For businesses accustomed to traditional marketing approaches, a shift to content marketing is not always easy. Great content marketing efforts require a somewhat different mindset — that of a journalist.
A journalist’s approach to audience and storytelling provides a useful model for content marketers. Three aspects of journalism are particularly useful for organizations to adopt if they want to make their content marketing initiatives successful.
Be an advocate for the audience.
News outlets know their audience — and they strive to cater to it. That begins with putting the audience first, every day. Identify the needs of your audience and integrate them into a content-fueled strategy. In this fashion, a business can build trust and engagement with its customers, leaving them feeling that they are understood and well served. With customers in control of the buyer’s journey today, this sense of trust is often necessary before a sale can occur.
Know what makes something newsworthy.
Before producing any content, or developing a strategy for producing content, a business should understand what makes a piece of information newsworthy for its audience. There are five basic considerations:
Significance. Always consider the significance of a piece of information: How many people or companies are affected? What is the potential impact? Taking this into consideration will help keep a content marketing focused on what matters most to the audience.
Prominence. Content featuring important people and players in the business’s industry can help grab the attention of the target audience and establish a sense of authority and credibility for the content itself.
Human interest. Emotion is a key component of great storytelling. Often a connection can be created with an audience by focusing on how a person was helped, rather than the virtues of its product or service. Creating an emotional bond can ultimately strengthen the relationship with the target audience.
Timing. Content should be timely and based on the latest industry news and information, rather than on a report that is no longer a focus of conversation.
Proximity. It depends on the industry and the business, but geography is often important. If the target audience is in a given geography and there is an event in that place, it makes sense for the company to create content that takes advantage of this proximity.
Mind the details.
When a journalist sets out to report on a story, his or her first mission is to find out who, what, when, where and why. This ensures that the story will provide a comprehensive look at the subject at hand. It also provides necessary as context.
Good journalists and news outlets attract and retain readers. Attracting and retaining customers with content marketing is not such a very different task.
If you have questions about the types of content that could help your business move forward, or using content marketing to connect with customers, let us hear from you. We can help.