Relationships Don't Matter

03/18/2010

Alone person  Relationships don't matter .. to some people. Bloggers like to build relationships with the people who pitch them stories; however, that is not always the case for content publishers like Jeffry Pilcher, of The Financial Brand. 

  • I'm a one-man show running two businesses. I don't have time for touchy-feely stuff. If I could spend my whole day "engaging with my readers," "joining the conversation" and doing phone interviews .. Sadly none of that puts food on my plate.

A few eMail exchanges and a comment on a Diva Marketing post might not a deep relationship make; but they opened a door that resulted in an interesting exchange and this blog post about how one publisher finds content for his online site. Perhaps you'll find a few ideas that will help you write your next blog post.

The Financial Brand_2  About The Financial Brand: The Financial Brand is a niched B2B online publication about banking and brand/marketing. The community has approximately 3,000 active subscribers who read about 50,000 articles every month. The site ranks about 135 on Ad Age's Power 150 list.

Monitoring The Internet & Social Media: Jeffry spends about 90 minutes daily reviewing about 50 Google Alerts, RSS feeds and Twitter searches that he's converted into RSS feeds. His search terms including: bank, credit unions, marketing, advertising, new logo, branding, promotion. He has invested many hours honing these key words. In addition, he also scans Twitter using the special columns in Tweetdeck. 

Organization: What interests Jeffry goes into folders. At the end of the week he reviews all and chooses the five he's going to write about. Although he posts five days a week (Monday through Friday) he usually sets aside time during the weekend to write.

Information relevant to his audience that isn't turned into posts are shared through Twitter @financialbrand. Jeffry has even posted his Twitter policy along with a few Tweet resources. Well worth a visit. 

Diva Marketing: What influences your decision to choose the stories for your publication?

Jeffry Pilcher: The #1 thing that will influence my decision to write a full article is the immediate availability of supporting images/artwork. As a publisher of a marketing/advertising website, it’s vital I have visual examples of what I’m writing about. Who wants to read about a TV campaign or billboard promotion if they can’t see what it looks like? Most press release fail miserably with this. I want your logo, pictures of the people quoted in the release, photos, illustrations, graphs, etc.

Diva Marketing: When you're working with bloggers do you do anything differently than when you work with agencies or brand managers? 

Jeffry Pilcher: I don't work with bloggers. In fact, I almost never work with anyone (for any reason). I don't usually do interviews for stories. I just don't have the time. It takes me an average of 4 hours to write an article already, without interviews.

Diva Marketing: When you find a lead from a blog do you do additional vetting to ensure credibility?

Jeffry Pilcher: I never rely on one source and I Google the heck out of everything. Of the four hours it takes me to create an article, easily one hour is spent researching. Also, remember: If I can't find artwork, photos or imagery, I won't run the story. But once I find the necessary graphics for my story, it's almost as if the sources become irrelevant. I can write my own review of what I see.

Diva Marketing: What advice can you give to bloggers, and other social media content creators, who want to gain exposure with online publications? 

Jeffry Pilcher

  • Make sure 100% of your content is 100% relevant to your audience 100% of the time. (I extend this rule to include ads.) If you do that, you can throw away all the other rules. 

There's a lot of noise out there about stuff like "engagement," "authenticity" and "transparency." I ignore all that crap. I'm running a B2B site. It's business, not casual, nor recreational. My readers want insights and information. Period. All I have to do is give it to them and stay out of the way.

If you feel that relationships are important in blogger relations take a look at this informal studyPulse of the Industry: Blogger Relations

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Comments

Great interview - the question I have is about relevant content. How do you know it's relevant if the readers aren't commenting? Personally, I get traffic, but little to no comments so I wonder if the title attracted them but the content missed.

I post surveys and invite input - nada.

Any guidance would be appreciated.

Posted by: patmcgraw on Mar 18, 2010 8:11:11 AM

@patmcgraw - thanks for your comments and your Tweet out about the post.

Your question is one that so many bloggers, Tweeters, Facebook-ers (is that a word?) struggle with especially if we are not a main stream brand.
Seems to me that you've done the most obvious by asking your community. Did you get any feedback?

I'm sure I'm not telling you anything new when I say there are "clues" to determine if your content resonates in addition to comments.
-bounce rate
-time spent
-returning visitors
-tweets, RTs
-links to posts
-trackbacks - does anyone trackback these days/
-off line communications: emails, calls, face-to-face conversations

IMHO comments can be over rated. It could be that your people want information (as Jeffry indicated) and not conversation. One of the most successful B2B social media strategies I know of is from www.indium.com. There may not appear to be a lot of comments but they receive emails and at trade shows the people make it a point to find them - talk about the great content, build relationships and yes, do business.

Good luck!

Posted by: Toby on Mar 18, 2010 11:48:17 AM

Comments aren't a very good indicator of "relevance." They are merely a measure of engagement. It's easy to trigger comments if that's what you're after. All you have to do is write a controversial post.

The metrics that matter for relevance: traffic, page views, pages per visit, new subscribers, unsubscribers, tweets and thank you notes.

The point of a B2B publication is to provide information, not to ask for input from the readers. They want you to do the talking.

Posted by: Jeffry Pilcher on Mar 19, 2010 4:05:11 PM

Enjoyed the interview. To have a "relationship" you don't have to become best friends with the person, they just have to feel that they can trust you and that you offer them value.

Posted by: David Enders, D.C. on Mar 21, 2010 6:47:28 PM

@Jeffry - thanks for responding to Pat.
@David - i love your description. it draws a line in the sand and takes the pressure off to be a bbf.

Posted by: Toby on Mar 21, 2010 7:08:07 PM

Wow! That's a great interview. It's very straightforward yet...I guess we should learn from those answers. I agree with customers needs information and insights so that's what should be given to them no more no less than that.

Posted by: Travel Purses on Mar 31, 2010 8:23:00 PM

FYI - I'm dropping Twitter as an arm of my overall strategy. About a year ago, when I had 1,000 followers, a news item I'd share would be clicked by about 50-75 people. Now that I have over 2,500 followers, fewer than 25 people click on a link to a news story. That's a drop from a 7% click-through rate down to 1%.

Twitter now has too much noise and too many people that are there to talk and now listen. Out of my last 100 new followers, about 15-20 are legit. Everyone else is "follower spam" -- people who have ZERO interest in hearing anything related to financial marketing.

Posted by: Jeffry Pilcher | TheFinancialBrand.com on Apr 26, 2010 10:57:29 AM

I also Enjoyed the interview. To have a "relationship" you don't have to become best friends with the person, they just have to feel that they can trust you and that you offer them value.thanks for this sophisticated blog..

Posted by: cars classified on Aug 26, 2010 3:27:55 AM

All you have to do is write a controversial post.

Posted by: Naples Classifieds on Oct 15, 2010 8:00:23 PM

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