One of the best ways to get your business noticed and build a good base of back-links to your website is to hone your reactive content. Creating reactive content promotes your brand as not only being tapped into the news cycle, but also tapped into what your audience wants and is interested in.

What is reactive content?

Reactive content, put simply, is designed to react to a recent news story or issue that has captured the public consciousness. Whereas most content projects can take weeks, if not months to put together, reactive content needs to be created and outreached in a matter of days, or even hours. Let’s take a recent example of the devastating news about fires in the Amazon rainforest. An environmental organisation or NGO could garner a huge amount of coverage by producing a well-researched infographic explaining exactly how much of the Amazon has been impacted by the fires. This would appeal to both their existing audience and help promote their brand as being well informed of the issues facing their industry.

This is a basic example, however there are steps you can take to ensure your reactive content is always on point. Here are our tips to make the most of reactive content for both your brand and your audience.

Know your brand

Continuing with the example laid out above, clearly this is the right sort of issue for an environmental organisation to be creating reactive content around. However if a car company was to attempt a similar content project, they might end up damaging their brand and alienating their audience.

To create effective reactive content you need to know your brand well, and know what sort of news stories and issues relate to it. On top of this, you must…

Know your audience

Getting a huge amount of coverage is great because it will often lead to scoring plenty of back-links which helps your website’s SEO. However, if you’re a shoe company, you won’t win many new customers if your reactive content is only picked up in the technology pages of tomorrow’s newspaper.

It’s important to know exactly what kind of media your audience is going to follow. When you know this, it’s easy to create reactive content that you know will be seen by them. Think about their age, the type of websites they frequent, and the type of stories they are likely to have read over the past week, then create content which will be seen by them AND appeal to them.

Know the type of stories to look out for

If you work in a specific industry, you should be following news about it anyway, however this is particularly true when you are looking for a reactive content angle. If you see a news story in the morning that you could create some reactive content from, then your competitor probably saw it as well. Be sure to move quickly to capitalise and beat your rivals!

When I was a journalist, a PR called me up to offer some interesting information about the New Horizons probe that had just transmitted some incredible images of Pluto in 2015, however she got in touch two days after the photos had been released, so the story (and the probe) had already moved on – she literally missed the story by 100,000 miles!

Don’t make this mistake. Set up Google Alerts, buy all the papers, subscribe to all the blogs – just do whatever you can to make sure you are always the first person to read an interesting piece that could prompt your reactive content.

Always make yourself available for comment or to provide industry insight

Finally, you can always get someone else to do the work for you. By this, we mean that you can establish yourself as an authority within your industry and offer quotes for a follow-up story. Charities excel at this, which is why often in a news story about, say, a racist moment in sports, you will notice the articles about it often include a ‘reaction quote’ from Show Racism the Red Card, or a similar organisation.

When you hear of an issue or story impacting your industry, it pays to put a quote together and send it out to all of your media contacts. This can be hard at first, but if journalists get used to seeing your name attached to insightful industry quotes, it won’t be long before you start being approached for comment.

Obviously for this to work well you need to ensure that any quote you provide is more than just an opinion – you need to give the insightful view on the topic that only an expert can give. Make sure you quotes are backed up with facts and figures, and are written in a way that the journalist can repurpose with ease.

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