All Content is Not Created Equal: 3 Things PR Can Teach Us About Great Content
May 10, 2016
Both PR and content usually comes with the same goal – to get your product, service or brand in front of your target audience, but when you’re competing for the attention of consumers with hundreds of other brands and businesses, why would your target audience want to read what you have to say?
Within this week’s Team Stream blog, we look at what Public Relations can teach us about creating great content (whether for a business’s blog, news section of a website or across social media channels).
Lesson 1: Stand Out from Your Competition by Avoiding ‘The Churn’
There are thought to be seven people working in public relations for every one journalist, with some editors and reporters receiving hundreds of press releases and pitches into their inboxes week in, week out. Sadly, many PRs continue to tread the same, well-worn path, writing and distributing press releases that are neither newsworthy nor targeted to the most appropriate contact within the right type of press. This approach is a sure fire way to guarantee that your press release gets buried in the competition and quickly finds its way into the editor’s trash.
Similarly, the level of competition that your website is facing is, if anything, even more fierce than the competition PR’s face when trying to get a brand into a targeted publication. In 2014 there were over 861 million registered domain names, so your website and its content is facing some serious competition for the attention of your potential future customers and clients. Of course, all 861 million aren’t in your industry, but hundreds if not thousands will be. Sadly, the majority of website content could live on just about any site in that industry and as a result has very little impact on its audience.
Whether you want to capture the attention of a journalist, blogger or consumer, instead of churning out a steady stream of content, blogs and press releases simply for the sake of making your website look up to date, stand out and earn your audience’s interest by delivering content that relates to and adds value to them. Remember, it’s not quantity but quality, which brings us nicely onto lesson two…
Lesson 2: Always Add Value
The crux of both good PR and good content is this: not all content is created equal. To attract your audience amongst the competition you need to bring something to the table that is of value – and value isn’t created by writing post after post or press release after press release about how great your products and services are or how much you raised in your latest office dress down day, it’s about telling your audience something new, interesting or helpful.
Placing value at the heart of all content and PR efforts is a best-practice approach centred around nurturing visitors to your site or readers of your PR materials with content that engages them. Ultimately, it’s meaningful content that will attract new visitors and serve to convert those visitors into customers, new customers to repeat customers and eventually repeat customers to ambassadors of your brand. This can all be achieved through content that not only informs, but delights.
Lesson 3: Target Your Audience
Of course, it doesn’t matter how unique and informative your content is if no one reads it. Target your audience properly at the right places at the right times. Who would be interested and why, which journalists and editors? When does the publication go to press? Daily, weekly or monthly? Find out so that you don’t pass on your interesting news and content after the deadline. Similarly, for your content, who would be interested and why? Make it relevant to them and upload and share pieces at the right times, in the right places and at appropriate frequencies.
Take a recent project we undertook here at Venture Stream as an example. Our aim was to get a client’s brand in front of consumers with an interest in sports. Things we didn’t do included writing a press release or blog post about the new products the client had in stock and sending it to every journalist we could think of. A new stock announcement generally isn’t newsworthy and certainly wouldn’t be of interest to most journalists. Instead, we targeted our audience and added value to our PR and content efforts by carrying out research in order to stand out from the competition. We found out (from information already out there and available with a quick Google) how much the Barclay’s Premier League’s top goal scorers earnt each week, then we calculated how much each goal that player had scored this season had cost the club. Now this, along with the client’s brand, was of interest to Yahoo! Sport, Daily Express, The Star and The Telegraph, reaching sports-interested consumers in their tens of thousands and achieving over 5,000 likes, comments and shares across social media channels.
This is just one example of how producing content with a unique added value to the target audience can create something that is of genuine interest, ensuring your brand and its products and services earn consumers’ attention ahead of your competition.
To find out more about how you can improve your PR and content, email [email protected]