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How to go viral on a budget using Digital PR.pptx

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How to go viral on a budget using Digital PR.pptx

  1. 1. How to go viral on a budget using PR Alex Hickson | John Doe https://www.slideshare.net/AlexHickson3 @alexhicksonpr
  2. 2. Deconstructing ‘virality’
  3. 3. @alexhicksonpr #BrightonSEO
  4. 4. Going viral is NOT a strategy. @alexhicksonpr #BrightonSEO
  5. 5. If you’re launching a new campaign, product or brand - you need to think about your content goals. @alexhicksonpr #BrightonSEO
  6. 6. Do you want to increase sales? Drive direct traffic? Rank for specific keywords? @alexhicksonpr #BrightonSEO
  7. 7. These goals need to be the foundations of your content creation @alexhicksonpr #BrightonSEO
  8. 8. @alexhicksonpr #BrightonSEO
  9. 9. How can we create viral content across multiple channels? @alexhicksonpr #BrightonSEO
  10. 10. Ultimately, you need to execute emotion. @alexhicksonpr #BrightonSEO
  11. 11. How do you want your content to make people feel? @alexhicksonpr #BrightonSEO
  12. 12. You feel the urge to share content with others so they experience that emotion too @alexhicksonpr #BrightonSEO
  13. 13. @alexhicksonpr #BrightonSEO
  14. 14. I wanted to see if an unknown & new brand could generate results like huge names. So that’s why we launched the ‘2020 Scent’. @alexhicksonpr #BrightonSEO Banana bread DIY ‘musk’ Hand sanitizer Joe Exotic from ‘Tiger King’
  15. 15. Expectation v reality @alexhicksonpr #BrightonSEO
  16. 16. Generating revenue through viral content on less than £10 Everything was made at home, with materials we already had and then pushed out to press. No help from my agency - just a little side project! @alexhicksonpr #BrightonSEO
  17. 17. 1 product 300+ links 20+ TV segments 100+ radio features Direct revenue driven = £20,000+ Total cost of campaign = £2.16* Return on investment = 1,020,224%
  18. 18. So how do YOU do this? @alexhicksonpr #BrightonSEO
  19. 19. 1 Tying your idea/product into a current trend 3 Identifying your audience 5 Creating the perfect outreach strategy 2 Validating that trend . 4 Selling in your story @alexhicksonpr #BrightonSEO
  20. 20. Tying your product into a trend Step One @alexhicksonpr #BrightonSEO
  21. 21. Product PR can work for multiple niches @alexhicksonpr #BrightonSEO
  22. 22. Identify a trend in the niche you want to target @alexhicksonpr #BrightonSEO
  23. 23. Utilise free social media data such as hashtags to see short and long- term trends
  24. 24. Draw inspiration from more established brands product PR campaigns
  25. 25. These campaigns often consist of copious amounts of budget on product development, photoshoots and then press outreach @alexhicksonpr #BrightonSEO
  26. 26. Validating that trend Step Two @alexhicksonpr #BrightonSEO
  27. 27. How do you validate an idea is good enough? ● Buzzsumo (potential ££) ● Google Trends ● Exploding Topics ● Answer the public (potential ££) ● Social media trends We picked our four scents based on trends and articles written about that year, and there are multiple ways to cross-reference your ideas with trend data for free
  28. 28. How do you validate an idea is good enough? Each layer of our product was picked directly from some of the most trending topics of 2020. We used Google Trends to make sure that all of these would resonate with our audience in the UK.
  29. 29. When will your product cut through the noise? Free trend tools showed us October was the perfect launch time For us, the main aim was driving SALES - we didn’t want people to browse and not buy. Use terms that surround user’s buying behaviour.
  30. 30. Identifying your audience Step Three @alexhicksonpr #BrightonSEO
  31. 31. Target where your audience consume media Consider: Product positioning Brand values Price point for the publication Secondary channels (e.g. radio) Yes, that’s Ryan Seacrest! @alexhicksonpr #BrightonSEO
