How to Succeed in Content Marketing Without Publishing a Thing – Part 1: Press Coverage


photo, journalist interviewing a protester - how to make your earned media work harder

Whether you’re a publishing machine like L’Oreal or you have a more modest content marketing operation, who can resist the appeal of valuable content that doesn’t cost a red cent to make?

In a short series of posts, we’ll be proposing a few ways to capitalize on such pain-free devices, starting with earned media and what “they” are saying about your brand in the press.

Step 1: Track It

If you haven’t done so already, set a Google Alert for your brand so you know when a new story hits. Now you’ll get a notification every time Google finds a new “result” on the topic of your brand.

Don’t wait for an alert, though. A more precise, immediate tool for tracking your brand’s presence in the media is Google News. A regular search query for your brand and use of Search Tools like filtering by recency quickly identify the latest news on your brand.

Step 2: Analyze It

While you certainly need to be aware of any discussion about your brand, positive stories will be your biggest content marketing asset for this exercise. In deciding which stories are worth promoting, look for the following:

  • The quality and prominence of  the sites publishing the stories about your brand
  • A link back to your website
  • Multiple mentions of your brand
  • Little to no mention of your competitors’ brands

(Coincidentally, you’d be surprised how rare it is for all four ingredients to turn up in a news story — prepare to settle for 2 out of 4 at times.)

Step 3: Amplify It

You’ve identified some great PR for your brand, and maybe you’ve shared it on social media, emailed your contacts, and asked your colleagues to share it to their personal networks as well.

End of story?

In the old days, pretty much.

But these aren’t the old days. These are data-driven, tech-laden times. A platform like Outbrain Amplify can take one positive story and atomize it across the news cycle of other sites with a significant share of your target market. It’s as easy as Ctrl + C, Ctrl + V.

Goodbye, “15 minutes,” hello longevity.

See how your promoted content would appear on a top publisher site.

Step 4: Re-imagine It

Happens all the time: You finally get the feature you always wanted in the premiere magazine in your vertical, and… it’s buried on their site or barley shared or the headline doesn’t entice anyone to click. What should have been the greatest day ever for your brand is tempered with disappointment. What can you do?


One of the advantages to using a platform like Outbrain Amplify for earned media is that each story written about your brand gets two lives: an organic life and and Outbrain life. And in Outbrain life, you can create and test as many enticing takes on a headline as you have time for until you find the one that “clicks” with audiences.

Which means you or someone on your team has to love writing headlines, or else learn to love it. Not to worry: once you know the tips and tricks on what drives headline engagement, we’re pretty sure it’ll be that much easier to love.

For more on that, check out our collaboration with Hubspot, “How to Write Effective Titles and Headlines,” and download the eBook.

Step 5: Rinse, Repeat

All-in-all, steps 1-4 probably take between 15-30 minutes a day. With a little practice and a ton of engagement, it may soon be the best 15-30 minutes of your day.

Featured image courtesy of ItzaFineDay via Flickr.

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