Journalists, bloggers, editors, and even small industry publications are bombarded with pitches and self-promotion on a daily basis. And with so many of them receiving so much content, you need to stand out to get your story covered.
Fortunately, not all angles have been exhausted by link building pros. Media professionals still love quality stories that educate readers and put their own expertise on display.
In other words, you can help them look good by giving them great content while also attracting backlinks to your site.
The million-dollar question is: how do you create content that attracts backlinks from these publications?
Today, we’ll discuss 9 content angles that are sure to capture a journalist’s attention:
- A Fresh Take On An Established Topic
- Exclusive Information Or Data
- Expert Interviews Or Research
- An Interesting Historical Perspective
- Humor And Entertainment
- A Consumer Guide Or Review
- An Insider’s Look At A Company Or Organization
- Behind-the-scenes content and “how to” Guides
- Controversial Opinions
Let’s take a closer look at each of these content angles:
1. A Fresh Take On An Established Topic
Media practitioners want to cover unique stories. If you can approach a common topic from an unusual angle, you can increase your chances of getting coverage.
Instead of talking about the latest iPhone release, for example, you could discuss how the new features will impact small businesses. This angle is likely to be of more interest to business publications than a piece that simply regurgitates the same information that’s already out there.
Or, if you’re promoting a new book, try to find an interesting angle that will make your story stand out. Maybe the author has an unusual background or the book covers a topic that hasn’t been covered in depth before.
In Trust Me, I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator, Ryan Holiday talks about how he was able to get his clients’ stories covered by pitching fresh angles to media practitioners.
Some of the methods mentioned in the book, such as creating fake controversies, are now considered to be black-hat PR tactics. But the overall message is still relevant: if you want to get coverage, you need to come up with a story that’s worth covering.
Covering old topics with a new spin can help you get coverage for your product, company, or event. But it’s not the only type of story that media practitioners want to write about.
There’s an entire world of stories out there waiting to be discovered and reported on. That’s where exclusive information comes in and helps you get a natural link from media outlets.
2. Exclusive Information Or Data
Media professionals love exclusive information—especially data that can be used to inform an existing story. Pitching data that hasn’t been published yet immensely increases your chances of getting accepted by creating the type of content that attracts backlinks.
For example, let’s say that you work for a company that manufactures electric vehicles. And let’s say that you have data showing that electric vehicles are becoming more popular in the United States.
This data would be of interest to people who write about the automotive industry, green technology, or sustainable living.
If you have exclusive information or data, reach out to the people who cover your industry and offer to share it with them. In many cases, they’ll be happy to use your data to support their own stories.
Some ideas for exclusive information or data that you can pitch to journalists and bloggers:
- Research results that haven’t been published yet: Studies, surveys, and other research projects often take months or even years to complete. But once the data has been collected and analyzed, you can use it to pitch people who cover your industry.
- Company data: If you have access to data about your company’s performance, you can use it to pitch people who cover your industry. For example, if you work for an ecommerce company, you could pitch people with data about your company’s sales or traffic.
- Industry data: For example, if you work in the automotive industry, you could pitch blogs with data about car sales or gas prices.
- Firsthand accounts of events that haven’t been widely reported: If you have a unique perspective on an event that’s happening in your industry, reach out to publications and offer to share your story.
You can even mix and match different types of data to create something truly unique.
Karpsersky, the antivirus firm, launched an interactive cyberthreat map where people could track the latest cyber threats in real time. Not only did this create a powerful story about the threat of cyberattacks, but it also provided exclusive data that people could use to inform their writing.
Big publications picked up the story and shared it with their audiences, including CNN.
Keep in mind that Karpsersky already had the data needed to create this map, but it wasn’t until they combined data points in a creative way that their story became relevant for the media.
Think of ways you can use the data and research in your industry to create something that hasn’t been seen before. Reach out to publishers with an exciting pitch, and you could land a story that will put your data front and center.
3. Expert Interviews or Research
Media professionals often want to interview experts and conduct original research. But they might not have the budget to do this themselves. If you offer to cover the cost of interviewing an expert, you’ll likely get a lot of attention.
For example, let’s say that you sell products that help people reduce their carbon footprint. You could develop a relationship with a scientist who studies climate change and offer to pay for an interview.
During the interview, you could ask the scientist about the most effective ways to reduce your carbon footprint. You could even film the interview and use it to create a mini-documentary.
Once you have the footage, you can pitch it to people who cover environmental issues. In many cases, they’ll be happy to use your footage to support their own stories.
