Holidays, political and sporting events, natural disasters, and trending news topics― what do these happenings have to do with your content marketing plan? The answer is that they are current events that matter to your customers, and affect their daily lives. Since content marketing is all about attracting your particular target marketing through the use of useful, relevant content, your marketing communications and campaigns will be more successful if you can link current events back to your business.
Get Creative by Understanding Your Audience
Now, you may not believe that your particular business lends itself to writing about TV shows, political events, or cultural milestones. However, latching on to current events or meaningful dates on your customers’ calendar is always possible, particularly when you have a good grasp on what is important to your customers.
Whether your business or organization has been developing a content marketing program for some time, or you are just getting started, knowing how to reach your audience with interesting content at the right time is essential.
So, do you think you really know who your audience is? What they care about? What challenges they are facing right now? This is a moving target.
If you are interested in learning more about this subject, consider reading this article about developing buyer profiles for your target audience.
Once you have a solid awareness of what topics will evoke interest from your audience, aligning your content with relevant current events becomes a much easier task.
For example; a financial management firm can generate content around creating a realistic shopping budget during the holiday season which might attract people concerned with personal debt. Or, they can produce tips on how to prevent marriage disputes involving finances to be distributed throughout the wedding season, potentially increasing their exposure to newlyweds.
Holidays, seasons and other regular calendar dates (such as tax time, open enrollment, etc.) are predictable, annual events that impact mass market segments. Writing about these topics will simplify your long-term content planning because you can repurpose those topics during the same month each year in your content calendar. (Don’t have a content calendar? Learn more about creating one here). Furthermore, it will allow you to get ahead of the game with scheduling future communications or promotions.
Planning for the Unexpected
While planning around annual events is important, you will want to leave room in your content calendar for spontaneous occurrences such as a breaking news related to your industry, that you can use to boost the visibility of your own content.
In fact, “newsjacking”, as this strategy is often called, can increase your reach and visibility as you find opportunities to inject your brand into popular, “hot topics” that are trending on a national or global level. Be careful of this when the news involves sensitive topics. There are lots of stories of brands and organizations that have been burned by clumsy, callous or unfortunate attempts at newsjacking.
We can use the financial management firm again as an example. Let’s say that a breaking news story emerges about a high profile celebrity divorce. The firm can now use this story as a hook for a newsletter article, blog, Facebook post, or tweet that provides valuable insight and advice on topics such as alimony, child support, child custody, and property division. This one news story opens a variety of topics to discuss. Furthermore, if you do a good job of publishing this type of digital content, you will be indexed by search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo, giving your business exposure to potential new clients. You may even catch the eye of journalists who may include you as a resource or reference in their next story.
Possibly, you are wondering how to stay on top of current events so you can act quickly when a good opportunity arises. To do this, you will need to get in the habit of monitoring what topics and issues are trending in your industry, across multiple media platforms.
Some effective media monitoring strategies include:
Finding and following bloggers, analysts, journalists, and other influential people who cover topics related to your business and industry. Make it part of your daily routine to see what they are publishing. Or, automate the process by subscribing to an RSS feed that will give you content from hundreds of news sources at once.
Subscribing to Google Alerts or another platform that provides you with notifications any time web content is published about a topic that is relevant to you and your audience.
Using a social media management platform such as Hootsuite to access multiple social networks at once and see real-time conversations from people talking about your industry.
See a tour of Hootsuite
As you can see, writing about timely subjects can help connect people to your organization and demonstrate how your organization fits in with news, events and other important things happening with your customers. It will also help drive more traffic to your website from search engines and social media.
Curation of current events is an important piece of a solid content marketing strategy that generates new leads and customers. To be truly effective with your marketing, you will need to come up with new ideas continuously and find time to write content about them.