually find freelancers is they post on Facebook asking if someone knows a good graphics designer. What we’re doing is we’re making it a one-click experience. There’s no bidding, betting, negotiating. There’s browse, search, buy. It’s an Amazon experience to buy a digital service. Nobody has done it before. The average time to make an order on Fiverr is 15 minutes. this is unbeatable. It’s unmatched.

We take a take out of every transaction. It’s one of the industry-leading take rates of over 26 percent. If you look at the EBITDA margins, you see that they’re shrinking. The way we actually structured the business is that we continue to grow aggressively while shrinking our negative EBITDA. There is a clear path to profitability. We are operating in over 160 countries. Our growth is coming globally from the adoption of freelancing online.

Our Primary Competitor is Definitely the Offline Market

Our primary competitor is definitely the offline market. I don’t know if it’s 96 or 97 percent of the activity offline, but we don’t need to eat anyone’s lunch to grow. We just need to move offline activity to the online. The offline freelancing market is massive. we’ve estimated that market to be a hundred billion dollars in the US alone. Europe is 1.5 times bigger than the US. There are over 162 million freelancers between the EU and the US. The opportunity is massive and it’s just starting to come online. This is like 1995 for ecommerce. This is so exciting.

Fiverr doesn’t hire its freelancers. It’s just the market that connects freelancers with businesses that have their digital needs. The way the marketplace is structured is such where we don’t have any employee-employer relationships. We are not relying on freelancers. We’re just connecting that supply with a demand that comes forward. We’re the platform on top of which they actually conduct their transaction. We just provide the platform to make that happen. It is very different than Uber and Lyft.

Fiverr Is The Everything Store For Digital Services, Says Fiverr CEO Micha Kaufman

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VMware Is Now a Platform For Digital Transformation, Says CEO

“We believe that our conversations now have gone from targeted to holistic to be this platform for their digital transformation,” says VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger. “That core idea of how do they get to that digital future, that’s not an IT discussion anymore, that’s a business strategy conversation. That’s why we are seeing this real uplift in the position in the conversation that we are having with customers globally.”

Pat Gelsinger, CEO of VMware, discusses how VMware has become a complete digital transformation platform for companies in an interview on CNBC:

VMware Is Now a Platform For Digital Transformation

We believe that our conversations now as we’ve expanded from selling compute Hypervisor to a complete cloud infrastructure, complete end-user computing, a transformation of their network and security offerings, our conversations have gone from targeted to holistic to be this platform for their digital transformation. That core idea of how do they get to that digital future, that’s not an IT discussion anymore, that’s a business strategy conversation.

That’s why we are seeing this real uplift in the position in the conversation that we are having with customers globally. As we’ve positioned in the past, as people move to the full VMware offering that is a multiplier. A company or an institution that is using us as a Hypervisor, now the full cloud stack of network, compute, management, and automation, that is a business expansion opportunity for us.

VMware Seeking Ability To Be a Government Cloud Provider

As I said on the (earnings) call we are now in the FedRAMP High process. We are seeking that ability to be a cloud provider for the government and many of the government. Many of the government in defense and intelligence are big VMware footprints. We see this as a great opportunity. We are in process to get approval. As the JEDI contract gets resolved we hope to be able to be positioned with Amazon and Azure, given our relationships with both.

Even as our preferred relationship with Amazon is very strong we do see this ability for us to participate for government business being an essential element of our multi-cloud strategy where Amazon, Azure, IBM, and our other cloud partners all give us a great opportunity to participate for government contracts.

VMware Is Now a Platform For Digital Transformation, Says CEO Pat Gelsinger

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Searching for facts, directions, local businesses are top digital assistant use cases, says survey

Smart speaker ownership jumped from 23 percent to 45 percent of respondents since last year’s survey from Microsoft.



Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.


Search Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing

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10 principles of digital accessibility for modern marketers

Developers and designers can help differently abled users navigate websites by using CSS to control visual page elements. Here are other ways accessible websites are built.



Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.


Search Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing

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How to Set Up Metrics to Optimize Your Digital PR Team’s Press Coverage

Posted by Ashley.Carlisle

Over the past six years, our team at Fractl has studied the art of mastering content marketing press coverage. Before moving into Agency Operations, I on-boarded and trained over a dozen new associates for our digital PR team within a year as the Media Relations Manager. Scaling a team of that size in a such a short period of time required hands-on training and a clear communication of goals and expectations within the role — but what metrics are indicative of success in digital PR?

As a data-driven content marketing agency, we turned to the numbers for something a little different than our usual data-heavy campaigns — we used our own historical data to analyze and optimize our digital PR team’s outreach.

This post aims to provide better insight in defining measurable variables as key performance indicators, or KPIs, for digital PR teams and understanding the implications and relationships of those KPIs. We’ll also go into the rationale for establishing baselines for these KPIs, which indicate the quality, efficiency, and efficacy of a team’s outreach efforts.

As a guide for defining success by analyzing your own metrics for your team (digital PR or otherwise), we’ll provide the framework for the research design, which helped us establish a threshold for the single variable we identified to best measure our efforts and be the most significantly correlated with the KPIs indicative of success of a digital PR team.

