Insert clever misleading headline here

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Credit: Google Images

We have all been fooled at one point or another.

We are seeing more and more agencies rely on sensationalist headlines to attract click throughs in order to boost advertising revenue, but often this is at the expense of quality content. In this ever-changing media landscape it is hard to get your work out there, but without resorting to click-baiting, is there any way to make your content stand out from the pack?

The answer, unfortunately, is not a simple one. No one really knows the exact recipe for content success. Having a great headline is all well and good, but unless your headline is supported by content that actually resonates with your audience, it’s likely that they will just exit the page. This is not what we want. We want the clicks to convert to qualified traffic.

Headlines aside, I believe these are the ‘5 steps towards successful content’ that all PR practitioners should adopt in this new digital landscape if they hope to attract the right attention for their clients.

1) Optimise your content

This is crucial. Your content must be optimised for search engines.

• It needs to be easy to find and easy to access. Make sure registration is not required to access your content.

• Mastering the art of SEO (search engine optimisation) is no easy task; however it is a massive advantage in the PR industry if you have even the basic skills.

• For me, keywords are most important here, but they can be tricky to figure out. Not to worry – Google Adwords Keyword Tool to the rescue! Type in a potential keyword and it will tell you how many people are searching for that keyword on a given month and how much competition there is. You can then alter your keyword/s based on these results.

• It is important to realise that searches are consumer-driven, and therefore your content should reflect what they are after. Which brings me nicely to my next point:

2) Know your audience

Construct content with a specific audience member in mind. This will help you to target the right people. Play up to your audience. Let them know that you are speaking directly to them.

3) Write well

I cannot stress this enough. You want to constantly engage your audience, draw them in and keep their attention. Increasingly we are seeing that it is not just good writing that stands out in the PR profession, but good writing with an element of storytelling that will attract our audiences.

Clear, concise, compelling content is the way forward.

Don’t be afraid to use pictures, videos, podcasts or other links to spice up your copy. The more visual a story is, the more likely it is to engage your audience.

4) Multi-platforms

A few weeks ago I discussed the need for multi-platform content. It is imperative that your content is able to straddle many platforms, while also be available in different formats. Social media is a big player here as it has created more channels for companies and brands to communicate a message. Make sure to utilise them.

5) Promote, promote, promote!

This really speaks for itself – promote your content. Make sure the right people are seeing it and (ideally) sharing it.

There you have it. With our lives becoming increasingly digital orientated, traditional PR is no longer enough. However, this does present us with an opportunity to be creative in how we share our content with the audiences. It’s time to take the proverbial bull by the horns and jump in head first. You never know, you might succeed!

Word Count: 597

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