This is how our data analysis of American taxes gained almost 200 linked placements from the likes of the Washington Post, USA Today, CNBC, Bloomberg, and the Wall Street Journal, and caused a state Governor to defend tax policies on live TV.
Self Financial is an American fintech company that helps people build credit and access finance who may not be able to otherwise.
They have worked with Root for 5+ years, primarily focused on gaining links in national publications and personal finance press to support their ongoing SEO strategy, also supported by Root.
This campaign sought to tackle the tough topic of taxes to engage adults across the U.S.
This digital PR campaign was successfully run in both 2021 and 2022, with the latter year seeing the data and content updated to reflect the impact of the pandemic.
We knew we wanted to answer one simple question with this piece: “How much does the average person spend in taxes over their lifetime?” From there, we worked backward with our content and data teams to highlight what taxes would typically be paid by the average person and how this differs across each state.
This point was very important as taxes vary greatly across America. While this made the data collation process longer, it also helped us to create an in-depth analysis with a fierce methodology that journalists ultimately loved.
As we have worked with most of our clients over multiple years this gives us the benefit of recreating past campaigns where we think there is a renewed news interest or news hook.
We’ve done it for Self with our streaming services analysis and found similar success with ‘Life of Tax’. We re-ran the study with new data post-pandemic, slightly improved our methodology, and outreached it to press once again, finding success with CNBC, various city and state-specific news outlets, and some political blogs.
To try and calculate the lifetime taxes that someone pays sounds like a daunting task, fortunately, there is a lot of publicly available Government data we were able to review to form the foundation of our research.
The study primarily used data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and Tax Foundation, among other financial datasets. These sources were key to ensuring our data was robust and respected by journalists, and we know from experience that financial journalists especially engage with this kind of content when done well.
Our data was then analysed, written up, and a state-by-state breakdown was helped with an interactive heatmap of the U.S. hosted on the client’s site.
- Across both years, the campaign generated 210 placements, 94% of this coverage included at least one backlink to the client’s site (198 linking root domains as of Jan 2023).
- Placement highlights included USA Today, Bloomberg, CNBC, The Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, The Balance, Fox Business, and a range of personal finance and local state news sites.
- It caused the Governor of the state of New Jersey to discuss the study live on Bloomberg TV.
- The campaign was recognised by industry peers and won the U.S. Search Award for ‘Best Use of Content Marketing’ in 2022.
- The page generated over 26,000 unique pageviews primarily from readers clicking through from coverage, with around 18% from organic search.
Governor of New Jersey TV Interview
After Bloomberg initially covered the story, the campaign further sparked a discussion on Bloomberg TV where they interviewed the Governor of the state of New Jersey about the data.
For those not up on American politics, a state Governor controls laws in the state and is referred to as the ‘commander-in-chief’ of the state. We were, of course, over the moon to see him discuss our study on Bloomberg, which hits over 310 million homes globally.
U.S. Search Awards Winner
In 2022, this campaign was submitted for the U.S. Search Awards and won the ‘Best Use of Content Marketing’ award hosted in Las Vegas. While it was nice to have a U.S. award added to our cabinet, the judges’ comments shouted about how our campaign ‘was more than just links, it added value’. You can see the full comments below.
We know, it’s not all about awards, but the team was super happy to see this campaign get some industry praise.