Determining the key performance indicators for digital PR outreach

The influx of available data for marketers and PR professionals to measure the impact of their work allows us to stray away from vague metrics like “reach” and the even more vague goal of “more publicity.” Instead, we are able to focus on the metrics most indicative of what we’re actually trying to measure: the effect of digital PR efforts.

We all have our theories and educated guesses about which metrics are most important and how each are related, but without researching further, theories remain theories (or expert opinions, at best). Operational research allows businesses to use the scientific method as a way to provide managers and their teams with a quantitative basis for decision making. Operationalization is the process of strictly defining variables to turn nebulous concepts (in this case, the effort and success of your digital PR team) into variables that can be measured, empirically and quantitatively.

There is one indicator identified to best measure your effort into a campaign’s outreach. It is a precursor to all of the indicators below: the volume of pitch emails sent for each campaign.

Because all pitches are not created equal, the indicators below gauge which factors best define the success of outreach, such as the quality of outreach correspondence, the efficiency of time to secure press, the efficacy of the campaign, and media mentions secured. Each multi-faceted metric can be described by a variety of measurements, and all are encompassed by the independent variable of the volume of pitch emails sent for each campaign.

Some indicators may be better measured by using more than a single metric, so for the purposes of this post, here are the three metrics to illustrate each of these three KPIs to offer a more holistic picture of your team’s performance:

Pitch quality and efficacy

  • Placement Rate: The percentage of placements (i.e., media mentions) secured per the number of total pitches sent.
  • Interest Rate: The percentage of interested publisher replies to pitches per the number of total pitches sent.
  • Decline Rate: The percentage of declining publisher replies to pitches per the number of total pitches sent.

Efficiency and capacity

  • Total days of outreach: The number of business days between the first and last pitch sent for a campaign, which is the sum of the two metrics below.
  • Days to first placement: The number of business days between the first pitch sent and first placement to be published for a campaign.
  • Days to syndication: The number of business days between the first placement to be published and the last pitch to be sent for a campaign.

Placement quality and efficacy

  • Total Links: The total number of backlinks from external linking domains of any attribution type (e.g. DoFollow, NoFollow) for a campaign’s landing page.
  • Total DoFollow Links: The total number of DoFollow backlinks from external linking domains for a campaign’s landing page.
  • Total Domain Authority of Links: The total domain authority of all backlinks from external linking domains of any attribution type (e.g. DoFollow, NoFollow,) for a campaign’s landing page.

Optimizing effort to yield the best KPIs

After identifying the metrics, we need to solve the next challenge: What are the relationships between your efforts and your KPIs? The practical application of these answers can help you establish a threshold or range for the input metric that is correlated with the highest KPIs. We’ll discuss that in a bit.

After identifying metrics to analyze, define the nature of their relationships to one another. Use a hypothesis test to verify an effect; in this case, we’re interested to find the relationship between pitch count and each of the metrics we defined above as being KPIs of successful outreach. This study hypothesizes that campaigns closed out in 70 pitches or less will have better KPIs than campaigns closed out with over 71 pitches.

Analyzing the relationship and determining significance of the data

Next, determine if the relationship is significant; when the relationship is stated as statistically significant, the relationship observed has a high likelihood of happening in the future. When it comes to claiming statistical significance, some may assume there must be a complex formula that only seasoned statisticians can calculate. In reality, determining statistical significance is done via a t-test, a simple statistical test that compares two samples to help us infer a correlation of the same relationships in future samples.

In this case, campaigns with pitch counts below 70 are one group and campaigns above 71 are a second group. The findings below define the percentage difference between the means of both groups (i.e., the campaigns from Q2 and Q3) to determine if lower pitch counts do have a desired effect for each metric; those that are asterisked are statistically significant, meaning there is a less than a 5 percent chance that the observed results are due to chance.

How our analysis can optimize your digital PR team’s efforts

In practice, the relationships between these metrics help you establish a better standard of practice for your team’s outreach with realistic expectations and goals. Further, the correlation between the specified range of pitch counts and all other KPIs give you a reliable range of what values you can expect when it comes to the metrics for pitch quality, timelines, and campaign performance when adhering to the range of pitches.

The original theory — that a threshold for pitch counts exists when the relationship between pitch count and all other metrics of performance were compared — is confirmed by the data. The sample with lower pitch counts (less than 70) sees a positive relationship with the KPIs we want to decrease (e.g. decline rates, total days) and negative relationship with the KPIs we want to increase (e.g. placement rates, link counts). The sample with higher pitch counts (greater than 71) saw the inverse — a negative relationship with the KPIs we want to decrease and a positive relationship with the KPIs we want to increase. Essentially, when campaigns with less than 70 pitches sent were isolated, the numbers improved in nearly every metric.

When this analysis is applied to each of the 74 campaigns from Q3, you’ll see nearly consistent results, with the exception again being Total Domain Authority. Campaigns with up to 70 pitches are correlated with better KPIs when compared to campaigns with over 71 pitches.

