How to Turn Your PR Content into Clickable, Shareable, Search-friendly Stories
If you’ve been in public relations for any length of time, one big change you’ve witnessed in the past few years is the way in which people receive and consume content. Today, instead of controlled, one-way messages issued by companies to defined media audiences, communication has become a two-way dialogue. And your audience has grown to include new influencers like consumers and bloggers.
To be successful in this new world you need to keep moving with the times and the technology. You have to learn more about how the people who matter to you want to consume and share content. Yet contrary to what many say about change, it doesn’t have to be difficult, and it doesn’t need to limit your potential.
Turn Ordinary News into Engaging Content
Here are three strategies that will give you the insight you need to create content that your audience will want to share:
1. Research: Create a news strategy by knowing your audience. Track and monitor conversations and find who is interested in your news. Ask yourself questions about your audiences including: What do they care about? What excites them and what makes them upset? How can you help them or answer their questions?
2. Target: Be more precise with contextual news. Really understand what affects the lives of your audience. This will add depth and give your story greater focus and relevance. For example, is there a national, regional or local angle to your story that will create an emotional appeal?
3. Evaluate: Measure and apply best practices for your next story. Knowing the detailed habits of how your community shares and consumes content will provide you with important insights for additional content development. For example, you should carefully track which content works best by understanding what messages resonate, keeping all of your different audiences in mind.
Make Your News More Shareable With Earned, Owned, Paid and Shared Media
Audiences today get their news and information through a variety of channels, and in many different formats. In order to stand out and make a greater impact, you must offer different types of media experiences and be where your audiences congregate.
- Earned: PR is best known for earned media or the credible third-party endorsement. When someone else talks about your company’s products or services, his or her comments carry more weight than your own. Earned media can be editorial coverage, reviews and ratings, and comments from media, bloggers and influencers.
- Owned: When your company creates and hosts its own content, you have total control over it. This content can run the gamut from social media posts, blogs and website pages to brochures, eBooks, white papers and tips sheets, etc.
- Paid: It’s always been important to integrate PR and marketing for brand and message consistency; now we have a renewed focus on paid media. From sponsored social media content to paid placements with an editorial look and focus, paid media also includes pay-per-click advertising, display ads, influencer marketing programs, and social media promotions.
- Shared: Whether it’s your Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn properties, your shared media is a collaborative effort with your customers who are commenting and participating in your communities. They are openly giving their ideas and feedback to you, and having conversations in these shared communities, which is partially yours and partially theirs.
Get Your Content Found
Google is still the number-one search engine and the second largest is YouTube. With consumers relying so heavily on these venues for news, information and entertainment, you need to uncover the best ways to ensure your content is rising to the top. Here are five ways:
1. Provide your audience with unique, well-written subject matter that focuses on a primary keyword or phrase. But, no keyword stuffing is allowed.
2. Construct a network of quality backlinks, which means having links to your own content included in other authoritative content.
3. Refresh your content regularly through owned media channels. For example, create a thought-leadership video series for your website and engage popular industry personalities or influencers in a timely Q&A on your blog. Two more great places on your website to offer fresh content are your company blog and your online newsroom.
4. If you give love with links to other resources and share their helpful information, then you will get the love back in the form of links to your content.
5. Clearly present your call to action. If people find your content, you want to make sure that they know what to do next, and how they can engage more intimately with you.
Get Your Content Shared
Think about how many stories pass by you every day. Now, think about how many of them you pay attention to and you actually choose to share. When it comes to strategic storytelling and engagement, here’s what you need to know to ignite the sharing part of the equation:
- Make the topic something people care about and are interested in reading. Always ask yourself, “What’s In It For Them?” (WIIFT)
- Business headlines have the potential to be dull, so use creative techniques to make the headline indicative of the subject matter, but still compelling at the same time.
- Make text posts easy to skim and be very generous with your pictures and graphics.
- Position social-sharing buttons where they’re easy for any reader to see them.
- Be interactive: Share, like, and comment on other people’s content.
Use Powerful Visuals
We are highly visual creatures. If we see it, we tend to understand what’s being presented more easily and our learning increases. Consumers are flocking to social communities like Instagram and Facebook. Here are seven ways you can incorporate visuals into your stories to increase how much people share your news.
1. Be original and trade out uninteresting stock photos for original graphics and imagery.
2. Incorporate videos into your PR content mix as often as possible.
3. Find out what current events and trends your audiences are talking about and refer to them in your media content to make it more relatable.
4. Adapt your content to the context of its intended destination. Each social channel has a different audience, so modify your posts accordingly.
5. Encourage advocacy through participation with your audience. Let them post photos and share their content that supports your brand.
6. Find ways to add humor (where and when it’s appropriate, of course). We can all appreciate something clever that makes us laugh.
7. Don’t forget about Pinterest and Instagram. Include these image-intensive social platforms in your sharing strategy for their visual nature and for driving traffic to your website.
This blog post is extracted from the tip sheet “How to Turn Your PR Content into Clickable, Shareable and Search-friendly Stories.” Download the full tip sheet here.