In the brief amount of time it takes to read the first two paragraphs of this post, an incredible amount of new content will be made available online: 3 million Facebook posts, 1,500 articles on WordPress, 500 hours of video on YouTube, and 4 million Google searches.
To stand out in this cacophony of content, each piece of content generated by the PR team must be strategically conceived and executed to reach the right people at the right time.
Here are a few steps to help in planning.
Start with research
To stake a claim in today’s overwhelming media pool, research must go a step beyond just following the hottest story of the day.
The words used in an article’s title, meta descriptions, and article body have to be crafted with search intent to gain traction. Incorporating proper keywords will drive traffic and help with rankings, which is especially true when it comes to long tail keywords (phrases or terms with three to five words or longer). A HitTail study found content that shows up on Google with long tail keywords has a 2.5 times higher conversion rate, and is ranked up to 11 positions higher.
Employ tools such as Ubersuggest that make it easy to see exactly which terms are driving in traffic, while measuring important factors such as competition and cost per click (CPC). The system also shows which keywords a brand’s competition is targeting and suggests alternative and related phrases for improved rankings, and ultimately, more engagement.
Back decisions with data
To help make pitching strategies more appealing to target publications, PR teams need to employ data. Use data to know exactly whom to pitch to, and determine which journalists are most likely to engage, to get content into the right hands more efficiently. Make sure the PR team knows how to access the tools and data it needs to stick to any data-driven process developed in-house.
Connect with the right influencers
While influencer marketing is huge in today’s media cycle, it is not necessarily the biggest names and accounts that deliver the best results.
Yes, working with big names in the industry will boost a story’s reach and engagement. However, the bigger an influencer’s audience is, the less focused their demographic tends to be. If the brand being promoted is focused on more niche markets, or simply wants to connect with a small segment, collaborating with the obvious picks may not be effective.
The solution? Work with micro-influencers (averaging less than 30,000 followers or active blog readers). A HelloSociety study found micro-influencers tend to have 60% higher engagement levels than influencers with massive followings. This is often because their content is more focused on specific genres and topics, providing the brand with the opportunity to reach an intensely engaged and interested audience.
Encourage authentic sharing from within
With public trust in the media at an all-time low, PR teams must find a way to ensure their content is perceived as trustworthy.
Enter authentic sharing. Nielsen’s Global Trust in Advertising survey confirmed people tend to trust people more than they trust brands. Individuals are more likely to assign a greater trust value to someone they know, versus an ad or sponsored story.
In many cases, employee advocacy can be even more powerful for propagating trust. Rather than relying on just PR and advertising, brands can take matters into their own hands by encouraging firsthand shares from within their own organization.
When employees share content or their own personal insight from an insider’s perspective, people tend to listen. According to MSL, brand messages reach 561% more people when they are shared by a member of the team, rather than through the company’s own channels. These posts can also help build positive branding and increase web traffic, causing firms that actively integrate employee advocacy programs to grow faster than those that do not.
The key to creating a successful employee advocacy program is to ensure shares are truly authentic, not forced. To do this, brands must understand their employees’ and partners’ motivations behind sharing.
PR teams should understand how each piece directly benefits the organization as a whole, and provide employees high-quality, informational, and useful content they’d be proud to share.
Staying relevant and getting noticed in the hubbub of today’s media cycle requires PR teams to be exceptionally strategic and efficient in their approach to content – not only in the ways it is created, but also in how it is distributed. By taking the time to research keywords, media outlets, influencers and their own teammates, the entire process turns into a data-driven strategy that is sure to bring results.
Need more information on how to create killer content: Check out further information here