Content marketing has morphed from managing a company blog to building entire brand newsrooms and content libraries curated by an outside public relations agency or social media management firm.
So why does your company need content integration and a newsroom?
For starters, a strategic social media campaign will be extremely bare boned without solid content to back it up. Content is a critical part of any social media campaign today. At least two-thirds of your outbound social media posts should include backlinks to content that is generated by your company and lives on your site.
According to marketing expert Neil Patel, brands who succeed at content marketing experience 7.8 times more site traffic than companies who are not crafting compelling, valuable content.
This eight percent increase in eye traffic on your brand is one of the many reasons why every company should create a solid digital footprint and integrated content marketing strategy. A well thought out content strategy helps prospects find you when they are looking for your services. It also helps your bottom line if your content answers sales questions that representatives previously answered by phone. Additionally, great content creation will position you as an expert in your field more than a traditional press release ever will (press releases are dead). Well thought out content will also give you the trust that you are looking to build with media, and it provides media with usable snippets they can pull into articles.
Establishing a content library or newsroom takes a lot of work and a lot of content. However, if you already have a public relations firm or social media management firm, they can help create content for you. This has become a critical function of the PR department as the lines between PR, social media, and marketing becoming further blurred together. If you already have retained a firm and want to try getting more bang for your buck this month, try having your PR firm work on content marketing for you, rather than pushing out traditional press releases—which, by the way, no one reads anymore.
Here’s how content marketing—in partnership with PR and social media pros—can boost your marketing efforts in 2017:
What’s a Content Library? All highly successful brands have built a well-planned and executed “content library.” Also called a “newsroom,” this digital information storage space includes everything from press releases to white papers, infographics, images, and videos. In fact, Fortune 500 companies build, populate, and administrate completely separate websites just for journalists and editors. Mobile giant T-Mobile has three: 1) a consumer newsroom; 2) a media center for journalists; and 3) a social media “home” or library.
“Use content as your currency to create marketable content your prospects are seeking.”
What kind of content should I write about? Consider the journey your ideal clients follow to find your product or service. Go on a treasure hunt to discover all the keywords your current clients and potential prospects use to find your company and solve their problems. This includes long-form, problem-based keywords, solution-based keywords and casual language.
Tip: Use Buzzsumo to research the most highly shared articles in your industry to get ideas for what topics you should be writing about.
How can my publicist help me curate a content library? Public relations agencies and social media management firms know exactly what your content library should (and should not!) include. Your content library needs to provide solutions to your customers’ and prospects’ greatest challenges. If you deliver smart content to help make them become informed decision makers, then you can expect more highly qualified purchase decisions resulting in ideal new clients.
Don’t have a newsroom yet? One way to build a content library quickly is to repurpose old press releases by transforming them into blog posts, which can help secure backlinks and increase SEO.
Where do I distribute content? What’s the point of creating an entire content library if you don’t distribute it correctly? Once your content library is in place, make it available to as many distribution points as possible. This includes your company’s newsroom, blog, email marketing, and all social media accounts—even Facebook Live or apps such as Snapchat and Instagram. All this fresh and “repurposed” content should attempt not just to entertain, but to educate, enlighten, and go for “direct action” so your brand sees immediate results. Be sure that your content can be easily redistributed by your brand’s fans and followers so it is easily shareable for consumers.
Need to create content quickly? Go to your sales team and have them ask current clients what they’d like to read when it comes to your business and then create content to educate them on those subjects.
How do I hire a content writer? Public relations professionals and social media management firms understand how to communicate with your different client “personas” by working with media-savvy specialty writers. Need to attract millennials? Or, how about middle-aged women with a certain amount of disposable income in Westchester County (or wherever your business may be located)? PR and social media management firms work with many different writers to capture not only the mind, but the voice of your niche market customers.
Choosing the perfect content writer for your company is like a treasure hunt. Remember, PR and social media management firms can help you hire the best writers who focus on solution-based keywords.
How do I format content? Formatting content is equally as important as the writing itself. Ever click out of a web page or a story just because it’s too long or unreadable? Think of the many ways your clients or potential clients want to consume media from your brand. For example, millennials want “punchy” copy with short sentences and bold headings. Baby boomers usually prefer longer, journalistic style articles. And Gen Z? They want to watch videos on their smartphones rather than read stories.
Need to revamp your brand? Sometimes bringing fresh content to the boardroom table can revitalize old school marketing materials and breathe new life into your brand.
The bottom line is this: Your brand’s content should help solve your prospects’ greatest challenges. With a well-executed content library and consistent distribution, your company will stay top of mind and be positioned as a thought leader in your industry.
Kris Ruby is the CEO of Ruby Media Group, a Public Relations and Social Media Agency. Kris Ruby is a frequent on air TV contributor and speaks on social media, tech trends and crisis communications. For more information, visit www.rubymediagroup.com or www.krisruby.com