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How Content is Changing the Digital PR Process

Content is not only changing the way we think about digital marketing, but also how we execute it. Content has the power to convince and covert when done right. It can play a pivotal role in social, SEO, CRO and the Digital PR process. So much so, it’s changing the way we create content and devise our broader marketing strategies.

Content is now flipping the way Digital PR looks at campaign design, the sites that are sold into and even the process, from idea to conception.

What comes first?SOD- Homer-Simpson

Without great content, a digital PR will not have anything to work with, and what’s the use of great content if it isn’t seen? This is where Digital PR and Content work magic together. Content generates the story, Digital PR sells it in and together, the team works to produce interest, gain brand exposure and attain vital links from high domain authority sites.

So where does the Digital PR and Content process start?

First things first, a seasoned digital PR that can conceptualise a campaign and has a hawk’s eye for a story needs to be in the brainstorm session with the content team. Time and time again, we see great content that simply doesn’t have a hook for a site to feature, is heavily branded or doesn’t have enough of a pull for third party sites and titles to take interest. A PR will be able to contribute their creative insight, as well as see what angle they can sell the content from to determine how much success they can get from a piece of content. Do not involve a Digital PR at the last leg of the campaign.

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Make sure the content lead, answers these Digital PR questions:

Does the content serve the journalist and the readers of their publication? Most of the time, the content will work great on the site and give the consumer enough information to make an enquiry or a purchase. For the content to work for PR, it needs to be sellable to the press. Remember the content can’t be too brand heavy and it needs to be useful and topical to its audience.

Have you thought of formats? Don’t limit your campaign or your content sell in by just creating one type of content. Not every blog will feature an infographic, and some journalists will not have time to work with embedding codes. Give journalists and bloggers content in a variety of formats. If an influential site only works with their own images, make sure you have quotes and key takeaways from the content in word format.

Does the content have a clear story to sell to a variety of titles? Make sure you don’t limit or pigeon-hole your content to a select few sites. At the risk of the content feeling fluffy, try and be broader with your subject matter.

How do PRs plan their content sell in?

SOD- Plan mgmnt-plan-630x420Instead of having a new service or product to sell in, PRs have a piece of content instead. These are the elements of a Digital PR campaign that change when you shift focus to content:

The age old press release

Press releases are great to sell a story in, whether it be a new fashion collection, a brand launch, a company statement or product. When it comes to content, the story is already told. A simple pitch email can help elaborate on the content and its purpose. A quick quote from a key person from the brand could accompany the content to help link the story to the client’s website.

The press release could also simply become the content itself. If you are selling into sites that do not feature other forms of content, but favour the written word, this is where a press release would work. Remember, when writing a press release for content, have the journalist in mind and build the release for the journalist to simply paraphrase.

The list build and outreach strategy

SOD- HelloYour outreach strategy should be a brainstorm on where the piece of content could be featured. This should be touched upon when looking to devise the content, and again in the Digital PR strategy for sell in. Look at the typical places your brand is featured and the industry titles that the content could be picked up in. Then, start to broaden your outreach. For example; if you’re selling in a piece of content that touches on employment, look to broader lifestyle sites, business sites, recruitment sites as well as school and university sites that would all find the subject of employment interesting and newsworthy.

Link Priorities

Normally when a PR sells in a story, the links goes to the page where the reader can find the matching product or piece. When selling in content, try and not send them to a blog post that echoes what the journalist has already reported.  Look at linking to landing pages, area or category pages where the content doesn’t live, but still relates.

Key takeaways on making the content process work for Digital PR

  • Keep it newsworthy – a piece of content may be great for the client’s site, but it needs to touch on trends and what is happening today.
  • Keep it relevant – ensure that the journalist and sites have something to take away, and try and avoid the content being too brand heavy.
  • Keep the direction concentrated – if the content doesn’t have a clear point it will feel too vague for a journalist to feature.
  • Keep the sites varied – Do not pigeon-hole your content or your Digital PR. Look far and wide for where this content will go.
  • Keep the rest of the team and the client involved – the success of the Digital PR has the client and the content team to thank. Make sure you show what content has great success and what content doesn’t. This is a relatively new technique, so it’s important that the whole team knows what success looks like and how to recreate it!

 

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AUTHORED BY:

Jodie Harris heads up the Digital PR division at MediaVision. She has worked in publication relations since 2008. She specialises in bringing the rules of traditional PR to a digital platform.