If You Want to be in The Media, Become Media-Worthy

Gone are the days of producing infographics just for the sake of creating linkbait. With the insane amount of brilliant content that is being shared on the Internet, you have to be more strategic than ever to create a campaign that has a chance of being successful.  

Of course, you can’t ever guarantee success when it comes to a content marketing campaign. But, there are definitely tactics you can consider early on during the brainstorming process that will allow you to create a campaign that has a better chance of successfully winning the attention of the influencers and journalists you are hoping will cover it.

Below I’ll guide you through three tactics that I like to keep in mind while brainstorming new ideas for campaigns. I like to blend one or more of these tactics into the idea in order to increase the chances of creating content that embodies the media-worthy characteristics of a story that journalists are looking for. They’re really simple and, in the end, will help out a ton when it comes time to promote the campaign itself.

1. Invest in Proprietary Data

A surefire way to bolster the quality of the content you create and attract the attention of journalists is to take advantage of retrieving your own proprietary data. This especially works well for those who are experts in a particular industry and already have loads of data from customer surveys or past product research which they can pull from.

A recent example of a company who invested in proprietary data in order to bolster their content marketing efforts was McAfee’s recent compilation of the top 10 most dangerous celebrities to search for online. As an expert in virus protection and Internet security, McAfee was in a unique position to tell the story of how searching the web for celebrity information can actually put your online security at risk.

Using their own metrics for site ratings, they determined which sites are risky when attached to celebrity names on the Web and then calculated on overall risk percentage. They then took this data and integrated many different forms of media consumption portals. For example, for readers to get a complete understanding of the study itself, they created a microsite, blog post and even a press release.

McAfee also put together this simple infographic below that quickly summarizes the data and makes it easier to consume in a shorter period of time; they also combined a social call-to-action by prompting the readers to follow @McAfeeConsumer for live online safety updates and tips, as well as use the hashtag #RiskyCeleb to discuss the data itself on Twitter. This all lead to coverage on large tech and business publications such as a feature on Venture Beat and HuffPost Tech.

This study consisted of a huge amount of data-pulling on McAfee’s part, but remember that you can make these surveys as simple or complex as you’d like--as long as it uncovers statistics or findings that will be of interest to the audience you’re targeting.

For example, Sky Arts, a group of art-oriented television channels, stirred up quite a bit of coverage by sharing a PR driven poll based on one piece of interesting data they uncovered: almost a quarter of people named Mona Lisa as their favorite art work.

Based off that one nugget of information, they devised an offline campaign in which they created a 46ft mosaic made of 84 self-portraits and displayed it at Clapham Common, south-east London. From there, the campaign was picked up by large entertainment publishing news companies in the UK such as Mirror News and Metro News.

It is also important to know that if you don’t already have proprietary data to work with, there are plenty of great polling companies out there for you to work with such as Google Consumer Surveys or AYTM. Also, keep Sky Art’s publicity stunt in mind and remember that you aren’t limited to online forms of media consumption.

2. Serve as a Resource for Your Audience

While brainstorming different ideas, I like to keep in mind what the target audience might be Googling. For example, does your ideal audience mainly consist of small business owners looking for more information related to social networking tactics for their business? Or, are they apartment renters trying to determine if the area they’re looking to rent in is safe or not?

Whatever they might be searching for, why not aim to create something that might answer the problems or questions your consumers are dealing with?

One way to do this is to create guides on a particular topic related to your industry. Simply Business, a small business insurance company, has released a number of guides that serve as resources for small business owners looking for more information on a particular topic. A more recent one that they’ve created is this Guide to Twitter.

Twitter is a common source of confusion among small business owners. Pointing the user to reputable resources on topics such as how to track who's tweeting about you, and perfecting Twitter campaigns, this interactive guide aims to show exactly how small business owners can harness the value of this social networking tool.

This guide in particular caught the attention of Venture Beat and Social Media Today, allowing it to be seen by small business owners and even CEOs and entrepreneurs that are especially interested in leveraging social media tactics for their businesses.

Keep in mind, the resource you create doesn’t have to be for educational purposes only. Plenty of companies have success with resources that serve to entertain, you’ll see one of my most recent favorites in the section below.

3. Be Timely

My last and final tip for those looking to make their content more media-worthy is to try and incorporate a timely event or trend. One successful tactic that I’ve seen many brands do quite well as of late is create something that ties into an upcoming holiday (‘tis the season!).

Have you all seen Saveur’s Thanksgiving Menu Generator? If you haven’t and are still scrambling to think of a menu to accompany your famous fried turkey next week, have no fear! This ingenious tool will not only provide you with an idea for a delicious appetizer to serve up, it will also suggest recipes for accompanying drinks and dessert! Bon appetit!

This useful tool was given the seal of approval by many publishers within the entertainment and cooking niche, such as The Kitchn and The Stir, and even earned a feature spot in Fast Company’s Co.Design.

Final Thoughts

Whether it is a campaign that contains proprietary data, serves as a resource for the audience you’re targeting, or is incredibly timely, tying in one or more of these characteristics will help increase your chances of creating a campaign that is media-worthy. Do you have any other tips or strategies that you’ve implemented into your campaigns to increase your chances of gaining media attention? Please share in the comments below if you’d like!

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