Content marketing has been one of those terms in the marketing world that has been thrown about with a little ambiguity. Content used to get confused for guest posts, blog posts and social media marketing. If some of you are still unsure, content marketing is how you create a story, social is how you engage, and PR is how you tell it.
So it comes as no surprise that great content makes work that much simpler for us Digital PRs. Instead of telling a story through a brand or product, we now have something as solid as content to convince our influencers to feature us.
In the past, Digital PRs just had their press release and a product to work with. Content Marketing and Digital PR go hand in hand and content has become the weapon of choice for PRs… We need to look at what content is taking up column inches.
Content marketing for Digital PR needs to be newsworthy and fit in with the trends that people are talking about. This could be seasonal events, topics that touch on different cultures, or mini trends in a particular industry. For the content to be sold into press, it needs to be worthy of the journo’s by-line.
Look at the titles where you can see a piece of content featured and check that the content you’re thinking of creating is not out of date. There is a fine line between current and old in the world of digital.
A great example of topical content that has done well in online publications is Louis Vuitton’s The Art of Packing. The concept centered on how to pack a suitcase and used Louis Vuitton’s life hacks to help you make the most of the space given without creasing or crumpling your clothes. The content related back to their suitcase and packing feature developed on their site. The content was seamlessly shot and then uploaded onto their YouTube channel, making the content highly shareable.
The Art of Packing feature gained a substantial amount of press and links from publications such as Mashable, Pop Sugar, Life Hacker, CN Traveller, High Snobriety and more. This artistic piece of content teamed up with fantastic Digital PR was seen in sites for fashion and travel as well as industry titles and independent blogs. The content came in perfect time for the spring holidays and demonstrated how something very technical can look beautiful, allowing it to relate to a number of publications.
Content can come in a shape of a beautifully shot clip, an infographic or a great onsite guide. What content always needs to be, is relevant to the brand. A great idea that is full of creativity will only work if it links back to the brand, its positioning and to its demographic.
Instead of looking at the brand and the products or services it offers, look at what their consumers want first. American Gym brand Equinox hosts tips for their fitness fans to help them when in the gym. Their content ranges from lunchtime workouts to 20 minute HIIT training sessions incorporating yoga, boxing and the outdoor sports.
The content, which varied from guest posts and personal trainers to videos, gifs and timetables, was seen re-published on sites such as PopSugar, Sneaker Report, Reader’s Digest, Fitness Magazine and Teen Vogue. The content on Equinox’s site was featured across men’s, women’s, fitness and health titles and was aimed at anyone who was interested in keeping fit and safe when exercising – the perfect demographic for the brand.
Creating content sounds expensive in time and in money. If you have a client that doesn’t have the budget to create original content, look at previous content or campaigns that have been done in the past. Recycling an idea or a piece of content to be more relevant and newsworthy is a way to get press without going back to the drawing board.
A great example is from content champions, Sainsbury’s. Their ‘Feed Your Family for a Fiver’ campaign launched in 2008. The original, Live Well for Less campaign detailed recipes and products that the customer could take note of to help them cook a hearty family dinner for £5. The content has since been a main staple of their site’s guide for inspiration and food recipes section. In 2013, the brand gave a breath of fresh air into the campaign by recruiting bloggers and vloggers to try out their economy range.
This resulted in many mummy bloggers and vloggers trying the recipes out for themselves to see if they could create a dinner for under £5.
The great thing about this campaign is that Salisbury’s didn’t have to created new content just for it to be sold into digital press. They repurposed content they had already built up over years and recruited their PR team to publicise their recipes and articles on their own platform.
The partnership between content marketing and Digital PR is just more proof that integrated campaigns make marketing more straight forward and succinct. When looking for a new PR story for your client, keep the idea of publicising their content in mind. Live by the following Content-PR rules:
- Is the existing content still relevant?
- Where can I see this piece of content being featured?
- Does this content idea relate back to the brand?
- Will consumers find the content newsworthy, insightful or entertaining?