Now is traditionally the time of year that those with responsibility for using public relations and creative content marketing to build greater brand awareness and boost their lead generation activities will re-assess and re-think their approach to ensure that the business achieves its strategic goals for the year ahead.
There is no denying that getting and retaining the attention of your target market is getting harder. Your customers are hanging out all over the place, across multiple social media platforms, websites, magazines, radio, TV and yes – newspapers still have a role to play, too.
And those customers are being subjected to multiple messages by umpteen businesses and brands every day. Achieving cut-through, attention, and ultimate action is a major challenge.
So, what can you do about it?
Here’s two major tactics that you can deploy that we’ve used to great effect for clients since 2014 to achieve the impact, influence, and bottom line results you seek for your business:
#1 Double-down on ‘owned’ media
The media landscape is constantly evolving, and your target market can choose when they access information and how they do so. Their attention is divided across multiple touchpoints and your job is to figure out where they are hanging out.
‘Owned’ media relates to the things that you create and share online, and the owned media formats that are really resonating with buyers and audiences right now are:
– Thought leadership articles (blogs, LinkedIn long-form posts): Demand for well-considered insights from business leaders who can help their market make better sense of the challenges they face has been steadily rising since the pandemic. 2023 is
likely to see this increase even higher.
– Piece to camera video series: Some people like to read, others like to watch business-related content. If you know your stuff, can talk, and have access to a camera then create your own series of short-form videos that add value to your target audience. See how we do it for ourselves.
#2 Make your news, erm, ‘newsworthy’
There is a reason why businesses are increasingly turning to PR agencies – it is because journalists are awash with pitches from businesses every day (c.20-30 per day) and they have become increasingly finicky about the stories they run with.
In fact, between now and 2025 PR spend is forecast to increase by 146%. To slice through the noise and get their attention, there are a few non-negotiable rules you must abide by:
– Ditch the hyperbole: Never ever describe yourself as the ‘market leader’ or your product as ‘revolutionary’ – journalists will dismiss you immediately for being, well, a bit of an arse. The latter died in the 1980s and as for the former. Remember, ‘leader’ is a singular verb and there can be only one leader in any market.
– Have something interesting to say: Be honest and ask yourself why would anyone outside your own four walls should care what you have to say? It may be a big deal to you, but for it to be ‘news’ it needs to mean something to others too.
– Back up your claims: If you have an opinion on something, it is important to support it with evidence such as your own market research or that of a third party.
– Do not attempt to sell to journalists: Any press story must add value to the audience it is being pitched at – if you want to promote how great you are, buy an advert in the publication instead.
With the economy about as unpredictable as England’s prospects of EVER winning a World Cup, this recession, the pandemic years, and the downturn of 2008 share one thing in common:
– those businesses who continue to engage their audiences and seek to add value will remain front of mind and ahead of the pack when the upturn comes and their services are needed.
Have a great 2023!