Tag Archive | "Publishers"

How to pitch to top online publishers: 10 Exclusive survey insights

How would you like to get your brand featured on major online websites like Buzzfeed, the Washington Post, or Bustle?

When you earn the attention of top-tier press, you reap the business benefits of large-scale brand exposure and the SEO benefits of high-authority backlinks. It’s a win-win.

But it’s increasingly difficult to win the attention of the online press. Any day of the week, you have tweets from Chrissy Teigen and the contentious presidential election dominating the media coverage and driving the online social discussion.

There is plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest that there is an ideal time to pitch a writer or the best way to write a press release or an email for optimal success. The problem with a lot of digital PR advice you read online is that it’s purely situational and can vary from person to person.

That’s why my team decided to end the back and forth once and for all. In a new publisher survey, we asked 500+ online writers and editors from sites like the New York Times, CNN, Cosmopolitan, and Mashable how they want to be pitched, what types of content they prefer to cover, and what PR professionals should include (and exclude) in their outreach emails in order to gain their trust and earn a coveted space on their website.

Here are 10 major data-backed insights that you can use to optimize your outreach strategy.

The top three reasons why journalists decline your pitch

The top three reasons journalists decline your pitch is because it’s irrelevant, boring, or too self-promotional.

A crucial reason why a writer rejected your email pitch is that it’s irrelevant. That’s right, 88% of writers have rejected a pitch for it being unrelated to their beat.

Note: Password: exclusive – a password will be taken down to facilitate the exclusive for SEW.

Almost 64% of writers have rejected a pitch because it was simply too boring. If you fail to explain why the content you’re pitching is exciting or newsworthy, how can you expect an online editor to envision the story?

Another 62% of online journalists have rejected a pitched because it’s too self-promotional. Online editors seek to inform and entertain their audiences. A tired pitch about some new thing that’s happening at your company or some funny thing your CEO tweeted is not going to capture the attention of the masses and drive traffic – and editors know that.

Over 42% of writers reported receiving 11 to 100 pitches a day

Over 42% of writers reported receiving 11 to 100 pitches a day and almost five percent receive 100+ email pitches per day.

To a certain extent, online writers and editors rely on PR pitches to provide them with content to fill their editorial calendar. But can you imagine receiving 100 pitches a day? It’s no wonder that journalists take to Twitter so often to vent about the latest #PRFail that recently arrived in their inbox. With all of that inbox clutter, who wouldn’t be frustrated with a lazily written, irrelevant pitch?

Time = money. You’re wasting both when you reach out to a writer about content that’s relevant to them or their beat.

Only 22% of digital writers open every single email addressed to them

Only one out of every five people you send emails to will open every pitch addressed to them. And most people, about three in four, open an email based on the subject line alone. This places a lot of pressure on your subject line writing, which is why it’s one of the most important elements of your outreach email strategy.

Read all about how to perfect your subject lines for PR outreach in a previous post for SEMrush.

Most writers (58%) prefer to receive a pitch between 100 and 200 words

Keep it short and sweet. Given the sheer volume of pitches they receive daily, writers are too busy to sift through a complicated pitch to decipher what it’s about. If they open your email, you have about half a minute to capture their attention before they move on to the next pitch.

Here are some tips to keep the word count of your email down.

  • Include only the most relevant, interesting, and newsworthy details of your content
  • Use bullet points to list disparate details
  • Link to the full content from your email (that is, don’t attach additional info to the email)

Some content topics are more competitive than others

Our survey found that writers who cover popular topics, such as women’s interest, home and lifestyle, and entertainment receive double the number of pitches than writers covering personal finance and business.

How can you change your content marketing strategy in light of these stats? Create content on the sphere of two verticals. For example, a piece of content that explores inter-office dating can be covered by writers who cover two different beats – dating and career/business.

By creating content that naturally appeals to more than one audience, you double your potential for exposure right out of the gate.

Staff editors are pitched more than staff writers or freelance contributors

According to our data, it’s safe to say staff editors have more inbox congestion than staff writers or freelancers. However, that doesn’t mean that you should remove them from your outreach list. When it comes to who to pitch, the best answer is still unclear. Despite the data suggesting you have a better chance with freelancers and staff writers, the bottom line is that they oftentimes still have to pitch the editor their story. By writing directly to the editor, they make the decision right then and there on whether to assign the story.

