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3 tips to get your startup’s content the views and non-fake news coverage it deserves

The world wide web hosts a multitude of possibilities to get your startup’s content or news seen.

However, today’s 86,400-second news cycle presents an intensely competitive publishing environment. Every post competes with that underneath it for a click, read and like/share. And as the clicker, reader, and liker, we’ve developed a 2-second scan decision of whether the story is worth a view.

So, how do you give your startup’s content the dazzling first impression look that elicits a click and maybe even a share?

You may want to start by taking a closer look at how Donald Trump made his way into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Yes, Donald Trump has 99 problems. His son’s email to a Russian aid about attempting to incriminate Hillary Clinton is the latest.

However, content distribution isn’t one.

Shock and AHHHHH!

Before reading further, go ahead and check what’s “Trending Now” on Facebook.  I’m going to go out on a limb and say that Donald Trump’s name is prominent on that list. Am I right?  

Unless you’ve lived under a rock for the past year and a half, this will not come as a surprise.  By some estimates, Trump received $2 billion in free air time just through March 2016 of his campaign and his name has only gained in media mentions since he took the presidency of course.

Politics aside, Trump’s controversial media fame can help in framing your content distribution strategy.

At the beginning of his campaign, Trump himself was a political startup. Despite starting as the apparent underdog, he rose to the presidency due to his competitive ability to leverage the media, which made the Donald Trump brand a political household name.   

Now, I’m not saying you need to copy his campaign to achieve major distribution goals.  What I’m saying is that even for a dark horse, mass media’s democratization offers a massive spectrum of publicity opportunity without breaking the bank.

Creating shareable content largely hinges upon creativity and the ability to place yourselves in the shoes of the audience you are targeting.

Ask, “what do they want to read?” or “what are they searching for on Google?”

Or as Trump has also done astutely (at least in the political spectrum) understand what your detractors do not want to hear? Unlike “shock and awe” his strategy was more like “shock and AHHHH, I can’t believe he’s saying this!”

The double dose of shock value made sure both his supporters and detractors were talking about him, along with the issues that may not have been the most important to the country or the presidency.  

With that in mind, you want to think about if your content could be tied into trending items in the news and how you can build your own brand publishing strategy to target the needs of your customers.

Newsjacking and Lowercase journalism can be real strategies for your startup content distribution strategy. 

Your Headlines > Your Article

Groundbreaking articles stand no chance of being read or engaged with if they lack a stimulating headline. A recent study by Buzzsumo analyzed over 100 million headlines and found that while some were particularly engaging, others proved lackluster.

On Facebook, headlines that included the phrase “will make you” resulted in the most engagement while phrases such as “control of your” resulted in nearly no interest.  

For that reason, the 5 words in your headline can mean much more than the 1,000+ words in the meat of your article. This phrase doesn’t have to be ultra-sexy, but it does have to be captivating.  

Buzzsumo’s research found that engaging headlines include at least one of the following: a focus on why the reader should care, clarity, emotional hooks, provoke curiosity, provide explanation or appeal to a tribe.

With this in mind, the shares will speak for your business in no time. Trump’s use of headlines? Note that he used headline-grabbing ideas that weren’t necessarily backed up by any well thought out plans or strategic thinking. For instance, “Build a Wall.” Today there are more than 161,000 news article results on Google News for “build a wall.” The meat behind that headline or statement is much tougher to find.

Predict Reactions By Knowing Your Audience   

While headlines trigger clicks, your content’s value must outweigh the audience’s time-cost of viewing it. This means knowing your audience’s demands, and blasting an identical post to each social network is pointless because each site fulfills a unique need.  

While Facebook users tend to prefer newsworthy stories, Instagram is more for casual photos.  Judging on the site, the content you post will cause different reactions. Last year, Facebook initiated their “reaction” feature vs its solo “like” button which has opened up a wide range of ways for people to respond to posts.

Use your headline as a catalyst for whatever reaction you intend to drive. This way you can prepare your audience’s reaction ahead of time – or make your content seem more shocking or funny than it actually is.

In the world of quick scrolls, visuals (graphs/data or videography) are highly effective in driving intrigue. On Facebook, for instance, a video is a great way to trigger engagement because of its popularity on the site (it has been estimated that within 5 years Facebook may be completely video based).

Like a lot of business strategies, success with distributing content can often come down to how well you know your customer. If you know your audience’s preferences, posts will be positioned as valuable problem solvers in their toolkit and they’ll take on the heavy lift of distributing your content with other like-minded businesses.

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