Dave Gregory Blog Post - Media Databases

How to Choose the Best Media Contact Database in 2017

In Social Media & Online PR, The Digital Marketing Blog by SeanLeave a Comment

Traditionally the preserve of PRs, a media database has become an important part of the digital marketer’s repertoire of tools in 2017. Content & Influencer Marketing relies on having contacts and relationships to work with and a media database is the perfect way to find and filter these contacts quickly and accurately, potentially saving hours of work in the process.

So what factors need to be considered when choosing the best PR database? In this post, we’re going to look at some of the major players in the market and examine how you can find the best media database for your needs.

What Should You Look for from Media Database Software?

Firstly, you should ask yourself how you see yourself using any tool you’re going to invest in. Like any other set of tools and services, they will each have their pros and cons. Ask yourself about the needs of your role and how you see you and your team using the tool over the coming months/years:

  • Do you do a lot of influencer marketing alongside more ‘traditional’ PR? Are you primarily interested in finding bloggers? Or does most of your work involve journalists? Some platforms are better at finding influencers through social media while others are much more traditional in their approach and are better for finding mainstream journalists. When choosing a media database platform, you should take this into consideration. There’s no point in paying for a service that will find mainstream journalists if you’re going to be targeting bloggers.
  • How much data do you want? When choosing the right database for you, you’ll need to consider both the size of the overall database as well as the license you’re willing to pay for. Some will allow you to pay for access to certain countries while others will give you a worldwide database. Again, consider the type of work you do and the likelihood of you needing, say, access to the US database if all your clients or business takes place in the UK.
  • Take it from someone who’s been there and done that, make sure whichever platform you choose, you get a hands-on demo first. If there’s an option for a free trail, take it! Here at SiteVisibility we’ve recently switched our database provider and our primary reason for doing so was poor usability. So much so that it was hindering our ability to complete our work.
  • Consider your other business needs alongside the media database. Many of these platforms have other features and aspects to them as well that may offer you additional insights you didn’t even know you needed. Some of the best ‘complete’ marketing suites include Linkdex, Buzzstream, Moz and Hubspot and with these, you may be able to combine social listening, project & campaign management and PR distribution with SEO specifics like analytics, rank tracking and link analysis. Furthermore, if you choose a tool like these with extra features and benefits, you might be able to split the cost across multiple departments.

Vax Case Study

So, Which is the Best Media Database?

This is where we’re honest, and where personal preference has a big role to play. I’ve used most of the major players over the course of the last 5 years and have opinions on most of them; opinions which are obviously mine alone!

Throughout the years I’ve found Vuelio to be my favourite and the reasons for this are threefold:

  • It’s the most usable and intuitive platform I’ve used. This for me is one of the main things I look for when looking at choosing a media database for our marketing efforts. The ability to filter by various parameters quickly and simply makes a huge difference when you’re combining a press contact list.
  • It has a huge range of bloggers and influencers. We work with lots of bloggers and influencers here at SiteVisibility and although other platforms claim to have bigger databases and more researchers, I’ve found many more opportunities with Vuelio than I have with other platforms.
  • Distribution, Reporting & Monitoring. Compared to other platforms, we seem to have had considerably more success with our releases than on other platforms. Even the ones that weren’t so successful gave us solid reporting so we could learn from our mistakes.

Hat Tips

  • Buzzsumo is an excellent tool for a content marketer to find both influencers and to develop creative content ideas and campaigns. It’ll also give you a good idea of how competitors’ content is performing, helping inform your own decisions.
  • We use Meltwater Buzz for its social media monitoring. We’ve trialled their media database and while it seemed intuitive and simple to use, it doesn’t seem to have the amount of contacts as some of the other companies at the time of writing.
  • Cision. Not my favourite by any stretch but the sheer size of the database means it must be looked at by anybody looking for a PR database. If you can work with the clunky & difficult interface, it offers good opportunities for content marketing and PR.

List of the Major Media Databases

If you’ve got any questions about choosing a media database or whether you want some advice from someone who’s used a lot of them, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us on Twitter:  @sitevisibility or @davegregory42 or contact us using the form below.

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