  32. 32. Use analytics to understand WHO prospective customers are You can rely on free analytics tools from your existing platforms GA can identify demographic profiles of visitors, highlighting which media to consolidate or target your audience Use your social media demographics to look at age and gender splits This will help you target key publications for your customer base We were surprised by the initial US pick-up, which led to us targeting US regionals
  33. 33. How to SELL IN your story Step Four @alexhicksonpr #BrightonSEO
  34. 34. A well-crafted pitch can take time, but it’s your free tool to getting your campaign in front of thousands of readers @alexhicksonpr #BrightonSEO
  35. 35. Subject Line ● Call to action at the beginning ● Include key hooks from your product ● Gives the journalist the hook or novelty - it’s ‘2020 Scented’
  36. 36. Opener Make sure you answer: ● What the product is/the story about ● Why it’s relevant or on trend ● Where the product can be bought / campaign be seen (link) @alexhicksonpr #BrightonSEO
  37. 37. Primary Hook ● This is the bread and butter of your story, it’s not a sales pitch - it should be light and entertaining ● Contextual imagery is key - use something that’s commercially licensable, so a journalist can easily use that in any piece ● Short, sharp, succinct - if you struggle to get your hook across in a few sentences, it’s not clear enough @alexhicksonpr #BrightonSEO
  38. 38. Secondary Hooks ● Answer any remaining questions about your product/campaign ● A sentence or two of context is essential ● You can include a call to buy, but be subtle - explain the story first ● You should link to your product, you want to reiterate to the journalist a reader needs to ‘see it to believe it’ @alexhicksonpr #BrightonSEO
  39. 39. Quote ● Add a personal touch and rationale as to why you’re pitching this to a journalist ● Consider tone and style @alexhicksonpr #BrightonSEO
  40. 40. Close All you need here is: ● Links to a Dropbox for any images ● Contact information ● A small footer about the brand ● A methodology - if data has been used @alexhicksonpr #BrightonSEO
  41. 41. Whole thing? Less than 400 words, anymore is excess - your story needs to be digestible. @alexhicksonpr #BrightonSEO
  42. 42. Finding those perfect journalists @alexhicksonpr #BrightonSEO
  43. 43. Whilst they are fantastic tools, there are free alternatives… @alexhicksonpr #BrightonSEO
  44. 44. Twitter
  45. 45. Hunter & Mailtester @alexhicksonpr #BrightonSEO
  46. 46. Hunter & Mailtester
  47. 47. Hunter & Mailtester
  48. 48. Crafting the perfect outreach strategy for virality Step Five
  49. 49. Top-tier digital publications Many top-tier publications will only publish if the story hasn’t been saturated elsewhere. Aim for them first. Regional digital publications Regional publications often can carry higher engagement, but should be a second push TV Targeting magazine or lifestyle shows can be a good way to create additional conversation around your campaign/product Radio Don’t underestimate radio coverage, often they’ll post digital articles too - increasing backlinks to your product page Follow-ups Following up with journalists is key - and can tweak direction of your outreach
  50. 50. Outreach top tips
  51. 51. Outreach top tips In both the UK & USA, the majority of radio stations will pick up their topics from digital news first @alexhicksonpr #BrightonSEO
  52. 52. Outreach top tips Samples don’t always equal a story @alexhicksonpr #BrightonSEO
  53. 53. Outreach top tips Keep track of where your traffic is coming from @alexhicksonpr #BrightonSEO
  54. 54. How long did we spend pushing the story? @alexhicksonpr #BrightonSEO
  55. 55. 35-45 hours Including writing the release, quick edits of photos and outreaching to press @alexhicksonpr #BrightonSEO
  56. 56. What was the lasting impact? @alexhicksonpr #BrightonSEO
  57. 57. High rankings in the SERPs for keywords
  58. 58. £20,000+ revenue

