It’s not just what you say but how far the reach that counts in today’s world of brand journalism. Sharing content through syndication via multiple platforms and channels—websites, blogs, social and traditional media—allows a brand to multiply its messages to key audiences simultaneously. What is more, content syndication enhances search engine optimization and embedding links brings consumers to exactly where you want them.
Tomas Kellner, managing editor for GE Reports, an online storytelling magazine, uses his background as a Forbes writer to approach his job at GE as an inside journalist.
As he mines for stories he looks for interesting characters overcoming obstacles, with a focus on the outcome.
“I find and report many of the great stories that are inside the company and that really deserve to be told to a wide audience in our online magazine, and then syndicate the stories via Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Pinterest and even SnapChat,” Kellner said. “Sometimes it’s the headline, sometimes it’s the photo or the video that captures attention. With a giant news hole to fill, everyone is looking for good copy and visuals.”
A story about the fastest jet-engine train in the U.S. that Kellner reported on just got snapped up by Popular Science, along with the he help of SRJ Marketing Communications.
According to Mark Bonchek, chief catalyst of thinkORBIT, a designer of pull strategies for leading brands, good content offers intrinsic value based on the interests of the audiences rather than the brand. “Great content serves a shared purpose in which the interests of the audience and brand are aligned,” he said,
Sandra Macleod, CEO of Mindful Reputation, stressed that content worth syndicating helps to build authenticity for a brand. “It’s all part of building authenticity and resilience for the organization through the twin virtues of consistency and relevance—providing content that matters to stakeholders in channels of their choice,” she said.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you create and syndicate content:
▶ Create custom content. There are a lot of services that allow you to repurpose content or to repost content from others, but consumers want to hear your POV.
▶ It’s about them, not you. Consider what is important to your audience and determine what intrinsic value you can bring. Not sure what’s important to your audience? Ask them—in person, through your marketing materials, via social channels.
▶ Medium matters. We are all on information overload these days. What will make your content stand out from the crowd? Infographics, photographs and video provide content in easily digestible formats that will increase engagement and shareability.
▶ Launch a blog. If your company does not already have a blog, launch one. Blogs are excellent search drivers and provide an easily manageable platform to share your story. Companies that blog 15-plus times per month get five times more traffic than companies that don’t.
▶ Make it mobile friendly.According to Pew Research Center, 58% of Americans have a smartphone and 42% use a tablet. Adding to that, social sharing via mobile devices is on the rise, while sharing on the computer seems to be waning. If your audience can’t easily access your content from their mobile devices, you can’t expect them to share.
With the multitude of avenues to reach your various stakeholders, there has been no better time to tell the story of your product or brand and then use syndication to enable the features and benefits to spread at the speed of, well, a post, tweet or email pitch. Remember, speed might rule but content remains king.
Diane Gage Lofgren is senior VP of marketing and communications for Sharp HealthCare in San Diego. Follow her on Twitter, @dianelofgren. Holly Potter is a PR and marketing consultant. Follow her on Twitter, @htpotter.
This article originally appeared in the August 11, 2014 issue of PR News. Read more subscriber-only content by becoming a PR News subscriber today.