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20th October, 2022

How combining approaches can generate stronger content

By Terry Hearn, Digital Content Editor

One of the key benefits of working with a content studio team is the ability to blend data-led research with creative planning and delivery. By combining expertise from multiple channels and drawing upon extensive SEO writing skills, you can build high-quality content that maximises the value of Digital PR campaigns.

To demonstrate this, this article considers how shared elements of approach, intent and audience analysis benefit content-led link building and drives better results. Outlining what you should be aiming for with your content, we’ll identify the benefits of combining services when planning your marketing strategies.

Writing for multiple audiences

To combine writing for search and writing for PR campaigns, it’s important to understand the target audiences for the content beyond your own brand’s buying personas; search audience, client stakeholders and journalists/web editors.

Finding a balance between writing for these groups allows for your onsite content to provide value for the brand’s core customer base and top-of-funnel organic audiences while also appealing to the audiences of the sites being targeted by PR outreach.

It can be a challenge, but a rewarding one – if successful.

Journalists

The intent of a press release is to get an editor or journalist’s attention and convince them that the story you’re telling is worth sharing. When they click the link to see the brand content that supports the release, the target page must convince them that the URL is also worth sharing.

Additional copy, data and assets that build on the premise of the press release offers journalists increased scope to cover the topic in their own way. Depending on the topic and approach, this content could be in the form of an article providing further context, an in-depth report with data visualisations, an interview or even an interactive tool.

No matter what the content is, it must add value – whether that is practical, educational, insightful or pure entertainment value – for the journalist’s target audience.

Client stakeholders

Content needs to fit with your brand and content propositions. You must balance what the journalist is interested in with what you want to say and how you want to say it. For example, a press release might need to be punchy to grab journalists’ attention, but this approach will also need to be approved by stakeholders to ensure everyone buys into it.

Even more so, content that sits on your brand’s website must also meet brand guidelines and tone of voice. It’s important that the page being added reflects and/or amplifies both commercial and brand values.

Search audience

When creating search content, the editor uses a combination of keyword research and competitor review to ensure that the proposed page is targeted correctly. Reviewing the findings to identify related queries that could add value to the article is key.

For example, “Is X safe?” “How much does X cost?” could become subheadings or FAQ questions. For physical products, this might include dimensions, delivery costs, etc. For digital products or services, it could be an explanation of how the product works (“Do I need an antivirus at home?”, “Are VPNs legal?”)

In addition to meeting the needs of the search audience by answering their queries, capitalising on these opportunities allows for more in-depth content to be produced – maximising the authority of the article in Google’s “eyes”.

Writing with Digital PR and SEO in mind

As well as aligning with the overall theme of the campaign, the content editor must ensure that the final piece is of value/interest to the intended audience. Digital PR campaigns may target multiple audiences through outreach, often with each press release linking through to the same landing page. The content may therefore need to appeal, for example, to both national/lifestyle publications and trade press.

To ensure content works for PR and organic search, it is essential to take an audience-centred approach.

Read our article on how Digital PR can improve a brands output here >

 

B2B Awards 2021

Our combined approaches have gone on to either win or be nominated for countless industry awards. 2021 B2B Marketing Awards

Intent is king

A key driver for content editors, client stakeholders and digital PR specialists is the need to understand intent – whether this is targeting keywords for organic improvements, adhering to brand guidelines or understanding the expectations of a publication’s audience when contacting the editor.

By building a deeper understanding of the article topic, the brand proposition and the broader search terms that are related to it, we can produce content that provides clear answers to queries and anticipates follow-up questions. By linking to relevant content, the article can then become part of the existing content network.

From a Digital PR perspective, each target audience will have its own objectives and intent. Any content accompanying a press release must support the journalist or site editor’s objectives by demonstrating an understanding of their audience’s interests and expectations, and the value this content can provide to them.

UX matters

Content structure and formatting is essential for meeting the needs of the person looking for a page to answer the specific question – this could be via a search query, or a journalist looking for compelling data to support a story. It also helps to gain buy-in from clients when reviewing the copy.

Accessibility. This is both in terms of readability and finding the relevant sections quickly, but also considering disabled users by completing image alt-text for screen readers.

Visuals. Ensuring that content is supported by relevant images and visualisations that support the core concept of the article and add informational or engagement value – such as infographics or graphics summarise key points.

Presentation of information. Sub-headings and sections are a great way to include relevant keywords, meet user intent and signpost relevant sections, making the page easier to navigate.

If a page contains large amounts of data, such as survey findings or a report, key takeaways should be presented in bullet points. This makes it simple for a journalist to quickly identify the relevant aspects to include in their own content.

A relevant call to action that is clearly signposted will also appease client stakeholders.

Search benefits. Concise answers are more likely to appear as rich snippets in SERPs, which are valuable as these sit high on page one, regardless of the page’s average position.

The cheat code: “So what?

It is important to put yourself in the shoes of a journalist or other reader. They are busy and often will skim past content that does not grab their attention.

By asking yourself “so what?” at every stage, you can make sure that the campaign is relevant to and focused on the needs of your audience. It keeps the copy tight and clear.

This level of quality must be matched by all related assets or onsite content. A good sell-in can fall apart if the journalist clicks through and is underwhelmed by what they see onsite. PR specialists and content editors must maintain a universal understanding of the target audiences’ interests when developing and creating content to ensure it meets these expectations and captures attention.

Combined skills, enhanced results

If it is approached correctly, combining Digital PR and content is a natural step and opting for a holistic approach can make a significant impact on performance.

Understanding the needs and expectations of multiple audiences when preparing content allows us to create assets that offer significantly more value than those targeted at a single group.

Combining the skills of Digital PR and SEO (and even client services) is about working to universal strengths for enhanced benefit: high-quality, high-ranking content that internal stakeholders love.

By combining approaches and including multiple (not to mention, key) parties at the start of your campaign, you can create stronger content that can be used across multiple channels, generating wider reach and better search results for your brand.

To find out more about how our content marketing services can help you click here.

What’s next?

9th November, 2022

The Importance of Creativity