Strategy

Power of the Press: Think Like a Journalist to Strengthen Your Content Strategy

Here’s the scoop: Today’s marketing has more in common with old-school journalism than old-fashioned advertising, and taking your content to the next level demands a reporter’s fact-finding and storytelling skills.

Refine your content strategy

Reporting 101

Start by taking a page from journalism’s classic five W’s. Ask who, what, where, when, and why so you can tailor your content strategy to achieve results.

  • Who consumes your content? Don’t rely on assumptions or old information. Use your social media and blog analytics, sales rep input, and other sources to develop an accurate picture of your audience.
  • What information is your audience looking for? Think about where the white space is. What content can you offer that no one else can? Track your top-performing posts, most viral tweets, and most-downloaded white papers to see what your audience loves.
  • Where do people engage with your message? Conventional wisdom says Twitter and LinkedIn are prime channels for B2B, but maybe in your industry the chatter is on Snapchat or Facebook.
  • When do audience members consume your content? This isn’t just about time of day — it’s about where they are in the buying cycle. Stats like returning visitors, time on site, and engagement levels are key here — as is your trusty CRM software.
  • Why does your audience behave the way it does? The ultimate human question is the most important one to ask. Don’t just speculate here. You have mountains of hard data to pull from. Why are CSOs following your marketing blog but not CTOs? Why is your most popular blog post so successful, and why did that underperforming one miss the mark? Why is most of your audience on Vine instead of Tumblr? The answers you dig up can reveal everything you need to know to get to the successful content strategy you desire.

Go to the Source

With all this self-reflection, don’t forget to actually ask your audience how you’re doing. Solicit feedback (the “Was this helpful?” button), run polls, follow up via email and social media, and ask questions to learn how your content is useful to your audience and how you can make it more valuable to them.

Need more ideas on how to translate journalism skills into marketing success? Contact me or visit the blog.

@dcustommedia