In this talk, Kat Kynes of Pole Star Digital shared her experiences of dealing with dead content marketing campaigns, explaining the tactics that she uses to resurrect campaigns: the art of content necromancy.
Speaker: Kat Kynes
Job role and company: Content Marketing and Digital PR Consultant, Pole Star Digital
Twitter profile: @KittenFTW
LinkedIn profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kat-kynes-3693172a/
Link to the slides:
What was the talk about?
Illustrated by the three phases of Winona Ryder, Kat Kynes opened up about her outreach woes, revealing the nitty gritty details of a campaign that flopped and what she learnt from her faux pas.
Kat ran a campaign for webuyanycar.com, with the aim of generating backlinks. Her angle? There was an opportunity within the driverless cars debate. Turns out people spend 220 hours communicating – so what would people do with that time in a driverless car?
Armed with survey data, Kat proceeded to write eight press releases (wowzah) for outreach. But blockers came in fast and strong, including:
- The net was cast too wide (and resulted in most publications asking for payment)
- They started outreach too late
- The PR team embargoed on nationals (ouch)
The result? Links just weren’t dropping.
Time to rethink the outreach strategy. What did Kat do? She:
- Paused outreach activity until the New Year
- Got the go-ahead to target nationals
- Focused outreach efforts on the two most popular press releases
“Asking for payment to publish is more hurtful than a no.”
Potential impact on the industry
Although we experienced an emotional rollercoaster as Kat talked us through her trials and tribulations, I’m pleased to report that the ending was a happily ever after.
Her learnings included:
Get the content right: identify the most newsworthy headline and qualify the content with journalists prior to development.
Work with internal PR teams: identify sites you can/can’t contact. Or as a bonus, can you work with PR teams to divide and conquer the outreach?
Think outside the box: Don’t just go for the obvious publications – who else might be interested?
Don’t be afraid to get personal: target journalists who have written about the topic recently, and make your pitch relevant to that contact.
Timing is everything: Don’t outreach in the run-up to big calendar events and give yourself the gift of time. Don’t forget outreach continues after the campaign finishes!
Don’t give up: Sometimes things don’t work straight away. Manage client expectations. If all else fails, choose a different angle!
— Seeker Digital (@SeekerDigital) April 12, 2019
To avoid an outreach campaign fail, keep these pointers at the forefront:
- Make sure your content is actually of interest to your audience and journalists.
- Work with internal PR teams to leverage your campaign.
- Don’t go for the obvious journalists. How else can you refocus your angle for more publications?
- Be human. Create personal relationships with journalists by tailoring your content and outreach.
- Time. Time. Time. Whether that’s what’s going on in the national calendar, or how much time you need to prep your campaign, don’t let this temporal element run away from you.
- Never ever give up.