While at Book Expo this past spring I picked up a copy of Mastering the New Media Landscape: Embrace The Micromedia Mindset, written by Barbara Cave Henricks and Rusty Shelton (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.). They talk about the importance of using social media in a targeted way.
“Marketers fail to recognize that often the best way to get major media is to first capture the attention of micromedia," they tell us up front. “The seismic shift in how content is created, where it is housed, and who can create it has resulted in both an enormous challenge and a huge opportunity. Millions can now get their messages heard by micromedia, starting small, gaining traction and then growing loud and large enough to command the attention of the traditional outlets whose impact remains important. The challenge of using micromedia for this purpose demands a dedicated willingness to participate. These new outlets possess a raging appetite for highly credible, quickly produced, quality content that will appeal to the audience they were designed to serve.”
So what are we talking about? There’s a huge universe of micromedia waiting for you. It can be found in blogs, podcasts, video segments, and social media forums such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Linked In, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, and Pinterest.
As you build your strategy and adopt a micromedia mindset, whether with the goal of using coverage as leverage to crack into traditional, earned media space or with the hopes of becoming a micromedia outlet yourself, remember that the single-most important factor in content creation is objectivity. Be clear, be informative, be entertaining, but always be objective.
Blogs, podcasts, video segments, and social media forums such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Snapchat feature material that follows their own specific rules. Learn what is expected and appropriate before you participate or lobby for coverage.
“Create content for the niche, not the general audience,” they tell readers.
“Create your content with this in mind. Don’t strive to appeal to “everyone” becausee that audience has dispersed. Stop homogenizing your messages so that they are palatable, or at least understandable, to the masses. The masses have moved on. The mass has fractured back into individuals who now each have the power to customize and consume their own content stream. Find your ideal audience, your perfect customer, and write or create material especially for them.”
The authors identify three types of media that exist. They note that writers can “own” their website, blog, podcast, and email list -- and can take control of them based on their own efforts. “Rented” media includes advertising that you pay for and social media sites that you don’t fully control. “Earned” media includes things that cover you or that you participate in, such as media exposure, speaking appearances, events, and influence mentions. You should develop a strategy that includes all three media types. You are encouraged not to overly rely on any one media type.
Among their suggestions of how to increase the likelihood the media will discover you online, they say:
Push out timely blogposts. Set Google alerts on numerous keywords related to your topic area and be prepared to respond to what’s trending.
Make it easy on the media. You need to have a press room and clear contact info on your website.
Don’t let your social media infrastructure languish. Routinely update anything that showcases you online, such as your website and blog.
Express an opinion and don’t stay neutral or conservative.
They also share these six key lessons from journalists:
1. Know your audience and what they consume.
2. Create messages that are compelling and timely.
3. Have someone else check your content before it goes out.
4. Involve others in your blogging. Agree to share each other’s content.
5. News jack carefully and respectfully but look to seek out opportunities where you can take ownership at a story in the news.
6. Do not rely on frequency over substance.
So who should you follow or connect with online?
- Journalists, TV show producers, and radio hosts
- Bloggers and podcasters
- Potential consumers/readers
- Groups, non-profits, associations, conferences, and businesses
- Relevant government agencies
The book concludes with the ideal formula the authors believe one should tweet to. They break it down as follows:
- 5% of tweets should focus purely on your blog posts, promotions, accomplishments, new book, etc. These are bragging posts.
- 20% should focus on interacting with others who are interested in or chatting about your area of expertise.
- 25% should be stand-alone tweets that link followers to key stories, videos, stats, and other content you believe they will be interested in.
- 25% should zero in on the lists of journalists and bloggers which could include retweeting their stories or links with commentary at replying journalists (tweeting with their user name).
- 25% should laser in on those authors, experts, and influencers that you want to impress. Again, directly tweet to them or retweet their posts with commentary.
Though a chart in the book from a 2013 Pew study of online usage may be out dated, it does give some insight into who is using what. Of those people who use the Internet 71% are on FB, 22% Linked In, 21% Pinterest, 18% Twitter, and 17% Snapchat. By gender, women use Pinterest 4x as much as males. By race, almost three times as many blacks, than whites, use Snapchat.
What will your micromedia strategy before your book?
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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at email@example.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2016 ©.
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