The writer’s views are totally his or her personal (excluding the unlikely occasion of hypnosis) and will not all the time mirror the views of Moz.
Extra manufacturers than ever are investing and producing high quality journalism to drive their earned media technique. They acknowledge that it’s a helpful channel for concurrently constructing authority whereas discovering and connecting with clients the place they devour information.
However producing and distributing nice content material is not any simple feat.
At Stacker and our brand-partnership mannequin Stacker Studio, our crew has mastered easy methods to create newsworthy, data-driven tales for our newswire. Since 2017, we’ve positioned 1000’s of tales throughout essentially the most authoritative information shops within the nation, together with MSN, Newsweek, SFGate, and Chicago Tribune.
Sure approaches have yielded a excessive hit price (i.e., choose up), and one in all our most profitable ways helps add context to what’s occurring on the planet. (I discussed this as a tactic in my Whiteboard Friday, Easy methods to Make Newsworthy Content material: Half 2.)
Contextualizing matters, statistics, and occasions serves as a core a part of our content material ideation course of. Immediately, I’m going to share our technique so you may create content material that has actual information worth, and that may resonate with newsroom editors.
Make a listing of details and insights
You possible have a listing of common matters related to your model, however these topic areas are sometimes too common as a launching level for productive brainstorming. Beginning with “private finance,” for instance, leaves nearly an excessive amount of white area to really discover and refine story concepts.
As a substitute, it’s higher to hone in on an upcoming occasion, knowledge set, or explicit information cycle. What’s newsworthy and particularly occurring that’s aligned along with your common viewers?
On the time of penning this, Jack Dorsey not too long ago stepped down as CEO of Twitter. That was breaking information and hardly one thing a model would anticipate to cowl.
However take the occasion and take a look at contextualizing it. Normally, what’s the common tenure of founders earlier than stepping down? What’s the distinction in public market success for founder-led firms? In regard to Parag Agrawal entering into the CEO position, what’s the proportion of non-white CEOs in American firms?
As you may see, while you contextualize, it unlocks promising avenues for inventive storyboarding.
Listed here are some inquiries to information this course of.
Query 1: How does this examine to comparable occasions/statistics?
Comparability is among the simplest methods to contextualize. It’s onerous to know the true impression of a truth when it exists stand alone or in a vacuum.
Let’s contemplate hurricane season for example. There’s a ton of tales round present hurricane seasons, whether or not it’s highlighting the worst hurricanes of all time or getting a way of a selected hurricane’s scope of destruction or impression on a group.
However we determined to match it one other approach. What if we requested readers to contemplate what hurricane seasons have been just like the 12 months they have been born?
This strategy prompts a private expertise for the readers to match what hurricane seasons are like now in comparison with a extra particular “then” — one which feels significantly related and relatable.
I’ll discuss extra about time-based comparisons within the subsequent part, however it’s also possible to examine:
Throughout industries/matters (How a lot injury do hurricanes do in comparison with tidal waves?)
Throughout geographic areas (Which a part of the ocean is answerable for essentially the most damaging hurricanes? The place has essentially the most injury been carried out around the globe?)
Throughout demographics (Which era is most fearful of hurricanes?)
There are dozens of potentialities, so permit your self to freely discover all potential angles.
Query 2: What are the implications on an area stage?
In some instances, occasions or matters are mentioned on-line with out the main points of how they’re impacting particular person individuals or communities. We would know what one thing means for a common viewers, however is there a deeper impression or implication that’s not being explored?
Top-of-the-line methods to do that is thru localization, which entails taking a nationwide pattern and evaluating the way it’s mirrored and/or impacts particular areas. Newspapers do that consistently, however manufacturers can do it, too.
For instance, there are numerous tales about local weather change, however taking a localized strategy might help make the phenomenon really feel “nearer to house.”
We put collectively a chunk that illustrated important methods local weather change has affected every state (elevated flooding in Arkansas, the Colorado River drying up, sea ranges rising off South Carolina, and so forth.). You might take this a step additional and take a look at a selected metropolis or group should you had supporting knowledge or analysis.
In the event you serve explicit markets, it’s simple to implement this technique. Orchard, for instance, does an awesome job publishing actual property market pattern experiences within the areas they serve.
However should you’re a nationwide or worldwide model that doesn’t cater to particular areas, attempt utilizing knowledge units which have info for all nations, states, cities, ZIP codes, and so forth., and current all of it, permitting readers to determine knowledge factors that matter to them. When readers can filter knowledge or work together along with your content material, it permits them to have a extra customized studying expertise.
Query 3: What sides of the dialog have we not absolutely heard but?
The easiest way to faucet into the lacking items of a narrative is to contemplate how different matters/topic areas work together with that story.
I’ll keep on with our local weather change theme. We did the story above on how local weather change has impacted each state, which feels complete concerning the matter, however there’s extra to dive into.
Exterior of simply pondering how local weather change is impacting geographic areas, we requested ourselves: How is it affecting completely different industries?
Now we take a look at a extra particular angle that’s fascinating — how local weather change has impacted the wine business.
When you’ve a subject and need to uncover less-explored angles, ask your self a set of questions that’s much like the examine/distinction mannequin:
How does this matter impression completely different areas? (E.g. What’s wine’s cultural position in varied nations?)
How does this matter impression completely different demographics of individuals? (E.g. Who earnings most from wine making?)
How does this matter impression completely different industries? (E.g. How have wineries/vineyards impacted tourism?)
How is that this matter impacted by these varied issues? (E.g. How is the flavour of wine impacted by area? Who buys essentially the most wine, and the place do they dwell?)
This could create an excellent brainstorming basis to determine attention-grabbing hooks that aren’t usually explored a few actually frequent matter.
Not solely will taking the strategy of contextualizing differentiate your story from every thing else on the market, it is going to additionally assist you to re-promote it when the same occasion happens or the subject tendencies once more sooner or later. Contextualized content material is commonly this good mix of timeliness and evergreen that’s actually troublesome to attain in any other case.