10 tips for creating smart and engaging content: Marketwire eBook
Congratulations! You’ve just created a thought-provoking, awe-inspiring and call-to-action-laden piece of content. ROI and back-pats, here we come. But then you let it sit there. Few people read it, nobody shares it and you’re the only one who tweets it. What happened? By rights, creating content that reaches the audiences we want to reach, grabs their attention and causes them to react in a positive way should be second nature for PR professionals and marketers; it’s what we’ve been trained do. But the demand from news consumers for content that is truly useful, interesting and engaging is so great, and the need for it to be portable and customizable is so ever-present, our jobs are not always so easy.
Today, most people get their news and information from a wide variety of online and offline sources and it’s no longer best practice to think only about news editors and journalists as your prime targets for distribution. To get real mileage from our efforts, we need to move our news through multiple channels simultaneously, combining traditional media reach with penetration into social networks. We need to make our content interactive and shareable, and we need to consistently rethink where our audiences are. By rethinking how we share content, it will help to improve audience engagement. Mom was right: Sharing is a good thing.
Marketwire’s free eBook, “Mastering Audience Engagement: Reinventing Your Role in a New Media World” is a great resource for communicators looking to bridge the gap between traditional and social media relations and better understand and succeed in the new media environment.
Here are 10 tips and insights taken from Chapter 4, “Share. Hello, My Name Is…”:
- People aren’t tied to a single news source, or even a handful of them, and because it’s so easy to switch from one to the next, it’s crucial that communicators define audiences much more tightly and then speak to them in their “channel of choice.”
- It’s important to remember that traditional media still has a contingent of loyal followers. So if you identify that a segment of your audience is still reading online or even offline publications, and turning to broadcast media, you may still want to incorporate press release distribution, offline marketing and advertising, and traditional media relations into your plan.
- Whether distributing to traditional or new media audiences, you always need to think about making your content shareable—and share-worthy. A social media press release makes it easy to include photos or video, add tags and include links back to your website and content, add sharing functionality, keyword navigation and RSS.
- Rebecca Lieb, a globally recognized expert on digital marketing and media, explains that the Web has had an interesting effect on press releases: “Press releases used to be a private dialogue between established, traditional media and public relations professionals. Now when a press release gets distributed, it’s published. There’s a whole new atmosphere when information goes digital. As a result, you need to build releases differently.”
- Having an archive of content, including optimized press releases containing important keywords and information can drive journalists to your website to engage with your company and spawn other stories, conversations or transactions. Websites can no longer function as digital brochures—static content does nothing to enhance engagement.
- Readers aren’t just looking for a couple pages of text. Adding digital assets such as photos, videos, audio files or graphics can crystallize and add depth to your message, and increase your odds of having your content read, watched and shared. Let audiences experience your news, not just read it.
- When creating content or thinking about ways to distribute and share it, approach every opportunity with the question, “How can I make this more visual, interactive or engaging?”
- Cisco estimates that by 2013 more than 90% of all IP traffic will be video. It’s no surprise. Short videos can be embedded easily on blogs and Facebook pages, making them a huge part of what goes viral. And every day, more and more people consume information via tablet and smartphone, where visual content is crucial. If you haven’t already embraced video, this is a good time to start.
- When considering the digital neighborhoods in which you might want to hang out, The Conversation Prism (courtesy of Brian Solis and JESS3) is a good reminder to think beyond the big three—Facebook®, Twitter® and YouTube®—to find out where your audiences are interacting and participating the most energetically.
- The debate about putting valuable content (such as eBooks, white papers, research reports and the like) behind a registration requirement comes up again and again. David Meerman Scott says the “To gate or not to gate” debate is bit like debating religion or politics—each side believes strongly in their position and many are eager to argue passionately for their side. It really comes down to goals. Do you want to gather email addresses? Or would you rather have as many people as possible exposed to your ideas?
For more great tips and insights from some of today’s leading experts in digital and social media, be sure to check out the entire eBook, “Mastering Audience Engagement: Reinventing Your Role in a New Media World.”
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