Vague or unrealistic expectations and goals will sabotage the success of any team and any project. When it comes to the effort put into each campaign, having objective, optimized procedures allows your team to work smarter, not harder.

So, what does that baseline range look like, and how do you calculate it?

Establishing realistic baseline metrics

A simple question helps answer what the baseline should be in this instance: What was the average of each KPI of the campaigns with fewer than 70 pitches?

We gathered all 70 campaigns closed out of our digital PR team’s pipelines in the second and third quarters of 2018 with pitch counts below 70 and determined the average of each metric. Then, we calculated the standard deviation from the mean, which defines the spread of the data to establish a range for each KPI — and that became our baseline range.

Examining historical data is among the best methods for determining realistic baselines. By gathering a broad, sizeable sample (usually more than 30 is ideal) that represents the full scope of projects your team works on, you can determine the average for each metric and deviation from the average to establish a range.

These reliable ranges allow your digital PR team to understand the baselines they must strive for during active outreach when in compliance with the standard of practice for pitch counts established from our research. Further, these baseline ranges allow you to set more realistic goals for future performance by increasing each range by a realistic percentage.

Deviations from that range act as indicators of potential issues related to the quality, efficiency, or efficacy of their outreach, with each of the metrics implying what specifically may be array. We offer context into each of those metrics defining our three KPIs in terms of their implications and limitations.

Understanding how each metric can influence the productivity of your team

Pitch quality and efficacy

The purpose of a pitch is to tell a compelling and succinct story of why the campaign you’re pitching is newsworthy and fits the beat of the individual writer you’re pitching. Help your team succeed by enforcing tried and true best practices to enable them to craft each pitch with personalization and compelling narratives at the top of mind. The placements act as a conversion rate to measure the efficacy of your team’s outreach while interests and declines act as a combined response rate to measure the quality of outreach.

To help your team avoid the “spray and pray” mentality of blasting out as many pitches as possible and hoping one will yield a media mention, which ultimately jeopardizes publisher relationships and are an inefficient use of time, focus on the rates our teams secure responses and placements from publishers in relation to the total volume of pitches sent. Prioritize this interpretation of the data rather than just the individual counts to help add context to the pitch count.

Campaigns with a high-ratio of interest and placements to pitches from publishers imply the quality of the pitch was sufficient, meaning it encompassed one or more of the factors known to be important in securing press coverage. This includes, but is not limited to, compelling and newsworthy narratives, personalized details, and/or relevancy to the writer. In some cases, campaigns may have a low-ratio of interest but high-ratio of placements as a result of a nonresponse bias — the occurrence where publishers will not respond to a pitch but will still cover the campaign in a future article, yielding a placement. These “ghost posts” can skew interest rates, illustrating why three metrics compose this KPI.

Campaigns with a high-ratio of declines to pitches imply the quality of the pitch may be subpar, which signals to the associate to re-evaluate their outreach strategy. Again, the inverse may not always be true, as campaigns with a low ratio of declines may be a result of non-response bias. In this case, if publishers do not respond at all, we can either infer they did not open the email or they opened the email and were not interested, therefore declining by default.

While confounding variables (such as the quality of the content itself, not just the quality of the pitch) may skew these metrics in either direction and remain the greatest limitation, holistically, these three metrics offer actionable insights during active outreach.

Efficiency and capacity

Similarly, ranges for timeline metrics can give your associates context of when they should be achieving milestones (i.e., the first placement) as well as the total length of outreach. Deviating beyond the standard timeline to secure the first placement often indicates the outreach strategy needs re-evaluating, while extending beyond the range for total days of outreach indicates a campaign should be closed out soon.

Efficiency metrics help beyond advising the strategy for outreach, informing operations from a capacity standpoint. Toggling between tens and sometimes hundreds of active campaigns at any given point relies on consistency for capacity — reducing variance between the volume of campaigns entering production to campaigns being closed out of the pipeline by staggering campaigns based on their average duration. This allows for more robust planning and reliable forecasting.

Awareness of the baselines for time to secure press enables you and your team to not just plan strategies and capacities, but also the content of your campaigns. You can ensure timely content by allowing for sufficient time for outreach when ideating your campaigns so the content does not become stale or outdated.

The biggest limitation of these metrics is a looming external variable often beyond our control — the editorial calendars and agendas of the publishers. Publishers have their own deadlines and priorities to fill, so we can not always plan for delays in publishing dates or worse yet, scrapping coverage altogether.

Placement quality and efficacy

Ultimately, your efforts are intended to yield placements to gain brand awareness and voice, as well as build a diverse link portfolio; the latter is arguably easier to quantify. Total external links pointing to the campaign’s landing page or client homepage along with the total Domain Authority of those links allow you to track both the quantity and quality of links.

Higher link counts built from your placements allow you to infer the syndication networks of the placements your outreach secured, while higher total Domain Authority measures the relative value of those linking domains to measure quality. Along with further specifying the types of links (specifically Dofollow links, arguably the most valuable link type), these metrics have the potential to forecast the impact of the campaign on the website’s own overall authority.

