Ask A PR Pro: What Content Do I Need, and Why Do I Need It?

By Vanessa Taylor

This month, we sat down with a member of Matter’s Precision team to ask how PR professionals can put best practices into action. We interviewed Maggie Schlundt, senior content writer who’s landed pieces in Forbes, Entrepreneur, Fast Company, BenefitsPRO, Retail Touchpoints, Electronic Design and more. 

1. Why is content so important? I only have time for critical brand-building activities.

Content is a critical brand-building activity. In recent years, content has grown to be one of the most powerful marketing and PR tools a company can use. Seventy percent of people would rather learn about a company through articles than advertisements, and the right article can strongly connect with audiences, ultimately leading to brand interest and conversion.  

Successful content programs allow businesses to elevate their profile and further establish themselves as experts in their field. Brands can control the messaging in their content pieces, providing expertise and thought leadership that builds public trust and visibility. To prospects, customers and the media, quality, non-self-promotional content from a brand increases credibility and helps create a positive reputation. 

2. Are some content types more impactful than others? I need engaged customers, but I also need investor attention. 

Blogs and bylines are the two most impactful content types a business can deploy. Blogs are hosted on a company’s website and can be a key web traffic driver — they’ve been proven to increase web traffic by more than 55% and produce 67% more monthly leads.  

Corporate blog programs allow businesses to write directly for their audience, showing they understand their target’s needs and questions. Relevant content will resonate with customers, making them more engaged, more loyal and more likely to purchase. Additionally, informational blogs can attract investors who are interested in learning more about a specific industry. 

Bylines are contributed articles that appear in a variety of media outlets, most commonly in industry trade publications. These are incredibly valuable tools for demonstrating a brand’s thought leadership in their sector and expertise on a trending topic. Not only do bylines build credibility among the media and industry peers, they enable businesses to reach a wider audience. Byline readers may include a brand’s next major enterprise customer or next funding series investor.  

3. How do I make my content stand out? I’m already overwhelmed by what’s out there. 

You are not alone! According to a recent study from Edelman and LinkedIn, seventy-one percent of B2B decision-makers say that less than half of the thought leadership content they consume provides valuable insight. Forty-seven percent said that most thought leadership does not seem to be created with their specific needs in mind. 

To stand out, every piece of content a business puts out needs to be high-quality and add clear, specific value to the reader. Before starting a blog or byline – and again before publishing it – ask yourself, “How does this article differentiate itself? What am I doing in this piece to rise above the noise?” If you’re looking at competitors or other industry articles and they’re saying exactly what you are, you need to rework the article to deliver a more unique point of view.  

Think outside the box and get creative in the ways you craft your content pieces. Include images, bullet points, lists and subheadings whenever possible to help break up the text and make the piece more digestible (and skimmable) for today’s busy reader. Engage readers from the very beginning with a compelling opening that hooks them immediately. 

Ready to elevate your content program? We’re here to help. Reach out today, and let’s see how we can help you stand out from the competition and deliver the insights your audience needs.