Content marketing involves implementing strategic marketing tactics to deliver timely, relevant content on a consistent basis. The goal is to attract a targeted audience who keep coming back for more, where your brand can more easily swoop in and entice customer's to take specific actions that result in revenue.
In order to have an audience that gets "attached" to the content you produce, you need to be considered a newsworthy source of up-to-date information on the latest trends, issues and solutions related to your industry.
Here are five ways content marketing can improve your brand's newsworthiness.
In order for your news-related content to thrive and connect to your audience, it is absolutely imperative to be consistent in publishing content. Frequency is key. Publishing frequently means your brand is taking news seriously.
Over time it can establish your company as an authoritative news source, and through it attract journalist's, arouse curiosity in prospective clients and give general information-seeking types a reason to remember your brand. Posting frequently on any topic also adds SEO weight to your website which improves your online presence, which naturally brings more organic searchers to your doorstep.
Highlight Your Industry Not Your Company
Positioning yourself as a thought leader is a precarious task. Becoming a thought leader means publishing frequent, or at least semi-frequent, posts that highlight your industry without being promotional. In some cases it might be a good idea to not mention your company at all. This involves exhuming a high level of unselfishness.
A good example of a brand dishing out unbiased news pieces without exposing their agenda is Prudential's news section. The headline's located above the fold, including the content therein, have zero to do with Prudential as a company and everything to do with the major concerns and dilemmas faced by their audience. And because of this fact, they are allowed to balance the scales by placing a Reuters feed of the company's recent press releases below the fold for those interested.
The point is this: If you put the limelight on yourself and your company to the point where it becomes overbearing, you're almost guaranteed to lose trust from potential leads. For news pieces, the focus should be on your industry, not your brand and its services.
Mix With Industry Topics Trending On Social Media
If you have a strong social media presence, take notes. Leverage the power of social media platforms to make reading news a more personable, relatable experience for your audience.
Check out Lenovo's newsroom.
Scrolling down the page it becomes obvious that social media is a major part of their news' content strategy. It includes Twitter tweets, Facebook posts, Instagram pics and even Youtube videos.
The company is basically re-purposing social media content, both their own and that of industry thought leaders, to shine light on what's trending in the industry. It includes a healthy mix of industry news but still manages to advertise their own products in an enjoyable way that isn't salesy.
To match Lenovo, start by scrolling through social media posts made by employees and others within your company's organization. Look for things that highlight the current state of the industry. If you don't have a ton of people on your payroll, you can also look outside to post's made by authoritative industry figures, bloggers, fan-made websites and social media pages to uncover who is posting about you, your company or your industry.
Slip social media posts into regular blog posts, capitalize on the good things customer's are saying about your brand and leverage the insight of others to make the most out of your content marketing strategy and its approach to trending news.
Swap Press Releases for Featured Stories
As you saw with the company examples above, most brands with a section of their website dedicated to industry news will use press releases to highlight the latest company happenings.
While there's certainly nothing wrong with showing off recent company achievements, the problem with having a feed of press releases near news is that press releases can be, well, to put it lightly, sort of boring.
And because most of your consumer's are looking for an updated dose of industry news, you might you want to try an alternative, like putting the focus on featured stories.
Featured stories, in terms of content marketing and news, are basically press releases wrapped in good stories. They're usually easier to read, give visitor's the information they're looking for but at the same time they maintain a slightly higher level of entertainment value for the consumer over traditional black and white press releases.
Take REI for example, as a company that provides quality gear for outdoorsmen, they use industry-related content as their main source of news. And while they do include press releases, what makes their news approach a little more interesting is that their news is made up of sub-sections of multiple topics with an emphasis on the employees who make the company work. It's positive, it's fun, it works.
And if you don't have a story to tell, make one up. The best stories are stories that make the reader's forget they're even reading one. Content marketing and entertainment go hand-in-hand, so give the people what they want.
While you want to infuse your brand's own personality into your content, you also want to write it for the reader. If you provide a source that brings updated and new information speaking to the trends the reader wants to keep reading about, you will build your following.
Being newsworthy doesn't mean trying out fads--focus on the solid use of interesting content that readers relate to and get attached to as part of their day to day reading habits. Not only will you be seen as thought leader, but your audience will want to share with others their source of engaging ideas and information about your industry.
To get your content front and center with your target audience, you need to know the details and habits of your buyer personas. Start crafting your buyer personas with our complimentary Guide to Creating Buyer Personas (it includes simple worksheets to walk you through each persona, too!).