You’ve written the copy, you’ve created a beautiful infographic, and now it’s time to get it in front of valuable prospects. But how can you make sure journalists will pay attention to your pitch?
Hey everyone. Vince Nero here, senior content marketing manager with Siege Media, and today I’m going to talk to you about how to pitch infographics. This is a follow up to a video I did about why infographics are still great. So if you haven’t watched that one, check it out first. But I’ve got a lot to cover here, so let’s jump right in.
If you watched my previous video, you understand that this is something you want to do in the ideation phase: determining if there’s even a market for your idea. Because the idea here is going to be to pitch people who have written about very similar infographics to what you’ve already done.
I’m going to share with you what I’m calling my “levels of connection,” and this is kind of a framework that you can use when you’re doing your pitches. You want to start very specific and reach out to people who have already shared similar infographics. And you’re going to start in specific Google Searches. Find your specific topic, add the word infographic and set your date to about six months.
From there, you’re going to start broadening it out, so a wider net, one year. And then from the specific topic, you’re going to move on to an even wider net and go more general. So say you wrote a piece about morning stretches — a more generalized topic you can go with is just “health infographics.” Again, you’re widening that net of other people who’ve written similar topics to what you’re pitching.
Step four of this is to actually find other roundups of infographics in that general topic. You’re going to search for top health infographics. And you’ll find this one like the Greatist, where they wrote health and fitness infographics, and it’s just a roundup, and it’ll give you a good head start.
Tip #1: Buzzsumo’s Infographics Feature
A couple other tips outside of that framework, BuzzSumo is a great tool that you can use. They actually have a little checkbox where you can select infographics and the search will display infographics related to whatever you’re searching.
Tip #2: Google Image or Pinterest Search
You could try a Google Image search, or even Pinterest. What you’re looking for there is just really good looking infographics. You can kind of just eyeball this, use your gut, because generally if it looks good, it’s going to have a lot of links. There’s no real way to tell otherwise. You know, there’s no tools that show you the linking root domains on Pinterest, so you’ll have to eyeball it.
Another tip is to try to get your infographic featured on like a weekly, or monthly news roundup. You can Google things like your topic plus the word, “news,” or “weekly-roundup.” It’s not the most valuable, but it increases visibility. I think that’s a great tactic if you want to get a quick link.
Part two that we’ll discuss is how to write the pitch email once you’ve found a prospect.
Tip #1: Make Sure They Are Open to Sharing
The first thing to make sure is that they’re open to sharing. I did a whole piece about how you can determine if a site will actually link out, and there’s certain positive signals that you can look for that a site is open to sharing external graphics.
And obviously, if you’re using the levels of connection framework, you’re going to be targeting sites who have already shared an infographic, so you got a head start there.
Tip #2: Don’t Reference Content Over 1 Year Old
The next tip here is going to be referencing content that’s over a year old. This gets a little dicey, and it’s something you want to avoid because typically, savvy marketers are really going to be the only ones who’re going back and refreshing old content. If they are that savvy of a marketer, they’re probably not going to link out.
Tip #3: Find the Correct Author
The next one is to write to the author of the piece. The idea here is to find the original person, and I did a whole video about how you can find people’s email addresses. So that should never be the hurdle here. That should not be the blocker.
I don’t know how many times I’ve gotten a email from somebody referencing a piece that Ross had written or Caroline, or somebody else that works at Siege, and they’re talking to me as though I wrote it. That’s immediately going in the trash for me because it’s not that connection.
Tip #4: Actually Read Their Post
My next tip when pitching infographics is to actually read their post. You don’t want to just say, “Hey, I saw you posted about this and I think it’s great.” Or, “Hey, I saw you posted about specific topics and I think they’re great.”
You want to try to find something. It’s something specific that you can talk about. Be a real person, be genuine, ask a question, start a dialogue. That’s going to help you make that connection and make it sound less like a template.
Tip #5: Point Out What Makes Your Post Unique
The next tip is to make sure you point out what makes your piece great or unique. You’re never going to be pitching the same exact thing, because no one’s going to want to share something you’re pitching if they’ve already shared that same exact topic.
This comes back to the ideation phase. You should always be thinking about how you’re one-upping what’s already out there. So whatever you did to one-up the competition, make sure that you say that in your outreach email.
Tip #6: Consider Including an Image or Screenshot
Next, consider including an image or a screenshot in your email. This works some of the time but not always. One way that you can think about doing this is if the image itself or the infographic is really impressive artwork, or if the focus of the piece really lies in that artwork. It will make more sense to give some context.
This example I’m giving here is a piece from Invaluable where they created these art memes. And to me, this is something where you want to show a visual example because that’s going to help hook the reader.
Tip #7: Be Prepared to Go Above and Beyond
Always be prepared to go above and beyond for your prospect when you’re conducting outreach. A lot of the times they’re going to be asking for stuff like embed codes, or they’re going to ask you to cut your infographic up into posts. Be prepared for that, because you want to make it as easy as possible for them to link. That’s the name of the game.
Tip #8: Offer a Custom Post to Control the Link/Anchor Text
You might even want to consider offering to write a custom post for them. This is a really good way to actually control the anchor text, and the actual links that you include on their posts that they’re posting. The one thing that you want to do make sure you avoid is, if they ask you for a reciprocal link.
That’s something Google doesn’t like. And it’s not going to benefit you, it’s not going to benefit them. So just remember, try to make it as easy as possible, as turn-key as possible for that.
Hopefully you guys heed this advice. We’ve been doing this for seven years, and you know, humblebrag, the people at BuzzStream has said that Siege Media has some of the best placement rates and reply rates in the business.
We know what we’re talking about and I think it’s because we go that extra mile to make this stuff not sound like a template, to make it sound like we’re we are humans because we are, and always remember that on the other side of these emails, there are people.
So if you can read your pitch email and it doesn’t sound like something that you’d want to read, or you’d want to pitch your infographic, don’t send it. Rewrite it, make it sound like a human.