So far, we've looked at testing newsworthy content that will be used to build your brand and links to your site. Now let's explore ways to promote that content. This is more important than ever in our media-saturated world. You're competing with vast amounts of great content.
Here're some strategies to promote your newsworthy content. It will be obvious how they are all connected and play off each other. Combine a few of these and it's a strategy for success.
Build a contact list of journalists for your industry, city or region. Find the ones that would be the most likely to pay attention to your story. It's a good idea to build some type of relationship with them ahead of time, since they are always being pitched stories.
One technique to develop these relationships is to send them hot news leads for your industry. Help them do their job by giving them the insider information. Then they will be more open to promoting your story down the road.
Another strategy is to hire a good PR agency that is highly knowledgeable of your industry or region. These professionals already have the contacts and relationships built with the press and media. They know who to call or e-mail, and those that need to be wined and dined.
While some bloggers are journalists, most are not. Yet the same holds true about building those relationships ahead of time to get your story promoted.
One strategy to get an influential blogger on your team is to have them work with your company in the development process of the content. That's right - hire them. Since they helped create the content they will be more likely to promote it. At the very least, hire them as a consultant for some last-minute advice on how they would promote it. If your content is truly newsworthy, they will want to spread the word.
Engaging with bloggers and journalists is a great way to jumpstart social media promotions.
Take full advantage of promoting your content in social media networks, including Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, MySpace, Hi5 and others. Bloggers and journalists may have already jump-started this process. Monitor them, and keep the momentum going.
Remember vertical social sites that are industry- or topic-specific. These are the places people most interested in your story will be, such as journalist and bloggers. They're on those niche sites searching for hot new stories to write about.
Make someone from your company available for interviews. They need to be easily accessible by phone and email. Getting interviewed or quoted will take the story to a whole new level. Plus, if you land a major interview, it will lead to other journalists calling for interviews.
Encourage people to discuss and promote the story with others. Word of Mouth Marketing (WOMM) works, and is highly trusted by consumers.
Places to encourage WOMM include email, IM, texting, social media, forums, email newsgroups, blog comments and the list goes on. Make it easy by having an "email" or "share" button such as AddThis. The easier you make it for people to share, the more likely it is they will.
To keep the discussions going, have someone participate in online discussions in a constructive way. This could be as simple as answering questions or clearing up any misunderstandings. For the more bold companies, don't wait for others to start a discussion -- instigate it yourself.
You've done your research, tested and are ready to promote. The next step is to put your plan into action. Start small to get some experience. Learn some lessons. Most importantly wash, rinse and repeat. Your first attempt may not produce great results, but attempt 5 might go viral!
Meet Your Favorite Search Engine Watch Contributors
Many of SEW's leading expert contributors will be at ClickZ Live, the new online and digital marketing event kicking off in New York (March 31-April 3). Hear from the likes of: Thom Craver, Josh Braaten, Lisa Barone, Simon Heseltine, Josh McCoy, Lisa Raehsler, Greg Jarboe, Dan Cristo, Joseph Kerschbaum, John Gagnon, Eric Enge and more!