What Is Newsworthiness & How It Helps Paid Social

by | May 8, 2019 | Digital 101

This is the second in a series about the value of organic social content. The first article can be found here.

 

In a recent blog post, I talked about why organic social media content still matters.

In this article, I’ll give you one of the keys to great organic content: newsworthiness.

Now that you understand the importance of delivering your audience value with organic social content, you need to actually come up with that content. Which isn’t necessarily easy. In this noisy world we live in, what is going to grab your audience’s attention?

The answer: Content that is newsworthy!

What makes a piece of content newsworthy? Well, I’ve got an acronym for you (I work in AdTech, so you know I love a good acronym!):

 

ProPITCH  

  1. Prominence
  2. Proximity
  3. Impact
  4. Timeliness
  5. Conflict
  6. Human Interest

 

Let’s dive into some illustrative examples from the University of Montana (UM) –  LumenAd’s first client.

When UM began working with LumenAd, they already had a strong organic social media presence. They turned to us for help with their paid social strategy. Let’s look back to some of their past organic social content to demonstrate how they used ProPitch to engage their audience and bolster their paid campaigns.

 

Setting the Right KPI Expert Guide Subhead: Educate

1. Prominence

Prominence is how important or famous the subject of the content is. It ties your brand with the clout your subject already has.

 

How UM Did It

A few years ago, J.K. Simmons (you know, of J. Jonah Jameson fame) won an academy award for his acclaimed performance in “Whiplash.”

Simmons is a UM alumnus with a strong connection to his alma mater. When he won the academy award, UM celebrated his accomplishment on its social media channels and homepage.

By connecting the prominence of Simmons’ achievement to the details of his time at UM, they were able to reach a much larger audience than usual and showcase their history and offerings.

 

How You Can Do It

Keep tabs on your stakeholders achievements or the achievements of people in their networks. Shout them out and play up their well-deserved success, even if it’s not directly related to your business activities.

Setting the Right KPI Expert Guide Subhead: Educate

2. Proximity

Proximity is how close the story is to your audience. But that doesn’t have to be physical – it can be close to peoples’ hearts and personal histories as well.

How UM Did It

The person who made the UM mascot “Monte” famous – he’s pretty much a celebrity around Missoula – later became the Chicago Bulls mascot “Benny the Bull.”

When Benny the Bull won an award, the connection to UM was proximal just for the sheer fact that he was close to the hearts of many.

This news had an immediate, local impact on his fans back home in Missoula. Of course, UM jumped on the chance to share this newsworthy moment.

 

How You Can Do It

Get involved in your community and industry. Volunteer to pick up litter as a group on the weekends. Send C level execs to trade shows. Focus on subjects that hit home with the lives of your audience.

Setting the Right KPI Expert Guide Subhead: Educate

3. Impact

Impact is how big of an effect your piece of content has on your audience. If the piece itself doesn’t make a direct impact on your community, its subject should.

How UM Did It

UM has a lot of newsworthy opportunities to showcase its impact – from Professors furthering the understanding of important research topics to its students making a difference all around the world.

But they also make sure to seize opportunities to share impactful stories that don’t necessarily involve their faculty or students. When the Special Olympics of Montana used its campus to host its Summer Games, UM highlighted its impact on the community.

 

How You Can Do It

Make content that stakes a flag for where your business stands. Take positions on industry developments, produce your own research and share news that affects the day-to-day of your audience.

Setting the Right KPI Expert Guide Subhead: Educate

4. Timeliness

Timeliness is the “here and now.” And in the age of social media, immediacy is increasingly important. The news cycle is at breakneck speed, so newsworthy content needs to keep up.

How UM Did It

UM does a great job showcasing their Commencement activities in a timely manner. They deliver a “here and now” glimpse into the days’ celebrations. From live social media interviews of the graduates to professional photo albums shared immediately following the ceremony, they showcase the celebration in many ways on the day of the event.

Timeliness is the essence of engaging your audience with a story as it develops. Sharing it after it has happened would simply be too late for cases like UM’s Commencement.

 

How You Can Do It

If you have big company updates, let the world know ASAP or even as they develop. Also, stay up to date and comment on community and industry developments, from community events to government regulations to competitors’ activities.

Setting the Right KPI Expert Guide Subhead: Educate

5. Conflict

We are heading into an election cycle, there will no doubt be endless sources of conflict present on social media to vie for our attention.

How UM Did It

However, lighthearted stories that involve conflict do exist. Every year, UM takes a fun approach to using conflict to hook their audience: The Brawl of the Wild.

The Brawl of the Wild – widely known among Montanans as the Cat-Griz game – is a longstanding rivalry between Montana State University and the University of Montana. This topic of conflict lights up social media and engages audiences on both sides of the 50-yard line.

 

How You Can Do It

Pit different philosophies, approaches to work or products against each other. Get creative, too! The more intriguing the conflict the better.

Setting the Right KPI Expert Guide Subhead: Educate

6. Human Interest

Human interest is the natural curiosity people have around their fellow humans. And these stories are all over the place, hiding in plain sight. 

How UM Did It

When you are looking for content ideas, simply look around you. Who has a story that is worthy of telling?

UM did a nice human interest story with Emma Lommason. At the time, Lommason celebrated her 106th birthday and the University captured a video interview with her. Their social media community engaged with the story not only because so many of them had crossed paths with her over the year,  but because it was a nice way to honor her well-lived life.

How You Can Do It

Stay tapped into your stakeholders’ lives and opinions about industry news. They’re experts in their field and their personal experiences can add flavor to your content that your audience can’t get anywhere else.

There you have it! Just remember this handy acronym: ProPITCH and you’ll have newsworthy content your audience can’t get enough of.

 

How Newsworthiness Helps Paid Social

Paid and organic social go hand-in-hand:

Setting the Right KPI Expert Guide Subhead: Educate

As I established in my first article, a robust organic social presence is key to a successful paid social strategy. One of the main tenets of a good organic social presence is producing content people want to read, watch and see  – in other words, content that is newsworthy.

If you need a partner to handle paid social and other digital channels, LumenAd has you covered. Schedule a demo today or subscribe below to learn more about how to leverage organic social.

 

 

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