10 Media Questions To Research Before Content Promotion

With content shock becoming more pervasive, many marketers are finding that great content alone simply isn’t enough to reach their desired audiences. According to Forrester Research, more than 85 percent of businesses publish content, but only 35 percent feel they’re doing it effectively.

Companies relying on old methods and waiting for the right people to discover their content through organic search rankings and social sharing are losing critical momentum reaching their target audiences. To maximize content success and reach, brands must incorporate plans for content promotion from the initial planning of every content strategy.

Well-researched content promotion allows brands to connect with people through helpful content in the places where they already go to find and discover information. Media research and a thorough content analysis of top media outlets will help marketers plan for successful content development and promotion.

With a media content analysis, marketers can categorize and classify content while observing larger media outlet trends that can shape the content strategy and promotion. These 10 research questions can help guide your analysis of the most successful articles published in your target media outlets.

Analyze top media outlet content

After selecting a few top media outlets to target, choose a sample of their most popular articles. Use these categories for a general guide of what details to pay attention to when you classify each article.

    1. Main Topic: Create between three and six “buckets” for general content topics and use them to categorize the content you are analyzing. Also, consider any secondary topics that are also included in the article. This will help reveal which topics and trends the media outlets are most interested in.
    2. Format: Take note of the format of the content you are analyzing. This data will help you create content in a format that is more likely to be useful and interesting to a journalist. Media outlets often use a combination of any of the following elements: Embedded document, static image slideshow, video, infographic or text and images.
    3. Author I.D.: Record the author’s basic information for each article you review, including their relationship to the outlet, employer and job title. This background data will help the content promotion team better understand the target media contacts.
    4. Social Shares: Note that the quantities of social shares for the particular article and specifically which networks it has the highest performance.

Review media outlet content referencing and citation behavior

Investigate if the target media outlets share and reference third-party content. Do they share helpful content or resources that have been created by other businesses? If so, how do they share it? Which formats are they most likely to share? What experts are they most interested in speaking with?

    1. Content Reference Format: For each article you review, take note of what and how any content is referenced. Some common media references may include hyperlink text to an external resource, embedded document, image reference, embedded video or infographics.
    2. Traditional Source I.D.: Journalists still use traditional interviews and sources as much as any other type of content reference. If an individual is used as a source, note their job title, business category, and industry. This data will help guide the development of content that includes experts that are relevant to the media.
    3. Traditional Source Format: Take note of how the journalist attributes the source’s information. It often takes the form of a direct quote or indirect quote, and it often can include an external link for more information on the source.

Research media outlet style and voice

Tracking the style and tone of target media outlets will enable the creation of content that will be seen as trusted and relevant by the media.

    1. Length of Articles: Record the word count for each article so you can observe larger trends about each media outlet’s reporting behavior and preferences.
    2. Visuals: Note the frequency of visuals in reporting. Also, identify common design themes and traits for each media outlet.
    3. Tone: Observe the overall tone and attitude the writer and outlet convey to the reader for each article. Is it helpful, authoritative, fun, snarky?

Researching and evaluating top media coverage related to your content topic is crucial for successful and relevant content promotion. Use these questions to guide research and discover the larger media outlet trends that you can use to your advantage during content development and promotion.

For more tips on how to research and build a content promotion strategy, review The Content Promotion and Distribution Cheat Sheet.

Amy Bishop

Amy Bishop is a digital marketing strategist at Relevance. She focuses on the intersection of marketing, digital strategy and customer experience — developing converged marketing strategies for clients that increase sales, lead generation, web traffic and brand awareness.

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