In your content, you have limited time to grab your ideal clients’ attention. Do this by creating content based on news that matters to them specifically.
If you want your content to be noticed and absorbed by your ideal clients, you need to focus it on topics that matter to them. It’s a core principle of content marketing, as Jason pointed out in one of his posts, “The #1 Objective of Professional Services Marketing.” Spoiler alert: he says that the objective is to educate clients on issues that matter to them.
One of the best ways to do that is to think of recent developments that will affect them and wrap your content around that. In content terms, it’s called “newsjacking.”
For professional services firms, SaaS and other organizations that sell high-value solutions to high-consequence problems, I like to tighten it up to what I call “narrowcast newsjacking,” which means finding news on narrow topics that impact your ideal clients, and which they’re not likely to find anywhere else. You’re looking for something that will impact them specifically where your unique perspective is highly valuable – and see you as someone who helps make their life easier.
An example of narrowcast newsjacking in action
For example, I recently worked with an engineering firm, about new legislation in the Canadian province of Ontario on “excess soil” – material pulled out of construction sites, such as when excavating a building’s underground garage. Intended to protect people and the environment from contaminated soil, this legislation would also stretch timelines and budgets, and the built industry needed to know how to comply.
The engineering firm wanted to “own” this topic – to be seen as THE subject matter expert. But it’s a really narrow topic. Few people in Ontario would have even heard of this legislation, which was of interest mostly to a narrow group of property developers, construction companies, architects and engineers who would need to comply. Of course, these were all ideal clients for that engineering firm.
We developed 11 blog posts on this topic, compiled them into an e-book, created an interactive infographic and other types of content, all promoted through social media. The firm traced a significant number of client inquiries, client engagements and revenue from demonstrating expertise in this narrow topic. In fact, Ontario government staff were recommending the engineering firm’s content as a good place developers could get up to speed quickly on the new legislation.
A four-step guide to creating narrowcast newsjacking content
Here are four steps to implementing these ideas to serve your ideal clients better:
1. Have a clear idea of your target market and its needs: As Jason pointed out in his post, it’s important for you to form a clear image – a profile – of your ideal client. In this case, it was senior staff at property developers, construction companies and architecture firms.
2. Keep watch for news that impacts your client profile. Watch for new regulations, legislation, laws, legal precedents, disruptive technologies, and other developments. Do this through staying in touch with people like your ideal clients, reading their online and print media, and following the right keywords in your Alerts.
Note that while narrow is good, there’s such a thing as being too narrow. It could be that some topics would be of interest just from a technical point of view. In the case of the Ontario legislation, some of the details about testing and tracking of soil truckloads were better left to one-on-one client meetings.
3. Be ready to move quickly. News has an expiry date, after which it’s no longer news. It’s important to be ready to move quickly to prepare newsjacking content. It may help to work with a content agency, a third-party content developer or videographer to sit down with your subject matter expert and prepare a first draft of the content for review and correction.
4. Make the content available. Don’t just publish content on your website. Push it out to your existing clients via email and to your broader audience through the social media platforms they use. Be sure it contains the right keywords. If your news is about “Regulation XYZ,” for example, be sure that “Regulation XYZ” appears in your URL, your headlines, your social media posts, and other places. This way, it may get picked up by reporters or other bloggers looking for reliable sources of information about the news topic you’re writing about.
One of the benefits of creating newsjacking content is that it forces you to look at the world through your clients’ point of view. This not only helps make your content more effective, it helps you shape your products and services to meet the needs of your ideal clients.