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outREACH Online - 'The Truth About Digital PR'

In this talk, I challenge the desire for virality over consistency when it comes to digital PR and link building campaigns, whilst exploring the impact this is having on the industry and team morale, client expectations and distorting reality. By honestly sharing my own shortcomings, I hope to push you to learn from your own campaign failures using tried and tested frameworks that’ll mean you can face any creative campaign or outreach struggle head-on.

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outREACH Online - 'The Truth About Digital PR'

  1. 1. outREACHOnlineGETTINGYOUNOTICEDONLINE Great Expectations The Truth About Digital PR Campaigns
  2. 2. outREACH Online We’ve got a problem.
  3. 3. outREACH Online Here’s what Twitter has to say about digital PR campaigns.
  4. 4. “Digital PR Twitter is getting f**king ridiculous.”
  5. 5. “Attention seeking.”
  6. 6. “The #DigitalPR community shouldn’t feel pressured to post their best work and highlights...”
  7. 7. outREACH Online You know what? I’m guilty too.
  8. 8. outREACH Online
  9. 9. outREACH Online
  10. 10. outREACH Online
  11. 11. outREACH Online It didn’t stop there.
  12. 12. outREACH Online
  13. 13. outREACHOnline 468Pieces of Coverage 324Linking domains Results
  14. 14. 150Pieces of Coverage 66Linking domains Results outREACHOnline
  15. 15. 68Pieces of Coverage 45Linking domains Results outREACHOnline
  16. 16. outREACH Online Here is one of those successful campaigns... Coverage Month
  17. 17. outREACH Online And in context... Month Coverage
  18. 18. Today, I want to show you the full picture.
  19. 19. outREACH Online The full picture covers these three pillars with creative campaigns...
  20. 20. Huge wins Steady performers Huge fails
  21. 21. Huge wins Steady Performers Huge fails
  22. 22. Huge wins Steady Performers Huge fails Huge wins
  23. 23. outREACH Online We are giving the impression that we don’t have campaign fails.
  24. 24. outREACH Online We are putting too much pressure on ourselves and newbies in the industry.
  25. 25. outREACH Online As an industry, we are normalising the idea that each campaign launched must get 100+ links.
  26. 26. outREACH Online We’re setting unrealistic expectations and KPIs.
  27. 27. outREACH Online We’re making others think that 5, 10 or 20 links can’t be effective.
  28. 28. outREACH Online We know ‘steady performers’ can be effective, we should celebrate the impact and learn from them.
  29. 29. outREACH Online We can do better.
  30. 30. Rinse & repeat Why do we focus on the wins?
  31. 31. Let’s go back to our first ‘Aira viral’ campaign...
  32. 32. 68Pieces of Coverage 45Linking domains Results outREACHOnline
  33. 33. outREACH Online It was at this point we focused on the wins, only the wins.
  34. 34. outREACH Online Guess how many maps we launched that year for one client?
  35. 35. 12 / 18CAMPAIGNS
  36. 36. Huge wins Steady Performers Huge fails
  37. 37. Hmm, this sounds familiar...
  38. 38. outREACH Online Again. We’re not showing the full picture...
  39. 39. The truth about digital PR Let’s talk about failure….
  40. 40. outREACH Online The first step in telling the full picture is talking about failure.
  41. 41. outREACH Online Who’s had a campaign fail?
  42. 42. outREACH Online CASE STUDY EXAMPLE
  43. 43. Where have you been the past four years? The Daily Mirror
  44. 44. outREACH Online Launch = 0 links
  45. 45. outREACH Online Why?
  46. 46. outREACH Online We launched our campaign here…
  47. 47. outREACH Online It was not wise to launch a campaign to press during the US presidential election.
  48. 48. outREACH Online I kept that one quiet on Twitter.
  49. 49. Failures come in all shapes and sizes.
  50. 50. outREACH Online
  51. 51. outREACH Online
  52. 52. outREACH Online
  53. 53. outREACH Online
  54. 54. outREACH Online ‘Honk Kong’ will be a country that forever haunts me.
