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The King is dead. Long live the King….

ImageEver since as far back as the 17th century newspapers have been the Kings of content; the number one source for news and stories. They have broken some of the biggest stories ever to happen in the UK; the sinking of the Titanic, the death of Hitler, the assassination of JF Kennedy and the first ever landing on the moon to name but a few.

Today, the newspaper is a dying breed – as rare as a bright day in summer.  Ever since Johnstone Press in Derby – one of the biggest newspaper publishers in the country, announced a large drop in advertising revenue, three years ago, publishers across the country have followed suit. Local newspapers have folded like falling dominoes and even a few national titles have been forced to fold. It’s not just in the UK either. Countries like The Netherlands and the US are also experiencing a dramatic decrease in their numbers of local and national newspapers.

It’s not that good stories no longer exist but that people are finding new ways of sharing their stories, more quickly and effectively. The days when newspapers were the kings of content are long gone and instead other forms of media are taking their place; blogs, newswires and social media. Newspapers are no longer the Kings of content – content has become the King of itself.

These days you needn’t wait for a pressing house to finish printing a newspaper for the next day, to read about yesterday’s news. Instead, you can access it 24/7 via the Internet and actually read stories as they break. On a smaller scale, people are publishing their own stories on their websites and sharing their news with niche audiences, without having to go to a third party ‘specialist’ to get their tales published.

Social media has provided the biggest threat to newspapers over recent years. This time last year the world first heard about the death of Osama Bin Laden but it wasn’t from The Daily Mail, The New York Times or The Washington Post. It wasn’t even from Sky or BBC news, who, like other broadcast news stations, have the ability to share stories more quickly than the printed press. Instead, it was via Twitter, where the story broke as it happened, quickly gathering pace through retweets content sharing. Within just a couple of hours there were 500,000 tweets globally about Osama Bin Laden, 796 blog posts and 507 published news articles online, way before any newspaper was able to print the information.

It’s no surprise that newspapers are becoming known as ‘old fashioned.’ However, many that continue to thrive, like our own Coventry weekly’s, do embrace the internet and are publishing a lot more news online, as they use the printed version to publish more community-based news. Many have made the transition to social media effectively and are sharing content with the right people as news happens.

The job of a journalist will always be in demand; fluent writing styles, a knack to reproduce stories in writing and the legal knowledge to avoid any criminality when doing so but so many more ‘ordinary people’ are now taking on that role as bloggers. The internet allows people to post news and comment via their own websites as self-publishers. Such opportunities have created small online communities who share content together, eliminating the prowess and clout that newspapers once held. As a result, content marketing has become the number one way for businesses and people to get noticed and whilst newspapers and the media still play a huge role in this process, it is a role that is slowly switching from print to online and only the big players in content marketing will keep up.

Make sure you keep up with the transition from print to online by asking Bridge PR to boost your brand through their knowledge of content marketing.

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Top Content Marketing Tips

Content Marketing: An umbrella term encompassing all marketing formats that involve the creation or sharing of content for the purpose of engaging current and potential customers…..

It sounds simple doesn’t it? But in practice, there are actually few companies out there who can create good content for their different marketing channels.   

Effective content marketing requires a strategic approach followed by detailed planning to produce “stories” that are engaging.  By engaging we mean stories that offer something to the reader through being interesting, informative or entertaining.  If they can be all three, then even better!

Identify your target audience…

Who are you looking to reach out to and connect with? What kinds of things do they want to be reading, watching and hearing? Just as any new retail outlet needs to find the right situation to construct a new store, you need to find the right networks to reach certain people. A DIY store is not going to open up shop right next to another DIY unless it has an impressive USP to attract new customers, just as you shouldn’t be sharing the same old content with the same old people time and time again.

You want people to be receptive to your content so find out what their interests are. Get to know the kinds of topics that excite them and create targeted content aimed at their needs.

Get your marketing strategy right…

You need to know your platforms well. These days, there are more social networks than ever before, and this market is still growing.  So make sure you are using the right network to get a specific message across. For example, if your subject is controversial, you can measure its response much easier through blog comments or Facebook comments than you can through Twitter responses. If you are after short promotions or quick web visits though, it is Twitter that can make an immediate short-term impact.

Develop your key messages…

What is it exactly you are trying to say? Find out what it is that your target audience is searching for on the web and cater your content around that. Much like when adding META tags to web articles to enhance SEO, search Twitter for relevant hashtags and buzz words to add to the content you share.

Do something different…

If you go to a Star Wars convention dressed as Harry Potter, you will attract attention whether you want to or not so why not try some different to enhance your content marketing? We are one of the first PR and marketing companies in the region to introduce video PR into the content marketing plans of our clients and offer a brand new way for consumers to view content. Text and images are all very nice but who wouldn’t rather watch a video of something of interest than read about it? Video is the latest way of communicating your messages with your audiences and is fast becoming one of the most shared content forms in the online world.

