The opening session of BlogWorld this year featured Scott Stratten, author of the best selling book UnMarketing, and it was wildly entertaining, irreverent and packed with great advice for improving one’s blog. However, as I scanned my notes, it occurred to me that much of what Scott advocated also applies to public relations, or anyone producing online content and competing for attention in social networks.
Scott got a lot of laughs when he said “People don’t spread meh. People spread awesome.” And he’s right. Boring content doesn’t go viral. It’s not enthusiastically re-tweeted. Phoning it in when writing something – a press release, a backgrounder, a pitch – is a waste of time, drives readers away and can hurt your brand. He went further to say that frequency doesn’t equate to “awesome.”
Write awesome content, then tweak it to improve the SEO
Fundamentally, if SEO is important to you, then job one should be generating content that is going to be shared – because it’s that sharing that is a key driver of increased search engine visibility. Write compelling content, and when you’re done, tweak it to improve the SEO. But don’t over-do it – you don’t want to detract from the readability of your content.
Social media won’t make your brand successful.
Social media is an amplifier. If there are problems with the product or service you’re promoting, then social media will only make those issues more visible – and quickly. A social media campaign will not gloss over underlying problems. This also applies to content. If the content isn’t excellent, the act of dropping it into social networks isn’t going to augment the campaign.
Scott went on to emphasize the importance of focusing on delivering excellence in a few different ways. Don’t obsess over the next new social media technology, or developing active presences on a wide variety of social networks. Instead, focus your efforts on developing truly outstanding content that will resonate with your audience today.
This session really underscored for me the power of excellent content. It will gain attention and cut through the noise. Tactically, this requires the savvy writer to edit ruthlessly, write great headlines and email-subjects, and adopt the perspective of the audience, not the organization originating the message.
What other content marketing strategies do you apply to your day-to-day PR?
Authored by Sarah Skerik, VP-social media