You signed up to be a content marketer. Makes sense. Everywhere you look, marketers are making quantum leaps forward in their careers based on content success.
First, you have to know how to create content and experiences, and do so at a larger scale than other marketers. To do that, you’ll need to understand content amplification – a new strategy for brand marketers looking to get eyes on the media they create. You won’t be successful as a content marketer unless you can truly prove that you’ve moved the needle. Business is never satisfied, and content amplification enables you to reach larger audiences with your content.
Once you’ve wrapped your head around that, you’ll begin to learn all the dirty details of content amplification and distribution. Dirty detail number one is that all content marketers must now double as PR specialists.
The following is a collection of tactics and tools to consider when trying to get on the good side of an exploding number of journalists and editors at native digital news publications. These publications, such as VICE, HuffPo, Vox Media, and Mashable, may control huge audiences, but they are not beyond the reach of a scrappy content marketer.
Build Relationships With Editors by Offering Them the Content They Need
Remember, talented editors are charged with steering a ship filled with creatives, but they’re also responsible for community building. They know their audiences, and they know which trends and stories matter, but they don’t always have the resources to produce content for every subset of their audience. Mind that gap, then fill it.
Learn to Stalk Journalists Like a PR Pro
Informed marketers use tools like Muck Rack or Vocus to quickly find journalists based on their beats. But savvy marketers (such as Wil Reynolds, who shared these tips) know exactly when those journalists are looking for a story. They do this by stalking journalists on social media. Here are a few tips to consider:
- Get all their tweets. It pays to know a journalist’s real interests before reaching out to him or her. Go beyond the Muck Rack and Twitter profiles on the Web, and comb through All My Tweets. This tool loads thousands of tweets in a single browser window. A simple Control+F search will reveal the context of how they actively tweet about keywords and topics that might matter to your brand or goal.
- Monitor the daily activity of targeted journalists with a simple TweetDeck search. Adding journalists to a Twitter list will allow you to search that list for important trigger phrases like, “a story.” During the day, you can receive a pop-up whenever a journalist is working on “a story” and potentially in need of a source or a quote.
- Track them even while you’re sleeping. Quora is another platform that journalists turn to for answers. And, fortunately, it can notify you as soon as a journalist you’re tracking asks a question. Do this by first converting a journalist’s Quora profile page to an RSS feed, and then cooking up a recipe on IFTTT to send out automated notifications.
Once you have them hooked with super-targeted outreach, you can keep them coming back for regular updates to your content media kit—a Dropbox folder filled with new original photography, artwork, quotes, and video clips.
Be Shameless When Hiring Writers Who Will Contribute to Your Blog and Owned Media Publications
As a content marketer developing an editorial strategy to support your brand, you must find content contributors who are already reporters for the publications and outlets you covet. These journalists and subject-matter experts already understand your niche and specialize in knowing what matters to your business. Then you need to align your content marketing goals with these experts, and build a system that allows you to work well together on a collective content strategy.
You can use tools like Traackr to confirm that your prospective writers are active and social on the Web. These contributors should not just have many followers; they should also have numerous active, ongoing conversations with other journalists so they stay ahead of the curve.
Be Selfless with Your Staff Writers and Earned Media Journos
A big component of content marketing today is an effective content amplification strategy that requires marketers to establish human connections with journalists. To do this well, you must be selfless and put their interests ahead of your own. Offer writers featured assignments in your editorial calendar, share their work through your corporate and personal profiles—and mention them, too! Write some of your tweets about them, and call out the contributions that they have made to advance the overall conversation.
In addition, sponsor tweets that promote their work—you both share potentially the same audiences, so this will be mutually beneficial.
Look for These Results to Make Sure the Relationship Is Equitable
You should also look for ways to get your brand message on other websites organically. Some content amplification tactics include:
- Syndication of your content to approved outlets and social-publishing platforms like Linkedin and Twitter
- Introductions to new writers and journalists of the same caliber
- Organic inclusion in content that staff writers and journalists create for other media outlets
The truth of the matter is, while the legacy newsroom is dying, we are seeing the emergence of a new breed of online publication staffed by digital-native journalists. They are not interested in press releases; however, they are hungry for the emerging trends and tidbits that matter to their beats, and an increasing number of brands are willing to carry some of the costs to help these journalists make the news. As Scott Dadich, editor in chief of Wired, once told me over lunch, “It’s never been a better time to be a journalist.” Now we know why.