There are pros and cons to pitching all people in all three of these roles, but it’s good to keep their different roles and responsibilities in mind when actively pitching a content campaign.

The best time to send pitches are 5 am to 12 pm on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday

After years of practicing PR for clients across all topic verticals, it’s long been a suspicion of mine that pitches sent on a Friday tend to fall on deaf ears and require a follow up to really be seen. If you felt the same way, then you’re experience is about to be validated.

Our survey of 500+ journalists found that the best days to send email pitches are at the beginning of the workweek: Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. And the best time? Survey says early morning is better, between 5 am to 12 pm.

Journalists prefer zero or one follow up emails an average of three to seven days after you’ve sent your initial pitch

Speaking of follow up emails, should you even send them at all? While 20% of writers believe that you should never send a follow-up email, the majority of writers (60%) consider one follow-up email to be the most acceptable.

When should you follow up? Data shows that most writers prefer that you follow-up three to seven days after you send the first email pitch.

Heed Phil’s warning. It may be surprising to you that some people send follow-ups to journalists who’ve already declined their pitch.

The thing is, many PR pros are still using unsophisticated mass outreach tools that are too automated. If you’re in doubt about your tool, it’s better to use a spreadsheet and focus on “one-on-one” email outreach. Automate effectively, responsibly, and at your own risk.

If you provide good content, journalists will want you to keep in touch

We asked 500+ journalists and online writers how they want to keep in touch with a PR pro after working with them on a story. They told us that the best way to stay in contact is via email (77%) and by continuing sending the journalist relevant content (57%).

Journalists were quick to note that they do not want phone calls or to meet in person but were more open to chatting on Twitter and LinkedIn occasionally.

Over 53% of writers say they don’t subscribe to press release sources

Is the press release “dead?” While it is still a strategy that marketers and brands employ, its usefulness is slowly declining in favor of direct, targeted “One-on-one” outreach.

Around 20% of writers admitted that they never write a story based on a press release, while about 29% of writers we surveyed say they use press releases for their stories more than 10 times a year.

Conclusion

Offering compelling, newsworthy, data-driven content is the key to earning top tier press mentions. 10x content paired with strategic one-on-one digital PR is the winning combination to earn attention and authority for your brand.

When it comes to earning press on top tier online websites like the NYTimes, CNN, Forbes, the Atlantic, and more, it’s not impossible, but it is increasingly harder with countless pieces of content being created every day. Capturing and keeping a journalist’s attention is a competitive game. Keep these stats in mind to give your content the upper hand in a crowded inbox.

Domenica is a Brand Relationship Manager at Fractl. She can be found on Twitter @atdomenica.

The post How to pitch to top online publishers: 10 Exclusive survey insights appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

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Advanced Linkbuilding: How to Find the Absolute Best Publishers and Writers to Pitch

Posted by KristinTynski

In my last post, I explained how using network visualization tools can help you massively improve your content marketing PR/Outreach strategy —understanding which news outlets have the largest syndication networks empowers your outreach team to prioritize high-syndication publications over lower syndication publications. The result? The content you are pitching enjoys significantly more widespread link pickups.

Today, I’m going to take you a little deeper — we’ll be looking at a few techniques for forming an even better understanding of the publisher syndication networks in your particular niche. I’ve broken this technique into two parts:

  • Technique One — Leveraging Buzzsumo influencer data and twitter scraping to find the most influential journalists writing about any topic
  • Technique Two — Leveraging the Gdelt Dataset to reveal deep story syndication networks between publishers using in-context links.

Why do this at all?

If you are interested in generating high-value links at scale, these techniques provide an undeniable competitive advantage — they help you to deeply understand how writers and news publications connect and syndicate to each other.

In our opinion at Fractl, data-driven content stories that have strong news hooks, finding writers and publications who would find the content compelling, and pitching them effectively is the single highest ROI SEO activity possible. Done correctly, it is entirely possible to generate dozens, sometimes even hundreds or thousands, of high-authority links with one or a handful of content campaigns.

Let’s dive in.

