Content Matters: Part 1, Three Areas for Content to Grow Your Business

10 Sep Content Matters: Part 1, Three Areas for Content to Grow Your Business

149081617Several people were kind enough to comment on yesterday’s post about focusing on what we do — delivering great content that betters our communities — either on my LinkedIn page or by email.

One friend challenged: “So how would you use content to help grow our business?”

In the interest of brevity, I will offer three suggestions today, followed by three more tomorrow.

First, let’s fish where the fish are. Auto sales are up 13.4 percent so far this year. Dealers have money, but chances are they are not spending much of it with you. So I would:

  • Get the sales force to visit every dealer in town and ask, “Things are pretty good right now, but what is it that worries you about the future?”
  • Bring the market intelligence gathered back to your team and ask them to create something to solve the problem that worries your dealers.
  • Take your solution back to the dealers in sample form — print, online, mobile — and ask for their support.

Second, in most areas of the country, real estate is rebounding nicely. Unfortunately at many newspapers, real estate is backwater department mostly devoted to rewriting Realtor press releases. At many TV stations and most radio stations, real estate barely exists as a category.

The Web levels the playing field for all local media. Our job is to make real estate exciting to our audiences and help them make smart decisions, especially young people new to home buying. Patrick Johnson at The Daily Herald in Everett, WA is experimenting with a new real estate vertical that combines a Zillow plug-in for listings, content from the paper, content from CTW, Realtor profiles and user postings. Others should experiment with ways to energize their real estate offerings, too.

Realtors now all have websites. Many have mobile apps. But you are the megaphone that lets active and passive homebuyers know these sites exist. They won’t visit you unless you have useful, inspiring content to offer.

Third, there is huge upside potential in health, fitness health care, nutrition, insurance, longevity and everything related to living well for as along as possible. If you don’t have a weekly page on this topic, you should think about offering one. If you don’t plan on a special section of ROP insert on Surviving Breast Cancer for October, Breast Cancer Awareness month, you should strongly consider adding one.

Great reporting and storytelling are not the only answers to bringing our industry successfully into the digital age, but neither are contests, daily deals or monetizing mobile. Our core mission – to inform and elevate our communities – cannot and should not be ignored.