  55. 55. Failure’s don’t stop there...
  56. 56. outREACH Online Who’s had to report on a campaign fail?
  57. 57. outREACH Online
  58. 58. outREACH Online Who’s had to pull their team through a campaign failure?
  59. 59. outREACH Online The reality...
  60. 60. outREACH Online You have to have each others backs through thick and thin.
  61. 61. outREACH Online Sometimes it really hurts when things don’t go to plan but it’s reality with link building.
  62. 62. The truth about digital PR What is normal?
  63. 63. outREACH Online
  64. 64. outREACH Online Have you ever had a campaign that received the following number of links?
  65. 65. outREACH Online Have you ever had a campaign that received the following number of links?
  66. 66. outREACH Online So, I’m a bit suspicious that only a third have experienced 0 links.
  67. 67. outREACH Online Despite what Twitter shows, not every campaign is going ‘viral’.
  68. 68. outREACH Online The research shows the majority of campaigns are getting 1-20 links.
  69. 69. outREACH Online AND THAT IS GOOD!!!
  70. 70. What’s ‘normal’ for Aira?
  71. 71. 138 campaigns in a year
  72. 72. 2,381 followed links
  73. 73. Avg. 17 links
  74. 74. Huge wins Steady Performers Huge fails
  75. 75. outREACH Online The link numbers are almost irrelevant if they’re not having an impact on bigger KPIs.
  76. 76. outREACH Online You don’t always need loads of links to get real business results.
  77. 77. outREACH Online 47 links across 5 campaigns with technical SEO and keyword research.
  78. 78. outREACH Online
  79. 79. outREACH Online “[Aira have] consistently provided great guidance on setting targets, communicating their progress and helping us grow as a company”.
  80. 80. ‘Steady performers’ can make a big difference to the bottom line.
  81. 81. The truth about Digital PR Learning from ‘steady performers’
  82. 82. outREACH Online Remember this?
  83. 83. outREACH Online We turned it into this...
  84. 84. outREACH Online We have a number of processes in place that help us learn and develop as a team.
  85. 85. Content Evaluation Matrix
  86. 86. outREACH Online Where this all started... Mark Johnstone
  87. 87. outREACH Online
  88. 88. outREACH Online Focusing on wins...
  89. 89. outREACH Online Trend: Maps are great for link building.
  90. 90. outREACH Online
  91. 91. outREACH Online Learning from ‘fails’...
  92. 92. outREACH Online
  93. 93. outREACH Online
  94. 94. outREACH Online What should we have learnt from those campaigns?
  95. 95. outREACH Online Trend: We can complicate things too much.
  96. 96. outREACH Online Not learning from these produces inconsistent digital PR results.
  97. 97. outREACH Online Whereas ‘steady performers’ can produce consistent results...
  98. 98. outREACH Online Looking at ‘steady performers’...
  99. 99. outREACH Online
  100. 100. outREACH Online Trend: Campaigns with multiple data points and are evergreen work well for consistent results.
  101. 101. outREACH Online Looking at ‘steady performers’ helped us get a 95% increase in organic traffic and 63% increase in organic revenue.
  102. 102. outREACH Online You should be reviewing your work every quarter to find these trends and implement them.
  103. 103. outREACH Online Here’s a template for you to review your work.
  104. 104. In summary... Let’s circle back around
  105. 105. The full picture = Digital PR is hard.
  106. 106. outREACH Online You will experience a campaign fail (or a two). It’s going to happen.
  107. 107. outREACH Online #1 Take the ‘viral’ pressure off and start talking more about ‘steady performers’ and fails.
  108. 108. outREACH Online #2 Realise that ‘steady performers’ can consistently impact weighty SEO KPIs.
  109. 109. outREACH Online #3 Use the Success Matrix to review campaigns and catch trends early.
  110. 110. Today, I’ve told you the full picture. Thank you.
  111. 111. outREACHconference