Content Creation

1024 682 Rebecca Moss

Tapping into a new market: Digital PR for international markets

Last week, we covered the basics of entering a new market. We looked at keywords, translations, search intent and some particularities of different markets. Once the website is launched and everything in place, you might want to launch a first digital PR campaign to attract backlinks in the market where you just launched your website. You get as far as translating your content marketing piece and the press release but get stuck at the outreach stage. How to approach a journalist in that market? Does the same campaign work across markets or do we need to make changes?

At this point, just a translation will not do the job. Already when you create the asset, the content piece to outreach with, you want to take local knowledge into account. There might have been facts in your data set that are not interesting for a UK audience but could be beneficial if highlighted for a different target market. Visuals also play a key role in a data-led campaign and this can change from one market to the next.

Why does this look different?

The most important consideration for any digital PR campaign is always whether it will resonate with the audience. Visuals play a key role in this matter and are at the same time one of the big traps you could walk into. To demonstrate what we mean by that, we look at some major publications and how they appear in different markets.

This is Vanityfair for Italy:

Screenshot taken on https://www.vanityfair.it/ on 26/08/2020

Screenshot taken on https://www.vanityfair.it/ on 26/08/2020

This is the same publication for English speaking markets:

Screenshot taken on https://www.vanityfair.com/ on 26/08/2020

Screenshot taken on https://www.vanityfair.com/ on 26/08/2020

That is Vanityfair on the same day for Spain:

Screenshot taken on https://www.revistavanityfair.es/ on 26/08/2020

Screenshot taken on https://www.revistavanityfair.es/ on 26/08/2020

And that is the French version:

Screenshot taken on https://www.vanityfair.fr/ on 26/08/2020

Screenshot taken on https://www.vanityfair.fr/ on 26/08/2020

If we compare all those websites, the only constant seems to be the font of the logo, everything else is changing from images to colour schemes and use of text. The reason for this is a difference in audience perception.

It is not a coincidence or singular case. To prove that we look at Business Insider in different markets.

Germans are very business-like:

Screenshot taken from https://www.businessinsider.de/ on 26/08/2020

Screenshot taken from https://www.businessinsider.de/ on 26/08/2020

Italians even embed Facebook in their business insights:

Screenshot taken from https://it.businessinsider.com/ on 26/08/2020

Screenshot taken from https://it.businessinsider.com/ on 26/08/2020

The French do it too:Screenshot taken from https://www.businessinsider.fr/on 26/08/2020

Screenshot taken from https://www.businessinsider.fr/on 26/08/2020

The Mexican version gets a bit more colourful:

Screenshot taken from https://businessinsider.mx/ on 26/08/2020

Screenshot taken from https://businessinsider.mx/ on 26/08/2020

The Nordics put images to the right side:

Screenshot taken from https://www.businessinsider.com/nordic?IR=C on 26/08/2020

Screenshot taken from https://www.businessinsider.com/nordic?IR=C on 26/08/2020

We could continue playing this game, but you know what we are trying to say. It is best to have a look at some publications in each market before you design your visuals.

How to approach a journalist?

Your asset and the press release are ready, and you start working on your outreach list. You identify suitable websites and journalists for that market, and you start contacting them. No response. What could you possibly have done wrong?

The first thing to look at is the tone of voice you used in your press release and the way how you address the journalist. Your English press release might have started with a casual “Hi Tom” and the translator correctly translated it. But there are markets where casual is too casual. Whilst Italians take these things easy, a journalist in France or Germany will in most cases immediately bin your email if you are not super polite. The English “you” has two different equivalents in other languages. There is an informal way and a formal one. If a language has both variants, you are in most cases better off using the formal way of address and of course their surname. In the English-speaking world, an email that starts with “Dear Mr. Smith” might seem overly polite and would probably make you feel old. However, it is crucial in other markets to keep this type of etiquette.

Why does nobody respond?

Another place to look for clues could be your subject line. Did you translate that one from English? If the answer is yes, look at last week’s example of the movie titles that had changed completely in the different markets. Maybe it is worth reviewing your subject line to get journalists in other markets to open your email.

Once your press release has been updated, take another look at your content asset. We already spoke about design, but are you providing enough detail for that market and are the facts interesting for the audience? One example would be the methodology which should be extremely detailed in markets like Germany and not have a single hole. Journalists in that market are very detail oriented and want to know where exactly the data comes from to ensure accuracy before they republish or link to anything.

That is still no guarantee for a successful digital PR campaign as there is one important factor we have not yet talked about: the media landscape in that country. It is crucial to know the market well to be fully aware of all the traps. In Germany for example, it is important to know that many publications belong to the same media group. Depending on the topic of your campaign and the angles, you might have reached out to multiple journalists and different publications that are all working under the same editorial guidelines. Those are usually the same across a portfolio of publications that are under the same roof. We can for example look at the publishing house Bauer and their portfolio of publications.

This is their lifestyle portfolio:

Screenshot taken from https://baueradvertising.de/portfolio/ on 26/08/2020

Screenshots taken from https://baueradvertising.de/portfolio/ on 26/08/2020

The women’s magazines:

Screenshot taken from https://baueradvertising.de/portfolio/ on 26/08/2020

Those are aimed at women too:

Screenshot taken from https://baueradvertising.de/portfolio/ on 26/08/2020

If you target food publications:

Screenshot taken from https://baueradvertising.de/portfolio/ on 26/08/2020

The health topic is clearly underrepresented:

Screenshot taken from https://baueradvertising.de/portfolio/ on 26/08/2020

There are only 3 for cars:

Screenshot taken from https://baueradvertising.de/portfolio/ on 26/08/2020

And let’s not forget those aimed at men:

Screenshot taken from https://baueradvertising.de/portfolio/ on 26/08/2020

As you can see, there’s a wealth of publications in one hand (and we only looked at one publishing house). Even with multiple angles, if it doesn’t adhere to their guidelines, you will have a hard time because one rejection of your campaign is equal to a rejection of up to 8 publications.

There is only one solution

Before you plan a digital PR campaign for a market you are not familiar with, it is best to get somebody on board who is! Learn as much as you can about the market and its particularities to know what works for the journalist and the reader once you get the journalist to read your press release.

At JBH it would be our pleasure to assist with your international digital PR campaigns. Get in touch!

4 Ways to collect data for digital PR campaigns
1024 682 Rebecca Moss

4 Ways to collect data for digital PR campaigns

Any successful digital PR campaign requires multiple steps from ideation to reporting. We can in general separate it into 5 steps that lead to backlink success. One of those steps involves the collection of data. In times where the public gains more awareness about fake news, you want to make sure that every statement you make is backed by credible data. Apart from that, data-led campaigns have a good success rate and whilst you are digging a bit deeper into it, you might find some interesting angles for your campaign. Here are 4 ways where to get your data:

Your own database

Everybody who owns a website has data of some kind, may it be visitor data from Google Analytics, purchase data in your Shopify account or scroll behaviour and interactions in Hotjar – to just name a few. High-quality data and data accuracy are an important and integral part of business intelligence. At the end of the day, we all want to know how much we have sold and if we can go home with a profit. This data cannot only be used for reporting on business success, but it often holds a wealth of information that can feed into a marketing campaign. For data-led campaigns within the realm of digital PR, the data you have could provide insights into customer behaviour at a certain time of year or market. Maybe the purchase of a certain item has spiked in a certain year or certain market. Can you tie this spike to any cultural, social, or political events?

