By Frederik Vincx
In December, our company, Prezly, successfully pitched 10 big-name PR influencers to help us create one of our most popular content pieces of all time. In just a few weeks, we received:
- 550 tweets
- 13,000 views on slideshare
- 3,500 website visits
Joan Stewart, The Publicity Hound, was one of these influencers who was so kind to share a bit of advice with us. When Joan saw the success of the content, she invited us to share our process here. We’ll give you a step-by-step guide beneath this SlideShare presentation:
How We Reached Out
There was nothing ground-breaking or sexy about our process, just solid research and a great pitch email. First, we researched PR influencers online using Buzzsumo, made a shortlist of people we wanted to reach, and sent each one a simple email asking if they’d like to share a quote.
For example, here’s the email we sent to Joan:
I’m Robin, and I’m a freelance writer for Prezly.
Here’s why I’m reaching out: As part of a new article teaching PR beginners about influencer relations, we’re asking PR’s biggest thought leaders to weigh in on the following question: What is the #1 thing PR pros can do to build solid relationships with influencers on social media?
Hopefully this sounds up your alley. If you’d like to participate, just email me your 2-3 sentence reply to the question above.
That’s it! We’ll share the article with our 6,000+ newsletter subscribers, so in addition to good karma, you’ll get a real traffic boost, too.
Looking forward to your reply!
Using this template, we achieved a response rate of over 50 percent. As any email marketer will tell you, for a cold email from someone you’ve never met, that’s huge.
Telling the Story in Many Ways
Writing an excellent story isn’t worth the effort without a solid distribution strategy. After all, what’s the use of your efforts if no one will be readying it? To reach a big audience, we shared the same story in many ways. Once we had received 10 quotes from influencers, we shaped them into four different forms to get the most mileage out of it:
- Blog post: How to influence the influencers
- Blog post: Are you listening? Experts say PR pros still have work to do.
- Slideshare: How to influence influencers
- Pinterest infographic
The visuals were a big part of the success.
If we had written a plain looking blog post with the quotes of the influencers, we wouldn’t have had that much attention. The higher production value gives more gravitas to the quotes, and they make it more worthwhile to share. We produced the illustrations using Illustrator Draw application for iPad.
Amplify on social media
Publishing a presentation on SlideShare gave us our first traffic boost because Slideshare awarded the deck “Presentation of the Day” and featured it on their homepage. This way we reached thousands of people on SlideShare, and Slideshare promoted us on Twitter.
Hundreds of presentations get uploaded to SlideShare every day. To be featured, your presentation needs to be interesting and of high production value. This guide is a good starting point: How I got 2.5 million views on SlideShare.
SlideShare is an excellent traffic driver. Browse through the presentation above to find out how we managed to guide people to our website from the presentation. You’ll see that we included clear calls to action in the (Tweet to download it, Discover our service Prezly, Read a similar presentation on a landing page, etc.0.
We also promoted the presentation via our Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and G+. We made individual images for each quote and shared them multiple times with different angles, following Buffer’s reposting guide on Why You Should Share Your Blog Post More Than Once on Social Media: The Case for Reporting Content.
Our Best Tactic
The strongest promotion tactic might be this last one: the quotes are of many influencers with thousands of followers. We @ mentioned them in our tweets so they could easily retweet and share with their vast number of followers.
- 13,500 SlideShare views
- 550 tweets
- 4.000 website visits
- 17 newsletter subscribers
- 9 signups for our PR software
While the story received a lot of attention, we didn’t see enormous amounts of signups. In evaluating its success, content marketing is a long-term play though, which is why it’s important to look at metrics besides revenue, such as social shares and PR opportunities generated.
At the end, it’s worth reaching out to influencers to help them tell your story. It gives a traffic boost because of their big social following, and it might open opportunities like this guest post.
Frederik Vincx heads growth at Prezly, an online PR toolkit that helps brands like HP and Toyota get their story told. Try the 15-day trial of Prezly to see how you can get better at media relations and influencer relations. Prezly also offers a free, 5-day email crash course on How to Pitch the Press.