Using Buzzsumo to understand journalist influencer networks on any topic

First, you want to figure out who your topc influencers are your a topic. A very handy feature of Buzzsumo is its “influencers” tool. You can locate it on the influences tab, then follow these steps:

  • Select only “Journalists.” This will limit the result to only the Twitter accounts of those known to be reporters and journalists of major publications. Bloggers and lower authority publishers will be excluded.
  • Search using a topical keyword. If it is straightforward, one or two searches should be fine. If it is more complex, create a few related queries, and collate the twitter accounts that appear in all of them. Alternatively, use the Boolean “and/or” in your search to narrow your result. It is critical to be sure your search results are returning journalists that as closely match your target criteria as possible.
  • Ideally, you want at least 100 results. More is generally better, so long as you are sure the results represent your target criteria well.
  • Once you are happy with your search result, click export to grab a CSV.

The next step is to grab all of the people each of these known journalist influencers follows — the goal is to understand which of these 100 or so influencers impacts the other 100 the most. Additionally, we want to find people outside of this group that many of these 100 follow in common.

To do so, we leveraged Twint, a handy Twitter scraper available on Github to pull all of the people each of these journalist influencers follow. Using our scraped data, we built an edge list, which allowed us to visualize the result in  Gephi.

Here is an interactive version for you to explore, and here is a screenshot of what it looks like:

This graph shows us which nodes (influencers) have the most In-Degree links. In other words: it tells us who, of our media influencers, is most followed. 

    These are the top 10 nodes:

    • Maia Szalavitz (@maiasz) Neuroscience Journalist, VICE and TIME
    • Radley Balko (@radleybalko) Opinion journalist, Washington Post
    • Johann Hari (@johannhari101) New York Times best-selling author
    • David Kroll (@davidkroll) Freelance healthcare writer, Forbes Heath
    • Max Daly (@Narcomania) Global Drugs Editor, VICE
    • Dana Milbank (@milbank)Columnist, Washington Post
    • Sam Quinones (@samquinones7), Author
    • Felice Freyer (@felicejfreyer), Boston Globe Reporter, Mental health and Addiction
    • Jeanne Whalen (@jeannewhalen) Business Reporter, Washington Post
    • Eric Bolling (@ericbolling) New York Times best-selling author

    Who is the most influential?

      Using the “Betweenness Centrality” score given by Gephi, we get a rough understanding of which nodes (influencers) in the network act as hubs of information transfer. Those with the highest “Betweenness Centrality” can be thought of as the “connectors” of the network. These are the top 10 influencers:\

      • Maia Szalavitz (@maiasz) Neuroscience Journalist, VICE and TIME
      • David Kroll (@davidkroll) Freelance healthcare writer, Forbes Heath
      • Jeanne Whalen (@jeannewhalen) Business Reporter, Washington Post
      • Travis Lupick (@tlupick), Journalist, Author
      • Johann Hari (@johannhari101) New York Times best-selling author
      • Radley Balko (@radleybalko) Opinion journalist, Washington Post
      • Sam Quinones (@samquinones7), Author
      • Eric Bolling (@ericbolling) New York Times best-selling author
      • Dana Milbank (@milbank)Columnist, Washington Post
      • Mike Riggs (@mikeriggs) Writer & Editor, Reason Mag 

          @maiasz, @davidkroll, and @johannhari101 are standouts. There’s considerable overlap between the winners in “In-Degree” and “Betweenness Centrality” but they are still quite different. 

            What else can we learn?

              The middle of the visualization holds many of the largest sized nodes. The nodes in this view are sized by “In-Degree.” The large, centrally located nodes are disproportionately followed by other members of the graph and enjoy popularity across the board (from many of the other influential nodes). These are journalists commonly followed by everyone else. Sifting through these centrally located nodes will surface many journalists who behave as influencers of the group initially pulled from BuzzSumo.

              So, if you had a campaign about a niche topic, you could consider pitching to an influencer surfaced from this data —according to our the visualization, an article shared in their network would have the most reach and potential ROI

              Using Gdelt to find the most influential websites on a topic with in-context link analysis

              The first example was a great way to find the best journalists in a niche to pitch to, but top journalists are often the most pitched to overall. Often times, it can be easier to get a pickup from less known writers at major publications. For this reason, understanding which major publishers are most influential, and enjoy the widest syndication on a specific theme, topic, or beat, can be majorly helpful.

              By using Gdelt’s massive and fully comprehensive database of digital news stories, along with Google BigQuery and Gephi, it is possible to dig even deeper to yield important strategic information that will help you prioritize your content pitching.