If your website has a search box or chat functionality, is there anything that users suddenly ask more often than before? What could this mean?

You might already have what you need, all you must do is look at it from a different angle and turn it into a story for a digital PR campaign.

Person checking a sheet with different graphs and data visualisations

Photo by William Iven on Unsplash

Somebody else’s data

You might come to the conclusion that the data you already have within your business, does not provide a full picture for a story and that is okay. You have other data sources available. The most popular one amongst marketing professionals is Google Adwords, the good old keyword planner might have been renamed, but it still provides useful insights into your market and consumer interests. You can find out what people are currently interested in and what they are searching for online. You can also draw on sources like Google Trends, Buzzsumo or Reddit to find out what people are currently talking about.

At JBH we have done exactly that in our campaign for money.co.uk: We combined popularity rating in YouGov with Google Trends and Search Volume to find out which brands were the most popular in the UK at that time.

Social media can be used in a similar way to get your data for digital PR. For a campaign for gousto.co.uk, we have looked at Instagram’s hashtags which are always a good indicator of trending topics. We revealed the most popular regional dishes according to the number of hashtags they had received in every continent around the world.

Last year, we published an extensive resource on the JBH blog, which contains 100 Free Data Sources for Content and Digital PR Campaigns. In here you will find a 100 free and credible data sources, ranging from the ONS through to Crime and Policing which you can weave into your digital PR campaigns.

Top Tip: Sign up to receive email notifications and release calendars for your favourite data sources so you can plan ahead and have content ready to go as soon as the latest iteration of the data lands in your inbox.

Person typing on a laptop and looking at data in Google Search Console

Photo by Myriam Jessier on Unsplash

Market Research and Surveys

Depending on the idea you have for your campaign, there might be cases where it is better to collect new data instead of relying on existing data. Market research and surveys can be powerful tools to gain insight into consumer behaviour or the minds of the population. It is important that you collect data of a representative sample of the target group. For example, if you are analysing UK-wide trends, the survey participants should be from every corner of the country, not just one region. If you later want to compare the stats for every county, you should ensure early to have a representative sample size for each that will make the numbers comparable. Conducting such market research can become a difficult task and it might be worth considering the help of a professional. There are agencies that can conduct the research upon your requests (e.g. how many participants should be asked in which period of time) and will provide you with a clean dataset afterwards that you can use for your data-led campaign.

Person filling out a survey on a tablet

Photo by Celpax on Unsplash

Extensive Research

The first types of data collection are mainly numbers focused and you will end up with interesting percentages to show in your infographics. For some campaigns though, you might want to provide additional information that is not based on statistics. This is where research comes in and, in some cases, it will remind you of the academic research you spent all those years at university doing. For most campaigns, you will not need to hit the library as the internet often holds the information you are looking for.

Girl hidden behind a pile of books in a library

Photo by Daniel on Unsplash

We have done such research for footy.com with a new approach to rank sport stadiums that is all about the fans. We collected the elements that matter most to fans and ranked them. Those elements covered a wide range from public transport availability to eco-friendliness, each receiving a certain score that led up to the stadium rankings. Each of those elements had to be researched separately.

A similar campaign had been created for essentialliving.co.uk where we assigned a score to subway or metro systems in cities around the world to identify the best. The features we researched were amongst others accessibility, pet-friendliness, Wi-Fi connection, comfort and value for money.

Which approach works for you?

If you are now looking at your campaign idea again, you probably know already what type of data you need and where to get it from. Budget might play a key role in this, as some of the above outlined ways for data collection are more time-intense than others. In some case, a third party is involved that provides a paid service.

If you are still unsure where to get your data from, it might be worth getting back to the ideation. Maybe you are working on a topic that is too abstract or for which it is not possible to gather qualitative, accurate data. Those things happen. You can always change the angle of your campaign depending on the data that is accessible and what is feasible for you. And in any case, JBH can support you along the way.

24 Types of content you can create beyond an infographic
1024 682 Jane Hunt

24 types of content you can create beyond an infographic

For some in the digital PR industry, infographics are an outdated technique, for others it is still a valid type of content and for outreach agencies, they have proven to be phenomenally successful to attract visitors and links. The reason for this is that an infographic combines data and story telling and makes information easily accessible for a wide audience.

Stories and data are the ingredients of creative link building and for every successful backlink campaign, you need to decide at some point how you want to tell your story, in other words: what type of content you want to create.

We can generally differentiate between text, visual, audio and interactive content and we can identify four different functions:

  • Attraction (attract the right audience)
  • Affinity (make the audience trust and like you)
  • Action (make the audience take an action)
  • Authority (demonstrate experience and establish yourself as an authority)

When you create content for digital PR and content marketing, it should fulfil all 4 functions and the chances of success increase remarkably if it triggers an emotional response.

Whilst infographics tick all of these boxes (and have for several years), we cannot ignore the fact that the world keeps on moving and consider new alternatives that involve virtual and augmented reality and the rise of audio content in the shape of podcasts.

These are the opportunities you have for content marketing in 2020

1. Podcasts

We all have heard of or even listened to a podcast in recent times. They are on a steep rise and can be considered the most popular type of content these days, statistical data confirms the popularity of podcasts. But is it the right type of content for your campaigns? Think about how you can transform your data story into an audio format. Maybe you can conduct expert interviews to tell the story, but also keep in mind that a podcast might not be the right format and it requires some audio editing skills to sound professional. Apart from that, podcasts are a frequent and regular format, not a one-off.

2. Checklists & Listicles

Content in the shape of a list has always worked and will continue to work because it makes data visually accessible by working like a road map and providing quick answers. In times where attention spans get shorter and readers become lazy and opposed to long pieces of text, a list becomes ever more attractive. Listicles, best ways and top X- headlines usually generate a good number of clicks. The best examples for this type of content are travel checklists such as the one by Eaglecreek.com or the below by Smartertravel.com:

The Ultimate Packing List by SmarterTravel

Listicles are popular in any industry and for any topic, but also for this one, travel is the one that gets our attention as Lonelyplanet.com proves with the yearly “best in travel”:

3. How-to-content

The success behind this type of content can be found in the fact that the reader learns something new by reading or watching. “How to” also is a popular query that users ask search engines such a Google for if they seek advice when confronted with a complicated task. This type of content is often realized in a video tutorial. The first use case that comes to mind are DIY tasks, this example of B&Q proves that:

Screenshot of a B&Q video about how to fix a dripping tap

4. Video content

This leads us to the next type of content that has been increasing in popularity over the past decade: videos. The above is an example for a video tutorial, but you can also use this format for demonstrations of how a product works, customer testimonials or explainer videos with catchy animations. “Catchy” is the keyword here because in times where 15-second-videos on TikTok are on the rise and attention spans decreasing, your video needs to be ever more engaging, educational and entertaining to make it past the first few seconds.

