Over the past 20 years, I’ve generated multi-millions of dollars-worth of editorial publicity for many brands I love. Media publicity was the best way I knew to build trust and credibility with your market and I believed it to be the one of the most valuable parts of your marketing mix.
But times have changed and today I have a new favourite marketing method… content marketing.
The truth is, today anyone can be a publisher. Just as successful magazines and newspapers publish content on a regular and scheduled basis, brands today must also be regular, structured and consistent with their content to succeed.
Content writers have been called ‘brand journalists’ because we find and tell the stories happening in your organisation. Brand journalists meet with your team and observe at meetings so we can communicate your subject well – even if we don’t have direct experience in your industry.
Bloggers can connect in a powerful way the media can’t, says journalist and chief-of-staff for a leading Australian media organisation, Rachael Jansen. Rachael believes forming an ongoing relationship with your audience is much more effective than a one-off media interview or story, unless you have a regular column or spot.
Because today’s sales funnel is different from the traditional model, publishing your own content to build a long-term relationship with your audience is the key. When you have your own email list of highly qualified leads, you can build a relationship with them over time based on trust that will eventually convert to sales.
Credibility is the main ingredient that media publicity can bring to your content marketing. If you get one good story, you can use it in your marketing again and again to establish credibility as a third party endorsement for your brand.
Find Real Stories from Your Best Customers
Find your existing customers who have most enthusiastically embraced your brand and who represent your ideal customer. Interview them to find out their real experiences with your product/service and document their stories to share with your audience as part of a long-term strategy.
This is what I do best – finding authentic stories and delivering them in an audience-focused way as regular content via the best channel to reach your audience.
“Start looking for authentic stories stemming from the real-life experiences, needs and desires of your existing customers. Get to know the individuals who are already writing about, talking about, and participating in the online communities you serve. Package those stories and the personalities behind them and start delivering them to your audience on a regular basis,” says Brandscaping author Andrew M. Davis.
Leverage Your Media Exposure
“It is completely unrealistic in this day-and-age to think that a few media surges are going to create long-term demand for your products and services,” Davis says.
“Brands can no longer rely on the one-hit wonder mentality of a traditional public relations campaign… You definitely need a new approach – one that enables you to build a content-based relationship, so that if and when the opportunity presents itself to leverage mass-media exposure, you’ll be ready…” You must be ready to leverage your media exposure by using it to help build your brand’s long-term audience of your own subscribers to your own channel.
“Traditional marketing consisted of a public relations strategy, an advertising and media buying budget, and the occasional hiring of a spokesperson to raise awareness of your products or services. Today, both an independent consultant and a multi-billion-dollar consulting firm can harness the same distribution channels to grow and maintain an audience for the content they create. This is a complete paradigm shift.”
Build Audiences for Your Content
News websites, blogs and e-zines have completely changed the way traditional media outlets operate, so your target media list will be much broader than it would have been 5 or 10 years ago.
Key influencers for your audience could be a media/news outlet, a popular blogger, or other brands already targeting your market.
Buzzsumo is an online marketing tool that can help you find the key influencers in your industry so you can target them to help you distribute your content.
The Importance of Content Marketing
“Content is by far the most valuable asset businesses can use, to not only engage and inform customers, but to increase traffic to their website and dramatically improve search rankings,” says my favourite authority on the subject, Jeff Bullas.
“According to the Content Marketing Institute, 86% of B2B businesses and 77% of B2C businesses incorporate content marketing into their marketing mix. In fact, more than 70% now create more content than what they did in the previous year, and the volume of quality content produced continues to grow.”
This blog series began with 7 Keys to Content Creation and has expanded into an eBook called: 11 Keys to Cracking Content Creation – solving the content marketing problem for savvy business marketers.
Leave your name and email address at the bottom of this page if you’d like me to send you my FREE eBOOK at the end of my blog series.