“Data Journalism: A Practical Guide to Winning Big Links”

BrightonSEO Stage - morethanseo

As a marketer, and more importantly an SEO, you’ll understand the true struggles when it comes to link building.

  • Should I be building local links?
  • Should I be broken link building?
  • What about building content to reach out to start-up bloggers with?
  • Does creating great content really work for link building?

There are many unknown answers within the field, and that’s why I was drawn towards hearing from Ross Tavendale as the opener at Brighton SEO this September.

In fact, this was one of the talks I was most looking forward to – and one of the ones I’m most looking forward to share with you.

I strongly believe that creating great content really does work for link building – and it’s also the most natural. Therefore, it was great to hear from Ross, as to what approach they take at Type A Media, and how similar they are to the strategies I use day to day.

Ross began by explaining that his talk would not be focused on the outreaching strategies, but more on the content creation and securing those links prior to launch.

So when he continued to explain the budgets given for a client, and how they didn’t know what move was best next to take, I think the whole room felt at ease.

This is an issue I think we all have.

We have the budget, the resource and time, but then where do we start?

No matter how many times we’re given a new challenge for a creative project, you always have to go back to basics and get everyone in a room, ready to get creative.

After gathering all of the most creative people you can from the office, gathering around the usual office bean bags (relatable right?) it was time for Ross and his team to start planning what was the next steps. Thinking of new concepts and finding new avenues to explore within the sector.

That’s where RAPTOR comes in.

In Ross’ talk, he explained the usually use the ‘RAPTOR’ approach, which includes the initial planning stages;

R – esearch

A – ngles

P – itch

followed by the TOR outreaching stages, more of which you can find out about at PitchBox.

But focusing on the ‘R-A-P’ part of the acronym, the next step is to research.

RESEARCHing your Audience

One of (if not THE) most important stages of the entire process.

Before you can start getting comfortable on those beanbags and having endless ideation sessions, you need to know WHO you’re going after,

WHO do you want to share the piece,

and WHO do you want to engage with your project and your brand.

You need to be able to paint a picture of this individual, and think about how they will engage in the way you want them to, and the best place to start is the existing customer base.

If you have Google Analytics or CMS access, then great! Go ahead and profile that data.

If not, here’s where Facebook Insights come in.

And as recommended by Ross, I’ve given this a go myself.

Therefore, as someone who is interested in both Digital Marketing and Dogs, this should profile my personality:

Profiling with Facebook Insights

Interested in Jason Manford? Not quite…

Heinz? Not me.

MuscleFood? Certainly not.

But? Pandora? YES. Currently typing this with three Pandora rings on…

TUI? I’ve actually booked my last two holidays with TUI in the most recent months,

Pinch of Nom? I followed this page religiously when slimming last year,

and Battersea? Well, I’m running a 5k for Battersea dogs home this month.

It’s pretty accurate actually… maybe, I’m just the odd one out not liking Jason, Hienz or Muscle Food, ey?

Anyway, less of that, what does the A mean?

ANGLES: The Ideation Session

Now you know who you’re piece is going to target, here comes the hard part.

For some, this may come natural.

You might be able to spend 20 minutes or so scribbling down ideas, before settling on one, but for me, I like to think it’s a little more complicated than that.

In Ross’ talk, he gave multiple examples of just HOW you can end up at that end result.

Firstly, you must be reactive.

Reacting to what your audience wants to know, and doing it quickly is key!

For example, Ross went on to explain, that when Ryan Air decided to cancel a huge amount of flights out of the blue, this was the perfect opportunity to step in and create an easy to read PDF, where you audience can easily identify if they’re been affected.

Sounds simple right?

But what if you have the budget now, but without that breaking news?

Well, Google Data Search is a great place to start.

In 2018, it’s all about the importance of ‘data led’ content, and standing out from your competitors by providing the most stand-out, yet informative content possible.

You need to make yourself ‘the ones to look out for’ in your space, and here’s how data search can help.

Even by entering the most simplistic search term ‘dogs’, I’ve been able to find endless resources leading to information about dogs, instantly.

Google Data Search

So when I’m next pondering on a new creative idea, I know where I will be heading next.. and with all that data at your disposal, why not?

But what if you’re looking for something SO unique, there are very little results for the data you really want?

Why not find it yourself.

Freedom of information requests allow the government extract the information you want easily and reliably.

As Ross went on to explain, by doing so, you open up a whole heap of opportunities with PR and publishers, as you’ve now uncovered a range of data that was never before accessible.

No matter which path you take, these are great tips to helping you on your way to finding the perfect idea.

Finally, the PITCH!

Once you’ve nailed down the ideas, and who you’re going to target, it’s time for the big pitch!

And by now, this should’ve come naturally to you.

You’ve worked so hard on understanding the target audience, you’ve painted a picture of them, and you know exactly how they’re going to interact with you and you’re brand.

So go for it, break a leg!

If you want to know more from Ross Tavendale, here’s his slideshare from the day…

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