5. Case studies

This is the type of content that allows you to show your expertise and the work you have previously done successfully. Think about how you want to explain what you have done and what you have achieved. Here at JBH we have run several campaigns in the past that we have analysed in our digital PR case studies.

6. Webinars, slides & presentations

Webinars have been around for quite some time but have seen a recent rise during the times of COVID-19 since in-person-conferences and meetups have been put on hold. Running a webinar allows you to prove your expertise and can in similar ways as how-to-content attract an audience that is looking for specific information or to expand their knowledge. A webinar is also a good opportunity for content syndication as you can create additional content such as a video recording, slide shows and presentations that will keep on attracting visitors until the topic becomes outdated. At JBH we have embedded this into our strategy as well, e.g. in the webinar about Digital PR during a pandemic.

7. Expert roundups and interviews

This type of content might come as part of your webinar: You can invite experts of your industry that present at your webinar, you can interview them or even organise a panel discussion. This can also be done offline, but it is always a good idea to record it to use the content you create in different ways and make it accessible for your audience at a later stage. Interviews with experts can be recorded in a video, be part of a podcast or published as text.

In the context of digital PR, the experts that are mostly referenced are journalists and we have spoken to some of them:

8. Authoritative blog posts

A good blog posts answers questions that your audience and potential customers have and provides additional insights into complex topics. Blogging is also a good opportunity to regularly show your expertise and become an authority in your field.

9. Standout opinion pieces

Opinion content originated in traditional journalism and you will still find this section in any newspaper online and offline. That is because it works, especially when it comes to controversial topics that people want to get different opinions on. It gives you the opportunity to communicate an informative message and kick-start a discussion. The risk though is to become offensive or to communicate an opinion in unsuitable ways. Better read this type of content twice before publishing it.

Screenshot of the Opinion section in The Guardian on 13/07/2020

10. Original research pieces

Most content nowadays is modelled after other content that has been published online. Therefore, original research data can make you stand out. You could conduct a scientific research or run a survey for example. You also might have some interesting data within your business that you can share. Most infographics these days are based on data research.

11. Trending content

Following current trends and incorporating them into your content publication provides a good opportunity and shows your expertise within your industry. News content is the best example, but keep in mind that it has a short shelf-life.

12. Compelling images

Images can be a good way to convey a message in an emotional way and can break up long form content into more digestible chunks when working with decreasing attention spans. To increase your chances of the image being shared, you can add a quote. A good example for image content is the photo of the day published by National Geographic.

Screenshot of the Photo of the Day in National Geographic, taken on 13/07/2020

13. Screenshots

This type of content should never stand on its own, but it can be useful to visualize how a product works (an app for example) or in written how-to-content. They can make it easier to explain a concept and give the audience additional insights. If you use a screenshot for demonstrations, they work best if accompanied by a customer testimonial.

14. Memes, comics, illustrations

We all have seen this type of content multiple times and memes, also in private messages, do not seem to lose their popularity. They work because they trigger an emotional reaction which in most cases is related to fun and entertainment. As such, they are also memorable, and the chances are high that they will get shared.

Meme with baby saying "Ate Spaghetti while wearing a white shirt. Didn't get sauce on it."

15. Gifographics

This is a combination of the established infographic and the younger version of imagery in the shape of a gif. It works well because it makes an infographic more interactive and keeps the viewer engaged. Quicksprout has published a gifographic that explains how Google works.

16. Long-form content

This type of content is self-explanatory. It is a long piece of content that you can enhance with additional types of content such as imagery. How long this content really should be, depends on the topic and what you are trying to say. You should not write content just for the sake of it. If what you want to say can be said in 500 words, do not create long-form content.

17. Comprehensive reviews

If you are writing a review, you are probably doing so because you want to promote or sell this product on your website. In that case, it is important to keep the review as objective as possible. If there are any negatives to it, you should mention those as well. If you want your customers to trust you, you must be honest and if a product only has negatives or requires you to lie, maybe you should not promote it.

Reviews can now be enhanced with different types of mark-up that will appear in rich snippets in Google and with star ratings. Trustedreviews.com provides examples such as this review of a coffee machine:

Example of a coffee machine review18. Whitepapers

This type of content can be compared to a scientific research paper. You generally need a lot of data and information that you present in a well-written way. Before you start creating a Whitepaper, you should be sure that it is the right type of content for your audience. They should be interested in reading long-form content with scientific character.

19. eBooks

Some would argue that this type of content has been over-used in recent times and it seems to become a technique that is seen as spam. It is mostly used to get users to sign up for a newsletter. In return, they will receive the eBook.

20. Newsletters

Newsletters are mostly used in email marketing to keep an existing audience engaged. They are not suitable to attract new customers or links and therefore not used in digital PR.

21. Contests

This type of content is a well-established technique to get attention and to grow your audience quickly. Participants usually submit their email addresses after fulfilling a task or solving a puzzle to enter a prize draw. Based on the results, you can create additional content where you feature the winner picking up the prize or meeting a celebrity.

Screenshot of a meet and greet to win on Twitter https://twitter.com/corksredfm/status/847901325039894530

22. Surveys

Surveys work in a similar way as contests: Users submit information and, in most cases,, they get something in return, vouchers for example. Depending on what the survey is about and what participants get out of it, it can generate different levels of traction. More important though is what you do with the survey results as those provide opportunity for further content creation.

23. Personality tests, quizzes, tools and widgets

Quizzes and tests draw on human curiosity, use gamification strategies and interactive engagement. They usually reach the audience on a personal and emotional level and the better the topic of your personality test, the more likely it will get shared. Childhood memories such as Disney characters always seem to work:

Screenshot of a quiz "Which disney character are you?"

24. Social media posts

When we think of digital PR and backlinks, we often think of the website content and ignore other channels where our audience might find us. But the content you publish on your website can be syndicated on social media to reach a wider audience. What you should keep in mind is how you portray your brand and how you get the user to click through to your website.

There are different social media channels and the landscape keeps on changing. It is important to find the right channel for your product and your audience to then create content that resonates with them and is adequate for the channel. Video content for example is best placed on YouTube, whereas images are more suitable for Instagram or Pinterest, statements and opinions are for Twitter and short video sequences for TikTok.

What type of content to use?

