Brand Journalism: Where to Find the Perfect Story?

Posted on Jan 22, 2014
By Ellie Becker

Every online editor, blogger or content marketer has encountered that uncomfortable moment when it’s time to publish, and there are no “ready-to-go” stories in the content queue.

Maybe your freelance writer didn’t finish a rewrite in time… or there’s a newsworthy topic to cover, and no one has time to write a fresh post. Whatever the reason, compromising your publishing schedule isn’t an option.

You need just the right content for your niche. What to do?

In this "Publisher Spotlight", we meet a content marketing team faced this exact dilemma for their business blog. Could they use a content portal to find just the right story?

Publisher Spotlight on: Olympia Gloves

Olympia Gloves is a mid-sized manufacturing company with two blogs -- a B2B blog for their private label glove manufacturing business, and a B2C blog to directly engage motorcycle enthusiasts.

With a small inbound marketing team, generating original content is a challenge, despite the use of freelance writers and other contributors.

A Story About Harley Davidson Hits The Mark

Up against a publishing deadline, Olympia Gloves became a first time republisher*:

  • Scanning the repubHub feed for the topic “motorcycles”, the blog's editor spied an interesting PR Newswire story about women motorcycle owners – one of the company’s target markets.
  • The story was a good fit, providing the opportunity to speak to an important audience on a relevant topic.
  • After writing a quick intro, re-titling the article, and adding an image, the content manager hit publish.
  • She also shared the story in social media, as she normally would.

* (i.e., embedded a complete article on their blog using an embed code provided by repubHub).

The real surprise was what happened next.

Web Traffic and Social Engagement Spikes

Within hours, the article started to take off in social media.

  • The article inspired a very active conversation on Facebook, the brand’s primary social platform for the B2C business.
  • Page views and reader engagement climbed steadily throughout the day.

This is particularly notable because historically on Facebook, posts linking to articles don't usually fare very well.

In this case, however, the brand’s online community embraced the topic. It generated an unusually high level of social sharing, discussion, and reach (Fig.1 below). Increased social media activity around the republished article also drove traffic to the website. (Below, Fig.2).

Being at the center of a timely and relevant discussion also appeared to have an overall positive effect on the brand (sentiment, thought leadership).

Why Did THIS STORY Work So Well?

This was a successful test of how a republishing strategy works to supplement other forms of content marketing.

Understanding WHY it worked is worth analyzing, however.

To begin with, the content manager had a gut sense that, if used correctly, this story would resonate with her readers. In addition to careful story selection, several other factors contributed to the success of this republished article:

  • Re-titling and adding a few introductory paragraphs, for context
  • Selection of an engaging image that would resonate on social media
  • Creating a well worded status update for social media
  • Real-time response to the early commenters.

Whether republishing an article, or developing original content, a deep understanding of your brand’s target customers, and their interests, is key.

A Source of Affordable and Impactful "Brand Journalism" Content

In a crunch, a small team found content inspiration in a content portal, with strong results.

Takeaways:

  1. A content portal like repubHub can be a big help in sourcing content, because all content is pre-licensed and available for immediate rights-cleared use.
  2. In the hands of a capable content manager, curated stories can deliver just as big a punch – if not bigger – than original content.
  3. Republishing took a fraction of the time that an original story would take to research and write, at no cost.

Try repubHub for Your Online Publication:

A place to discover ready-to-republish articles, from trending news to industry coverage. Add republishing to your content strategy!

Learn More

Free eBook: Need more content in less time?

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Content Strategy Q & A: Is Third Party Content Right for Your Website?