In today’s real-time, always-on environment, it’s tempting to jump on the bandwagon of the latest fad or trending topic without much thought to what you’re newsjacking.
That’s not to say that some trends don’t have merit and the content you create around them will help transform your brand.
Avoid investing time and resources into marketing efforts that fail to return results. Follow these three best practices to increase your chance of taking risks that pay off.
1. Take Strategic Risks Backed By Research
To distinguish yourself as a market leader in your industry and earn media coverage around your content, you need a reputation for innovation.
That’s impossible without taking risks.
However, rather than betting business success on blind risk, maximize your marketing and content efforts by researching buyers’ and influencers’ behavior and the channels where they seek high-quality content.
Ken Wincko, SVP of Marketing at PR Newswire, offers this word of caution and advice:
“Creating content blindly without real-time monitoring of media is a recipe for disaster. To maximize the impact of your content, you need to deliver a unique point of view that is contextual based on a deep understanding of needs and motivations. Accessing these insights through an automated monitoring tool can help you focus on the topics that matter most to your audiences.”
Having the right people is also critical, according to Marian Salzman, CEO of Havas PR North America.
She recommends having a team dedicated to insight research and ditching the old methodology of rearview-mirror reporting. Don’t just focus on what has worked in the past. Learn everything you can about your audience and their next moves, then take a risk and try something new based on your analysis.
2. Consider All Outcomes
Despite how informed you are, risks may still fall short.
When you take risks, Marian says, “not all comments will be positive and not all feedback will be good. Be prepared to live by what I call the 80/20 rule, meaning 80% of your audience will think you’re absolutely awesome and 20% will think you’re crazy.
“Fearlessness runs in correlation to newscrafting. Companies need to take risks and be fearless—but also accurate,” she continues.
Leaps of (content) faith that are authentic, educated by market research and analytics, and appropriate to your industry’s conversation carry less risk with them.
However, that’s not to say the decision to publish something groundbreaking — even when it’s well-educated — is easy to make.
Your brand needs to have the courage to take action and be prepared for all outcomes, regardless of whether you’ve hit it out of the park or struck out.
3. Look to the Future, But Don’t Forget the Here and Now
Although commentary and predictions about future trends can bring your brand attention, they should be only one piece of your content puzzle.
Keep one eye on riding the wave of the next trend, but focus other efforts on delivering content that satisfies your audience’s current needs.
Your customers are living in the now and they crave content that is relevant to them. Get into the habit of delivering valuable, cutting-edge content and you’ll establish your reputation as a reliable source of information.
Doing so will lend credibility to risks you take in the future.
Hear more from Havas PR North America CEO Marian Salzman and PR Newswire SVP of Marketing Ken Wincko during our upcoming webinar Trendspotting: Tips on Creating Cutting-Edge Content to Gain Brand Attention on Thursday, March 24 at 1 PM ET.
Click here to register and then join us on March 24 to learn:
- How to balance your content marketing strategy between the here-and-now and preparing for the future
- The right way to ‘trendspot’ and how this practice is vital for your marketing plans
- How to utilize a multi-channel approach to dramatically improve the impact of your content
- New techniques for measuring the effectiveness of your content
Author Chelsea Kiko is PR Newswire’s events and digital marketing coordinator. Follow her at @ckiko47.