Notas do Editor

  • Thanks so much, it’s an absolute honour to be on the main stage presenting to you all today - and I hope you find this informative and inspiring!
  • First things first, ‘going viral’. We’ve all heard the term, a lot of us will probs have a good idea of what it means … but i’m gonna try and break this down deconstructing virality
  • Dictionary definition is … sounds great right? We all want our content / campaigns / marketing efforts to do this
  • To set out to make something ‘ go viral’ is incredibly vague and meaningless if not thought out properly
  • REad slide
  • So always ask yourself… what are your content goals?

    Creating content that goes viral is great, as it will generate reach and engagement.
    But if you’re unsure on your call to action, or targeting the wrong channels, this engagement will go to waste.
  • So, how do we create viral content across multiple channels?
  • That’s the KEY to any viral content. Think about the last TikTok you sent to a friend, the last article you read that you just had to share with a colleague, or your Mum. Why ddi you feel so impassioned to share it?

    It made you laugh, it made you feel angry, it hit you with a pang of nostalgia about something. Often, you remembe the emotions you felt, rather than the content itself - but a good viral marketing campaign will do both.
  • Wer’e all humans, and we want to create a ‘shared experience’ with each other

    So the first step in creating viral content, is to think of your end goals, and then have emotion at the very heart of your campaign

    If you’re goal is to sell a product, and you get that emotional pull right - it doens’t feel salesy or hollow, but the consumer quickly understands how this product could MAKE THEM FEEL
  • So… it’s all well and good me going through theory, but how do you execute this?!

    Going viral for an ecommerce brand is especially useful, if your campaign or story can drive links, traffic and customers directly to a product page. This is where digital PR comes in
  • So this is me and my fiance, and in 2020 we launched Flaming Crap an ecommerce website, selling candles online. We had no budget, no capital, no savings, lockdown had hit us pretty hard. I wanted to see if I could launch a brand, drive traffic and drive revenue JUST with a low-budget digital PR campaign

    Which is where the idea for the 2020 Scent was born

  • Go through each stage (how did I think of the idea, how can you validate it? Buzzsumo - but that costs ££, so you can use Google Trends If you don’t think you have something that’s PRable… then create something - thats what we did, it was intended solely for PR
  • And when I say low budget… I mean low budget

    Also… the candle wasn’t even created yet. It genuinely was a label stuck on a tin, but it demonstrates the power of a story.

  • Everything was made at home, and just pushed out to press - no huge budget, no help from my agency - just a little side project!
    Smelling like banana bread, hand sanitizer, DIY musks and ‘Joe Exotic’ from Tiger King - the product went viral.
    We were featured in over 400 publications worldwide, including Fox News, talked about on TV & radio and sparked a HUGE debate on social media over “what 2020 smelled like”.
    Proving you don’t need huge budgets or an established brand to get something talked about internationally.

    I decided to start an ecommerce business using no marketing tools other than digital PR, I didn’t just want to drive links - I wanted to see us convert audience

  • REturn on investment, obviously this drove that amount of revenue to buy a product, which we then had to create - but the campaign itself, cost £2.16

    Show the New York Post, Metro etc. versus the shitty photos we actually took

    Also… the candle wasn’t even created yet. It genuinely was a label stuck on a tin, but it demonstrates the power of a story.
  • To do this, there’s five steps
  • Ultimately, there’s 5 steps that can be followed to create a well rounded campaign
  • Go through each stage (how did I think of the idea, how can you validate it? Buzzsumo - but that costs ££, so you can use Google Trends
  • No matter what your niche is, whether it’s fashion, homeware, food… there will be trend lifecycles in your particular industry - that can be especially valuable if you’re launching a product
  • First, you need Identify the niche - browse that topic in relevant publications, or use social media to see how that trend is being engaged with by consumers
  • Consider if this will be a flash in the pan and how fast you can act, if it’s going to take you 2 months to create your content or campaign - it might be old news by then
  • Formats are reused and recycled often, I often see novelty smelling candles since we launched our 2020 Scent, even to the point where some journalists and PRs think they’re unoriginal now - but if the format still works and bigger brands have demonstrated t his - its worth a shot
  • But remember… Whilst they’re great for INSPIRATION, don’t be put off by thinking you can’t create something like this - YOU NEED TO REMEMBER THAT THE HEART THEY’RE JUST GOOD STORIES
  • Once you’ve selected something you feel can help launch your campaign, it’s time to test the waters
  • There are multiple tools in our space that can help, but I’ve tried to show and use the ones that are completely free. Programmes such as Buzzsumo are fantastic at content and trend analysis - but the full features costs ££, so you can use Google Trends
  • We wanted to ensure the ‘layers’ of our candle captured the public’s attention at the end of 2020. So what better way to use the most trending topics to formualte each layer and scent?
  • Then once you think you have the bones of your story, you need to know when to strike.
    Google trends showed us that people start to consider buying candles from October - end of December
    This gave us the perfect time frame to launch our brand, and product PR campaign.

