How can I assess the authority of a media outlet?

When evaluating potential media outlets, blogs or podcasts, it’s important to critically assess if and how it will provide value to the client and support their strategic goals.

Clients have limited time and resources, and rely on us to provide our expert recommendation on the opportunities that will help advance their awareness in target markets and boost their credibility.

Factors to consider include:

  • What is the website’s domain authority? To easily track this, download MozBar, which provides instant metrics on any website or SERP.
  • What is the outlet’s monthly readership or number of pageviews?
  • How many followers does the outlet have on social media? How much engagement does the outlet receive on social?
  • How engaged are the reporters on their individual social media profiles? How much do they promote their own content?
  • How much are competitors featured on the site? What level of spokesperson did the competitor provide? For example, did the outlet recently run an exclusive interview with the CEO of an industry leader, or do they tend to just use packaged quotes from a press release?
  • If the client has been mentioned previously by the outlet, how much website referral traffic did they receive?
  • How targeted is the outlet’s content? Do they demonstrate deep expertise in the client’s target verticals?
  • If it’s a podcast, how many subscribers do they have, and how relevant are they to the client’s target audiences?

Communicating to Clients

After evaluating the outlet, it’s always a good idea to back up your recommendation with research to help the client understand you thought process.

For example:

Blog: I saw posts going back as far as 2009, however the site’s domain authority is very weak (score of 6/100). The author has 4 followers on Twitter, so doesn’t appear to have much of a following or influence. Given this, it likely isn’t worth your team’s time.

News site: The website’s domain authority is only 29/100, which is fairly low for a news site. They have a high number of followers on social, but very low engagement. The news content was fairly broad and generic, indicating that it likely hasn’t captured our target audience. These three signs point to the website not being an established authority in the technology space, so I recommend not dedicating the time required to pursue this opportunity.

Podcast: The podcast has 20K subscribers, and the show’s website has a domain authority of 80/100. The host has 15K followers on Twitter with consistent engagement, and he appears to be deeply connected in your industry (recently spoke on a conference panel, has interviewed several high-profile CEOs, etc.). Based on this, I’d recommend pursuing this opportunity.