Many of us started our content marketing careers, delivering newspapers in our local communities. What a great lesson in sales, customer service, marketing, and being social!
In the days before social media, social selling, and content marketing, people consumed content via newspapers. And, some of that native behavior still exists! However, your self-promotional use of Twitter is likely missing the mark because it is just not newsworthy.
Brands need to activate their content and awareness messaging – to make it more like a newsfeed and less like a promotional feed. By making your content more newsworthy, your customers will increase their likelihood of reading it, counting on it, and acting on it – especially those who do not have a long relationship with you. Think less about the features and benefits of your products services and more about the news. Show that you understand your audience’s industry, category, and company challenges. This approach will help you win their trust.
Remember you have to show your ability to deliver the news before they pay for the newspaper.
Reading The News Is A Native Behavior. Reading The Ads Is Not.
My paper route customers had a news reading ritual:
- Delivery. Expect delivery of the paper every day.
- Headline Scan. Scan the paper for meaningful headlines to learn something without having to read any further.
- Read What Was Relevant and Interesting. Dive deeper into the content to get to the heart of the story – expanded from the headline.
These are content consumption behaviors today’s consumers still practice – only now they do it with Twitter.
5 Reasons To Make Your Content Marketing More Newslike
I am not sure to whom we can attribute the phrase, “The news and nothing but the news” – however, it appears to have been foreshadowing for what your consumers want on Twitter.
- It’s All About The Headline. 80% get their news by scrolling through their timelines – while 67% by browsing others’ timelines. This native scrolling behavior indicates the need to break through the clutter. (Source: American Press Institute, Twitter, and DB5)
- More News Consumption. 60% of Twitter users say they get more news now than before they joined the service – indicating our audience is using Twitter for news content. (Source: American Press Institute, Twitter, and DB5)
- Easier News Consumption. 79% of Twitter users say staying on top of the news was easier than 62% of non-Twitter users – indicating your audience consumes news on Twitter to consume and probably does not engage as much as you think. (Source: American Press Institute, Twitter, and DB5)
- Active News Consumption. 86% of Twitter users use the service for the news – 75% using it daily – suggesting the need to be relevant and active with your content creation (Source: American Press Institute, Twitter, and DB5)
- Taking The Relationship To The Next Level. 92% click-through, at least sometimes, to read the news – showing you that great newsworthy headlines will help you advance your customer relationship (Source: American Press Institute, Twitter, and DB5)
The Big Question You Should Ask About Content Marketing Consumption
“Should I be using Twitter as a way to position my awareness messaging as a news feed?” Well, the above research provides one obvious takeaway for your content marketing strategy – make sure your messaging is more newsworthy … and distribute it on Twitter!
How To Make Your Content Marketing (especially Twitter) More Newsworthy
Even though your company is not a collection of journalists or a news publication, you can take a page out of their playbook with these simple tips:
1. Headlines. Write your tweets in 70- to 100-character capitalized headlines to capture your readers’ attention.
2. Facts And Lists. Feature facts and lists to convey your understanding of your audience’s business. It would be best if you made your readers’ life a little better because you got them to think about things a little differently – or you taught them something. Have an informative approach to your messaging, and you’ll be building your relationship in no time!
3. Pictures. The old saying, a picture is worth a thousand words’ also applies to content marketing and Twitter. Try to include a custom-made and newsworthy graphic in 75% of your messaging to help break through the clutter and capture the hearts, minds, and, most importantly, the eyes of your readers.
4. Call To Action (CTA) Connected To The ‘Story.’ You need to deliver the news. However, you also need to give your audience a clear next step to ‘learn more.’ Accomplish this ‘click’ with a ‘Read More:,’ [WHITE PAPER] or similar CTA.
5. User Experience. Make sure to link your tweet to an informative landing page or blog post that naturally ‘fits’ the headline in your tweet. Think of this experience as a story supporting the newspaper headline.
Do you have another tip or idea to create more newsworthy messaging in your tweets? If so, please comment below or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
So, how can your brand use content or content marketing to secure the attention of your readers? Give your audience the news and nothing but the news, and they will start to pay for it with their social and relationship currency.
NOTE: This blog post was originally published on September 12, 2015 and was updated on January 21. 2021.