The development of search engine algorithms continues to closely mirror the human process of researching information, making it more difficult than ever for individuals to manipulate results in their favor. For communicators who rely on search as a primary mechanism for reaching audiences, this may sound like heartbreaking news. In reality, it is an opportunity for brands to be more innovative in their content creation and messaging strategy. Brands that can organically surface to the top of page rankings will be deemed more credible and authoritative by consumers searching for related information, and that means creating content that search engines deem to be of high quality.
One of the most challenging aspects of Google’s latest algorithm for communicators is finding a way to target similar messages across multiple markets without violating duplicate content standards. The pressure to create even more original content might feel like impending doom for PR pros who are already strapped for time, but the communications team at Honda has found a brilliant workaround. Using a branded campaign micro-site titled, “Honda Stage Launches at REVOLT Studios Delivering Performances and Artists Interviews Across Television, Web and Mobile Platforms for Music Fans,” they’ve delivered an umbrella message that caters to a broad spectrum of markets at once, and is visually stunning. Highlights from this fully-loaded micro-site include:
- Hi-res photos and videos that bring this story to life, and are ready for sharing on social channels and re-purposing in earned media stories
- A press release with highlighted bullet points and executive quotes presents different story angles for journalists to cover
- Related news regarding tour dates and featured artists is available in both English and Spanish, which targets this content to local geographies, dedicated fan bases, and caters to multicultural audiences
- A share button spurs engagement on social media
- Related links drive traffic directly back to Honda’s owned properties
Keep in mind that it’s not just on Google that visibility is becoming harder to grasp, it’s happening almost everywhere information is consumed. The media continues to juggle between delivering hard news versus salacious stories that will drive traffic or ratings. Social networks are now favoring sponsored content in their newsfeeds, making it even less of a guarantee that your single tweet will be seen by the mass audience you are hoping to reach unless they happen click directly onto your page. But does this mean you should give up on the media, social networking, or tried and true PR tactics? Of course not! It just means that PR needs to work harder to deliver messages that are of higher quality, and that story development and distribution tactics need to evolve, as we see in this forward thinking example from the folks at Honda.
Shannon Ramlochan is PR Newswire’s Content Marketing Coordinator. Follow her on Twitter @sramloch.