    Every product will have it’s perfect window, regardless of niche. Make sure you use tools and research to know when yours is.
    For us, the main aim was driving SALES - we didn’t want people to browse and not buy, hence we focussed on gifts and sales terminology in our trend research
  • Understanding the way your audience interact with their media is important - you want to position your product in the right place.

    For us, we had liberal values we didn’t want to hide - they weren’t going to work for every publication.
    We wanted an actual call to action, we wanted people to BUY. There’s no point targeting an expensive product at a low-income audience - think about if your price will appeal t o the target market
    We wanted the coverage and links that we acquired to be drivers of traffic and sales, they were telling the consumer the story of the product - the best campaign in the world can’t persuade a purchasing decision if the price point is wrong

    Then we looked at other channels,
  • If your budget is restricting you from in-depth market and consumer research… you can rely on fre analytics tools

    If your brand is existing
  • Go through each stage (how did I think of the idea, how can you validate it? Buzzsumo - but that costs ££, so you can use Google Trends If you don’t think you have something that’s PRable… then create something - thats what we did, it was intended solely for PR
  • Now the most cost-effective, and financially free way is a press release or pitch that you outreach to press
  • Subject line or headline. Probably one of the most crucial parts.

    Our headline gave a call to action “you can buy a”, “2020 scented” - it’s an oxymoron, it sounds bizarre, what does a year smell like? We’re already starting that debate just from our headline - and then gave some of the hooks (Tiger King etc.)
  • Remember, you’re trying not to be advertorial - you want to tsell the STORY, not the product
  • Quotes from experts or company spokespeole always help ground a story, add an opinion

    You want a journalist to lift this directly and use in an article, it adds a human element and something more opinion based than the information you’ve already given
  • If you’re struggling to get your main hooks across in 400 words, then you need to reconsider what the most important are
  • All amazing tools, but there’s one thing in common
  • They cost ££££
  • Tools to search for specific journalists, hunt their contact details and also - strike a conversation! There’s regular journalists now that always will feature new Flaming Crap candles
  • Searching for similar stories (using a regular headline prefix can work really well) will give you journalists to target, then you can use free tools like Hunter and Mailtester to find their contact details
  • Many would disagree, but this is what I’ve found to work if you want your campaign to get natural pick up and take off in a ‘viral’ sense
    Digital - some may want exclusivity, I’d really think about whether this is worth holding your story back from other relevant publications

    Regional - often can carry higher engagement amongst a loyal readership, but many nationals won’t touch a story if regionals have picked it up first

    TV - magazine, lifestyle or panel shows can be a good target to create additional conversation around your campaign/product

    “Tweak direction of your outreach… engaging in dialogue with journos made us target more TV & radio”

  • UK - Capital takes it from the Metro
    US - Many regionals are syndicated or owned by Fox News
  • Often journalists will ask for samples if it’s an obvious product PR piece - but if you’ve sold the story in well enough, they won’t need them - we only sent 2 samples to TV that never got aired, and declined the rest - all of them posted the story anyway
  • Keep regularly checking which publications or outlets are your main sources of traffic, it will help you target similar publications to get in front of similar audiences
  • Over six months, with no additional PR efforts
  • Remember…

    You’re promoting a story first, a product second
    Set clear goals for your content campaigns, otherwise any viral activity will be wasted
    Validate your idea with trend insights
    Your pitch is the the most powerful free tool you can use
    Don’t feel like samples to journalists is necessary if you want to keep costs really low
    Be prepared to pivot your outreach strategy based on initial results and data