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Media coverage can be fuel for great businesses, supercharging great products and brand marketing.

Links connect the web together and are foundational elements for strong organic search performance.

Combine both of these concepts with great content

First – what’s the connection between the three of these?

Google’s search engine was heads and tails better than incumbents when it launched, primarily because of their innovative PageRank algorithm that prioritized the importance of backlinks across the web.

Links allow for website and webpage discovery, crawlability, and authority ranking.

But acquiring links in a consistent and predictable way is the scourge of virtually every marketing manager.

This 4-part series will look at some of the most popular ways to create content marketing and digital PR campaigns that help acquire media coverage and backlinks.

1. Most Instagrammed

“The Most Instagrammed….” format is a fun and attention-grabbing campaign framework showing top Instagrammed locations around the world based on hashtags or location counts.

How to: Research and decide on a topic incorporating physical locations that are often Instagrammed. This means tourist locations, coffee shops, hotels, beaches, museums, and virtually anything that is popular.

Pro tip: Choose a category that is in many cities across the world or a specific country to make the campaign have a wide appeal and better chance at getting links.

2. Most Googled

“The Most Googled…” format involves researching Google Keyword Data based on cities, states or countries.

How to: Research topics with enough search volume in each locale to build a story around. Choose popular, fun, or surprising topics that tie in with your brand. Visualize the findings in a ranked list or on a map.

Popular example: “The Most Googled Artwork in Every Country”

3. Surveys

Running surveys is one of the most efficient ways to do a content marketing campaign. Choose a compelling question that creates uncovers real findings in the field rather than rehashing existing information.

How to: Use Google Consumer Surveys to poll 1,000 people on a specific topic.

Pro tip: Use a 5-point Likert scale when asking questions without a clear yes/no answer.

Take it further: Run 3 separate but related surveys to run a larger piece with different angles.

These are three very different frameworks that work for different campaign and topic formats. Align them well and watch your placements soar!

Would you live on an island off the coast of Australia for 6 months for a $100,000 salary?

35,000 applied, one won.

The real winner? The tourism board that launched the campaign and earned enormous media coverage and links to their website, strengthening their authority for years to come.

“By the campaign’s end, it has generated more than $200 million in global publicity value for Tourism Queensland.”

Proven frameworks, like dream job campaigns, have been proven to work over and over.

Dream Jobs are a Dream for Media Coverage

Dream job campaigns involve creating an interesting gig or job on topic with the brand. Make it fun and interesting with payment attached. Some journalists eat these up because their audience loves these.

How to: Publish the rules with an application deadline on a blog post. Pitch it to media and share on social media.

Pro tip: these don’t have to be 6-month, 6-figure jobs. A few hundred dollars for an easy but fun gig can attract people just as easily. I haven’t seen a direct correlation with job payment and success, but don’t be too stingy either.

Take it further: Make applicants write a very short application letter, and judge applicants based on fit and writing quality. Have the winner write up an entire blog post on their experience.

Successful example: “Dream Job: Get Paid $2,000 to Become an Irish Coffee Judge in New York City this Winter”

Instead of starting from scratch, leverage what works and milk them until nobody responds anymore. What’s more, is these frameworks are cyclical. Journalists may be sick of dream jobs at the moment, but after a year they’ll be open to them again. Some frameworks never get old, as long as the creative hits.

Are you one of the richest fitness Instagram influencers in Germany?

If you’re not a German fitness buff you may not care about this list, but for a few million people who care about fitness and live in Germany and use Instagram this list is worth a click.

More specific content frameworks like this may not have global appeal but they can pack a punch in specific markets. Here are two niche campaign frameworks that work hard.

1. Ranked Rich Lists

Ranked rich lists is a more specific version of an old standby: Forbes Billionaire List. In your version, you create a list of the richest people in your particular industry that appeals to both audiences and linkarati.

How to do it: Choose a particular segment that matches your brand. Find open earnings data and other metrics to build the list. Add creative visualization to the list to make it appealing to reporters for coverage.

Successful example: “The 2021 Beauty Influencer Rich List” from Cosmetify.

Pro tip: Included influencers in the list to help spread the message far and wide.

2. Creative Renderings

With creative renderings, you find a topic like landmarks, dream cars, and historical buildings and create the rendering.

How to do it: There are different angles and variations of this method – you can do recreations of structures that once were, you can mash up different car ideas, or you can dream up futuristic products that you’d love to see.

Pro tip: These can be very expensive to produce as creative rendering artists are hard to find – I’ve tried. If you find one lock them down and treat them well.

Successful example: “6 Ruined Castles Across the UK, Reconstructed” from NetCredit.

These frameworks are more concrete and actionable than ideas like “create an infographic” or “do a survey”. Would one of these frameworks work for a brand you help market?

Does getting interviewed by a local news station improve your website sales?

It depends.

Media coverage can be transformative for companies – but a lot depends on the outlet, the number of actual viewers, and the audience fit with the brand.

These two final content frameworks can help you get media coverage from local, national, and global news stations.

1. Best {Factor} Maps

Maps help humans make sense of the world. They help us understand geography, culture, and navigate the differences between civilizations. You’ve seen these maps that show the best, most popular or any other ranking factor by city, state, country or other locale. They are instantly recognizable and engaging.

How to do it: Choose a factor that can be applied countrywide or worldwide. Get the data and map it!

Pro tip: These work wonders for news outlets in those locales. Try to include cities and countries that care.

Successful examples:

  • 52-Week Around the World Trip in Perfect Weather (
  • Every Country’s Best Rated TV Shows (
  • The Degrees of CEOs (
  • Most Popular Pokemon ARound the World

2. Best Cities/States/Countries Indexes

This framework is my current obsession. I love remixing data points from multiple sources to understand which locales are the best at certain factors.

How to do it: Choose your topic and ranking factors. Gather proprietary, governmental and alternative data. Have your economist and data analyst merge the data and weight it in Excel. Present your rankings with a solid methodology section.

Pro tip: Large cities work best for most campaigns. The average reader cares more about where Austin or Miami rank on the list, not some random town in Kansas.

Successful examples:

  • Best Crypto-Friendly Cities Ranked (moveBuddha)
  • Best Cities for Naked Gardening (LawnStarter)
  • Best & Worst Cities for an Active Lifestyle (WalletHub)

Be careful with these – they’re so powerful that if they fall into the wrong hands, they can be unstoppable.

Joe Robison

Founder & Consultant
Joe Robison is the founder of Green Flag Digital. He founded the agency in 2015 and has been heads-down scaling content marketing and SEO services for clients ever since. He is an occasional surfer, fledgling yogi, and sucker for organized travel tours.
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