Replicating our analysis to optimize your team’s press coverage

Often times, historical research designs such as this one can have limitations in their cause and effect implications. This collection of data offers valuable insight into correlations to help us infer patterns and trends.

Our analysis utilized historical data representative of our entire agency in terms of scope of clients, campaign types, and associates, strengthening internal validity. So while the specific baseline metrics are tailored to our team, the framework we offer for establishing those baselines is transferable to any team.

Apply these methods with your digital PR team to help define KPIs, establish baselines, and test your own theories:

  • Track the ten metrics that compose the KPIs of digital PR outreach for each campaign or initiative to keep a running historical record.
  • Determine the average spread via the mean and standard deviation for each metric from a sizeable, representative sample of campaigns to establish your team’s baseline metrics.
  • Test any theories of trends in your team’s effort (i.e., pitch counts) in relation to KPIs with a simple hypothesis test to optimize your team and resources.

How does your team approach defining the most important metrics and establishing baseline ranges? How do you approach optimizing those efforts to yield the best press coverage? Uncovering these answers will help your team synergize more effectively and establish productive foundations for future outreach efforts.

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How to Set Up Metrics to Optimize Your Digital PR Team’s Press Coverage

Posted by Ashley.Carlisle

Over the past six years, our team at Fractl has studied the art of mastering content marketing press coverage. Before moving into Agency Operations, I on-boarded and trained over a dozen new associates for our digital PR team within a year as the Media Relations Manager. Scaling a team of that size in a such a short period of time required hands-on training and a clear communication of goals and expectations within the role — but what metrics are indicative of success in digital PR?

As a data-driven content marketing agency, we turned to the numbers for something a little different than our usual data-heavy campaigns — we used our own historical data to analyze and optimize our digital PR team’s outreach.

This post aims to provide better insight in defining measurable variables as key performance indicators, or KPIs, for digital PR teams and understanding the implications and relationships of those KPIs. We’ll also go into the rationale for establishing baselines for these KPIs, which indicate the quality, efficiency, and efficacy of a team’s outreach efforts.

As a guide for defining success by analyzing your own metrics for your team (digital PR or otherwise), we’ll provide the framework for the research design, which helped us establish a threshold for the single variable we identified to best measure our efforts and be the most significantly correlated with the KPIs indicative of success of a digital PR team.

Determining the key performance indicators for digital PR outreach

The influx of available data for marketers and PR professionals to measure the impact of their work allows us to stray away from vague metrics like “reach” and the even more vague goal of “more publicity.” Instead, we are able to focus on the metrics most indicative of what we’re actually trying to measure: the effect of digital PR efforts.

We all have our theories and educated guesses about which metrics are most important and how each are related, but without researching further, theories remain theories (or expert opinions, at best). Operational research allows businesses to use the scientific method as a way to provide managers and their teams with a quantitative basis for decision making. Operationalization is the process of strictly defining variables to turn nebulous concepts (in this case, the effort and success of your digital PR team) into variables that can be measured, empirically and quantitatively.

There is one indicator identified to best measure your effort into a campaign’s outreach. It is a precursor to all of the indicators below: the volume of pitch emails sent for each campaign.

Because all pitches are not created equal, the indicators below gauge which factors best define the success of outreach, such as the quality of outreach correspondence, the efficiency of time to secure press, the efficacy of the campaign, and media mentions secured. Each multi-faceted metric can be described by a variety of measurements, and all are encompassed by the independent variable of the volume of pitch emails sent for each campaign.

Some indicators may be better measured by using more than a single metric, so for the purposes of this post, here are the three metrics to illustrate each of these three KPIs to offer a more holistic picture of your team’s performance:

Pitch quality and efficacy

  • Placement Rate: The percentage of placements (i.e., media mentions) secured per the number of total pitches sent.
  • Interest Rate: The percentage of interested publisher replies to pitches per the number of total pitches sent.
  • Decline Rate: The percentage of declining publisher replies to pitches per the number of total pitches sent.

Efficiency and capacity

  • Total days of outreach: The number of business days between the first and last pitch sent for a campaign, which is the sum of the two metrics below.
  • Days to first placement: The number of business days between the first pitch sent and first placement to be published for a campaign.
  • Days to syndication: The number of business days between the first placement to be published and the last pitch to be sent for a campaign.

Placement quality and efficacy

  • Total Links: The total number of backlinks from external linking domains of any attribution type (e.g. DoFollow, NoFollow) for a campaign’s landing page.
  • Total DoFollow Links: The total number of DoFollow backlinks from external linking domains for a campaign’s landing page.
  • Total Domain Authority of Links: The total domain authority of all backlinks from external linking domains of any attribution type (e.g. DoFollow, NoFollow,) for a campaign’s landing page.

Optimizing effort to yield the best KPIs

After identifying the metrics, we need to solve the next challenge: What are the relationships between your efforts and your KPIs? The practical application of these answers can help you establish a threshold or range for the input metric that is correlated with the highest KPIs. We’ll discuss that in a bit.