After having seen so many opportunities it might seem to be an overwhelming decision to make. It can be useful to look at your data, your product, and your audience to find out what would work best in any given situation. The opportunities are endless and if you are looking for advice on your content marketing and digital PR strategy, please get in touch with us at JBH.

1024 682 Rebecca Moss

Reddit, Get Set, Go!

When it comes to ideation, it can be difficult to know where to begin. Before you brainstorm with your team, you’re going to need to pool together a bank of potential ideas. This can be pretty daunting; even the most creative digital marketer will struggle to magic ideas out of the air.

Luckily, there’s Reddit. The self-proclaimed ‘front page of the internet,’ Reddit is a fantastic resource to mine when you’re getting started, and can be an invaluable tool when it comes to generating creative ideas.

What is Reddit?

For those who haven’t used it before, Reddit is an American news discussion site. Registered members submit content to the site in the form of links, text posts and images, which are then up or down voted by other members. The more upvotes, the more popular the content, and the more likely it is to be seen.

Reddit is organised into boards known as subreddits, which cover just about everything – news, movies, health, fitness, books, games, music – and get more and more niche the deeper you go.

Essentially replacing the online forums of the 2000s, Reddit is a now a vast melting point of content, creativity, and idea sharing, and essentially, the river source for the sea of the entire internet. If you’re reading about something on a news site or Facebook, you can probably bet that it started in some form on Reddit.

The World’s Biggest Focus Group

Reddit is also huge – the 19th most popular website in the world, with around 330 million active users talking in 138,000 subreddits – but don’t let this overwhelm you. Reddit’s size is a positive. Think of the site as the world’s biggest focus group.

Reddit’s diverse user base makes it a useful tool for mining ideas in just about any subject. It’s just about knowing where to look.

Mining Reddit

First thing to do is download Reddit Enhancement Suite – this is a handy Chrome extension which allows you to keep scrolling indefinitely down Reddit without having to click through pages.

Next, in the search bar, start playing around with a few keywords which relate to your client.

The trick is to look at broader subjects which relate to your client without being too focused or ‘salesy.’ Start out wide, and then chop down as you go.

So for example, for a banking client, look broadly at keywords such as:

  • ‘Finance’
  • ‘Insurance’
  • ‘Homes’
  • ‘Property’
  • ‘Mortgages’
  • ‘Money advice.’

Set the toggles below the search bar to ‘Top’ and ‘All Time’ – which will bring up the most popular posts on the site.


As you go, make a note of the most popular posts – those with the most upvotes, or those with the most comments. This suggests the topic being discussed is one a large amount of people are interested in, and which might therefore be a good avenue to start mining for ideas. Don’t be afraid to make a note of posts with less upvotes but which are so weird, or so unique they stand out to you. The most original ideas can be found this way! Make notes as you go – jot down any common themes or anything that inspires you, and don’t worry about what you’ll do with it at this stage. 

Have a look at relevant subreddits too – i.e. r/finance – and make a note of posts there with the most upvotes.

In 5 minutes, you’ll end up with something like this:

So for our hypothetical banking client, we’ve got a few stems of ideas to build on here:

  • Unusual or non-traditional paths to financial success
  • Budgeting advice
  • Milestones of life
  • Debt regrets
  • Debts of the world
  • What we spend in a week
  • Regrets of homeowners
  • Unexpected deal-breakers when it comes to homes – i.e. neighbours, pets
  • Income vs house price
  • How far money goes in different countries
  • What size home you can get in different countries
  • Renting vs mortgages

All of which you can take into your team brainstorming sessions and begin to build out into some great ideas together.

1024 682 Rebecca Moss

How to Write a Cracking Headline For Your Digital PR Campaign

The key to writing a cracking headline isn’t just down to having a knack for it. There are so many factors that come into the mix and help you decide what will grab that person’s attention. 

Sometimes, you will look at a campaign and headlines will ping into your mind left-right-and-center, but other times, writer’s block can hit. Whether it is for your digital campaign or an article, here is a straightforward guide to eye-catching headlines, every time.

How to Research Headlines

Search for your hook on Google to spark ideas. Once you see what journalists are using, you can get a better idea of what you need to focus on in your headlines. 

For example, if your campaign is about Instagram’s most popular food, you can search “Instagrammable food news” to see what magazines and top tier news websites are using for their headlines.

Top Tip: Take a look at the top headlines featured on the homepage of your favourite newspapers and try to copy the wording, phrasing and commonly used words.  

Digital PR’s Get Writer’s Block Too…

There are lots of avenues that you can go down when your mind can’t process an eye-catching angle. When writer’s block hits, you should read articles about your subject matter, which may help to spark some interesting headlines. 

Also, Twitter can be useful for battling writer’s block (even if common misconceptions say otherwise). Finding out what is trending around your subject matter allows you to see your subject in a different light. More importantly, it shows you what your audience is discussing, so you can mould your headlines to what they want to see.

Look Back at Your Campaign and Data

Repeatedly, read through your data points to gain some perspective on what you are trying to say. What is the campaign accomplishing and what questions could it be answering. Do you have any main data points that could be worked into headlines? Consider what sums up your campaign or narrative in one sentence.

Use your Statistics as Headlines

If you have any interesting or shocking statistics, use them as a headline. Although some may consider this to be ‘click-bait’, it is the perfect strategy for developing an intriguing headline, as long as you have the evidence to back up your claim. This can be helpful when promoting or outreaching your campaign, too.

Top Tip: If your statistic can be expressed in different ways, try it. For example, 30% can be expressed as ‘a third’ or ‘one in three’. Try it and see what has the most impact. 

When You Feel Like You’ve Used Every Possible Headline…

Get a fresh outlook from a colleague or anyone for that matter. Sometimes when you have been so involved in a campaign, it can be difficult to see any other possible angles. Ask them what they think stands out instantly as the most interesting piece of information in your campaign or narrative. This fresh outlook could put you onto a whole new angle completely, meaning lots of new headlines. 

If in Doubt – here is your failsafe guide to writing a cracking headline:

  • Ask a rhetorical question (only if your campaign can answer that question)
  • Practice writing headlines in the style of your favourite publications
  • Use your data as headlines
  • A cheeky pun is useful for any off the cuff magazines/ newspapers. 
  • Aim for shock factor but not click-baity (only if you have the facts to back it up)
  • 1024 682 Rebecca Moss

    100 Free Data Sources for Content and Digital PR Campaigns

    There are a number of reasons why we place such a big emphasis on data when it comes to content marketing and digital PR campaigns. We’ve even explored how journalists use data as a way to craft compelling stories, and how digital PR teams can look to implement these techniques into their campaigns.

    Data has the power to:

    • Measure your online standing – Website traffic, social media followers and online ratings.
    • Analyse the effectiveness of your work – Open rates, click-through rates, bounce rates and cost per conversion.
    • Discover your return on investment – Calculate your cost per lead or quantity of leads generated.

