Following on from my recent post on examples of scalable offsite tactics, this blog explains which tools you could use, from the fundamentals of research, to media monitoring for offsite SEO purposes.

Throughout the process of any campaign, whether it is scalable or not, it will require you or your team to use online tools to help improve your workflow, organisation and communication levels.

I’ve broken down the list of tools, services, and platforms that I use or have used in my experience to help you improve your campaigns.

Content research

Before any idea is implemented, it’s important to understand what the specific industry is discussing and whether it should be an area that you (or your client) should be talking about.

Four examples of finding content opportunities can be seen in the list below:

  • Reddit
  • Reading relevant media outlets
  • Google news
  • Answer the public

Using the car industry as an example, it has seen a number of key talking points such as the first driverless car tested in the streets of London, laws around mobile phone usage while driving and the impact of diesel vehicles for the environment.

Knowing these subject areas, how can we use them to help motor industry brands earn media coverage? Does the client have data to prove otherwise? What do the public think of the change?

Press list creation

Getting the correct set of reporters is key for outreach

Once you’ve found your talking point and the idea of execution, it’s important to find the right publications and media contacts to get the right people to talk about the story.

Throughout my career, I’ve seen thousands of press lists created and it’s integral that contacts are relevant to the topic being discussing. Quite simply, if they aren’t relevant, why add them?

Below are several factors that come into play that will help you build this it out.

  1. What is the subject? Who talks about it?
  2. Who are the relevant magazines and blogs associated with the industry niche?
  3. Is there a national/regional angle to the story?

The best place to look initially is Gorkana, which is a database of journalists, editors, freelancers, and bloggers. You can search and find the journalists or alternatively look for a website type and filter that way.

Not all websites appear in Gorkana, so other options such as GroupHigh (mainly blogs or lower level magazines) can be investigated and added to your press list.

Finally, why not use Google to find the relevant niche publications? You can do this on a larger scale too by using Scrapebox.

Project management and communication

If you are managing the campaign as an individual or as a team, it’s vital to understand where you are in each relationship and one tool that I recommend is BuzzStream.

BuzzStream allows you to keep track of the history of the individual or website, add call notes, send emails, and change relationship stages among other features.

In the long run BuzzStream becomes your book of contacts (if all details are accurate) and will help save time and money, allowing you to scale the process up by using the correct website type and tag to filter key websites, contacts, or stages in the relationship.

When researching the relevant websites, I add the domains to a project in BuzzStream using the Buzzmarker.

The best method of finding out whether a media outlet is interested in featuring your story is to call the relevant person (which should be recorded in BuzzStream).

This allows you to create the initial relationship with the individual and you get the opportunity to explain what you developed and why it would be of interest.

Media monitoring

All gone well, news outlets might start reporting your story within the day. Some can even appear in print.

With the campaign active and articles published, not all journalists and contacts are going to inform you that they have published an editorial.

It is recommended that you use the following tools to keep a track of editorials:

  • Google Analytics
  • Majestic SEO
  • Ahrefs
  • Google Alerts

These are just a selection of tools that we have used or use as part of our offsite offering, there are more tools available that rival the ones mentioned above.

This method of working has recently earned coverage and links on leading publications, such as BBC, Yahoo! News, MSN, The Telegraph, Daily Mail and the Daily Mirror.