Note: Yes, "role" and "roll" are different words, but enjoy this puppy roll GIF anyway. By Heidi Gammuac, Senior Content Manager | @TheAgencyHeidi
Creating content has become a much larger piece of the PR (strategy) pie, especially over the last few years. Where media relations used to be a higher priority, content has become an equal player.
Content’s rise to become “King” is due to the natural progression of the changing communications landscape. Organizations now have more access than ever before to channels where they can distribute their message. They are not limited to only blogs and social media, but have access to other platforms such as podcasts and newsletters. At the same time, newsrooms have become smaller, which has made securing traditional media coverage (aka media relations) increasingly challenging.
Here are four great reasons for an organization to generate its own content as part of its PR strategy:
- You can establish your expertise
Whether you are selling a product or service, chances are that you (or someone on your team) is an expert in your field. Publishing owned content is a great way to showcase this expertise. If a potential client is looking for a product or service that you offer, it is beneficial for them to see that you and your team know what you’re talking about and can help them with what they need. It can also be an effective way to promote yourself and your company, as journalists conducting research for potential stories search for experts to interview. By publishing your own content, you can not only tell journalists (and the public) about your expertise – you can show them.
- You can target your audiences
Creating and distributing content strategically can be a powerful tool for reaching your intended audiences. While many content marketers focus on the SEO benefits of owned content (of which there are many), especially from a keyword standpoint, engaging and creative content will always drive consistent traffic to your website. Plan on content that is not just bot-friendly, but reader-friendly as well. Search for topics that your targeted audiences may be looking up, or even ask your sales department what potential clients are most commonly inquiring about. Your content should be informative and useful to the audience you want to reach.
- You can plan on when and where to distribute your content
At The Agency, we create content editorial calendars for our clients. These calendars include both pieces that will be published on their own channels, as well as any articles that we would like to pitch as contributed content to targeted third party publications.
When we plan content for pitching to media publications, we make sure that the content is always editorial, and perhaps even relating to a story in the news. Other times, we plan content specifically for publishing on our clients’ channels because the content may be useful for their audiences, but it may not always be newsworthy. This also gives us more leeway in integrating more sales-oriented messaging for example, as you are able to do so on your own platforms.
Also of note: certain types of content can have more success on certain platforms.
- You can be creative
Having your own content program gives you the freedom to be as creative as you want to be. Media outlets usually have strict parameters for any submissions – which is understandable, because they must maintain journalistic standards. When an organization has complete control over the content it creates, the possibilities are endless: write a blog post (short, long, listicle, or prose), create an infographic, start a podcast, publish a white paper, or even start a graphic novel (much like our client Du Plooy Law has done). It gives you the opportunity to showcase not only your expertise, but also your personality.
Integrating content into your communications planning can lead to PR wins if executed properly and strategically. Have you seen great examples of owned content from other organizations recently? Let us know in the comments below, or tweet them to us @PRTheAgency.