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How to Optimize Content for Prospects and the Media

This post is an excerpt from Vocus’ latest white paper “How to Use Content Marketing to Generate Engagement and Coverage.”

PR pros use content to reach everyone they need to engage, including customers and the media.

Content Marketing - PR

On occasion, a single blog post, infographic, video or social post will reach and engage all of your audiences, but that is an exception. Just as TV programs show different commercials based on the audience that they attract, your audiences have distinct content desires, especially when it comes to the topics to read about and how they receive them. Even specific audiences have diverse interests and needs.

Follow these best practices for engaging potential customers and the media outlets and reporters from whom you crave coverage.

Optimizing for Prospects

Dartboard - Content Marketing - Targeting Prospects

Targeting potential customers means understanding what makes them unique.

For as many customers as you have, there are probably just as many reasons that they are interested in your brand’s product or service. Because your customers are unique, the content you provide has to meet their preferences and expectations in terms of subject matter and preferences for consumption.

One portion of your audience might consume content primarily on mobile devices. Another might prefer their laptop, particularly if it’s informative, as opposed to entertaining, content.

Shannon Byrne, content and PR manager at Mention, says:

[PR practitioners] find where their audience is, build meaningful relationships with them, prove value with relevant and interesting content, then pretty much deliver it to their doorstep.

Five quick tips for optimizing content for your prospects:
  1. Create audience personas.
  2. Research where, when and how your personas look for and consume information.
  3. Publish and share content where your personas gravitate, not where you choose to be.
  4. Measure effectiveness and make improvements based on your findings.
  5. Adapt to each of your audience’s changes in perception, attitude and behavior.

Optimizing for the Media

Press Pass - Reporters - Optimizing Content

No two outlets or reporters are the same.

It’s not just customers who are complicated to engage, the media can be tricky, too. You have to account for TV, radio, print and online news outlets and the reporters and influencers who have their own beats, agendas and audiences.

If you tried to create content for each outlet and reporter, you’d never have time for anything else, including sleep. The key to success is pitching relevant, timely stories and content to the reporters you identify as the most interested.

Six quick tips for optimizing content for the media
  1. Find outlets that serve your prospects.
  2. Use social media to build relationships with the bloggers, journalists and reporters at those outlets.
  3. Send relevant, concise, easy-to-read pitches.
  4. Include rich media like photos and videos in your pitches.
  5. Tailor pitches to the outlets. It’s better to earn coverage from a variety of outlets and angles, and unique pitches will help you achieve your goals.
  6. Never stop researching outlets and building relationships. News outlets can come and go and reporters may move to a new publication or beat.

By itself, your content marketing can generate interest and attention, but that’s akin to buying a lotto ticket and calling it an investment. Content reaches its full potential when it’s designed for a specific audience’s wants and desires. That means understanding the type of content your audience wants, where they want it and how they want it.

Want more content marketing and PR tips? Get the “How to Use Content Marketing to Generate Engagement and Coverage” white paper free now! 

Image: Digital Ralph, mosaic36 (Creative Commons)

About Brian Conlin

Brian Conlin is a content marketing manager for Cision. A former journalist, he enjoys researching and developing accessible content. When not writing, you will find him watching baseball and college basketball, sampling craft beer and enjoying Baltimore. Find him on Twitter @BrianConlin13.

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