by Sharon Miller*
Content marketing is a hot topic in the PR community, but plenty of organizations are still trying to figure it out. Last week, I attended the PRNews Media Relations Next Practices Conference in Washington, D.C. and attended the session “Show & Tell: Examples of Content Marketing That Connects to the Bottom Line.”
The sessions presenters were Doug Simon, president and CEO of D S Simon Productions; Julie Craven, VP of corporate communications at Hormel Foods; and Blair Austin, marketing director at ILMO Products.
Simon began with his five-step process for content marketing and what he calls “PRketing,” which goes far beyond brand journalism. The steps are:
1. Identify the behavior you’re trying to change
2. Identify the people who you’re trying to reach and where they consume content
3. Create content that will effectively change their behavior
4. Place the content where they’ll find, view, and share it
5. Measure, assess, and revise
Simon used the American College of Physicians as an example. The college created an iTunes channel for its members, allowing them to download important news on studies in a digestible, user-friendly format. So they not only identified a new channel in which their members consumed content, but changed the way they delivered information they deemed important for members.
Next, Craven explained that we’re competing against everyone now on social media, and that means our messages must be on target or we won’t get any time with our target consumers. Craven advocates developing a hub-and-spoke model to drive awareness and conversion via branded content. This model requires setting a goal and defining what you’re trying to accomplish, and using content, set in the middle and connecting to every goal, to push toward that goal.
Craven stressed that hub content must be concise, graphically driven, and shareable. And of course, that content must be channel specific to provide utility and drive conversion.
Finally, Austin spoke about how to get attention with little money. She used a case study with ILMO, a medical, industrial, and laboratory gas provider. Their challenge was not only budgetary, but also that their industry doesn’t support marketing. The company’s goal was to generate national media attention with its 100th anniversary, and share that media attention on its existing channels to encourage its core audience and position ILMO as an industry leader in marketing and communications.
So, when the company turned 100 years old, it created an event: The organization gave each of its 100 employees $100 on the 100th day of the year. They fostered engagement by driving it to social media channels and spread brand awareness all on its small budget.
What content marketing strategies do you use to drive engagement? What new models have you developed to reach your target segment?
*Bio: Sharon Miller has been with BurrellesLuce for 25 years, and is currently the VP of Enterprise Solutions. She has Bachelor of Arts degrees in psychology and social work from Millersville University of Pennsylvania. She did her graduate work at Drexel University in Pennsylvania, and currently resides in Ohio. Facebook: BurrellesLuce LinkedIn: Sharon Miller