“I’ve been telling stories in one way or another my entire life.”
Jon Gelberg, Inc. Media’s Executive Editor of Content Strategies, recently sat down with AirPR to discuss sponsored content, PR, storytelling and the future of the industry. With decades of experience in journalism, PR and content marketing, Jon is now in charge of content for Inc. Studio, which produces all content for Inc.’s clients and advertisers. He has had a front-row seat in the evolution of Growth PR and content marketing and shared his thoughts with our team below:
- AirPR: How did you get started in content marketing and PR? How have you seen it evolve?
Jon: “It’s all about storytelling and I’ve been telling stories in one way or another my entire life. I was a print journalist for a dozen years, then made the leap into digital in the late 90s. I have worked in PR both on the client side and as the internal PR generator (primarily through content marketing).”
2. AirPR: When business are launching a PR or content marketing campaign, what are the key elements they should focus on?
Jon: “As in any business messaging, the first question must be what outcomes are you hoping to deliver and what behaviors are you looking to drive. With the availability of so much data today, there has been a seismic shift from creating ‘buzz,’ to much more data-driven outcomes.
3. AirPR: What makes great content? How do you get noticed above the noise?
Jon: “Great content serves the specific needs and interests of the target audience(s). This means understanding your audience and delivering content that touches on subjects of specific interest and utility to them. In terms of getting noticed? It’s all about quality- quality writing, well-produced videos and infographics, and, more than ever, creating immersive, multimedia content experiences. There is no single formula, but since most content being created is mediocre, top-quality content will always be able to stand out.”
4. AirPR: How do you know if your efforts are working? What are best practices in PR & content marketing measurement?
Jon: “The clearest way of knowing is if the client asks you to continue creating content for them. More specifically, when you set specific KPIs with the client and then create content designed to meet and exceed those KPIs, and that content in fact meets and exceeds those goals, you have succeeded! In terms of measurement, every article we publish, every video we create, every immersive ad we delivered is directly tied to in-depth metrics.”
5. AirPR: How do you see PR & content marketing evolving in 2018?
Jon: “We’re just beginning to scratch the surface on AI and AR. Big data will empower us to create more and more highly personalized content experiences. Because of browsers cracking down on banner and other types of digital advertising, you are going to see the balance tip even more in for of native advertising over traditional digital advertising.”
Communications professionals who focus on Growth PR and content marketing can now capitalize on the seismic shifts in our industry that Jon outlines above. For more on implementing these strategies, you can listen to our on demand webinar with AirPR Co-founder and CEO Sharam Fouladgar-Mercer “Welcome to the Science of Growth PR: Shifting from Traditional PR to Growth PR.”