              We pulled all of the articles in Gdelt’s database that are known to be about a specific theme within a given timeframe. In this case (as with the previous example) we looked at “behaviour health.” For each article we found in Gdelt’s database that matches our criteria, we also grabbed links found only within the context of the article.

              Here is how it is done:

              • Connect to Gdelt on Google BigQuery — you can find a tutorial here.
              • Pull data from Gdelt. You can use this command: SELECT DocumentIdentifier,V2Themes,Extras,SourceCommonName,DATE FROM [gdelt-bq:gdeltv2.gkg] where (V2Themes like ‘%Your Theme%’).
              • Select any theme you find, here — just replace the part between the percentages.
              • To extract the links found in each article and build an edge file. This can be done with a relatively simple python script to pull out all of the <PAGE_LINKS> from the results of the query, clean the links to only show their root domain (not the full URL) and put them into an edge file format.

              Note: The edge file is made up of Source–>Target pairs. The Source is the article and the Target are the links found within the article. The edge list will look like this:

              • Article 1, First link found in the article.
              • Article 1, Second link found in the article.
              • Article 2, First link found in the article.
              • Article 2, Second link found in the article.
              • Article 2, Third link found in the article.

              From here, the edge file can be used to build a network visualization where the nodes publishers and the edges between them represent the in-context links found from our Gdelt data pull around whatever topic we desired.

              This final visualization is a network representation of the publishers who have written stories about addiction, and where those stories link to.

                What can we learn from this graph?

                This tells us which nodes (Publisher websites) have the most In-Degree links. In other words: who is the most linked. We can see that the most linked-to for this topic are:

                • tmz.com
                • people.com
                • cdc.gov
                • cnn.com
                • go.com
                • nih.gov
                • ap.org
                • latimes.com
                • jamanetwork.com
                • nytimes.com

                Which publisher is most influential? 

                Using the “Betweenness Centrality” score given by Gephi, we get a rough understanding of which nodes (publishers) in the network act as hubs of information transfer. The nodes with the highest “Betweenness Centrality” can be thought of as the “connectors” of the network. Getting pickups from these high-betweenness centrality nodes gives a much greater likelihood of syndication for that specific topic/theme. 

                • Dailymail.co.uk
                • Nytimes.com
                • People.com
                • CNN.com
                • Latimes.com
                • washingtonpost.com
                • usatoday.com
                • cvslocal.com
                • huffingtonpost.com
                • sfgate.com

                What else can we learn?

                  Similar to the first example, the higher the betweenness centrality numbers, number of In-degree links, and the more centrally located in the graph, the more “important” that node can generally be said to be. Using this as a guide, the most important pitching targets can be easily identified. 

                  Understanding some of the edge clusters gives additional insights into other potential opportunities. Including a few clusters specific to different regional or state local news, and a few foreign language publication clusters.

                  Wrapping up

                  I’ve outlined two different techniques we use at Fractl to understand the influence networks around specific topical areas, both in terms of publications and the writers at those publications. The visualization techniques described are not obvious guides, but instead, are tools for combing through large amounts of data and finding hidden information. Use these techniques to unearth new opportunities and prioritize as you get ready to find the best places to pitch the content you’ve worked so hard to create.

                  Do you have any similar ideas or tactics to ensure you’re pitching the best writers and publishers with your content? Comment below!

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                    Search Buzz Video Recap: Google Update, News Publishers Ranking, BBB & Trust Signals & Google Audit Tools

                    This morning there may have been a new algorithm update impacting search rankings in Google. Google confirmed there is an issue they have fixed or are still fixing around news content not being indexed and ranked fast enough…


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                    European publishers accuse Google and Facebook of ‘plundering’ their content

                    Publishers and media companies have stepped up lobbying for a restrictive copyright law that would effectively create ‘link taxes.’



                    Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.


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                    Search Buzz Video Recap: Google Meta Descriptions, News Publishers, Algorithm SEO Impacts & Yoast Plugin

                    This week, I covered the big monthly Google webmaster report. Also, Google told us the meta descriptions HTML improvements section in Google Search Console will go away…


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                    Google Updates Image Search Guidelines For SEOs & Publishers

                    John Mueller from Google posted on Twitter that they have updated their image publishing guidelines at this help document…


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                    Google adds new knowledge panel to provide information about news publishers

                    In an effort to combat fake news and equip searchers with more data about news sources, Google has released a new publisher knowledge graph.

