Audiences see far more value in a piece of content in the media that they know wasn’t paid for as opposed to an obvious advertisement.

If you happened to read our March newsletter, you know that contributed content in a respected media outlet has a slew of benefits associated with it. Spreading company awareness, establishing third-party validation, and demonstrating thought leadership in the industry are just a few of them. This is true media relations 101. Audiences see far more value in a piece of content in the media that they know wasn’t paid for as opposed to an obvious advertisement.

With this in mind, the next question you may be asking yourself is, “What do you mean by content? What kind of content is a media outlet looking for?” There are a handful of different ways that you can deliver your message to your target audience with contributed, editorial content.

Thought Leadership Articles
If you’re familiar with our March newsletter, then you’ve already read an in-depth discussion of thought leadership articles. We discussed how they build trust and credibility in the author and thus the brand associated with them. We discussed the different kinds of topics that can be effectively written about, and the benefits that come along with them. Go back and check out our blog if you missed it.

Q and A’s
Sometimes the best way to get your expertise out there is through a Q & A piece. You’ve all seen them. They read like a transcript from an interview, and many times this can be advantageous in the way the message is relayed. If the topic you are discussing is particularly complex and can be confusing if read in a longer form narrative, a Q & A may be the optimal approach. Here’s the trick: many outlets will let you dictate the questions and answers in the piece you’re delivering.

Case Study
Perhaps in your industry, the best way to demonstrate your expertise is through showing off a particular project or success story. These can also be a very effective tool in the media. Although there are limitations with certain outlets on how much you can blatantly promote your company, there are plenty of opportunities to contribute a specific case study of your work. This form of editorial can clearly demonstrate what kinds of problems your company addresses with your product or service. Typically written in a very formulaic way (overview – challenge – solution), case studies can be very digestible to readers and can succinctly get messaging across.

How many times have you been online and saw a top X list of some kind? Top 10 reasons people have trouble sleeping. Top 5 ways social media is affecting your teenager. There are endless topics that people develop top X lists on. The media term for this kind of an editorial is a “Listicle.” The advantage of these kinds of pieces is the structure. Readers know exactly what they’re getting into from the headline and depending on the topic, they can elicit a ton of attention. Are there some common misconceptions your audience has about your industry/product? If so, a listicle can be very effective.

Black Twig specializes in all forms of contributed editorial content. Give Tom a call to discuss how you can best deliver your expertise to your target audience.

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Earned Media Opportunities

We love earned media at Black Twig. There is nothing that influences potential buyers quite like third-party validation and endorsement. The secret sauce is finding ways to earn that media exposure without having to buy an ad.