Contributed Content Creates Buzz
The need for strong, insightful thought leadership content has significantly increased in recent years. While content marketing has been a growing category for years, the demand for contributed content from editors is growing. The shift from print to online has created a never-ending news cycle that must be continuously fueled. This shift toward posting the latest industry news quickly has led many publications to completely do away with editorial calendars. And with the supply chain now being such a hot topic that’s changing daily, there’s always something new to report.
To keep readers informed and interested, publications need more content to post. Many media outlets are short-staffed, especially trade publications. They don’t have the resources available to conduct interviews and write stories fast enough to keep up. This challenge for editors presents a tremendous opportunity for businesses. Organizations can contribute insightful thought leadership content to local, national or trade publications that position themselves as industry experts.
The demand for content isn’t a secret. A range of companies in the transportation and supply chain space have flooded the market with content. To set themselves apart from the noise, organizations must have a unique point of view. To do this they should create content that adds value to readers. This goes beyond the high-level thoughts and industry buzzwords that others are saying.
PR as a Part of the Buyer Journey
Measurement has historically been a challenge for public relations professionals. Despite advanced measurement and analytics capabilities introduced in recent years, tracking earned media activities to leads or sales the way other forms of digital marketing are isn’t always possible. But just because you can’t always track open rates for a press release, article quote or contributed article doesn’t mean it didn’t play a critical role in the customer journey.
According to recent studies, buyers viewed three to five pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep, and the average B2B buyer consumes 13 pieces of content before deciding. Earned media is a proven and effective way to increase brand awareness, boost SEO and reach your target audience, even when you can’t always see the immediate result. After all, your company may not even be on a buyer’s radar until they read a quote from an executive in a newspaper or come across a thought leadership article or press release after doing a Google search.
In marketing, just like in football, analytics has an increasingly important role and can support smart, strategic decision-making. But it’s not the end-all, be-all. There’s also something to knowing a tactic does work and continuing to utilize it even if the proof isn’t always immediately clear or doesn’t enable you to easily produce data or charts like other areas of marketing.
That said, it’s important to continue to gather as much data and insights as possible and then use that information to refine your PR strategy and tactics. Then look to integrate those activities with other areas of your marketing program, especially those that enable better tracking and measurement.
About Stephen Dye:
Stephen joined the Outlook Marketing team in 2007. He has more than 18 years of public relations and integrated marketing communications experience. As Director, he manages PR and content development programs for companies in the supply chain, logistics, manufacturing, and technology. His work with clients has resulted in coverage in Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Reuters, USA Today, NPR, and a range of local and trade outlets. Stephen also works with clients on marketing strategy, messaging/branding, media training, event support, lead generation campaigns and customer insight initiatives.
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