    However, it can also be a game-changer in terms of content creation – there’s a wealth of data available online just waiting to be curated, which can provide your audience with intriguing insights or indisputable information that encourages movement down the funnel towards those all-important conversions.

    Best of all…

    …several data sources (the following 100 to be precise) are absolutely free and ready to be used in your digital PR campaigns.

    1. Statista

    “The #1 business data platform in the world with insights and facts from 600 industries across 50 countries.”

    1. UNData

    Specialised databases, popular statistical tables and country profiles..

    1. Wikipedia

    If you’re worried about accuracy, only use data that comes with a reference or external link for further reading.

    1. DBpedia

    DBpedia gathers structured content from valuable information over at Wikipedia.

    1. Amazon Public Data Sets

    A registry featuring datasets that are available from Amazon Web Services resources.

    1. Google Public Data Explorer

    Public-interest datasets that feature graphs and tables for a better understanding of information.

    1. Pew Research

    Pew Research Centre claims it generates “a foundation of facts that enriches the public dialogue and supports sound decision-making.”

    1. Datasets Subreddit

    A great place to share, find and discuss datasets, but finding your niche could be tricky.

    1. Enigma Public 

    The “world’s broadest collection of public data” to “empower people to improve the world around them.”

     

    1. Data.gov

    The home of the US Government’s open data, covering everything from agriculture and finance to manufacturing and public safety.

    1. Data.gov.uk

    The home of the UK government’s open data, featuring an equally extensive range of useful information.

    1. YouGov

    An overview of what the UK’s opinion is on things like politics, entertainment, retail, technology, media, lifestyle and more.

    1. WhatDoTheyKnow

    WhatDoTheyKnow helps you make Freedom of Information (FOI) requests to the government and public sector.

    1. UK Data Service

    A collection of UK government-sponsored surveys, longitudinal studies, UK census data, business data and more.

    1. European Union Open Data Portal

    The single point of access to a growing range of data from the institutions and other bodies of the European Union.

    1. U.S. Census Bureau

    Government-informed statistics about the lives of US citizens including population, economy, education, geography, and more.

    1. Socrata

    A mission-driven software company that enables you to explore government-related data via built-in visualisation tools. 

    1. Canada Open Data

    Pilot project that wants to create greater transparency and accountability with government and geospatial datasets

    1. Datacatalogs.org

    Open government data from the US, EU, Canada, CKAN, and more.

    1. Gapminder

    European ‘fact tank’ that fights misconceptions about global development using a wide range of data sources.

    1. UNDP’s Human Development Index

    A ranking of country progress under the lens of human development.

    1. OECD Aid Database

    Visualisation of data showing aid collected from governments.

    1. Qlik Data Market

     Free package provides access to datasets covering world population, currencies, development indicators and weather.

     

    1. World Bank Open Data

    Featuring 3000 datasets and 14000 indicators encompassing microdata, time series statistics, and geospatial data.

    1. IMF Economic Data

    Including but not limited to global financial stability reports, regional economic reports, international financial statistics, exchange rates and directions of trade.

    1. UN Comtrade Database

    A repository of official international trade statistics and relevant analytical tables.

    1. Google Finance

    Real-time stock market information, financial news, currency conversions, and tracked portfolios.

    1. Global Financial Data

    A source to analyse the twists and turns of the global economy with data on over 60,000 companies covering 300 years.

    1. U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis

    Mainly reports about the gross domestic product (GDP) of the United States but also information about income, corporate profits and government spending.

    1. National Bureau of Economic Research

    Data concerning industry, productivity, trade, international finance, industry and more.

    1. Financial Times

    More than a news site, the FT also publishes a broad range of business data and information.

    1. OpenCorporates

    The largest open database of companies in the world.

    1. The Atlas of Economic Complexity

    Research and data visualisation tool used to explore global trade dynamics,

    1. World Bank Doing Business Database

    Resource that evaluates business environment indicators, such as capabilities and costs, around the world.

    1. Visualizing Economics

    A self-explanatory site featuring data visualisations about the economy.

    1. Federal Reserve Economic Database

    Download and track 567,000 US and international time series from 87 sources.

    1. Buzz Data

    Resource that provides UK businesses with targeted business address data.

    1. Financial Data Finder at OSU

    Large catalogue of financial data sets.

    1. TripAdvisor

    A wealth of free information about destinations to help support your travel or lifestyle campaign. 

    1. EU-Startups

    Directory listing the number of start-up businesses in the EU, alongside their industry and sector. Perfect if your campaign is targeting new businesses publications in and around Europe.  

    advertising social media data

    1. Buffer

    Data insights, survey findings and regular reports about digital marketing can be found on the Buffer blog.

    1. Moz

    Along with how-to articles and whiteboard walkthroughs, the Moz Blog also publishes data-driven insight pieces.

    1. HubSpot

    Large repository of marketing statistics and trends along with tools for social media, SEO and web analytics.

    1. Content Marketing Institute

    Articles, resources and research all about the world of content marketing.

    1. Facebook API

    Using the Graph API, you can retrieve data all sorts of data from Facebook.

    1. Twitter API

    Stay up to date with worldwide conversations by connecting your website or application to the Twitter Platform.

    1. Instagram API

    You can use the Instagram API to build non-automated, high-quality apps and services.

    1. Complete Public Reddit Comments Corpus

    Here you’ll find over one billion public comments posted on Reddit between 2007 and 2015 for training language algorithms.

     

    1. data.police.uk

    Open data about crime and policing in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

    1. FBI Crime Statistics

    Statistical reports and publications detailing specific offences and outlining crime trends.

     

    1. UNICEF Dataset

    UNICEF has compiled relevant data about education, child labour, maternal mortality, water and sanitation, antenatal care and much more.

    1. NHS Health and Social Care Information Centre

    The NHS produces more than 260 official and national statistical publications every year, which includes national comparative data for secondary uses.

    1. Healthdata.gov

    125 years of US healthcare data including claim-level Medicare data, epidemiology and population statistics.

    1. U.S. Food & Drug Administration

    A compressed data file of the Drugs@FDA database, which is updated once a week.

    1. MedicinePlus

    Resource for health statistics such as the rate at which people are catching the flu and the average cost of a medical procedure.

    1. America’s Health Rankings

    An analysis of US national health on a state-by-state basis using historical data.

    1. The Broad Institute — Cancer Program Data

    Access the cancer-related datasets of the Broad Institute’s scientists.

    1. Human Rights Data Analysis Group

    The non-profit, nonpartisan group applying rigorous science to the analysis of human rights violations around the world.

    1. Harvard Law School

    Everything from international relations to human rights data courtesy of political institution databases.

    1. The Armed Conflict Database by Uppsala University

    Data that dives into minor and major violent conflicts around the world.

    1. Amnesty International

    Human rights information, run independently of any political ideology, economic interest, or religion.

     

    1. FiveThirtyEigh

    Primarily a news and opinion website, but its content is supported by in-depth data and statistical models.

