In this week’s blog about earned media strategy and measurement, we’re talking about developing and implementing a content distribution plan that uses every opportunity to showcase your stories in front of your key audiences.
First things first: determining the best channels and formats for your audiences.
Beyond research that your marketing team may have already conducted to determine the best mix of platforms for delivering your content, using actual past data to inform your future strategy comes in handy during this stage.
PR analytics technology, such as Onclusive, can help by automatically tracking all of your worldwide media coverage, including digital, newswire, print, broadcast and radio, and analyzing which channels drove the most impact for your brand.
Onclusive’s customers who’ve had the most success with their content distribution use the entire spectrum of options at their disposal, including newswire, owned channels and reaching out to the media. These brands typically maintain a robust newsroom, leverage their social media assets to the fullest, and optimize their strategy by tapping into attribution insights.
Given the breadth of this approach, the best communications teams are also exceptionally good at establishing mutually beneficial relationships with other teams, including the social media team, which is sometimes separate from PR, as well as marketing and analytics teams.
Best practices for using specific content distribution channels
- Website and landing pages
- Your website is your key hub for all of your digital conversions so it must be set up to make it as easy as possible for your customers to take the actions you desire them to take. The content provided on your web assets must tell your brand and product stories clearly and concisely. Your web pages also need to be properly optimized to be easily found online, and to efficiently convert views and clicks to actions and revenue.
- In our experience, a brand’s blog can become an excellent website traffic and conversion driver as a result of improved SEO. Many of our customers have found that their blog played a #1 or #2 role in their campaigns when they set out to measure their top 5-10 traffic sources. Therefore, we recommend that you include your blog as part of your content distribution strategy with the goal of improving your conversions.
- Social media
- Social media provides a great opportunity to amplify your earned media content. In addition, many brands successfully use social media for ongoing conversations with their customers and capturing market feedback, which is not only extremely cost-efficient, but also more comprehensive. That said, don’t expect your social media channels to be the biggest driver of conversions for you. Our recommendation is to use metrics such as amplification and audience engagement to measure the success of your social media.
- There is a sense in the industry that things have changed and we don’t need the press release anymore. However, newswire distribution is as important to your plan as ever, because it supports SEO and continues to result in significant website activity. Don’t miss out on this traditional PR channel that has gone fully digital and can provide an additional source of traffic and conversions for you.
- Earned media
- Finally, earned media is one of the core pillars for content distribution among communications and PR professionals.We have learned that earned media can be effective at generating impact across all stages of the buyer’s journey”—from increasing awareness and reader engagement to influencing consideration and actual product purchases. Earned media by its nature is also the most trusted form of content, so it must be included in every content distribution plan.
Build relationships by proactively reaching out to authors with valuable content
If you have valuable content to share, it is a really good idea to be proactive about showcasing it to the right journalists and influencers in a timely fashion.
For example, if you’ve recently conducted a survey and have fascinating results that can be really helpful to your audience, that’s a great reason to reach out to your media contact list. You can also create an editorial schedule where you plan to release periodic industry trends (e.g. monthly or quarterly) and inform your media contacts so that they can expect to receive this new information when it arrives.
Of course, you need a comprehensive, reliable and intelligent media database to make this possible. In today’s dynamic environment, it is critical to have up-to-date media contact information that you can use for your pitches and be able to act on it by reaching out to journalists quickly and efficiently.
It is also important to be able to access real-time data on the effectiveness of your outreach efforts and understand which of the millions of authors have had an impact for your brand.
Finally, developing a strategic content syndication partnership might be an option for you. One of Onclusive’s clients, Edmunds, has done this very successfully with Associated Press and as a result, has been able to generate millions more eyeballs for its content.
Join us for The Ultimate Guide to Earned Media Measurement & Strategy webinar on 9/23 at 1pm EST. In this session, our panelists will share recommendations and best practices around developing an effective earned media strategy and measuring success of your earned media activities in a way that showcases your business impact and return on investment (ROI).