Some of us don’t have a problem generating great content ideas. In fact, many companies and industries never have a shortage of great content to write about. But having robust content to market is just the beginning – just because you’ve got great content doesn’t mean you’re able to convey it in a way that your audience gets it. It still takes work to put that great content into a sellable package that keeps customers coming back for more.
Who is Your Target?
For those who are lucky to work in an industry where there is NEVER a shortage of great content ideas to pitch to the media, it helps with internal marketing production and media pitches. That being said, it doesn’t mean the way you package and pitch a story idea is going to appeal to everyone across the board. There’s always a conversation at the beginning of every pitch, every story idea, every press release or social media post where you discuss who you’re trying to reach. Why are you trying to reach them? A perfect example is the ABQ BioPark Zoo in Albuquerque, New Mexico. As with many zoos and aquariums, they know the target audience is moms between the ages of 25-35. This key demographic is crucial for them when they think about content marketing. Sure, they would love every post, every story and every video produced to have mass appeal and get picked up by national media. But you can’t think that way in the beginning. The core audience rewards them by continually coming back and bringing their families. If Albuquerque doesn’t appeal to the core audience first, then the city would miss the foundation of its key audience.
No matter how great your content is, don’t forget the key demographic you have got to cater to. They are your loyal customers who will keep coming back for more. If you’re able to reach beyond that, even better.
Keep a notepad with you. Sure, it may seem old school, but you should write down every great idea you have in your notebook. You can flesh it out later. Who knows, one great idea may just lead to another story with rich content. Keeping notes will help channel those ideas into one great space. You may not get to every idea at once, but you’ll get to it eventually.
How are You Unique?
One really great way to think of your content and what you choose to write about is to explore how you are unique. What is different about your company and what you offer to your clients? Are you making strides in the medical field or in the online world? Not everyone works in the online world, so what is it about your venue or facility that goes on behind the scenes? What do people not know about that they should? Wired Magazine exists because they predict the future of technology and software. They have a HUGE following because their content is interesting, and they find interesting ways of presenting it. They know exactly who their target audience is, and why they stand apart from everyone else writing in the techie sphere.
Tips for Selling Your Great Ideas
Once you have a great content idea, you’ll need to package it in a way that your audience will really respond to it. Here are some tips to get the most attention possible and reward your hard writing work.
1) Write a good headline. This is easily the most important thing you can do when selling your story. This is where marketing and writing/journalism come to a head. You can have the best story in the world, and if your headline sucks, nobody will read it. This is where Fox News really excels. Some may call it sensationalism, but it’s really just marketing. Look at posts or stories you’ve written that maybe didn’t get the traction you were hoping for. Try writing a new headline and reposting if the content is evergreen. You might be surprised at the new interest that is generated.
2) Switch Up How You Serve Your Content. You don’t always have to post a written blog. Post your knowledge and expertise in a webinar or a video. Invite guest bloggers on your site to share their insights. It doesn’t all have to be about you, but more importantly, about the content you offer.
3) Keep Your Measurements. You have to know what you’re audience is interested in. What are they responding to the most? It isn’t that everything you do has to be the same, but if you’re noticing certain stories or posts are getting the most attention, why deviate from that? If you hit on something that appeals to your audience, it’s worth exploring how to keep hitting that mark. The best example is with the zoo. They know when they have a baby animal born, media coverage locally and nationally skyrockets. It doesn’t matter what kind of animal, (although the newest baby elephant definitely generated more interested than baby snakes), it’s what their audience wants. Social media scores and web hits go through the roof. So rather than just announce a birth, they’ve started building upon that excitement as far out as they can to engage the audience and build anticipation. This tactic is working, and it’s also giving the other news more attention because they’ve captured media attention.
Not everything you write about is going to be a blockbuster, and that’s OK. Knowing your audience, keeping track of your analytics and finding your own unique voice will help you sell all of that great content that’s banging around in your head looking for a way to get out.