    1. Google Scholar

    Another Alphabet-owned resource but with a more academic slant – articles, theses, books, whitepapers etc.

    1. The Upshot

    A section of the New York Times that examines politics, policy and everyday life, primarily using data.

    1. The New York Times Developer Network

    Search articles, retrieve headlines and discover media dating back to 1851.

    1. Associated Press API

    Search and download content using your own tools without having to visit AP portals.

    1. Million Song Dataset

    A collection of 28 datasets containing audio features and metadata for a million music tracks.

    1. BFI Film Forever

    Research data and market intelligence about the UK film industry and culture.

    1. IFPI

    Key statistical highlights of the global recording industry.

    1. Academic Rights Press

    The world’s leading aggregator of global music industry data.

    1. OpenLibrary Data Dumps

    Datasets on books including catalogues from libraries around the world.

    1. One Million Audio Cover Images 

    Dataset hosted at archive.org covering music released around the world, for use in image processing research.

    1. SkiftStats

    The latest statistics, research and data about the travel industry.

    1. Search the World

    Population, weather and travel information for millions of locations worldwide.

    1. U.S. Travel Association

    Covers a wide variety of travel-related topics, primarily relating to the economy.

     

    1. Labelled Faces in the Wild

    13,000 collated and labelled images of human faces, for use in developing applications involving facial recognition.

    1. Microsoft Marco

    Microsoft’s open machine learning datasets for training systems in reading comprehension and question answering.

    1. Machine Learning Dataset Repository

    Collection of open datasets contributed by data scientists involved in machine learning projects.

    1. UCI Machine Learning Repository

    Dataset specifically pre-processed for machine learning.

    1. CERN Open Data 

    More than one petabyte of data from particle physics experiments carried out by CERN.

    1. Natural History Museum Data Portal

    Information on nearly four million historical specimens in the London museum’s collection, as well as scientific sound recordings of the natural world.

    1. Microsoft Azure Data Markets Free Datasets

    Freely available datasets covering everything from agriculture to weather.

    1. NASA Exoplanet Archive

    Public datasets covering planets and stars gathered by NASA’s space exploration missions.

    1. LondonAir 

    Pollution and air quality data from across London.

    1. National Centers for Environmental Information

    Quick access to many of NCEI’s climate and weather datasets, products and various resources.

    1. National Climatic Data Center

    Huge collection of environmental, meteorological and climate data sets from the US National Climatic Data Center.

     

    1. Yelp Open Datasets

    There are 5,996,996 reviews, 188,593 businesses, 280,991 pictures and 10 metropolitan areas included in Yelp Open Datasets.

    1. Capterra

    Directory covering business software and reviews.

    1. Monster

    In-depth data source for job market and career opportunities.

    1. Glassdoor

    Directory where you can research companies, compare salaries and read employee reviews.

    1. eBay Market Data Insights 

    Data on millions of online sales and auctions from eBay.

    1. Junar

     Data scraping service that also includes data feeds.

     

    Need help delving the depths of data? We thrive on turning facts and figures into compelling content and campaigns – contact us to find out how.

    1024 682 Rebecca Moss

    What Should Your Content Really Look Like in 2019

    What’s at the centre of your digital and social activity? Chances are its content, which bridges the gap between brand and customer like no other media or medium could do previously.

    Content marketing has come a long way since the early days of publishing multiple (and mostly mediocre) blogs each week on your website in the vain hope of getting noticed or ranking for a couple of obscure, long tail search queries.

    These days, content marketing is a multi-channel, cross-platform behemoth, consisting of everything from landing pages and infographics to podcasts and videos.

    The increasingly competitive space in which content sits has also changed dramatically, with things like featured snippets and voice search making any marketing objective even more difficult to achieve.

    But that doesn’t mean to say boosting your brand identity, increasing online awareness and engaging with customers through content marketing is impossible…

    Here’s the content that performs best in 2019:

    Long-form authoritative content

    So, if regular blogging doesn’t cut it anymore, what does?

    The answer is long-form authoritative content.

    This means going into great detail about a particular theme or topic and updating it regularly with fresh insight, imagery and video.

    After analysing 912 million blog posts to better understand the world of content marketing, Brian Dean from Backlinko discovered that long-form content gets an average of 77.2% more links than shorter articles. It also generates significantly more social shares, especially within the ‘sweet spot’ of 1,000-2,000 words.

    Other industry studies have also found a direct correlation between long-form content and first page Google rankings. This is because long-form content stands a better chance of satisfying intent and maintaining engagement by demonstrating in-depth knowledge of a particular subject.

    Best practice: Identify topics or themes that strongly correlate with your brand’s products, services, or industry. Think about how you could demonstrate your authority with long-form content that meets your customer’s wants and needs.

    Short-form video

    Every year, the importance of video content continues to grow – you only have to look at the success and influence of platforms like Instagram to realise that its here to stay for the long haul.

    According to a recent study by Altimeter, short-form video (less than two minutes) is the best performing content in terms of engagement across every industry and every geography. By contrast, long-form video (greater than two minutes) was said to be 20% less effective.

    In addition to greater engagement, short-form video can also improve your SEO, make content more accessible to a wider audience, generate a strong emotional connection with customers and lead to more conversions.

    Best practice: Generate ideas for short-term video content that will resonate with your audience. Remember to optimise for mobile viewing (where most video is watched), create captions, include a CTA and keep it short!

    Influencer marketing

    Despite the exponential rise of social media influencers in recent years, this marketing trend is nothing new. However, several brands are reluctant to explore the idea of influencer marketing due to misconceptions that you need to spend thousands (or even millions) getting high-profile celebrities on board.

    More often than not, brands have the most success with influencer marketing when they choose people directly related to their industry or niche. Better yet, they collaborate with influencers throughout the content ideation and creation process.

    The following influencer marketing statistics speak volumes about its effectiveness:

    • Influencer Marketing Campaigns Earn $6.50 for Every Dollar Spent
    • 67% of Marketers Promote Content With the Help of Influencers
    • Influencer Marketing Is the Fastest-Growing Online Customer-Acquisition Method

    Best practice: Think of influencers as an ad-hoc extension of your own content team. Take advantage of their creativity and audience, relieve some pressure from in-house efforts and add credibility to your brand in the eyes of followers.

    Voice search

    Voice search is slowly but surely becoming a daily fixture for many, especially given the increasingly popularity of Google Home, Amazon Alexa and other voice assistants. Estimates suggest there are over one billion voice searches per month, while 50% of all searches will be voice searches by 2020.

    So with more and more text-based digital tasks moving over to voice thanks to the speed and convenience it affords, every marketer should adjust their content strategy accordingly.

    Unfortunately, each device seems to pull data from different sources and offer completely different results. But by creating pieces of content that deliver quick answers to quick questions, you should be able to position yourself ahead of the competition.

