The value of traditional media in content marketing

Estimated read time: 3 minutes

traditional media newspapersThe traditional media world has changed since 2007 or so. There’s no doubt about it. Ad revenue is down and tons of journalists have been laid off over the years. When I was first working for media companies from 2001 to 2007, I didn’t even know anyone who had been laid off. Today, I know dozens of former journalists who were let go.

Media consumption has changed, too, as we know. People now are glued to their phones, Tweet and chit chat on Facebook, Many news sites have seen their referral traffic from social media skyrocket.

With all that being said, though, traditional media, which includes newspapers and TV stations, still has a place in our lives. Yes, people see what we say online and on social media. But they also see what’s on the morning news and in the newspaper. Sometimes people see it on the traditional avenues (the printed version or on TV) of those traditional media outlets and sometimes on their websites. Also, you may have noticed that websites of established outlets show up high in search engine search results pages.

From personal experience: People mention seeing my blog posts, Twitter updates, and other digital things. But when I’ve been on TV – live or recorded – people online and offline mention that they saw me. When I had a quote in the newspaper and people mentioned seeing that. They even offer their thoughts on what they saw.

Traditional media and content marketing

Even as digital strategies take more and more importance in marketing budgets, it’s important to remember that those digital marketing strategies can help us spread our messages through traditional media channels.

The best content marketers don’t send news releases, which garner few pick=ups in general. They establish themselves as the expert on a specific topic by sharing valuable and relevant information online. They connect on social media with the public and news reporters and editors alike.

Reporters many times pick up stories from people they know and who have formed some kind of relationship with them. In the pre-digital world these relationships were formed on the beat that reporters covered. In today’s digital world this can also happen online through relevant and valuable content marketing.

Sharing information – without trying to sell it – can make it more valuable. And sometimes reporters might call and say: “Hey, can you tell me more about that?” Of course, when they do, make sure to respond right away and be available. Reporters have constant deadlines.

A step-by-=step process on how to get traditional media coverage (aka earned media) might look like:

  • Define your area of expertise and start publishing relevant content on a schedule (at least weekly to get started)
  • Promote your content across relevant social channels
  • Connect with relevant audience members, including relevant reporters, editors and executives. (Fair warning: Depending on the outlet, executives may have less say about what will get coverage than you think.)
  • Keep sharing your information.
  • Respond to people’s comments and  social updates – this is worth doing for reporters and others!
  • Share your knowledge as others are discussing related topics. (Example: I once shared this article on live tweeting from conferences because people on Twitter were discussion what to say and not say while tweeting from conferences. Since it was relevant this post was retweeted and retweeted and led to the highest-traffic day on The Authentic Storytelling Project.

Relationships with reporters work best for both sides when they are true relationships. Yes, reporters have a job to do. So does everyone else. But when we have relationships established – even through digital channels only – this can help reporters get better stories and content marketers get their stories out in front of wider audiences.