When people hear the term lifestyle, they often hear gimmicky, surface-level coverage focusing on fad diets and the latest trends. This is absolutely not the case, but with the number of brands trying to achieve coverage in this space, it can often be difficult to create compelling stories that top-tier publications and journalists want to cover.
Think of big-budget brands like Dove that create campaigns ingrained with social causes and people-centric stories, like the ‘Real Beauty’ campaign, to get people talking and generate coverage.
By adopting a data-driven strategy, you can combine this with a touch of creativity and human interest to create stories that people want to read and journalists want to cover. By working with the data first, and allowing this to generate the campaign idea, brands can generate validated stories.
Read on for several actionable tips to create better data-driven stories regardless of your budget.
What should be considered during ideation?
The idea can ultimately make or break a campaign. When you’re ideating for a campaign that you would like lifestyle journalists to cover, there are a couple of key areas to consider:
Who is your target audience: what kind of topics are they interested in? You could use data-driven insights to calculate what kind of publications they read, and where they read their news – online publications/via social media.
Which topics make sense to align with based on your brand. Link relevancy is extremely important when it comes to developing a digital PR campaign, so you want to be generating ideas that will allow you to get links from relevant publications that are also topically relevant.
Campaign feasibility: has this methodology been used before? Having an idea of successful methodologies that are based on accurate and trustworthy data sources will allow you to replicate and improve on these to create campaigns that align with your brand. Think about how you will retrieve this data, and how you might visualise this to suit your target audience.
I’ve got my data – now what?
After pulling the data you will draw upon for your campaign, it’s time to analyse the data and start thinking creatively. While data can often provide a strong backbone for the story, it needs additional work to turn it into something of interest.
Check your data for trends and headline stats: is there anything in the data that is the driving figure/statistic? Often, your data analysis will give you a key statistic or trend that can be explored to draw conclusions about the topic.
When creating the story, think about the publications you’re hoping to target, and even the specific journalists. By writing in a way that emulates their style while retaining the core messaging of your brand, you can create a story that’s a more natural fit for the journalists you’re targeting.
Consider the wider conversation: if your campaign is reactive or adding to an existing dialogue, what are you adding to the conversation that hasn’t already been said, or said in the way that you have? Consider your target audience and how they’re reacting to this topic. What kinds of story angles are they aligning with? What are their core beliefs?
How to appeal to real people in Digital PR
Creating compelling stories out of data often relies on tapping into human emotion, by developing stories that cause the reader to feel something, they are much more likely to engage with the content.
By considering a couple of different strategies to evoke these feelings, you can create campaigns with talkability and shareability. The most important campaigns translate into points of conversation and sometimes divide, there are a couple of ways that you can do this:
Highlight specific points of contention in your data and use them as headline stats to reel people in, generational points of contest work particularly well
Highlight the ignorance of specific audiences – for example, 1/3 of Gen Z aren’t aware of the Beatles
Hijack trending news stories and tap into human interest – there are certain topics that people are naturally interested in, and those in the current news cycle tend to draw significant attention. Newsjacking should always be done with care – one misstep or failure to read the room could leave you and your campaign in hot water!
Data visualisation is key, especially when you’re working with complex data sets that are multi-layered. Working with a designer or developer that can assist with visualising these key statistics in a way that is digestible and entertaining is vital for ensuring that your campaign is clear.
Graphics and GIFS allow the reader to digest the information at a glance. In an age where we skim read and allocate small windows of attention to the content that we consume, data visualisation can make all of the difference in your campaign message reaching the target audience or not.
Again, it’s worth thinking about the types of publications you’re targeting here and where they display their coverage. For example, some publications prefer ‘slider’ style informative graphics that they also share across platforms like Snapchat. Depending on your target audience, catering your data visualisation to key publications can pay dividends.
How to find the right journalist for your story
After establishing your idea, method/source of data, creating a data-driven story, and generating effective visualisations for this, it’s time to work up to launching your campaign. We’ve already thought about what kind of publications we want to target during the ideation phase, and our idea and topic are geared towards the publication and its target audience, which also aligns with our brand target audience or at least overlaps. Here are some tips to ensure your campaign lands:
A lot of different subject matters come under the umbrella of ‘lifestyle’, so it’s really important to make sure you’re targeting the right journalist for your specific story
In the lead-up to the campaign launching, set Google Alerts for the lifestyle topic your campaign is focused on to increase your chances of newsjacking
Keep your media list up to date. Journalists move around a lot so it’s important to not rely on your old ‘lifestyle’ lists and create a new list for every project you’re working on
Adapting campaigns for cross-channel suitability
Data-driven digital PR campaigns can be used as focal pieces of content, with slight adaptations to increase suitability across channels, which can work as part of a wider organic performance strategy. Securing coverage from target publications not only benefits SEO, it can also drive brand awareness, build authority and get you in front of your target audience while delivering content that engages through informing and resonating with the audience.
Digital PR campaigns can be strategically combined with influencer marketing and social media to create meaningful and amplified engagement between the brand and its target audience.
Example: The Bottle Club
This campaign by JBH for The Bottle Club achieved 115 links in total and a 600% increase in sales as a direct result of the campaign. It also increased the keyword ranking of ‘espresso martini bottle’ from position 100 to position 6, and ‘espresso martini in a bottle’ from position 100 to position 25.
Using digital PR for lifestyle coverage not only has benefits for SEO but can also lead to increased brand awareness and increased sales. This is a great example of tapping into a topical conversation and evoking human emotion to develop a shareable campaign that has an impact.
Audience is everything – creating a campaign that delivers your brand messaging in a way that is enticing to your target audience is incredibly important. This also informs the publications you outreach to and the topics that you focus on
Create stories for people – human emotion and interest should be at the heart of data-driven campaigns for securing lifestyle coverage
Lifestyle is a broad umbrella term – ensure you’re targeting the right journalists for your story
If you want Honcho’s Digital PR team of experts to support your lifestyle campaigns, get in touch today.