Up your PR game with data

There are many ways to pitch and attain news coverage for your brand, from launch announcements, funding announcements, acquisition announcements to profile features. But unless you have an extremely strong story angle or a PR team behind you, it can be hard for journalists to pay attention to your big news.

Luckily for us, the use of data, trends and statistics is another increasingly popular storytelling tool. These figures are capable of turning observations into facts, and on a larger scale, impact industry or economic movements as people watch the news closely to make strategic business decisions.

Collecting data is a great start, but it is only half the job done. How you interpret and package the data is what can essentially land you the desired coverage.

Here are 5 reasons why you should be incorporating data into your media pitches:

1. Data doesn’t lie

The media thrive on interesting, accurate stories. Without credibility, they lose value, readership and profitability.

Data today can be easily doctored to serve an organisation’s agenda or to fit story angles, but don’t forget journalists have access to multiple data sources. This means they can easily fact check the accuracy of your story, especially when they notice a huge discrepancy.

For greater transparency, include vital information such as your data research sample size, data collection methods and the period of research. All these factors play a part to the overall credibility of your data.

2. Data makes stories easier to understand

Between simply stating the economy is slow, or telling people how slowly the economy is growing backed by GDP figures, which one would you report as a journalist?

3. Journalists trust data more than gut feelings

A good press release is not without a quote from your company’s spokesperson. But these quotes more often than not solely rely on the opinion of the spokesperson.

Incorporating data into quotes can substantially strengthen and build credibility around your brand and spokesperson.

4. Data doesn’t beat about the bush

Data-led news conveys a stronger story. When sharing data with the media, we always ensure it’s easy to digest. Use imagery such as infographics, visualisations, graphs or charts to present your story.

Journalists can easily pick out what they need, which becomes extremely helpful when they are pressed for time.

5. It’s all about the baby steps

While journalists may not always run your data as a main story on its own, they may use it as a reference point to a larger story. So don’t worry if your research is not published today, just keep in touch with the journalist and see if they can use it in a upcoming story.

Need help transforming your next announcement? Get in touch with us at [email protected].

 

3 easy steps to speaking fluent Instagram

The subtle difference between a double tap and a scroll-through could lie in the caption. Instagram is full of well-lit, pretty images, but it’s the caption that anchors the image to your audience’s life

Using the right voice

The voice is the personality behind the account. The trick to achieving the right pitch is by establishing who your target audience is and mixing that with the nature of your business. You need to establish your own voice and Instagram is a social platform, so be social!

Consistency in format (both photos and choice of language)

Look at big companies like @generalelectric, you’d notice that there is a strong consistency in how the photos are all professionally shot. More importantly, there is consistency in how the captions are crafted. In the case of GE, their Instagram is all about inspiring people and sharing their research work to the world.

Ask the right questions

Look at @Sharpie’s instagram. There is a lot of art, which is great because it shows what the product can do – but the captions are conversational and show a personality behind both the brand and the images.
Here’s an example:

The picture is not great, and well that filter should be reserved for a Lana Del Ray music video, but the caption opens up the creativity of the reader and it follows the most important branding lesson we learned this year: advertising is about your audience not you.

Using the right lingo and hashtags

No matter who your audience is, Instagram is about getting people talking. There is a ton of Instagram lingo out there, and we don’t know where it comes from (either Reddit or the Kardashians) but it goes viral quickly, with short life cycles. Here are a couple we came across just looking today:

  • #transformationtuesday: self-explanatory. Used for weightloss but you could get creative with it for companies if you have a new product update.
  • #smh: shake my head
  • #fam: your peoples, someone you would consider family member
  • #wyd?: what would you do? Hypotheticals used to create conversation
  • #squadgoals: aspirations with your crew
  • #af: as heck

By now you should be speaking Instagram perfectly. If you’re a business that needs help speaking this foreign language get in touch with us at [email protected].

Order compelling content

 

Distributing content to the right people

Great job! You’ve created a lot of content that’s just waiting to be read. Now the next step is to identify what you want to share, how and when.

Suggested read: Content Distribution 101

Ask yourself these important questions:

  1. Why are you sending out content?
  2. How will it support business goals?
  3. Who are you targeting?
  4. What can you offer your target audience at each stage of their journey?
  5. How will you be different?
  6. How will they find the content? Where will you publish it?
  7. When and how will you measure results

Answer these, and then begin to work your content selection and distribution around the buyer journey.

The buyer journey

Following the buyer is key to a successful content marketing strategy. A content distribution strategy should begin with the awareness stage, followed by lead generation, then to nurturing, and finally the sales push. You will find that different content pieces will be suitable to fulfill each stage, which will ultimately determine the distribution channel/s.