    Best practice: Think about the words people say, not just what they’re likely to type. Also, most voice-activated searches take place on mobile, so make sure your website is responsive and optimised for smartphones.

    Storytelling and Digital PR

    There’s a reason why storytelling remains one of the most popular approaches to content marketing – it works, and will continue to work for many years to come. By conveying facts through narrative, you’ll create a connection with your audience and encourage action thanks to the number of decisions people make based on emotion.

    One excellent example comes from National Geographic and its content marketing activity that engages with 350 million combined global followers on social media. As Nadine Heggie, VP of Brand Partnership, explains: “Staying true to your brand, being timely with content, using the power of wow and wonder, and embracing new technologies to tell stories.”

    Key ingredients to any story include a main character/hero, a conflict/journey, and an ending/resolution. Don’t forget to make it easy-to-follow, relatable and memorable. Support your stories with visuals and data to drive the message home.

    Next steps: Try to gain an in-depth understanding of your audience – their needs, pains, hopes and aspirations. Know exactly what you want to say and what you want your audience to do before launching any storytelling campaign.

    Take your content marketing to the next level with JBH – let’s create something awesome together.

    Should your content marketing strategy include blogging every day?
    1024 682 Jane Hunt

    Why we don’t blog every day [and you don’t need to either]

    It’s a common misconception that if you have a blog, you should post every day. While regular blogs posts should be part of your content marketing strategy, daily blogs could do more harm than good.

     

    You will destroy your social proof

    Social proof is borrowing a third parties influence to build your own brand awareness and create trust with new and existing customers.

    On your blog, this is the evidence left by previous readers (such as comments and shares) that sway your new visitor into reading your posts. They convince your readers that your post is interesting, worth the time it takes to read, and popular.

    Without social proof, getting people to consume your content can be difficult.

    If you post every day, that post is only at the top of your blog for one day. This means you will get less exposure versus posting once or twice a week. People are more likely to interact with the latest post on your blog, if you give a post longer at the top, you give it a chance to build engagement and social proof.

    Readers also don’t have time to check your content every day as well as comment on and share it. If your posting every day they are probably skipping some of your content and only commenting on a few pieces.

     

    You will lose subscribers

    I’m pressed for time, you’re pressed for time and so are your readers. No one has time to read daily content from the multiple subscription emails they get.

    You may have 3 or 4 unopened emails from one subscription in your inbox. Chances are when you do get the time to catch up and read them, you are only going to read the most recent one, and the rest will go straight in your trash.

    If you bombard your subscribers with content, you will irritate them. As a result, they will either unsubscribe or just delete your emails without opening them.

     

    You will be creating weak content

    Good content takes time to create. If you’re focusing on churning out daily content rather than focusing on creating content that your audience wants to see, your blog is going to fail.

    Weak or thin content that is not well researched or providing value to readers even gets penalised by Google. Google wants to give the best answers possible for its search queries so if you’re not offering a solution that can’t be found anywhere else thank your content will rank poorly.

     

     

    What you should do instead…..

    Now you know why daily posting should not be part of your content marketing strategy but what should you do instead?

     

    Blogger conducting audience research for their blog

     

    Create a content schedule

    Plan your posts wisely. Excellent content starts before you sit down and write it.

    Take a look at the upcoming month and plan content that is relevant to your industry events, any new data that is being released or important national holidays. This is more likely to grab your readers attention as it will be relevant to them at that moment in time.

    If you are only creating 1/2/3 blog posts a week, you can spend more time on ideation and research. By developing your ideas more thoroughly, you can create in-depth content that is of more value to your readers.

    It is much better to become known for your great insights (even if they aren’t posted frequently) than to be recognised for posting loads of boring, generic content.

     

    Quality over quantity

    Your blog is all about serving your customers needs. Think about the types of people you are trying to talk to through your blog; conduct research into the type of questions they might want answering and what information they will find interesting.

    Don’t just create posts for the sake of it – think through your ideas and asses whether they are really something your audience would want to read. You will probably have to sift through a lot of garbage ideas to find some gold ones.

    High-quality content will keep your audience engaged. They will begin checking back to your blog for answers when they have a question because they know that you have a lot of knowledge of your industry.

    If you post content every day, it will become dull, and your audience will be able to tell that you are just adding filler posts. Chances are even if you reduce the number of posts you’re creating you will still spend the same time on blog content, but without the pressure to continually develop ideas and post content every day, you will be creating stronger more pleasing content that your audience will want to interact with.

     

    Promote your content

    Once you’ve written your post and you’re happy with it – proofread it, checked all the images and links and published it on your site- now is the time to promote, promote, promote!

    This can take from days to weeks to do depending on your Digital PR and outreach skills. From using your social media base to contacting media publications, there are so many ways you can promote your content.

    If you were creating content every day this would be impossible to do – there just wouldn’t be enough time. Not to mention the content would likely be too weak for any significant publications or influencers to want to share it.

    Its a lot of hard work to promote content but the endgame makes it worth it. It should be one of the main focuses of your content marketing strategy; it allows you to reach new audiences and build your influence in your industry while at the same time build backlinks to boost your SEO.

     

    Coming up with ideas for your content marketing strategy is not easy, check out these five helpful tools that can help you stay at the top of your game.

    Using personalisation in content marketing to connect with millennials
    1024 512 Jane Hunt

    Personalisation matters: Why its one of the BEST ways to reach millennials

    Millennials are a generation that make up 12 million people, almost one-fifth of your population. They are exposed to ads every day, so if you want to convert them into customers, you need a strong content marketing strategy.

    Millennials dominate the business world with 35% of the UK workforce estimated to be millennials within the next 2 years.

     

    This domination gives them a considerable amount of buying power, and if you’re not focusing your content marketing strategy on millennials, you are doing something wrong.

     

    What is personalisation in content marketing?

    Personalisation is all about bringing value and delivering a meaningful message to the customer you are targeting.

    All customers are different, so the content you send to them should be personalised. You can base this on the data you have on them such a buying history, location and interests.

    By incorporating personalisation into your content marketing strategy, you give yourself options to create more relevant – and therefore high converting – content for your customers.

     

    Learn everything there is to learn about content marketing with our Complete Guide.

     

    You can incorporate personalisation into your content marketing strategy in so many different ways – no matter what your budget is.

    You might not want to splash out on chatbots and personalised online experiences for your website or multi-device operations. But, even simple things like segmenting email marketing lists and adding first names in texts can still have a huge impact.

     

    Millenials and hyper-connectivity

    Millenials are the very first generation to have spent their entire adult lives with technology such as smartphones and the internet. They have witnessed the positive and dramatic changes these technologies have had on peoples lives.

    This has resulted in a generation that values accessibility, transparency and convenience. They are the most tech-savvy and socially-conscious generation in history.

    Millennials love social media and share over 350,000 tweets, 2.5 million pieces of content on Facebook and 300 hours of Youtube video every single minute.

