Thought Leadership Resources

#6 How you can focus your content so it meets your clients’ most pressing needs

Does your content focus on what you want to say – or on what your prospective client wants to hear? The best topics for blogs are those that show your ability to meet the most pressing issues that your clients want to solve.

That is your objective, right? You DO want to make sure that what you’re selling, in terms of services, is what the market wants to buy? Anything else, and you’ll get lonely, with an empty bank account.

Here’s how one particular kind of content can help keep you on the straight and narrow – aligning your services with the market’s needs. It’s called “newsjacking,” which is a term from the world of content marketing.

Newsjacking means taking a news event that matters to your clients, and then showing your expertise by analyzing what that news event means for the people you want to help.

Best topics for newsletters and blogs match trending topics

Newsjacking content works because it forces you to focus on issues and challenges that are most pressing for the people you want to reach

For example, let’s say that the environmental regulatory authorities (such as the Environmental Protection Agency in the US, or Environment Canada up here in America’s Attic) come out with a new regulation about carbon emissions. Let’s give it an imaginary name – “Rule 1045.” If you’re in the business of helping industries manage their carbon output, you may want to develop content around the Rule 1045 and how they can meet it (more on how to find the right news, below).

Newjacking content can be amazing for meeting your clients’ most pressing needs – particularly if the news in question is scary enough, or provides big enough opportunities.

It is also most likely to come up in Google searches under that topic. Potential clients will be searching for content under the name Rule 1045. So will journalists and bloggers, who are looking for experts who can comment on the new rule and what it means. Professional advisors such as accountants and attorneys will also be looking for information, so they can advise their clients on Rule 1045 – and maybe bring you in as external expertise.

So, if your content features “Rule 1045” in its meta-tags (information in the URL), in the main headline and sub-heads, there is a good chance it will come up in topic searches in Google. You’ll come to the attention of potential clients you haven’t even heard of yet.

Newsjacking content meet the market’s needs

Here’s how you design effective newsjacking content.

1. Start by describing the news event, and be sure to include as many names for it as you can, to aid in search engine optimization. Assume that your reader, viewer or listener knows nothing about the topic.

2. Describe why it matters – how the reader can gain a benefit or avoid problems that might be caused by the news event.

3. Provide your informed opinion on how the news will unfold – the implications that can be expected. If one effect of Rule 1045 is that many current industrial plants will need upgrading to meet new emissions levels, for example, talk about what you think that will look like. Don’t worry about making predictions that won’t come true. You’re making an informed, educated projection, and the readers will understand that.

4. Finally, you provide your recommendations on how to avoid a problem or gain a benefit as a result of the news. Here’s where you display your understanding of your client’s world. Of course, you’ll avoid any hint of the idea that the reader’s best course of action will be to hire you to help them. That needs to stay as an unstated message – and you don’t want to risk alienating your readers by making your content a sales pitch. If they’re convinced you have skills and knowledge that can benefit them, they’ll get in touch.

Where do you find newsjacking topics?

To find newsjacking topics that matter to your clients, you need to be plugged into their world – and that’s a good thing, because it means that your solutions will more closely match their needs. Do this by:

  • Joining and following their LinkedIn groups, following knowledgeable people on Twitter, and subscribing to the right blogs
  • Read the industry trade press – in print and on those publications’ websites
  • Join their industry associations, and read their blogs, newsletters and Twitter feeds
  • Attend industry conferences and local events such as luncheons
  • Add the relevant search terms to your newsfeed in LinkedIn and other social media sites

Newsjacking shows that you’re up to date on issues

Newsjacking topics work best if they focus on what matters to people in your market, not necessarily to you. This forces you to stay informed on your clients’ changing needs, and this helps make sure that the service you offer is one they’ll want to pay for.

Design your content with the right keywords and phrases – defined as those that the people you want to reach, will be using.

Newsjacking content can multiply your reach, in that journalists and bloggers may contact you for an interview, if they see you as a recognized authority on the topic at hand.

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Carl Friesen

Carl is the Founder of the Thought Leadership Resources and helps business professionals gain the skills they need to build their profile as subject-matter experts and thought leaders.

You can connect with Carl on LinkedIn or follow him on Twitter

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