Here’s a great representation of the buyers journey (and what you need to do at each stage):

Content Marketing Buyer Journey

Source

During the discovery or awareness stage, you’ll likely be sharing fun and light information to capture initial interest, and hoping people download your lead generation call-to-action. Following this, you can take it up a notch and delight them with more informative content pieces, personalised emails, demos or deals. This is the nurturing stage, and when your prospect is ‘considering’ a purchase – so an important stage.

Next, if they look like a hot lead, you can give them more detailed materials about your business. This is generally done by the sales team, and includes content in the form of product sheets and pricing guides. By this stage, this prospect should be on their way to becoming a paying customer.

Distributing your words

Now let’s look at the how you will get your content seen.

Each stage will require unique content as you are targeting the buyer at different stages in their decision process. The key is to target the buyer’s emotions and help them identify their need for your product or service nice and early.

This table provides examples of the type of content and channels suited to each stage in a buyer’s journey.

Content marketing strategy distribution channels

You will need to remember that your industry, product and sales lifecycle will all determine the length of your campaign and the type of content you produce. Only you know your target audience and how they respond to different information, so each content distribution plan should be unique and tailored to your business – not a carbon copy of any other business.

From planning to performance

Any strategy needs to be measured to assess its effectiveness. Without proper measurement, you will have no idea if your content is working.

Run your campaign and at its conclusion look at each stage of the buyer journey separately.

Here’s an example of a typical campaign measurement system:

Step 1: 20-30 days after end of campaign

  • How much traffic was generated to your website?
  • How did your social channels perform (likes, shares clicks etc..)?
  • Any initial leads?

Step 2 – 45-60 days after end of campaign

  • How many qualified leads have you got?

Step 3 – 90-120 days

  • How many leads have you converted to sales?

Of course, not each campaign has the same sales cycle length, so as I previously mentioned, this should be unique to your business. Through this you can see how each buyer stage performed, and where any content adjustments need to be made for your next campaign.

Need help with your content? Drop a message to [email protected] 

Mutant Content Marketing Agency Singapore

 

Content distribution 101

You have written all this content, but what’s next?

You may have read our recent post which talks about making the most out of your content, and stretching it that extra mile, and in this post I’m going to go a bit further and explain what content distribution is and how to develop a clear strategy.

Content is all the rage, but if you publish it on your website and leave it at that, it’s very unlikely that many people will ever see it. This subsequently becomes a waste of your time, resources and money. Any marketing activity needs to be backed up with a clear strategy that best matches your goals. Content is no different and there are many avenues that brands can take advantage of to gain their worth in words.

There are three main ways in which content can be distributed.

  • Through paid channels – when you pay for you content to be distributed (i.e. Advertorials, social ads, Google ads etc.)
  • Via your own channels – the channels that you have direct control over, such as your website social media, and newsletters. Basically, anything your have direct control over.
  • With shared opportunities– when other people share your content through PR channels, to include media coverage, social shares, reviews etc.

Below is a chart showing the activities falling under each category. Interestingly, it shows us that all three distribution channels are connected. This simply means the same piece of content can in fact run through multiple channels.

Content Distribution strategy

(Source: http://blog.bufferapp.com/content-distribution-tools)

The more visibility your content piece has, the more people are going to see it, which ultimately means you will have more success in delivering your message, and evoking a response.

However, I do need to stress that a great content distribution strategy means very little if the piece of content is not suitable for your intended audience or is poorly written – so firstly get that right. (Check out our blog to help you create quality content)

Work out a strategy that best suits your budget and goals. Incorporate as many channels as you feel are necessary in reaching YOUR target audience. Ask yourself: Where are they looking for content? How do they engage? If you are targeting a younger female audience, say 25 and under, with your latest beauty product and tips, it’s fair to say they are very active on social media, so competitions, mentions, shares and reviews will be most effective, as will engaging with influencers and running targeted social ads.

Your content strategy should ultimately help drive sales, and in-between help educate and inspire your target audience. Be smart and never compromise on quality.

Part two of this topic will show you how to set up a content plan and distribution strategy – so stay tuned.

Need help with your content? Drop a message to [email protected] 

Content Marketing CTA

Content yoga: How to stretch your content into multiple posts

You have heard it over and over again. Content marketing is the next big thing in marketing communications. You have bought the Kool Aid, you have started drinking it.

You have established a content development process that is both consistent and committed. Various internal stakeholders are coming with you with ideas, or even better, written pieces of content that are exactly to your requirements. The website blog is being updated once a week. Now what?

It’s time to get the most out of the content that you have painstakingly developed. Here are some tips on how can you make your content go further so that it reaches your intended target audience.

  • Check with your PR agency if the content is pitchable

With shrinking newsrooms, publications are more open to taking in op-eds or contributions these days. Having your original content published in a business or industry news portal definitely gives your brand a boost in credibility. Publications usually have some strict requirements though – the brand cannot be mentioned in the piece other than the byline, the content usually has to be on a wider industry trend rather than a specific product and usually the piece has to be published first only on their site. You can of course, then use the content on your own website after a specific period of time. Take note of the advice your agency gives you and make a call on whether you would like to go down this route.