Build relationships…

Remember that the key to effective content marketing is not only creating your own content but sharing relevant articles too. Make sure you get to know those in your social networks and take every opportunity to engage with them regularly. We have set about creating an exciting new networking event that was born out of a joke on Twitter, which will see us meet some of our social networking peers and put faces to their names, thus adding a touch of familiarity to our social networking activity.

Evaluate your strategy…

Like with anything, it is important to constantly evaluate your content marketing strategy. Is your content being shared within the right circles? If not, why not? What can you do to make sure that next time you blog or tweet, it is seen by the right people?

Everybody has unique methods of content marketing that works for them, whether scheduling in content or sharing content at specific times. Only through evaluating your marketing communications activity will you find a method that suits you, and one that you can utilise in future.

Do you need some help with your content marketing or are you intrigued about just what our video PR service can offer your business? Get in touch with us today and see how we can help you get the best out of your business.

Want to know more about the networking event we are planning? Stay tuned to our blog and keep a lookout on Twitter for the hashtag #warwickcookieparty and all will be revealed…..

Harness the power of social networking with LinkedIn

There are now over 120 million professionals all over the world using LinkedIn to help grow their business by harnessing the power of online social networking.

Make the LEAP

Originally, LinkedIn was created as a recruitment resource, but has evolved as a major player in business networking and helps businesses in a number of ways…

  • Generating leads
  • Finding suppliers
  • Finding new employees / headhunting
  • Gathering market intelligence
  • Finding answers to questions
  • Staying on track with industry trends
  • Raising awareness of your business, products, services and much more…

 

LinkedIn gives the ability to broaden your networks and connect with people you might never have had the opportunity to link with previously. Since the Internet really took off in the 90s, people have been able to maintain contact with each other far more easily, and it was only a matter of time before people began to make business contacts with the same principle.

Everyone at Bridge has been using LinkedIn for some time now and between us we have acquired a lot of knowledge and expertise about how to get the most from it.

Here are our top tips…

Create a company profile that grabs attention Using the company profile facility means that you have another marketing channel where you can showcase your business and its products and services.  Everyone who connects with you will be able to see what your company offers.  The beauty of business social networking is that it taps into one of the key marketing principles that “people buy from people they know and trust.”

Make your profile 100% complete LinkedIn monitors how complete your profile is on a percentage scale based on work history, education, skills, connections, and recommendations. You should aim to be 100% complete as this optimises all of the functions available.  The aim is to raise the profile of your expertise in your particular industry sector.

Constantly leverage your contacts LinkedIn is very much based around the maxim of ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know”, and the connections you make are integral to your business development. There is a ‘degree’ gauge built into the site, where you will be shown how many degrees apart you are from any one contact. For example 1st degree means you know them personally whereas 2nd degree is you know someone who knows them and 3rd degree means they’re a friend of a friend… and so on. This is built on the old adage that everyone is connected by six degrees of separation.

Join relevant groups Another important part of LinkedIn is the ‘group’ section. Arguably one of the most powerful aspects of the networking site, groups allow you to engage with like-minded people in discussions relevant to your aims as a business and your sector as a whole. It can also be a mine of information about your industry, and will help you to keep up with the latest trends. It is a good idea to create your own group as this helps to drive traffic to your site and encourages more people to connect with you as the ‘community leader’.

Become a ‘LinkedIn expert’ Exploit the facility of offering expert advice on LinkedIn as this can help build your profile as an expert in your field, and adds an element of reality to the profile, giving connections reassurance about your business. Regularly check the ‘Questions’ section for subjects relating to your field, and when the person who posted the questions brands you as the best answer you gain a badge on your profile. The more badges you gain then the higher your level of expertise.

Get valuable recommendations These add a level of credibility to your profile or company. The more recommendations you have on your profile, the more people are likely to trust it. However, it is important to gain ‘valuable’ recommendations such as clients and customers who have been involved with your company or have used your services of products.

 

If you would like to become completely ‘social media savvy’ in order to boost your business, then Bridge PR & Media Services are running a series of Social Media Workshops which will teach you the principles of social media marketing, how to use the tools and platforms, and how to measure your success.

Make the LEAP into Social Media – 27th September 2011

Measuring Success – 04 October 2011

Making a Blogging Influence – 11 October 2011

LinkedIn for Business Success – 18 October 2011

Twitter for Business Success – 01 November 2011

Facebook for Business Success – 08 November 2011

 

For further inquiries all you need to do it contact Bridge on 024 76 520025 or email info@bridgepr.co.uk