SMPS-CHI Blog

Putting On Your Publisher Cap to Generate Valuable Content

There sure is a lot of buzz around content creation, isn’t there? How often should you publish? Who are you publishing for? The point is you are likely working from a plan and not churning out blogs as if throwing chum over the side of a boat.

Doesn’t it all whittle down to what works best for your marketing plan and what generates results? At the outset of this article, the plan was to write why marketers should write blogs like news articles.

While a piece of the puzzle, there is so much more: collaborating with internal departments, finding (and cold-calling) resources, and deciding what to publish. So yes, do your research and write informative articles. Take it up a notch: think like publisher. Harvard Business Review recently made this argument and here are some ideas to get you started.

Be an Editor

smps chicago blog be an editor

Tap your sales team for news tips. Which stories are you chasing? For example – is there an innovative project your team completed using a new process? Or did they solve a problem? This could be a case study. How about a human interest article? One of our customer service representatives spearheaded a team step challenge and is writing a recap blog. Get a pulse of what’s happening around the work place. If it doesn’t work for the public blog, consider including in an internal newsletter. You are an editor. Consider the office your newsroom.

Help Your Audience

How are you helping your audience and building trust? Perfect binding can be perplexing and prospects call in with the same questions. How do I know? The research department (indulge me, still on that co-workers in the newsroom idea) also known as our customer service team, keeps us informed! The solution? An infographic outlining layout tips for perfect bound books, created with team input.

After adding to the custom books page, it cut down phone calls (around 4 – 5 technical questions per week). While valuable website content for new visitors, it is also a helpful link for existing clients and builds trust.

Answer Questions

What topics interest your customers and prospects? Have you discovered a trend among the new customers finding you? Call loyal clients or ones you don’t know well and ask if there are topics they want to hear more about. Use a tool like AnswerThePublic.com. Research how people use search engines like Google and Bing for answers to questions. keyword.io aggregates Google Suggest results and Moz suggests questions too. Find ones you can answer and write them. It’s another way to sniff out article ideas or content for service pages.

Calendar Year?

Editorial calendars build a foundation for your content. But you know what? Unexpected projects and partnerships happen. For instance, a local school is taking a field trip at our shop, which led to a blog post. It wasn’t on the calendar or planned, but we’re happy to disrupt the calendar. Several media outlets are covering the tour. Opportunities present themselves – bob, weave and reap the rewards.

smps chicago blog bob weave and reap the rewards

Be a Journalist Too

Arguing that the creative office space is trending and improves productivity? Find a designer to validate your points, interview them and ask for a quote. And then find the opposite perspective… the one that contradicts your take. Sources are everywhere. Use Twitter or LinkedIn or look for publications and contacts that cover your industry or topic. It adds credibility to your article and the external links out to your references may improve search visibility, as a ranking factor in Google’s algorithm.

Expand Your Horizons

Is your marketing department using a design program that saves time? Did you A/B test a subject line for an email promotion and increase results? Share the information in a blog. No, the topic may not relate to your product or service. Chances are it will diversify your content and expand your editorial calendar. It’s another way to position your firm as a thought leader.

Hope this created ideas for you! How are you creating content? Where are your ideas coming from and where are they going? Tell us more in the comments section.

Jon Davis works in the marketing department at Cushing, a creative commercial printing firm located in Chicago since 1929. He and his team are excited to contribute to the SMPS Chicago blog!

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