According to a study by MarketingProfs and the Content Marketing Institute, nearly 93% of marketers use content marketing today. I would even argue that public relations professionals whole job is about content marketing in one form or another.
I had the opportunity to look at content marketing from the PR side as well as the marketing. Regardless of who’s doing it, content is more than putting words to paper and hoping that someone will read them.
It starts with understanding the 5 “W’s” of Content:
Who will consume the content I’m creating;
What type of content will resonate best with that person;
Why are they motivated to seek out my content in the first place;
Where will that content be for them to easily find it; so
When they are searching or looking for that content, your content is front and center.
Oftentimes, we jump to the writing and neglect to clearly answer these 5 “W’s”. To ensure that each writing project is clearly define, I recommend creating a content marketing form template that is used prior to each content project.
I’ve found that this greatly helps clarify the purpose of each proposed content piece or to determine what gaps we have before starting to write one word.
What other “W’s” are there?
Over the past few years, I’ve counseled and assisted companies establish their social media programs. As I think back to these program, I believe there are four key stages intrinsic to the evolution of a successful social media program: broadcast, inquisitive, participatory, and conversation. While I don’t want to oversimplify this process – some organizations may skip or combine these stages – I do think this is helpful for framing the general growth of a social media program:
Broadcast stage:While we recognize that social media is about conversations and engagement, I’ve found that the first stage is getting comfortable with publishing on this medium. As such, the first phase will mainly be broadcasting – upcoming events, new blog postings, product announcements, etc.
Inquisitive stage: Once an organization becomes comfortable publishing on social media, the next stage is being inquisitive – asking others for their comments, feedback, including polls and other similar activities. From my perspective, this is the first step from broadcast toward engagement.
Participatory stage: It is at this stage that an organization moves from broadcast to a participatory level. In addition to promoting it’s own content, an organization begins recognizing the contribution of others. This includes retweeting, commenting, and sharing links to blog postings, articles and other content of interest to your followers/target audiences.
Conversation stage: This is the most intensive aspect of a social media program and most desired stage that all aspire to. At this stage, an organization is engaging in an active conversation with their audiences – responding in real-time to constituents while adding value.
Are there other stages to consider when starting a social media program?
I originally started my career in public relations before moving into the marketing function. Throughout the years, there are several skills that I’lve picked up that have been essential to my role. Here are the five key skills that I believe are a must for today’s marketing professional, in no particular order: Continue reading »
In the PR Group on LinkedIn (must be a member to view the discussion), some asked, “How do you justify fees to clients in an era of social media?” I believe many PR and marketing consultants have faced this as potential clients believe that social media is “free.”
I think there are two parts to this equation that we need to consider before answering the question, assuming that we’ve done the background work of evaluating target audience, prospect personas, and the channels where these individuals congregate.
So you’re launching your company in a few weeks. You’re focused on getting the product to work. If you’re one of the lucky ones who was selected to launch and can afford to go to DEMO or Disrupt, you want to make sure that nothing fails. But whether or not it’s debuting at a conference or getting noticed, there are several things that start-up companies can do to prep for a successful launch.
Continue reading »
When I first started in public relations, one of the main issues we faced was the rise of corporate websites – if our clients should do it, how and why. And yes – that was many moons ago. Cable television was just emerging so news cycles were more predictable with three broadcast channels and a handful of national newspapers. Dictated by days(sometimes weeks) – not the hours, even minutes of today’s always-on world – PR professionals could more easily craft, confirm and implement crisis management plans on behalf of clients.
Fast forward several years – the rise of CNN, Internet and social media has systematically shrunk the response times for managing crisis. What used to take weeks and days, now requires real-time responses in hours, if not minutes. Otherwise, brands risk seemingly minor issues quickly running out of their control. Here are three tips for managing a crisis in an always-on, social media world.
Media databases, such as Vocus and Cision, are great resources for finding reporters and bloggers who cover specific industries and topics. These databases helped augment the day-to-day research that practitioners did to identify, research and verify the best reporter for that particular news story or company.
While these databases have tremendous amount of information, not all of it is accurate or up-to-date. And this is where the problem begins. For companies and practitioners who rely solely on these resources, they cease to be “pr practitioners” and risk becoming “email spammers” as the pitches will be irrelevant and unwanted. Or much worse, being blacklisted by the very reporters they are seeking to reach.
Cece Salomon-Lee is director of marketing for ACTIVE Network, Business Solutions division, and author of PR Meets Marketing, which explores the intersection of public relations, marketing, and social media.
This blog contains Cece's personal opinions and are not representative of her company's.
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