  • Get the content linked

Content on LinkedIn is getting a lot of traction these days. If you need to raise the profile of a certain executive (e.g. the new Asia MD), you may want to consider posting the content on a regular basis using LinkedIn Pulse, with their approval of course.

A repurposed article on LinkedIn pulse could help to build your executive’s credibility as an industry thought leader and also steer people to becoming more aware of your brand. As a bonus, LinkedIn Pulse enjoys a high search quality rating on Google which means the content will be included in search results.

Updating a senior executive’s page on their behalf also encourages them to be more hands-on in the content – it’s their reputation after all. This means you will also get more ideas on content topics and they are also more likely to share their personal industry observations. This is a win-win for both, your content is more authentic and they boost their own profile.

  • Make it shareable

Summarise each section of your blog post or break it down into tips. You can then use these bite-sized pieces to post on Facebook or Twitter on a daily basis as part of a multi-part series. Remember that you have to keep the post to 140 characters for Twitter – which probably will come up to no more than 1 sentence. For Facebook you have more flexibility on the word count but try not to go over 250 characters (Posts with less than 250 characters receive 60% more engagement). Also, don’t forget to add an image and link the content back to your website to drive traffic.

On that note, while having Twitter and Facebook is great – it may not be necessary to have both. Check our post on choosing the right social media channel to see which is right for you. https://mutant.com.sg/less-is-more-4-tips-to-choosing-the-right-social-media-channel/

  • Reach out to new people

Since you are posting on social media already, why not promote selected posts on Twitter, LinkedIn and/or Facebook? Promoting a post is a good way for more people to see your content and reach out to new audiences through targeting.

Promoted posts can boost traffic to your web page and also gives you some rich data analytics so that you can figure out which channels are most effective for your brand. The best thing about promoted posts these days, is that it is fairly affordable – you can promote a post for as much or as little budget as you want.

  • Communicate to employees

Your employees are your most important assets. They are the face of the company and they are the ones that deal with your customers. A great piece of content can inspire employees and align ideas. Summarise your article into a teaser and use it in your latest newsletter. Encourage engagement, ask them their point of view on the topic and as always, link the article back to the website to boost traffic.

  • Play around with formats

While a blog post is the most immediate way to get content out, do explore other formats that may work better with your target audience. Be it an infographic, video, slideshare or audio file – explore the various formats from time to time and use your website analytics to check on how much traction you are getting.

If you need help maximising your existing content or need help setting up a winning content development marketing strategy, please get in touch with us at [email protected].

6 golden rules for effective content marketing

Producing content is dead easy. Producing content that converts, not so much.

Due to the sheer volume of thought leadership, blogs, videos and infographics floating around the internet, your audience’s expectations of what constitutes ‘good’ content has changed. Active digital audiences want more engaging, relevant, smarter, and faster content than ever before.

By taking the time to cater to the needs of your target viewer, you’ll hold their attention – and their loyalty.

Here are a few key things to keep in mind before posting up a flurry of blog posts:

1. Relevance: Does your article contain your company’s key messages? There has to be a connection between the brand and what you’re publishing. Let’s say you’re creating a hilarious corporate cat video and it gets lots of clicks. That’s great, but what’s the point if the viewer isn’t your target audience?

2. Purpose: Does your article or video add value to your audience and your business? What are they getting out of it and learning from you? Before producing anything, ask yourself what the business objective is for both your viewer and yourself. Does it improve someone’s business, lifestyle or even state of mind?

3. Engaging: Does it sound like you or does it sound like a cyborg? With such a crowded atmosphere online, an authoritative or friendly human voice is essential. Content nowadays should read or sound like a conversation, not a document or presentation.

4. Calls To Action: Draw your readers in with engaging language and tone, and always – always – include a Call To Action (CTA). This could be in the form of a downloadable resource at the end of a blog, or an invite to answer a question in the comments. Without this, your efforts are being wasted. It’s no longer enough to publish information that is just useful – you need people to engage with you and take an action that will provide value.

5. Contextual: Cross-device marketing is making headlines for a reason. Audiences are using different devices, sometimes all at once. Tailor the content for the platform. For example,  if you’re making long form video content make sure it’s on Youtube, and edit it down for Instagram and six-second Vines. Context is king!

6. Topical: Stay plugged in to what your audience is talking about by regularly checking the news and social media to monitor your audience’s most pressing issues. There are so many tools on the internet like Google Trends, Quora and Twitter. If something relates to your business, offer a position and get your audience talking about it.

The internet doesn’t need any more “Productivity tips from top CEOs”. We need to be making better, faster, smarter content for a better, faster, smarter audience.

So, how will you engage your readers? Let us help you. Contact us at [email protected].

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