James P. Mahon is a CBS affiliate news reporter based in Tennessee. He has previously worked in Knoxville, New York City, Los Angeles, the UK, and Ireland, both in broadcast and web journalism. His previous marketing experience includes positions in hospitality, nightlife, and education software. He is currently one of only a handful of Irish citizens to have ever held on air position in US Television.
When most people think about content marketing they think about text, photos, and videos, and a lot about SEO. However, it’s possible to take your marketing campaigns well beyond new media into traditional media. What you need to understand at the essential drivers for TV and radio and how to add them to your strategy.
James—what makes for good local TV?
Engaging human interest campaigns will always grab people’s attention. But to truly assess what makes these campaigns is timing. If for example, debt, immigration, racism, abortion, or something else is topical and being debated across the halls of power and below, you need to market your product and company to fit with what is current not what is irrelevant. There is no point referencing Pokemon ten years after the craze is over! It’s all about having an eye for the news. What is current? What is trending? The need to ask why is my product/company newsworthy? What makes it engaging and encapsulates the imagination and minds of viewers. At the time of writing, Prince William and Kate had just had a baby, could you be making the highest congratulations card with a twist?
Could you give some examples of what and how this works?
Local TV loved kids on screen. Kids are great human interest, they do and say funny things, and they are very advertiser friendly. Local TV also logs charities and community events. Think about how you can work with a local kids group to engage them in an activity with your product embedded in the story. Run a charity event with kids on a Saturday morning where they are using your product in a fun way and invite the local TV station. Make sure you are doing something legitimately good or you might get called out on it!
Engage veteran groups, the elderly, college students, and expose your idea and concept to as many people as possible to further determine where in a TV or radio schedule your company’s commercial or advertisement would work. What works for the morning show will not always click with a prime news slot between 5 and 7pm.
Want to learn more?
Watch your TV station and make notes of companies and the types of stories that include them and think about how you can do something similar.
Engage with local community leaders and also spend time speaking to academics in media at local colleges. More than likely they will have a strong grasp of not only what your TV, print, radio market is like but also how it is changing through observing their own students needs and desires.
Reach out to companies with strong TV and radio advertising content and don’t be afraid to ask them what brought their idea to screen or airwave.