August 15th, 2016
It’s no secret that your content can’t just sit there. You have succeeded in creating a content marketing strategy, writing the content, editing the content, and then you’re done right? Absolutely not. It’s time to distribute your content to reach your target audience.
There are many different ways to distribute your content; whether that means posting to your company blog, pitching it as a guest post, or maybe even converting it into a visual such as an infographic, ebook or whitepaper.
While many marketing teams produce great content, most don’t evaluate their content to see if it’s newsworthy. If creating guest posts or trending content is part of your content goals, the consideration of newsworthiness should be taken into consideration when crafting your content calendar for your content marketing strategy. Content marketing has shifted to journalistic content and now is the time to make the switch yourself.
Here are five things to ask yourself when brainstorming content topics for a content calendar to ensure your topics are newsworthy.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but the first thing to ask yourself is if there really is a true interest in this topic. If you’re in a unique industry, something interesting to you may not be interesting to others. It’s good to gauge in that case where the content is going.
If you’re planning on posting to a general interest publication such as The Huffington Post, you may want to consider a more general audience. If you are pitching a niche publication in your industry, the definition of “interesting” changes. Regardless, ask yourself if you’d read this article yourself. Would you find it intriguing? If not, why not? If so, why so?
Another way to verify if the interest is there is to use a content explorer tool. Search the keywords and see how many people are discussing this topic. You’ll want to make sure your content strategy is innovative, so you may see a hole that needs to be filled. Before deciding on any topic read further to make sure this topic is still deemed newsworthy.
Is it Timely?
Why would anyone care if you are talking about an event that happened years ago? In the digital age, “One day you’re in and the next day you’re out.”
We are receiving new information at a rapid rate and while I’m writing this article, Pokémon Go is probably depreciating in popularity and well, Trump is still around.
Evaluate if the content you’re writing is about a quick craze or something lasting you can cover. It can be extremely beneficial for your content strategy to comment on recent events and crazes, but it is not always something you can plan out. Leave gaps in your content calendar and be on the constant lookout in the news for what is new and fresh.
Something related to Clinton and Trump will give you some attention during the election, but a gaming trend may not. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t cover Pokémon Go, we sure did. However, you’ll need to be prepared for these very timely pieces and expedite it. Your content calendar will forgive you for pushing some content back, and your client or company will thank you for the great exposure.
Does it Have a Unique Angle?
Now that you have your timely topic that your audience is showing interest in, it’s important to offer a fresh perspective. Chances are, in the blink of an eye, several competitors are drafting up the same piece. It is crucial to offer an angle someone has not used before.
If I had a dime for every time I read an article about “XX Ways to Increase Productivity,” well I wouldn’t be sitting here writing this right now. Hello, private island!
There are some articles that are written so many times and for reasons I don’t understand. Offering a unique position when approaching a commonly written topic is often all you need to stand out. If I saw a headline of, “Why Eating Chocolate Increases Productivity,” I’d probably read it. I would.
Find ways to weave industry insight that your company has into these articles to set it apart from the rest. Not only will it increase your credibility on the subject matter, it will get a lot more attention than an over exhausted topic.
Will People Click On It?
Headlines are your best friend. Hug them. Love them.
If you are pitching your content to other publications, this is even more necessary. Crafting interesting headlines will set your article above the rest.
SEO-optimized headlines are great, but sometimes it is okay to step out of the box and craft a headline that will get people interested. If you’re posting on your blog, then sure stick to those keywords, just keep in mind that the media won’t work the same way.
I’m guilty myself of not reading an article because I read the title and got all my answers there. Find ways to jazz up those content titles and intrigue the reader to want to know more.
Does It Align With Your Industry?
The last and final question to ask yourself if it is truly relevant to your industry. There are plenty of ways to get creative and relate Game of Thrones to entrepreneurship lessons, but sometimes there is just too much disconnect.
Don’t pigeonhole yourself by trying to cover any and every topic that is in the news. Hone in on the top influencers in your industry and see what they are sharing, liking, and commenting on. Be a part of the conversation in your industry, be innovative, and be a thought leader.
The best thing you can do is be an avid reader. As this article from Ceros suggests, “One of the easiest things you can do is simply consume industry news. Subscribe to periodicals and relevant publications, follow major news outlets, and keep an eye on what other brands are producing.”
The key is to envision yourself in a newsroom and think about pitching your story to a news editor. Would they roll their eyes? Would they say that’s been covered a million times? In this scenario, do you think you could get them on your side by offering a fresh perspective, something timely and a piece of content that people will want to click on just from the headline? Then there you go! That article is a keeper. Run the presses!
Ceros states: “A good story is about something the audience decides is interesting or important. A great story often does both by using storytelling to make important news interesting. It does more than inform or amplify. It adds value to the topic.”
So feel free to geek out on Superman and look over your content strategy again. Now you have superpowers!
Author Bio: Amber Whiteside is the Media Relations Manager at Main Path Marketing. Amber grew up using Myspace and Xanga, which soon led to her passion for following social media trends and a love affair with writing. Amber went on to receive a BA in journalism with an emphasis in public relations from California State University, Chico. If she is not at home playing with her black cat Robb, she is typically out at a local music venue enjoying the sounds of one of her favorite indie bands.
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