After identifying metrics to analyze, define the nature of their relationships to one another. Use a hypothesis test to verify an effect; in this case, we’re interested to find the relationship between pitch count and each of the metrics we defined above as being KPIs of successful outreach. This study hypothesizes that campaigns closed out in 70 pitches or less will have better KPIs than campaigns closed out with over 71 pitches.

Analyzing the relationship and determining significance of the data

Next, determine if the relationship is significant; when the relationship is stated as statistically significant, the relationship observed has a high likelihood of happening in the future. When it comes to claiming statistical significance, some may assume there must be a complex formula that only seasoned statisticians can calculate. In reality, determining statistical significance is done via a t-test, a simple statistical test that compares two samples to help us infer a correlation of the same relationships in future samples.

In this case, campaigns with pitch counts below 70 are one group and campaigns above 71 are a second group. The findings below define the percentage difference between the means of both groups (i.e., the campaigns from Q2 and Q3) to determine if lower pitch counts do have a desired effect for each metric; those that are asterisked are statistically significant, meaning there is a less than a 5 percent chance that the observed results are due to chance.

How our analysis can optimize your digital PR team’s efforts

In practice, the relationships between these metrics help you establish a better standard of practice for your team’s outreach with realistic expectations and goals. Further, the correlation between the specified range of pitch counts and all other KPIs give you a reliable range of what values you can expect when it comes to the metrics for pitch quality, timelines, and campaign performance when adhering to the range of pitches.

The original theory — that a threshold for pitch counts exists when the relationship between pitch count and all other metrics of performance were compared — is confirmed by the data. The sample with lower pitch counts (less than 70) sees a positive relationship with the KPIs we want to decrease (e.g. decline rates, total days) and negative relationship with the KPIs we want to increase (e.g. placement rates, link counts). The sample with higher pitch counts (greater than 71) saw the inverse — a negative relationship with the KPIs we want to decrease and a positive relationship with the KPIs we want to increase. Essentially, when campaigns with less than 70 pitches sent were isolated, the numbers improved in nearly every metric.

When this analysis is applied to each of the 74 campaigns from Q3, you’ll see nearly consistent results, with the exception again being Total Domain Authority. Campaigns with up to 70 pitches are correlated with better KPIs when compared to campaigns with over 71 pitches.

Vague or unrealistic expectations and goals will sabotage the success of any team and any project. When it comes to the effort put into each campaign, having objective, optimized procedures allows your team to work smarter, not harder.

So, what does that baseline range look like, and how do you calculate it?

Establishing realistic baseline metrics

A simple question helps answer what the baseline should be in this instance: What was the average of each KPI of the campaigns with fewer than 70 pitches?

We gathered all 70 campaigns closed out of our digital PR team’s pipelines in the second and third quarters of 2018 with pitch counts below 70 and determined the average of each metric. Then, we calculated the standard deviation from the mean, which defines the spread of the data to establish a range for each KPI — and that became our baseline range.

Examining historical data is among the best methods for determining realistic baselines. By gathering a broad, sizeable sample (usually more than 30 is ideal) that represents the full scope of projects your team works on, you can determine the average for each metric and deviation from the average to establish a range.

These reliable ranges allow your digital PR team to understand the baselines they must strive for during active outreach when in compliance with the standard of practice for pitch counts established from our research. Further, these baseline ranges allow you to set more realistic goals for future performance by increasing each range by a realistic percentage.

Deviations from that range act as indicators of potential issues related to the quality, efficiency, or efficacy of their outreach, with each of the metrics implying what specifically may be array. We offer context into each of those metrics defining our three KPIs in terms of their implications and limitations.

Understanding how each metric can influence the productivity of your team

Pitch quality and efficacy

The purpose of a pitch is to tell a compelling and succinct story of why the campaign you’re pitching is newsworthy and fits the beat of the individual writer you’re pitching. Help your team succeed by enforcing tried and true best practices to enable them to craft each pitch with personalization and compelling narratives at the top of mind. The placements act as a conversion rate to measure the efficacy of your team’s outreach while interests and declines act as a combined response rate to measure the quality of outreach.

To help your team avoid the “spray and pray” mentality of blasting out as many pitches as possible and hoping one will yield a media mention, which ultimately jeopardizes publisher relationships and are an inefficient use of time, focus on the rates our teams secure responses and placements from publishers in relation to the total volume of pitches sent. Prioritize this interpretation of the data rather than just the individual counts to help add context to the pitch count.

Campaigns with a high-ratio of interest and placements to pitches from publishers imply the quality of the pitch was sufficient, meaning it encompassed one or more of the factors known to be important in securing press coverage. This includes, but is not limited to, compelling and newsworthy narratives, personalized details, and/or relevancy to the writer. In some cases, campaigns may have a low-ratio of interest but high-ratio of placements as a result of a nonresponse bias — the occurrence where publishers will not respond to a pitch but will still cover the campaign in a future article, yielding a placement. These “ghost posts” can skew interest rates, illustrating why three metrics compose this KPI.

Campaigns with a high-ratio of declines to pitches imply the quality of the pitch may be subpar, which signals to the associate to re-evaluate their outreach strategy. Again, the inverse may not always be true, as campaigns with a low ratio of declines may be a result of non-response bias. In this case, if publishers do not respond at all, we can either infer they did not open the email or they opened the email and were not interested, therefore declining by default.