     

     

    Why personalisation matters to millennials

    Customer expectations are higher than ever – especially for millennials. Personalisation meets those expectations in a number of ways:

    1. People, in general, can sometimes be controlling – most people like to be in control of their environment. Personalisation provides a cherry-picked environment that feeds into that need to be in control.
    2. If you see an offer for something specific you are looking for, it gives you a feeling of empowerment as if your thoughts have been manifested.
    3. There is a dizzying amount of content out there. We are exposed to an average of 5,000 marketing messages a day. Personalisation stops you from bombarding your customers with too much content (much of which they might not find useful) and ensures the content they do see will be remembered.
    4. Selective attention – this is the fact that your brain picks up and responds to messages that are most relevant to you.

    American Express hired psychologist Emma Kenny to try to figure out how they could best engage with millennials. The results from her study found:

    • Personalisation was most important for the millennial generation
    • Almost half of the millennials expected brands to customise offers to suit their needs.
    • Millennials were more likely to go out of their way to use a customised offer compared to other age groups.

     

    Millennials have trust issues

    Well, don’t we all? To build a relationship with a millennial and turn them into a customer you need to have patience. Build trust with them over time, provide them with valuable content and align your values with theirs.

    Concerning corporations, especially things like financial institutions have a very low trust rating with millennials. They grew up through the recession and saw how financial institutions can fail. 92% of Millennials firmly do not trust banks, but 47 percent of millennials indicated they’d be more likely to trust a financial service if it created useful content.

    Content is King – we say it all the time and it goes double for millennials. The ridiculous amount of ads and the difficulty finding good quality content you want mean that if your business can create high quality, personalised content for millennials you will see a greater ROI than on any other marketing strategy.

    With that being said, Millenials are also more likely to be brand loyal than any other generation. Authenticity sells so if you can build that trusting  relationship with your customers as individuals they will stick around and provide a more significant customer lifetime value.

     

    Companies that do personalisation for Millennials well

    Millennial watching Netflix

    Netflix

    Netflix and Chill? Millenials have moved away from traditional TV to streaming services and no service has captured this market better than Netflix.

    72% of Millenials have a Netflix account – they are leading the streaming revolution; but how did Netflix get them to do it? Personalisation.

    Sucess in marketing is about keeping your audience engaged so Netflix recommends personalised content based on your watch history. Often they will suggest shows to you based on other users who have watched similar content. This keeps you watching and before you know it you’ve lost your whole weekend to a Netflix binge.

    Netflix is now going even further by tailoring its ads to your interests. TV shows have many layers and appeal to viewers for different reasons. They trace the wildly different paths viewers take to reach each show and analyse them for common threads. Ie. for their new show Defenders, they might trace the tread back like this: those who have a love for the anti-heroes and moral ambiguity of Daredevil; the coming of age tales such as Iron Fist; the sharp humour and dark crime of Jessica Jones would like Defenders.

     

    Amazon

    The titan online retailer owes a huge amount of its success to how well it has incorporated personalisation into its marketing.

    Four out of five millennials purchased from Amazon in the past month, buying at a much higher rate than any other generation.

    Amazon is constantly improving and innovating their algorithms for their recommendations. They have raised the bar for retailers across the world and everyone is trying to keep up. The algorithms they have are so thorough that often you will find yourselves adding a number of extra items to your basket before checkout that Amazon has recommended.

     

    Want to learn more about personalisation? Head over to our blog post about Hyper-Personalisation: Laser-Focus Your Content

    featured snippets
    1024 1024 Jane Hunt

    How to write your content for featured snippets

    Attracting attention and generating traffic through the SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages) is harder than ever before…

    Competition is fierce, with more and more brands prioritising SEO in their quest for increased online exposure. The number of organic links that Google shows has also decreased in recent years, chiefly because it wants marketers to buy ad space instead.

    But these two obstacles often pale into insignificance when compared with another aspect of the SERPs – featured snippets.

     

    What are featured snippets?

    Featured snippets are certain search results that appear above organic links on the SERPs. Also known as answer boxes or ‘Position 0’,  featured snippets aim to give the user an immediate response to their search query without having to click one of the links.

    A featured snippet

     

    Even though featured snippets provide users with a quicker, easier, and better search experience, the fact you don’t need to browse other results is somewhat concerning for marketers.

     

    Search Engine Land also reported that:

    • One page’s click-through rate jumped from 2 to 8 per cent after appearing as a featured snippet.
    • Revenue from organic visitors landing on the same page saw a 677 per cent

    Therefore, the value of featured snippets is clear to see. But how should you write your content for featured snippets?

     

    1. Identify the questions your audience are asking

    Featured snippets are commonplace when the searcher asks a question, specifically with the following prefixes:

    • How do/does
    • How to
    • What is
    • Why do/does

    So, take the time to think about the kinds of questions your audience are asking. You should already know the topics or themes they’re interested in, so pop these into Google and see what comes back.

    Use search suggestions for featured snippet contentAnother excellent resource is Answer The Public – literally a search engine that finds out what questions the public are asking.

     

    Answer the Public results

    2. Write content to answer questions

     Now that you know what your audience wants to know, start brainstorming content ideas that specifically answer these questions. As content marketing and SEO guru Neil Patel puts it:

    “If your content doesn’t answer questions, it won’t get into the featured snippet. That’s all there is to it.”

    For example, with this very article, we’ve chosen the title ‘How to write your content for featured snippets’, not ‘Writing content for featured snippets’ or ‘Appear as a featured snippet by writing your content like this’.

    Google’s search algorithms are constantly crawling sites to find content that best answers user questions. Once they do, they’ll promote them to featured snippets.

    Types of featured snippet

    3. Maintain your focus on quality

    Google’s complex ranking system, which gives precedence to high-quality content, still applies for featured snippets.

    This means your content must:

    • Comprehensively cover the subject
    • Be informative, interesting, and engaging
    • Put the user first
    • Feature essential on-page SEO (headings, bullet points etc.)

     

    4. Provide the best answer

    Sounds simple, but by providing a better answer than your competitors, you’ll stand a greater chance of being a featured snippet.

    Pretend to be a potential prospect or customer and consider what you would want to read, as well as what keywords and phrases you’d use.

    Cover additional questions relating to the subject, break answers down to a basic level, assume your audience knows nothing whatsoever, and use visual content to support what you’re saying.

     

    5. Consider FAQ pages

    Create a FAQ page that explicitly answers your audience’s most common questions and Google will know useful information is contained within. This is especially true if questions use the same wording as your audience.

    Make sure that your FAQ page contains all relevant questions, is well-formatted with in-depth answers, is easy to navigate for a positive experience, and always provides value.

    If you want to appear as a voice search result, FAQs are the way to go too.

     

    Did you know that 40.7% of all voice search answers come from a featured snippet? Find out more as we explore why voice search could be the future of content marketing.