Journalists have been creating content that people want to read for a very long time (advertising piggybacks off great content), but there’s no reason why you can’t create quality content. Remember that journalists have to go to experts like you to inform their stories, to begin with.
So why not use some of the techniques journalists employ to empower your blogs?
- Journalists ask: “Is this in the public interest?”
They put the audience interest and welfare first. There was a power company that wanted a content marketing programme to help them cope with caller volume in winter. What they called “bill shock” sent their call volumes skyrocketing.
Their original solution was an automated calling system and frequently asked questions on their website. It wasn’t working.
Instead, in keeping with our ‘public interest philosophy’ of content marketing, we explored what was causing the problem, why it was persisting and how it could be solved. The solution was an active education programme – Don’t get caught out by Bill Shock – running into winter that showed customers how our habits, and our bodies, change in the lead-up to winter and how to prepare for the change to help avoid bill shock.
The content campaign significantly reduced call volumes.
- Engaging content is about problems because bad news sells
Media studies show that bad news far outweighs good news by as much as seventeen negative news reports for every one good news report.
Research run at McGill University in Canada, using eye tracking proved that we have what psychologists call a ‘negativity bias’. We say we like good news and the media is too negative, but it’s because that’s what we want to read.
The study by Marc Trussler and Stuart Soroka found what psychologists and journalists have known for a long time. We have a collective hunger to hear and remember bad news.
The science shows that people respond quickly to negative words because us humans are wired to react quickly to potential threats and we are constantly scanning our environment for potential threats. Bad news could be a signal that we need to change what we’re doing to avoid danger.
Why do you think people are drawn to rumour and gossip? We’re wired to survive, that’s why we’re always looking over our shoulder…
- They create content that is relevant to the audience. That means it is:
- Unique or unexpected
Want to get more shares?
By being wired to survive, we are also on the look-out for the dramatic and negative. And when we find it, we share it.
94% of people who share posts do so because they think it might be helpful to others.
Create timely, local blogs that tackle common or emerging problems, and which are actually useful to the audience.
Photo by Keenan Constance