‘Party’ and ‘conference’ aren’t two words that are often used interchangeably – but BrightonSEO, one of the UK’s most enthusiastic and ahead-of-the-curve digital marketing gatherings, definitely doesn’t feel like your everyday seminar.
Collect all of the UK’s top digital marketers in one location (plus a few guests from overseas) and you get insight into some of the most on-the-pulse digital marketing and SEO trends out there (lost at ‘SEO’? Check out our guide to learning what it is, and why your business needs it, here).
The experts share wisdom on topics including best SEO practice, website building, content creation, social media and PR opportunities, for businesses of all sizes. Getting a ticket is no mean feat, so we’ve summarised some of our favourite talks from the September 2016 conference below.
5 ways to use PR, and fuel your digital strategy (beyond link building)
Aisha Kellaway (@AishaKellaway)
Aisha talked about looking after the reputation of your brand, and expressed how important it was to make each touch point a person has with a brand a positive one. She recommended a couple of tools that might be of help to businesses, including Mention.com and Brandwatch.
It is also important to maintain visibility of review websites and the feedback that customers are providing; she recommended checking out an article on Moz.com called ‘Diagramming the Story of a 1-Star Review’ which she urged that everyone should read.
What can White-hat link builders learn from churn and burn spammers?
Stacey MacNaught (@StaceyCav)
Stacey started working in the SEO industry in 2009 when using techniques to distribute low quality articles was the norm. In 2016, she says that quality now matters. She has worked on some big campaigns and now needs to be much more organised and strategic with her outreach in order to meet goals and KPIs. When it comes to working with the press, she makes target lists based on different tiers. For example, she would first contact tier one publications (national press), before tier two (regional press), and then tier three (bloggers and small websites). She recommends a tool – journalisted.com – to find out which journalists write on which subjects.
Another area of Stacey’s talk was working better with press and publications. For example, she says it is possible to send a cold email out to different publications to get their features calendar or an idea of which topics will be focused on in the coming weeks/months, so you are creating content and commenting on relevant areas for coverage.
Stacey has created a list of local publications in the UK to make it easier for people doing outreach which can be found here: bit.ly/local-press
It can be beneficial working with freelance journalists (bit.ly/freelance-journos) as they’re already likely to have routes into to one or more publications, so this can be an easier route than trying to place something without any contacts or relationships in place.
Sustainable content marketing
Paddy Moogan (@paddymoogan)
Paddy explains that most businesses take the following approach to content marketing: ideas > design > prospecting… and then going back to the start. He thinks this can be done differently and that elements can always be reused in some way. For example the actual design of a piece could be used again with a different angle and data set, or the whole content piece could be translated for a different market (e.g. we are likely to create an infographic in English as standard, but does the client/brand operate in different markets too?).
Paddy says that you can use tools to identify when content is of interest to users, and also when other brands publish content. In Google Images, you can click ‘search tools’ to search for images from certain dates, and Google Trends is also popular so you can identify when users are search for content.
Overcoming Launch Fear
Lexi Mills (@leximills)
Lexi explains that when you’re working with the press or have something you want to launch, it can be a lot more time efficient to get all the important stakeholders around one table to sign off ideas, content and design (and then have this agreed in writing) to save any issues down the line with changes and misinterpretations.
She believes that asking journalists which format of content they prefer can help to get things published or accepted more easily. So ask whether they want an interview, an article, a graphic, etc. Lexi says that things that work once often work twice, so try and see whether there are any previous examples or campaigns that you can re-launch or re-skin.
To get differing coverage and make journalists keen to include you, why not slice and dice your data and assets to provide different publications with different things? You can also identify different hooks to get inclusion in more places, so look for things like locational angles (data, people, business location), other sectors which may be involved (even if in a small way), and women in business. Always have some data for inclusion, so use brand data or conduct a survey to put a newsworthy angle on whatever it is you want the media to cover.
BrightonSEO runs twice a year and is growing exponentially in popularity. To make sure you get a front row seat, check out the website where you can sign up to their newsletters and get first notice of when tickets are available (hint: there are a limited amount of free tickets available, so get in there quickly!).