While confounding variables (such as the quality of the content itself, not just the quality of the pitch) may skew these metrics in either direction and remain the greatest limitation, holistically, these three metrics offer actionable insights during active outreach.

Efficiency and capacity

Similarly, ranges for timeline metrics can give your associates context of when they should be achieving milestones (i.e., the first placement) as well as the total length of outreach. Deviating beyond the standard timeline to secure the first placement often indicates the outreach strategy needs re-evaluating, while extending beyond the range for total days of outreach indicates a campaign should be closed out soon.

Efficiency metrics help beyond advising the strategy for outreach, informing operations from a capacity standpoint. Toggling between tens and sometimes hundreds of active campaigns at any given point relies on consistency for capacity — reducing variance between the volume of campaigns entering production to campaigns being closed out of the pipeline by staggering campaigns based on their average duration. This allows for more robust planning and reliable forecasting.

Awareness of the baselines for time to secure press enables you and your team to not just plan strategies and capacities, but also the content of your campaigns. You can ensure timely content by allowing for sufficient time for outreach when ideating your campaigns so the content does not become stale or outdated.

The biggest limitation of these metrics is a looming external variable often beyond our control — the editorial calendars and agendas of the publishers. Publishers have their own deadlines and priorities to fill, so we can not always plan for delays in publishing dates or worse yet, scrapping coverage altogether.

Placement quality and efficacy

Ultimately, your efforts are intended to yield placements to gain brand awareness and voice, as well as build a diverse link portfolio; the latter is arguably easier to quantify. Total external links pointing to the campaign’s landing page or client homepage along with the total Domain Authority of those links allow you to track both the quantity and quality of links.

Higher link counts built from your placements allow you to infer the syndication networks of the placements your outreach secured, while higher total Domain Authority measures the relative value of those linking domains to measure quality. Along with further specifying the types of links (specifically Dofollow links, arguably the most valuable link type), these metrics have the potential to forecast the impact of the campaign on the website’s own overall authority.

Replicating our analysis to optimize your team’s press coverage

Often times, historical research designs such as this one can have limitations in their cause and effect implications. This collection of data offers valuable insight into correlations to help us infer patterns and trends.

Our analysis utilized historical data representative of our entire agency in terms of scope of clients, campaign types, and associates, strengthening internal validity. So while the specific baseline metrics are tailored to our team, the framework we offer for establishing those baselines is transferable to any team.

Apply these methods with your digital PR team to help define KPIs, establish baselines, and test your own theories:

  • Track the ten metrics that compose the KPIs of digital PR outreach for each campaign or initiative to keep a running historical record.
  • Determine the average spread via the mean and standard deviation for each metric from a sizeable, representative sample of campaigns to establish your team’s baseline metrics.
  • Test any theories of trends in your team’s effort (i.e., pitch counts) in relation to KPIs with a simple hypothesis test to optimize your team and resources.

How does your team approach defining the most important metrics and establishing baseline ranges? How do you approach optimizing those efforts to yield the best press coverage? Uncovering these answers will help your team synergize more effectively and establish productive foundations for future outreach efforts.

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Neil Patel’s 7 Trends to Embrace for Successful Digital Marketing in 2019

Self-made marketing expert Neil Patel released a video titled, How Digital Marketing Will Change in 2019. Patel outlines 7 Trends that all businesses and content producers should embrace for successful digital marketing in 2019:

“Digital marketing is going to change in 2019,” says NeilPatel. “What’s been working for the last few years is not anymore. Here’s how digital marketing is changing in 2019 and what you need to do to thrive and succeed.”

Tip 1: Embrace Omnichannel Approach to Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is moving to an omnichannel approach. You used to be able to build a business with just one channel. For example, Facebook grew by just telling everyone, hey invite your friends. They would take your address book and invite all your friends automatically even without your permission. That’s changed and those tactics don’t work as well as they used to. I’m not saying they don’t work at all, they just don’t work as well as they used to.

Marketing has moved to an omnichannel approach where you now have to use tactics like growth hacking, pay-per-click, SEO, content marketing, social media marketing, and banner ads. The list is never-ending and the more channels you use the better off you’re going to be. Most of these channels are crowded because there are so many online businesses. If you don’t use all of them you just won’t do as well in 2019.

Tip 2: Leverage Voice Search

Most of you will not like this but search is moving to voice search. By 2020 Comscore estimates that half the searches on Google will be through voice search. Right now, two out of every five adults are using voice search. Yes, that means kids aren’t using it as much but still by 2020 they’re saying half of all searches, not just from adults, but half of all searches are going to be via voice search. So if you want to do well in 2019 you need to be leveraging voice search.

The way you do this is one, make sure your site is HTTPS because most of the sites that are at the top are HTTPS these days. And two, your site needs to load fast. If it doesn’t load fast you’re not going to do as well with voice search. Three, when people are typing in questions, they’re typically typing in longer-term phrases. So your questions, and especially your answers need to be short and to the point. If your answers are a paragraph long you’re not going to do as well compared to if your answer was one sentence long.

