5 Content Marketing Rules to Live By

Tim  Armstrong

Image: Valuable Content
Image: Valuable Content

Content marketing is an essential skill that PR pros need to master. Fortunately, creating content can yield big returns, and even be fun—if you know what you're doing.

Here are five content marketing rules to live by, courtesy of Andrew Hanelly, SVP of strategy at McMurry/TMG.

1. Create content tied to pop culture. There's nothing wrong with riding the waves of an already-popular topic. Plus it has a built-in audience. Make sure that the content you're pushing has its own value, though. For example, BuzzFeed Business' article "Shorting a Stock is Like Mean Girls" LINK THE HEADLINE is informative as well as entertaining.

2. Embed social hooks in your content. If you make your content easy-to-share, people will share it. It's that simple.

3. Use visuals to grease social skids. Visual content is much stickier than plain text. Try to incorporate at least one compelling image into your content. Interesting infographics and clips practically guarantee your content will be shared.

4. Contextualize news headlines. Or, in other words, "This is what happened," said Hanelly. "And here's why it matters."

5. Develop an “all-time” content asset. Everything you produce doesn't have to be real-time related. High-quality evergreen content has legs, and will continue to be shared long after the buzz around the latest news story has died down.

Want to tap into the power of content marketing? Register for the August 6 PR News' Next Practices Conference in San Francisco.

Follow Lucia Davis: @LKCDavis.