Content test – what’s your organisation’s idea of ‘news’?

Content test – what’s your organisation’s idea of ‘news’?





Content test – what’s your organisation’s idea of ‘news’?


Tony Hallett
Managing director

Tony set up Collective Content in 2011 so brands can more easily become publishers and tell stories. This built on 15 years in media, from reporter to publishing director at Silicon Media Group, CNET Networks and CBS Interactive.

Here’s a way to work out if a company – or you – are thinking the right way about useful, engaging content. Alongside the usual ‘About us’ sections on corporate websites, or sometimes even under that section, we often see a ‘News’ tab in the navigation. What that contains tells you everything you need to know.

For progressive organisations that might be able to harness content marketing for all kinds of good reasons this section is akin to a blog. It’s a chance to share with your audience interesting things that are going on in your industry and views from people in your company or others you respect – key customers, analysts, partners and so on.

I am boring

Put simply, this is the It’s not about us, it’s about you approach. It’s news in a broad sense.

The alternative? It’s the dated approach that sees ‘News’ as being This is all about us. It’s news in the very narrowest of senses.

Don’t get me wrong. There is a role for a company website to show corporate information – quarterly results, important new hires, new launches, share price data and so on. Only this isn’t the place to do that. Not any more.

In general, you have to earn the right to talk to prospects about what you do. More than ever, we are bombarded with advertising and other messages from hundreds of companies every day in our work lives (B2B) and as consumers (B2C), while at the same time we are more independent, able to tune out the junk and able to research what we want without first engaging with a sales representative. In B2B, various studies have shown prospects get about 60 per cent of the way through the buying journey before they contact a supplier.

If someone is on your site, by all means let them easily find out about your organisation and what you sell. You should have site sections for those things, called ‘About us’, ‘Products’, ‘Services’, ‘What we do’ and more names than I can list.

But how often have you clicked on a ‘News’ tab only to be disappointed by seeing a five-month-old release about a head of channel marketing being appointed rather than, for example, the latest talking point in aerospace from the past week?

Interested, savvy customers expect us to have a viewpoint and expect us to helpful (in B2B) or entertaining (in B2C).

Don’t miss this opportunity with a lame ‘News’ section. Earn trust, earn that next engagement. Be interesting and put customers’ needs before your own.
Your ‘News’ section can be much like a company blog – a simple form of content marketing you can do well.

*photo credit: Boring via photopin (license)

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