Tip 3: The Only Way to Compete is Through Conversion Optimization

The third tip I have for you is conversion optimization. Advertising is getting more and more expensive over time and that’s not going to change. The only way you’re going to be able to compete and stay ahead is through conversion optimization. The more you optimize your landing page for conversions the better off you’re going to be. Make sure you’re using tools like Crazy Egg which allows you to do A/B testing so you can squeeze more conversions from the traffic you’re getting.

Also, make sure you’re using tools like Hellow Bar which encourages email collection. Again, this will help you get more revenue from the users and visitors that you do have. If you don’t do this as the years go on you’re going to get drowned out by the competitors because they’re going to spend more money than you and they’re going to crush you. So focus on conversion optimization even though it’s not sexy and most people don’t like talking about it in marketing.

Tip 4: Leverage Marketing Funnels

The fourth tactic I have for you is leverage funnels. Marketing funnels are going to be more popular than ever in 2019. Before, people used to just optimize their campaigns to, hey I’m buying ads, how many sales am I getting? Now you need a look at up-sells, down-sells, cross-sells, lifetime value of a customer, and churn.

Whether you have a physical product, digital product, or you’re doing lead generation, you need to track everything from a visitor all the way to a conversion point. That’s revenue for them to keep buying and that’s why funnels are really important. If you don’t know how to create a funnel go check out tools like ClickFunnels.

Tip 5: Content Marketing Only Works if You Create Amazing Unique Content

Content marketing just won’t work as well. Think about it, anytime you do a search most of the articles that are at the top are content marketing. Blogging is so popular and so played out that everyone is regurgitating the same information over and over again. Unless you’re creating amazing new information that people haven’t heard before, you’re not going to do well. Content marking just won’t work to get links or social shares unless you’re creating amazing content that’s new and that people haven’t seen before.

Tip 6: You Need to be Leveraging Video

My number six tip is creating video content. Video content is the future. You see me here in this video and you’re engaging with me. If you’re not, leave a comment and I’ll show you. I’ll respond back. Video content is the future. People want to engage through video. Facebook gives you more views if it’s video. YouTube gives you a ton of views and Linkedin does as well. You need to be leveraging video. You can’t take it for granted.

Tip 7: You Need to Create a Podcast

Podcasting is taking over. Did you know that 45 percent of the people who listen to podcasts have a household income above $ 75,000? That’s a ton, that’s a lot of money, and that means that the people that are listening to your podcast are going to be better buyers than most other marketing channels out there. You need to create a podcast.

Everyone is using their phones these days and everyone is driving to work. Podcasting makes it easy where people can listen to your content on-the-go. It’s such a hectic world out there and you need to have a podcast so people can listen to you while they’re dealing with their hectic life.

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Box CEO: Digital Transformation Driving Global Growth

The digital transformation which has been powering the growth of many technology companies in the US is now starting to drive growth globally according to Box CEO Aaron Levie. He says that Box has a global opportunity where multi-national enterprises want to drive the same digital transformation that has been happening in the US.

Aaron Levie, Box CEO, discussed on CNBC how the digital transformation is key to driving Box’s growth globally.

Digital Transformation Driving Global Growth

As our business gets more seasonally loaded toward the back end of the year as we sell to larger and larger enterprises. That’s what ultimately drives a much higher billings growth outcome in Q4. We continue to move up-market serving larger enterprises like major top ten banks, pharmaceuticals, life sciences companies, as well as the federal government and global manufacturers. That’s what’s driving that surge in Q4 billings and growth rate.

We have a global opportunity where large enterprises, especially multi-national enterprises, want to drive the same digital transformation that we’ve seen in the US. That means everything from changing their business processes to collaborating and working in new ways which leads them to need platforms like Box and other technologies. We are seeing incredible growth in markets like Japan, Canada, Australia, and throughout Europe.

Our Partner Model is Critical to Our Success

We are working with major partners like IBM and other system integrators to be able to reach and enable customers. We are working with technology partners like Microsoft, Google, as well as a much broader ecosystem including companies like Slack, Okta, and others, to ensure that when customers want to modernize their IT environment Box is the system of record for the data and content that they work with.

Partners are core to our strategy both from a technology standpoint to ensure that customers have an integrated experience with their information technology investment as well as helping us actually reach those customers from a distribution and sales standpoint. Our partner model is critical to our success.

We Are Building a Fundamentally Open Platform

Our fundamental belief is that in the digital age enterprises are going to need a platform to help them secure, manage, govern, and drive the workflows around their core business information. That is what the platform is that we’re building. Whether it’s financial documents, digital assets, a pharmaceutical company with their drug trial information, or an ad company with their ad campaigns, we want to be the platform that helps them manage and secure that data.

We will have to work with technology partners like Microsoft, Google, IBM, and others to ensure that the technology that they’re investing in can link to the data that customers store within Box. We are building a fundamentally open platform and whether that is linking up to the artificial intelligence or machine learning technology that IBM, Microsoft, Google, and others are building or the common applications that we use every day we want to ensure that Box can connect to all of those applications so that you can have one source of truth for your data but integrated everywhere.

