If you’re reading PRSA’s Content Connection right now (hint: you are), then you obviously already know that content is important to your brand. It drives traffic to your owned media, growing your brand’s image and positioning you as the authority in your industry. It’s also 62% less expensive than traditional marketing yet produces almost three times as many leads. Companies have gotten the memo: content marketing is not that scary. It’s why 89% of businesses today include content creation into their strategies.
But with such widespread recognition of the value of content comes a crowded content landscape. Every minute, more than 400 hours of video are uploaded to the internet and each day, more than 2 million blogs posts are published.
So how can brands stand out? SEO is critical. Incorporating the right visuals is vital. But above all else, the most important aspect of content marketing is to realize that one strategically selected story that hits your audience’s sweet spot is stronger for your brand than ten off target ones.
Here’s how you can allocate your set up your workforce and allocate company resources to in order to find the stories that resonate with your audience:
Identify your brand’s key products and services
Right off the bat, you need to clearly and concisely list out the main functions of your business. Doing this will help you determine what subjects your brand can speak to, determine who your audience is and decide where to position yourselves as the authority.
Organize your staff like a newsroom
Don’t worry about hiring new staff or completely restructuring. Kick-start efforts by scheduling a weekly or bi-weekly staff content brainstorm. Inform them of the objectives of your brand’s content marketing efforts, and then set them off on their own to curate topics. At each meeting, staff members should come ready to pitch their stories. Greenlight the best topics and recognize your team member who brought forth the idea. With a process in place, better and better ideas will begin to flow.
Content marketing pioneer Mayo Clinic wrote the book on how to operate your communications team like a newsroom. Experts show how they do it in this video:
Connect your topic to something larger to help carry your story.
The easiest way to connect with your audience is to link your brand to current events, popular culture. It helps your content piggyback off the public’s interest in a subject, while also enabling you to sneak in your brand messaging. For example, you could use the buzz around a hit TV show to discuss a topic in your areas of expertise and authority.
Divide subject ‘beats” into key product categories and/or regions
Rather than having your whole team cast their nets broadly to find stories, divide teams up to focus on different subjects or regions. If your objective is to cover innovation and technology across an entire state, as is the case with TechOhio, you would divide your story searching efforts into specific regions, ie. Northeast, Central, Southwest, etc. to ensure no area is receiving inordinate attention and no area is being neglected.
Establish relationships with internal company stakeholders as your “sources”
The easiest place to find experts in different areas is on your own staff. Develop strong working relationships with folks from all areas of your staff to open doors for your content when an expert is needed. For content around the subject of measurement and reporting, calling downstairs to Kevin from your Analytics department is much more efficient than seeking experts from outside sources.
Implementing these five tactics in your brand’s content marketing strategy will help you come up with the strongest story topics that will resonate with your audience.
Now, what are you waiting for?!