                    The post Google adds new knowledge panel to provide information about news publishers appeared first on Search Engine Land.



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                    Facebook to Block Ads From Publishers Who Share Fake News

                    Facebook has ramped up its drive to combat the spread of fake news and hoaxes. It announced on Monday, that it will no longer allow Pages known to have repeatedly shared fake news in the past to advertise on its platform.

                    Via a blog post, the social media company stated that the move is aimed to reduce the distribution of fake news by disrupting the economic incentives to create them in the first place. It further stated that some Pages are buying Facebook ads to increase their audience base so they may distribute fake news more broadly.

                    Facebook already does not allow advertisers to run ad campaigns that link to fake stories. However, the most recent update of its site rules states that it will now penalize Pages that share fake news stories as well.

                    Based on Monday’s announcement, it looks like Facebook might be lenient to first-time offenders especially if they inadvertently shared a fake story. According to the company, it will only block ad purchases of Pages that repeatedly share fake news or hoaxes. To determine if a story is true or not, Facebook has partnered with third-party fact-checkers to help them thresh out real news from the rest.

                    However, it does not mean that affected Pages will be blocked from purchasing FB ads forever. According to the same blog post, blocked Pages will become eligible to purchase ads once they stop sharing misleading stories. It did not say how long the block would last before a Page can purchase ads again.

                    Facebook has been under pressure to curb the spread of fake news on its platform after it was accused of enabling the spread of fake political news during the U.S. presidential elections. The company faced the same criticism in Europe when French voters were reported to have been bombarded with fake news during France’s presidential elections.

                    [Featured Image via Pixabay]

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                    SearchCap: AdWords Partners bug, AMP upsets publishers & SEO power

                    Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.

                    The post SearchCap: AdWords Partners bug, AMP upsets publishers & SEO power appeared first on Search Engine Land.



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                    Facebook Paying Millions To Publishers & Celebrities To Use Facebook Live

                    A document reviewed by the Wall Street Journal revealed that Facebook is going to pay $ 50 million to 140 publishers and celebrities that agreed to post Facebook Live videos. The publishers and celebrities will also be promoting their videos on their sites, Facebook and other social media channels.

                    This is a marketing strategy to launch Facebook Live as the place to post live videos thus changing the dynamic of the news feed from your friends text posts and pictures to television like entertainment and information. Facebook sees video as its future, both in terms of the type of content that users post and consume and as where they see the bulk of their future revenue coming. Just last week a Facebook VP stated in an interview that she predicts that within five years Facebook will be “all video.”

                    Facebook has long predicted that video advertising will eventually be their main source of revenue with Mark Zuckerberg once saying that if they sold a video ad at the top of the Facebook news feed for $ 1 million it would be equivalent to three Super Bowls every day.

                    Early this year, Zuckerberg talked about how Facebook will evolve to be a video platform commenting, “Most of the content 10 years ago was text, and then photos, and now it’s quickly becoming videos,” Zuckerberg said. “I just think that we’re going to be in a world a few years from now where the vast majority of the content that people consume online will be video.”

                    Just last week Zuckerberg hosted its first Facebook Live Q&A to all Facebook users, at one point reaching 6 million concurrent viewers.

                    The contracts to pay popular sites and celebrities is a way to launch Facebook Live while it works out a share of revenue concept. YouTube typically pays out 70% of revenue but pays even more for certain premium content. Its Facebook Live partners include a wide variety of publishers, celebrities and sports starts such as NFL quarterback Russell Wilson, CNN, Kevin Hart, Vox, Mashable, Tastemade, New York Times, Gordon Ramsay, Deepak Chopra and the Huffington Post.

                    Via WSJ.com:

                    “We wanted to invite a broad set of partners so we could get feedback from a variety of different organizations about what works and what doesn’t,” Justin Osofsky, Facebook’s vice president of global operations and media partnerships, said in a statement.

                    The value of individual contracts varies widely, with 17 worth more than $ 1 million, according to the document. The highest-paid publisher is BuzzFeed, slated to receive $ 3.05 million for broadcasting live between March 2016 and March 2017. Just behind BuzzFeed is the New York Times, which is to receive $ 3.03 million for a 12-month deal. CNN is third, with a $ 2.5 million contract.

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