Guest post by Jack Dawson.
There are a lot of resources online that can help you move from newsjacking – “stealing” potentially viral news items before they become viral – to creating potentially viral news yourself. The most important technique to date is through people-based marketing.
What this means for marketers is that it is no longer necessary to research and pitch thousands of publications, hoping and praying that some of them stick and make news. By creating your own news, you gain an opportunity to earn greater PR for your organization as well as win over higher traffic and more inbound links.
Pay-per-click marketing provides an important platform through which content promotion and other social PR efforts can be successfully driven, and just a minimal investment can lead to huge returns for your business. This article describes just how to do this.
Introduction to people-based marketing
Also called identity targeting, people-based marketing is founded in creating audience segments based on different characteristics; this allows you to actually target a certain person with a specific ad that will appeal to them. Some characteristics include location, employment status, age, income level, purchase history, interests, among others.
Essentially, PPC harnesses the power that email and social media marketers have had in their arsenal for a while now.
PPC Marketing for PR Pitching
Online marketing technological advances have enabled us to automate many time-consuming and tedious processes. PR pitching also has the potential for automation, which would be a breath of fresh air compared to the present technique:
- Create stellar content which you are ready to transmit to the world
- Identify news media and opinion influencers within your niche
- Pray that you have some kind of previous relationship, at least a few, so that they are not all cold pitches
- Find their Twitter handles, emails or other contact info
- Draft a personalized form letter which can still be considered impersonal, or spend hours personalizing all pitches you send out
- Pitch and pray and pitch and pray some more, until you catch someone’s interest before you’ve annoyed them so much they block your contact
As an alternative, you can take the same stellar content from about and share it on all your social media profiles. In Twitter, for instance, you can create a customized list of your influencers using Twitter Ads.
On Facebook, you can do even better. Facebook allows you to get more granular by creating different layers according to demographic information. For instance, you can target people within your contact list that have a specific interest, or job title.
Within a few minutes, you have placed your content within the reach of industry experts, journalists, or influencers with huge social followings. Your content will show up on their activity streams/newsfeeds, where it’s difficult to miss. They can then click, read through and share within their networks and voila! Job done!
Value of Virality through PPC
Using the scheme presented above can get your publicity within a few hours, and all for less than 10% of the effort you use on old-fashioned pitches. You can earn hundreds of mentions on media, not forgetting backlinks to the post and your site in the process, all of which improve your search engine optimization strategy.
All you need to do is have newsworthy content, and have it picked up by just one journalist. Soon, others will flock in on it to stay ahead of the curve before it blows up, and then all you need to do is sit back and watch traffic, links and mentions come in by the truckloads. They may not all be potential consumers, but it is a more effective way of content marketing and raising brand awareness.