This process doesn’t have to be expensive. You can use Zoom or another video chat service to conduct the interview. And you can use a free video editing program like iMovie to edit the footage.
Also, you don’t necessarily need an expert. Someone in your team might have a valuable perspective that’s worth sharing.
For example, if you sell eco-friendly products, you could interview an employee who uses your products every day and get their insights on the benefits.
You can also interview a C-level executive within your company. Executives often have a unique perspective on industry trends and changes that can be valuable to journalists and readers alike.
Ultimately, interviews and research can be an effective way to get the attention of journalists, editors, and content creators. They allow you to provide unique insights that others might not have access to.
Plus, it’s a great way to build relationships with other media professionals.
4. An Interesting Historical Perspective
If you can provide an interesting historical perspective on current events, you’ll probably get a lot of attention from media practitioners.
For example, if you worked with former President Obama during the 2008 campaign, you can pitch articles that explore that historical chapter.
Your unique experiences and insights will help journalists and bloggers flesh out their stories and give readers a new perspective on current events.
Your perspective can also be used to humanize stories about current events.
For example, let’s say that you’re a small business owner who was affected by the recent government shutdown. You could share your story with people who cover politics.
Your story would help readers understand the human impact of the government shutdown. And it would give publications an interesting angle for their stories.
5. Humor And Entertainment
Media practitioners are human beings, and readers are human beings who consume journalism. That means they appreciate articles that entertain readers.
You can also increase your chances of getting coverage and attracting backlinks from content by adding humor or some form of entertainment to it.
But don’t sacrifice accuracy or substance for the sake of humor or entertainment.
Your goal should be to add value for readers. If you can make them laugh while you’re doing it, that’s a bonus.
For instance, you could write a funny blog post about an industry topic. Then, you could pitch the article to publications that cover that industry.
You could also add entertainment value to a more serious article by including videos, infographics, or images.
Some other ideas to consider:
- Create a funny meme related to your industry
- Write a parody of a popular song related to your industry
- Make a funny video that covers a serious industry topic
Heinz’s Christmas dinner in a TIN campaign is a great example of humor in action.
Heinz created this joke product aimed at gamers who don’t want to take a break from their systems to eat.
DailyMail, The Guardian, Food Network, and many other publications picked up the story and shared the joke with their readers.
Humor and entertainment can be a powerful tool for getting media coverage.
Think outside the box and be creative. If you can make a journalist laugh, you’re more likely to get coverage.
6. A Consumer Guide Or Review
If you can review a product, service, or app, you can pitch a particular publication or create a guide that can be packaged as multiple articles.
Review and guide articles are best when they are comprehensive and detailed. If a product or service is new, you can still pitch it as a review—as long as you can back up your comments with a thorough explanation.
For instance, let’s say that you’re a lawyer who specializes in estate planning. You could write a guide to help people understand the different types of trusts.
Your guide could be published as a series of articles on different websites. Or, you could pitch it to publications that cover estate planning or personal finance.
7. An Insider’s Look At A Company or Organization
If you have an insider’s perspective on a company or organization, you can use that to get coverage.
For instance, let’s say that you used to work for a large corporation. You could write an article about what it’s like to work there.
Your article would give readers an insider’s look at the company. And it would give media practitioners an interesting angle for their stories.
Even if your company isn’t well-known, your insider’s perspective can still be valuable to readers.
For example, let’s say that you work for a small startup. You could write an article about what it’s like to work at a startup in Silicon Valley.
A quick glance at Entrepreneur or Forbes will show you that articles with this angle get a lot of attention.
Think about ways to use your current experience or past experience to give readers an insider’s look at something. Whether it’s a company, an industry, or a trend, your perspective can be valuable to readers.
8. Behind-the-scenes content and “how to” Guides
This one is similar to the insider’s look, but it doesn’t have to be about a company. It could be about an industry, a trend, or anything else.
Basically, you want to give readers a behind-the-scenes look at something. Or, you want to show them how to do something.
For instance, let’s say that you’re a web developer. You could write a series of articles about how to build a website.
Your articles would give readers a behind-the-scenes look at web development. And this would show readers how to do something that they’re interested in.
The most important thing is to write about a trendy topic or something that is popular in your industry. That way, you can get the attention of journalists and bloggers who cover those topics.
Here’s an example from one of our clients.
At the height of the pandemic, we jumped on an industry trend in the logistics industry: the rapid rise in returns — a huge problem for ecommerce brands.
