Knowledge

Reactive content: Here’s how to nail your strategy

5-MINUTE READ - 22nd March 2021

Lina Arshad
Lina ArshadContent Executive

What is reactive content?

Reactive content refers to campaigns developed off the back of news stories or other topics of discussion in real time. The main difference between this content and other types of campaigns your marketing department or agency may be used to creating is the turnaround time. For the best results, reactive content typically needs to be created and circulated within a couple of hours or, at most, a day or two.

It’s important to get creative and show your brand’s personality. So, while one week you might be getting involved in trending hashtags such as #InternationalWomensDay, other weeks may see you having to respond to international news on the topics like the pandemic and lockdown rules. Just remember the golden rule: be quick!

Why is reactive content so important now?

Reactive content has always been important to marketers, and particularly for link builders who have to compete with plenty of other businesses looking to gain exposure on high-quality, relevant websites.

But with the coronavirus quickly evolving and continuing to do so, it was found that both UK and US citizens are now digesting more broadcast news than has ever been tracked before by the Global Web Index. This meant marketers had to act very fast to raise their chances of securing press coverage, and it’s likely journalists and editors will be expecting these tighter deadlines to be manageable going forward, too.

This demand also motivated many marketers to publish topical content on their own websites, to improve the onsite user experience and attract new visitors via channels like organic search and social media. After seeing the benefits, many businesses are adopting a reactive content strategy for the long-term.

In times of crises like the pandemic, marketers are also expected to adapt their ideas quickly to conserve resources and make the most out of previous hours spent on a campaign. For example, when restrictions took travel off the cards for many holidaymakers last summer, we were in the early stages of planning editorials around best wine tour locations for a client. Instead of scrapping the idea, we pivoted to create a virtual wine tour campaign that was a hit! Experiences like these have shown marketers the value in refreshing and repurposing their content.

As the pandemic continues to be a threat globally and the rules remain highly susceptible to change, businesses in all industries need to be prepared to adapt accordingly. Doing this during these uncertain times means you can then apply the lessons learned in the future, to other big breaking news events. By training up your team to look out for opportunities for reactive content and knowing how to create this quickly can put you in great stead for securing great links down the line.

6 tips for getting started with reactive content

1. Understand your brand

It’s important that you don’t get caught up in the news cycle and jump onto ideas that don’t apply to your brand. Holding ideation sessions to fully understand what types of news your brand could react to will be helpful and save time in the long run.

2. Do preliminary research

Reactive content isn’t always something you’ll have to create on the spot, so if there’s something coming up that you pre-empt big coverage on, take the time to get ahead. Now is the time to collect quotes, do surveys, and analyse any data you think will be relevant.

3. Create a bank of relevant publications

Speed is everything when it comes to pitching reactive content to journalists and other publishers. When news breaks or something very time-sensitive comes out, you’ll have to contend with plenty of other content submissions from businesses hoping to secure coverage. So, it’ll help to build up a bank of publications relevant to your company so you’re ready to fire out your reactive content to them.

I’d also recommend approaching journalists ahead of any planned events, such as the Budget announcements, to let them know you will have contacts and information available for them. This raises the likelihood of them coming to you when the news breaks.

4. Draw up a bank of ideas and topics

You can never be too prepared and drawing up a bank of ideas and topics that your business can comment on or cover on your blog, according to what’s been in the news previously or currently, will help you to be as reactive as possible. You can’t always predict what will come up, but getting together as much as you can will be a step in the right direction.

5. Read the news each day

News moves extremely fast, and if you don’t spot some breaking news until the end of your working day, it’ll likely be old news by the time you get your content out. I’d always suggest scoping out the news at the beginning of your day and watching it in the evening ahead of the next day. Usually, if 24 hours have elapsed, news is no longer that relevant, so remember to act quickly wherever you can.

It might also be helpful to turn on Google alerts for the keywords relevant to your business, so you never miss out on the opportunity to cover some of the hot topics.

6. Look at what’s already out there

Before you offer something up to a journalist, look through what’s already been covered out there. You can find the missing element that can make your reactive content stand out — like extra data or expert quotes — and then pitch it to them highlighting these additions.

Creating reactive content is important for ensuring you’re generating fresh, relevant ideas that will help with your outreach link-building strategy. Plus, they can help to develop your onsite content strategy too, whether that be creating blog posts or optimising your delivery pages for coronavirus updates that your customers will be looking for. Here at Glass Digital, we are dedicated to helping our clients get coverage on a range of publications, so why not get in touch with our outreach and digital PR team to find out how we can help you today?