The Hunter/Gatherer

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The Hunter/Gatherer Why influencers hate the pitch and what you can do about it

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Rob “Holy” Toledo Head of Outreach @ Distilled rob.toledo@distilled.net @stentontoledo

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or on Google+ /u/0/116666661154846565570/

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I have a confession

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I’m terrible at PowerPoint

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No seriously… Like… REALLY BAD at powerpoint

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So please don’t judge me

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I have another confession

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Despite having sent thousands of personalized outreach emails

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And my team of outreachers having an active contact list of approximately 15,000 bloggers and journalists

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I can still count on one hand how many times I have accepted an email pitch for my own websites

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So why is that?

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A lot of them are great emails http://bit.ly/1luXH1h

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And it’s not like I write for the New York Times…

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I gave this a think

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Asking coworkers, friends and family

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My conspiracy theorist uncle knew who to blame

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“Obviously Obama has something to do with this…”

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But seriously…

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I blame my instincts

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Always on the hunt for the next big thing

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Here’s Joe…

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Here’s Joe with a toy squirrel in front of him… Doooon’t caaaare

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Here’s Joe thinking he’s hunting an actual squirrel… SQUIRREL!!!

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We enjoy the hunt for the next thing, just like Joe prefers to chase actual squirrels

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Here, you can tweet this: “I can’t believe @stentontoledo just compared me to his dog… What kind of conference is this?! #SearchLove”

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Here’s me in high school I was “really cool”

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I was a music snob (and still am)

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While my friends were listening to…

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I was listening to…

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I LOVE finding new music and sharing it with my “tribe”

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An Example (circa 2001)

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Example (circa 2001) Scenario A Friend: “Wow Rob, you’re such a musical influencer and tastemaker, I worship the ground you walk on” Me: “Have you guys heard of this new band, The Strokes? They’re incredible, total game changers”

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Example (circa 2001) Scenario B Friend: “Hey Rob! Check out this new band The Strokes! They’re blowing up in England!” Me: “Yeah they’re alright, I guess, man, whatever”

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A quick experiment

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Apple > Microsoft

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Python is far superior to JavaScript

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The Shawshank Redemption is a better movie than Titanic

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This local roasted organic fair trade coffee is far superior to Starbucks

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Local craft brews put generic macro beer to shame

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We’re all snobs about something

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Alongside being a music snob, I’m also a content snob

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A lot of journalists and influencers are the same way

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They want to find it first

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In content discovery No effort = No reward

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We don’t want to share a rotten meal with our tribe

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What I’m not saying: Email outreach is dead Bloggers and journalists don’t want to hear from you We must try and trick people into sharing our content That the Moon landing was faked

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Things aren’t that bad…

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Most decent outreach sees response rates around 40-60%

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“You’re happy with 50 percent? You’re on top, and you don’t have enough. You’re happy because you’re successful. For now. But what is happiness? It’s a moment before you need more happiness. I won’t settle for 50 percent of anything. I want 100 percent. You’re happy with your agency? You’re not happy with anything. You don’t want most of it, you want all of it. And I won’t stop until you get all of it.”

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We should be working for that other 50%

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But when promoting to the other 50%...

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We need to be less like this…

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…and more like this

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But it helps to be a bit more clever We must plant the idea but not take any credit for it

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Great… but how?

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Three Main Points

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Find out where your “important people” are hanging out Don’t be afraid to get exclusive Get more creative with your promotion

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Find out where your “important people” are hanging out Don’t be afraid to get exclusive Get more creative with your promotion

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People will likely talk about where they spend their time online

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Web forums they hang out in Twitter chats where they participate Sites where they contribute and comment Communities they identify with Where in the world are your influencers

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Rand Fishkin

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/r/AskScience /r/eli5 /r/LifeProTips /r/Fitness /r/Food /r/Fashion /r/Art /r/Economics Etc….