Our client had a data-driven blog post on the topic, so we decided to reach out to publications covering logistics and retail. We pitched our client’s blog post as a source of helpful information on returns, and top publications in the industry featured it.
As a result, our client got more exposure and was seen as an expert in the industry. It also drove more traffic to their website.
Think of ways to do something similar with your own business. Put together behind-the-scenes content or a how-to guide on a relevant topic to your industry. This could be a great way to get more exposure, build authority, and get a natural backlink from media outlets in the industry.
9. Controversial Opinions (Backed Up By Facts)
If you have a controversial opinion about something, you can use that to get coverage. But, it’s important to back up your opinion with facts.
For instance, let’s say that you’re a web developer who thinks that responsive design is overrated. You could write an article explaining why, and including facts and figures to back up your opinion.
If you make a strong enough case, journalists and bloggers will be interested in linking to your article. They may even share it with their own audiences, which can help you reach a larger audience.
Some other ideas for controversial opinions include:
- Why a particular industry is overrated or underrated
- Whether a new technology is actually worth investing in
- Whether a popular trend is here to stay or if it’s just a fad
Keep in mind that your opinion doesn’t necessarily have to be negative. It could be positive, as long as it’s controversial.
For example, instead of arguing that responsive design is overrated, you could argue that it’s the future of web development.
This article on lab-grown diamonds is a great example of being positively controversial. It states that lab-grown diamonds are the future of jewelry, which can be a controversial opinion for some people.
Combined with the fact an expert was quoted, it’s a great example of how to write an article on a controversial opinion that’s backed up by facts.
Ultimately, controversial opinions can make for great content for attracting backlinks. If you have a unique take on something, don’t be afraid to share it.
Again, as long as you can back up your opinion with facts, you can use it to get coverage.
Receiving backlinks from renowned media outlets is the holy grail of link building strategies.
You don’t just get a link on a high domain authority website but also get a major boost among your competitors and increased search engine rankings.
Since your product, service, or message is backed by a journalist, it instantly becomes reliable information.
So, without further ado, here are the best practices that will ensure you get your prestigious backlink from your target media outlets:
- Choose Relevant Media Outlets
Finding opportunities that are related or overlap with your niche is the first step to earning a valuable backlink. You can use tools such as Moz, Ahrefs, Majestic, or BuzzSumo to find high-domain authority sites that are relevant and have a large audience.
- Analyze Their Content
After finding relevant rites, go through their content to find out what they publish, the type of topic covered, and tone, style, or preferences; this way, you can plan your content according to their standards.
Tools like SEMrush and Content Explorer can help you find gaps in the content or trends they cater to. Similarly, watch out for their social media and online interaction to understand what ticks their audience and how you can relate to it.
- Create Linkable Content:
You need to come up with a useful and original content idea that earns a backlink and also engages the target website’s audience. Using platforms such as Reddit, Quora, and AnswerThePublic can help you find inspiration.
Make sure your hook includes a human connection with a unique approach; it should offer something helpful or teach the readers something new. Keep the article aligned with your niche, so your link fits naturally. Lastly, make your piece credible and trustworthy using reputable info.
- Build Connections With Journalists:
Using social media platforms is one of the best ways to communicate and closely follow specific journalists in your niche; seeing that you appreciate their work would encourage them to connect with you.
This approach will help expand your network, drive traffic to your site via media exposure, improve prospective linking opportunities with other outlets, and get high-quality backlinks.
- Craft A Strong Pitch:
Your media pitch is a concise email containing a specific or general outline of your idea and how it can be of interest to the media outlet and its audience. Approaching a journalist or media personality with your pitch is also a great way to establish public relations.
You must do thorough, detailed background research and conduct personalized outreach to understand what the journalist writes about; only when you add value to a journalist’s cause will they return the favor with a backlink to your site.
- Content Promotion On Social Media:
Promoting your content using social media is one of the most effective ways to get it noticed and shared among the target audience. Craft compelling posts that capture attention and use targeted hashtags and captions. Engage with the audience, and always monitor the posts.
Choose the right platform based on your content type, for example, X is great for short snippets and breaking news, while LinkedIn works wonders with professional networking, industry insights, and long-form articles.
These are just a few ideas for content angles that still attract links from media practitioners and bloggers. Take a look through them and see if any of them could work for your business.
Keep in mind that no matter what angle you choose, your content to attract backlinks still needs to be high-quality. You can’t just throw together a quick article and expect to get coverage.
Your article should be well-written, well-researched, and original. If it is, you’ll be more likely to get the attention of relevant publications and earn some quality backlinks.