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Box CEO: Digital Transformation Driving Global Growth

The digital transformation which has been powering the growth of many technology companies in the US is now starting to drive growth globally according to Box CEO Aaron Levie. He says that Box has a global opportunity where multi-national enterprises want to drive the same digital transformation that has been happening in the US.

Aaron Levie, Box CEO, discussed on CNBC how the digital transformation is key to driving Box’s growth globally.

Digital Transformation Driving Global Growth

As our business gets more seasonally loaded toward the back end of the year as we sell to larger and larger enterprises. That’s what ultimately drives a much higher billings growth outcome in Q4. We continue to move up-market serving larger enterprises like major top ten banks, pharmaceuticals, life sciences companies, as well as the federal government and global manufacturers. That’s what’s driving that surge in Q4 billings and growth rate.

We have a global opportunity where large enterprises, especially multi-national enterprises, want to drive the same digital transformation that we’ve seen in the US. That means everything from changing their business processes to collaborating and working in new ways which leads them to need platforms like Box and other technologies. We are seeing incredible growth in markets like Japan, Canada, Australia, and throughout Europe.

Our Partner Model is Critical to Our Success

We are working with major partners like IBM and other system integrators to be able to reach and enable customers. We are working with technology partners like Microsoft, Google, as well as a much broader ecosystem including companies like Slack, Okta, and others, to ensure that when customers want to modernize their IT environment Box is the system of record for the data and content that they work with.

Partners are core to our strategy both from a technology standpoint to ensure that customers have an integrated experience with their information technology investment as well as helping us actually reach those customers from a distribution and sales standpoint. Our partner model is critical to our success.

We Are Building a Fundamentally Open Platform

Our fundamental belief is that in the digital age enterprises are going to need a platform to help them secure, manage, govern, and drive the workflows around their core business information. That is what the platform is that we’re building. Whether it’s financial documents, digital assets, a pharmaceutical company with their drug trial information, or an ad company with their ad campaigns, we want to be the platform that helps them manage and secure that data.

We will have to work with technology partners like Microsoft, Google, IBM, and others to ensure that the technology that they’re investing in can link to the data that customers store within Box. We are building a fundamentally open platform and whether that is linking up to the artificial intelligence or machine learning technology that IBM, Microsoft, Google, and others are building or the common applications that we use every day we want to ensure that Box can connect to all of those applications so that you can have one source of truth for your data but integrated everywhere.

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Nike Makes the Integration of Digital and Physical Retail a Reality

Nike has created an amazing store in New York City that truly integrates the digital experience with physical retail. The worlds of physical and digital are not really separated for consumers the way we may have thought says Heidi O’Neil, the President Nike Direct. Clearly, brick and mortar retail is not dead, it’s just changing and Nike is showing the world how it can be done.

Heidi O’Neil, President of Nike Direct and Sean Madden, Senior Director of Product at Nike Direct were interviewed about Nike’s New NYC technologically enhanced flagship store by Katherine Schwab of Fast Company. You can watch the full video below:

Physical and Digital Together Create an Incredible Consumer Experience

“It’s interesting with all of the medium crests around the death of retail, what we found, at least with our Nike consumers, is over 80 percent of consumers actually want a physical experience as part of their shopping experience,” says Heidi O’Neil, President of Nike Direct. “The worlds of physical and digital are not really separated for consumers the way we may have thought about it when we were thinking about the death of retail. In fact, they can really support each other to make an incredible consumer experience.”

Get Every Item on a Mannequin Head-To-Toe Digitally

“When you come in you’ll be welcome to Nike New York,” explained Sean Madden, Senior Director of Product, Nike Direct. “On the smartphone screen is what we call Retail Home. We found based on a lot of research that consumers really love mannequins, but they get really frustrated when they can’t find the product that’s on the mannequin. Is it in your size? Is it in your color?

“We’ve built a system where the consumer can simply scan a QR code and they’ll get every item that a mannequin is dressed in from head-to-toe digitally,” said Madden. “We’ve also enabled consumers to build a virtual Try-On List. They can then choose their size and have it sent right to their fitting room.”

Smart Fitting Rooms Offer Lighting Options

“Not only will the product will be waiting for you in the fitting room we’ve also introduced the ability for you to customize the look with lighting so you can see how the product looks on you and will perform in different lighting conditions,” he said. “We want consumers to understand how the product will look in different conditions, especially the New Yorker who is going from their house to sport to work to life and they want a product that can flex with them. They also take a lot of selfies in fitting rooms so good light and an interesting room really helps with that.”

Data Powers the New Nike Speed Shop

“We use data to inform the assortment with New Yorkers favorites in the Speed Shop,” said O’Neil. “Then what we’re also able to do from a data perspective is we’re able to take all the selling information and all the data from what’s happening in the five other floors of the store to have a trendy now experience in the Speed Shop. So as a New Yorker you don’t have to spend half the day here, a couple hours there, you can just go and say I’m getting the absolute best of this store curated for me and refreshed in the day, in the hour.”

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