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Rand Fishkin

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Rand Fishkin Likes: Nicholas Cage Pictures of birds that people have photoshopped arms onto Cute pictures of puppies Business related topics

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So we built this…

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And it worked…

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OK but seriously…

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A real example @carson_ward

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A real example Hoping to break into the tech space Wanted to get featured on high profile blogs Wanted influencers to share socially

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A real example

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A real example So they kept it simple…

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A real example They did some research using their own data Wrote a post that appealed to a specific audience Kept it relevant to current news In total about 8 hours of work

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One seed in front of the right people

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The spoils of victory ~70k pageviews 116 domains sent traffic in 24 hours Coverage in major media (Ars, Pando, Reddit) ~500 social shares More journalists believe them to be an authority with future stories now (credibility increase)

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Find out where your “important people” are hanging out Don’t be afraid to get exclusive Get more creative with your promotion

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Nothing makes journalists salivate more than exclusives The right exclusive story can make a career Exclusives still give the perception of influence, even when pitched Exclusives

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Giving an influencer a head start with your content can make everything easier

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The rest of the internet

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“Well if [insert major publication] covered it… then we better get something up about it as well” Exclusives

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Exclusives make bosses and clients nervous

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But we can remove a lot of the risk

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Exclusives - @Britt_Klontz “The ‘exclusive’ conversation needs to start way before the content or story is complete”

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You should have the idea in front of several influencers early in the process Subtlety hint that you’re shopping the idea around (competition) Figure out who is most interested and give them exclusive access to the finished product Exclusives

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Interesting proprietary data A high quality piece of content An anecdotal story about your business A new product or service release Interviews with high level employees What makes a good exclusive

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Find out where your “important people” are hanging out Don’t be afraid to get exclusive Get more creative with your promotion

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Email is overwhelming journalists

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“I am someone with upwards of 5000 unread messages at any given time” - @jordancrook http://tcrn.ch/1edhgd2

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Even the best brands and coolest content can get ignored

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Think outside the inbox

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Creative Promotion Snail mail PR stunts Creating a mystery

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Creative Promotion Snail mail PR stunts Creating a mystery

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When was the last time you got something fun in the mail?

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Snail mail Previous efforts saw a response rate of only 10% Had over 70% of people activate the turntable via their smartphones 42% clicked on a link to the Kontor Records website on their phones Covered by SPIN, TrendHunter and Hypebot (double whammy, coverage and conversion)

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Creative Promotion Snail mail PR stunts Creating a mystery

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But wait… There’s a real thin line between true creativity and over the top craziness

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An extreme example

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PR Stunts OK realistically, you’re not creating a drone delivery service but…

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…there’s a lesson here Timing is everything – the drone stunt was right before Black Friday, all eyes on Amazon It doesn’t need to be “real” Keep it related to your brand Find a hook, something that will really grab the attention of the media based on relevance

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The cheapest PR stunt I’ve ever seen

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PR stunts don’t have to be expensive like the drone, they just have to be smart like the ‘now hiring’ sign

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A well done PR stunt feels really ripe for coverage

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Creative Promotion Snail mail PR stunts Creating a mystery

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A boat's a boat, but the Mystery Box could be anything! It could even be a boat! 

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In this world of social / transparent / storytelling / open book branding… (which is great)

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Brands have become Kimmy Gibbler

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But they should occasionally be like the guy from Twilight

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“Humans naturally want to finish the story” -Matt Summers, @mattsummers http://slidesha.re/NUqSPG

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Sure, HBO could have emailed Jacob and told him some fun stuff about the new show but…

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How much more exciting is it for him to share that surprise with his readers?

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Don’t be the shithead at the party who tells the birthday kid what you got them as a gift

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We want to unwrap the mystery ourselves

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Key takeaways Play into the psychological elements of how influencers choose what to share Seek a high level exclusive before mass promotion Create a mystery around new and exciting things you’re working on

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People like to hunt Give them the opportunity

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Thank you! @stentontoledo rob.toledo@distilled.net

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