We live in a social media world. People find their news and information on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. So why should a brand bother with creating their own newsroom? Isn’t it enough to have your content posted on all your social accounts?
Not really. When the media or the public find a piece of content in social media they’re likely to follow a link back to your site. If all your content is not available there, it’s unlikely they will go trolling social media for more content. You do need to distribute your content in social media, but you also have to provide a central content hub – your digital newsroom.
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Red Bull has been doing it successfully for years. They have a complete unit set up for producing content – Red Bull Media House.
Some of the better known brands are seeing the value of creating a digital newsroom that serves not only the media, but also provides great content for anyone interested in their brand. In February, Marks and Spencer (UK) launched their new website with an editorial section called Style and Living with content from fashion journalists, celebrities and guest editors.
March saw an announcement from Adidas that they are setting up digital newsrooms that will tap into trending topics relevant to their market. The digital overhaul comes after an audit of the brand’s social media footprint. They’ve seen their sales decline and their research shows that they need to be offering content that keeps the brand relevant and interesting.
If it takes a dedicated team of content publishers to create a digital newsroom is this only for very large brands with deep pockets? Not necessarily. Smart use of available technology and resources can achieve the same results.
The Hosted Newsroom
There are several good hosted newsroom platforms that can be used to expand your newsroom in to a digital publishing activity. My choice is, of course, PRESSfeed. You could even build it in WordPress if you have a talented programmer.
You need to pick a newsroom platform that has these features:
- An easy-to-use content management system, so you can publish the content without the need to call IT.
- A magazine-style layout
- The ability to post different content categories
- Easily add images and videos – to a media gallery as well as to individual articles or releases.
- Review/approval prior to going live
- Edit after publishing
- Posting in content categories
- Analytics to track the success of your efforts
A Digital Dashboard
In conjunction with your newsroom you need a digital dashboard that will
- monitor mentions, shares, retweets, clicks and the effectiveness of your content.
- manage posting of your content to your social accounts and allow you to respond and engage with interested readers.
- measure the success of your efforts.
- import lists of bloggers and media contacts so that you can email them when you have new content.
Creating and curating great digital content is a skill. It needs people who can write, take good photographs and make interesting short videos. But the good part is that this can easily be learned. It doesn’t even take long -there’s no need to do a year-long course on photography. Your team can learn how to do this is two days. It’s definitely not rocket science. And the equipment is not expensive either. A smartphone and a tablet can get you started. Even if you opt for a good camera, basic lighting, a mic for good sound and a tripod you can get started for under $1,000.
One of the most important factors for success is organizing the newsroom and keeping your publishing on track. You will need someone to run the project, create an editorial calendar and keep the content flowing.
Another skill that’s vital to the success of any content marketing or digital newsroom project is knowing how to track and measure the success of your efforts. A good digital dashboard will give you some immediate stats, but you also have to dig deeper. Google Analytics is an excellent tool. It’s free and mastering what you need to know is not hard. You can find workshops and instructional videos online. Get get a subscription to www.lynda.com for about $30 a month and do their course. Learn to adjust your content strategy based on results.
With these two simple tools your newsroom could make your site relevant and interesting to your audience. Read the next post on Wednesday to see how a small business could use content ideas to launch a digital newsroom that keeps them relevant and interesting.
Join me for a webinar on Friday at 10 am Pacific/ 1 pm Eastern to dig into these tools and content ideas.
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