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Using Media Intelligence to Optimize Content

Tuesday, March 12, 2019 - 10:30
Using Media Intelligence to Optimize Content

As marketers and communicators, we’re told that creating content is key to capturing the attention of our audience and standing out. For those without a robust content creation program, and even seasoned content marketers, this creates several challenges.

How do we come up with ideas for content? How do we know what our audience will want to read? And once we’ve created something, how will people discover it?

Media intelligence can help with these challenges. Using media intelligence, you can:

  • Evaluate the media landscape
  • Understand your target audience
  • Amplify your message

While it’s certainly important to get the details right when it comes to keywords, headlines, URLs, links, and multimedia, I want to focus on other aspects of content optimization that are sometimes overlooked.

Evaluating the Media Landscape

Before you jump into creating content, you should get a better understanding of the media landscape as it pertains to your brand, audience, competitors and industry at large. There are many ways to do this, but the most practical way involves setting up a program for monitoring media conversations.

A media monitoring platform can help answer questions such as:

  • Who is talking about our brand and the problems we solve? What are they saying?
  • What content are people consuming and sharing? Who produced it? Where is it located?
  • How do our competitors approach the market? What is working/not working?
  • What are common themes across what consumers say and what content they consume?

By learning more about your environment, you’ll avoid the mistake of assuming you know what people want to see or where they want to see it. The goal is to create content that addresses a relevant topic, connects with your audience, stands out from the rest and is easy to be discovered.

Understand Your Target Audience

Look for people who are posting and sharing things that are relevant to your brand. Take notice of how popular content is structured with regards to headlines, word count, and multimedia.

Don’t just look for mentions of your company name or products—get creative by focusing on the types of problems you solve or by branching out into related topics.

A word cloud can also help you identify similar topics of interest, which will in turn give you more things to write about and new keywords you can include in your content—to help you show up more frequently in search results.

In addition to what people are already saying, you’ll want to pay attention to where conversations are taking place and what media types generate the highest level of engagement. You may find that while Twitter has the highest volume of relevant posts, another social channel may garner more interactions with their posts which increases the chances of your content being shared.

I also recommend looking at psychographics, which essentially group conversations into buckets based on themes so you can tweak your messaging for various audience groups to match their interests.

And don’t forget to consider your competition’s presence! If you find that your main competitor contributes a ton of quality content regarding a certain topic on Instagram, consider focusing on a different topic for Instagram while pushing your original message through underserved channels.

Amplify Your Message

One of the most powerful aspects of media intelligence is its ability to help identify the best ways to get your message out to a broader audience.

For starters, simply sharing the relevant content you discover will position you as a thought leader and trusted source of information.

It really gets interesting when you start to build connections with the people or publications who create engaging content. I recommend starting with a list of 10 target profiles for each media type. Set up a feed so you can get a sense of what type of content they publish and what their audience tends to consume. Be sure to engage with relevant stories in a meaningful way by adding your own insight or asking questions. They will love to see a dialogue created around their content!

When you’re ready, share your own content with these influencers and hopefully they’ll recognize you and feel compelled to provide the same level of meaningful interaction. If that works, you just gained a third-party endorsement from a trusted source with an engaged audience.

How to Get Started

There are many ways you can go about starting a media intelligence program and the answer will vary for each company and individual.

At West, we offer a real-time dashboard as well as hand-curated reports, for those who don’t need another task added to their plate. We’d love to learn more about your specific needs and help find a solution to help optimize your content.