I know this dates me, but I have a lasting fondness for Wendy’s “Where’s the Beef” ad campaign. I often find myself thinking of that little old lady’s cranky question, especially when it’s time to develop the ideas (content) that make or break every PR program.
I recently had the pleasure of moderating several sessions on content development at BDI’s “B2B Social Communications” conference. I shared some of our firm’s best practices for identifying and packaging intellectual capital for your blog, website and media relations campaigns:
- Forget marketing for a moment. Instead, start by prioritizing your business goals. Once those are in place, marketing strategy and content development should naturally follow.
- Build on past success. Consider recent marketing initiatives that resonated with your audience. Then drive those success factors into your new content.
- Understand who your audience is – and is not. Take the time necessary to create a rich target “profile” that can inform your creative decisions. Insights from keyword research and conversational monitoring should be used to confirm your instincts.
- Do not create content in a vacuum. Find out how the “outside world,” including competitors and prospects, treats your subject matter. This is easy in the era of Delicious, “Tweet Beep” and Back type.
- Reinvent the wheel, but only when you have to. Many times conducting a content inventory will save you hours of development work. But there will be gaps. Take the time to fill those holes with meaningful thought leadership.
- Exploit competitive gaps: Someone in our discussion group brought up this point, and I couldn’t agree more. Does your content leverage the absence of your foes’ intellectual capital?
- Give a little, get a little: If you want some r-e-s-p-e-c-t (not to mention a link), be helpful to others. At the BDI event, someone called it “intellectual sampling.” Take the time to nibble the great ideas of others and they just may decide to sample yours. Looking for role models? Valeria Maltoni’s blog is a master class on how to use your content to start – and continue — a conversation. (That is why you got into this, right?)
- Never forget that great ideas are actionable. Good ideas are satisfying, but great ideas cause the audience to move towards a goal, behavior or action. Your top requirement is to inspire people.
What’s the most successful piece of content you’ve developed for B2B PR or social media engagement? Why did it work? Did it have “the beef?”
(photo by nicoyogui)
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