Reactive Content

How reactive content can improve your marketing strategy

As marketers, we spend hours researching keywords and search volumes to find topics that users will engage with. We’re so eager to create content that resonates with readers and provide value to our audiences. Once we’ve planned our topics and written our content, we schedule posts in advance of their release to stay on top of impending deadlines.

Being proactive isn’t the only way to create great content that earns engagement. There’s so much power in reactive content that many brands aren’t using to their advantage. Leaving some space in your content strategy for reactive content can give your marketers a well-needed break and boost audience interaction. Here’s why reactive content should be a welcome addition to your marketing efforts…

What is reactive content?

Reactive content is the opposite of proactive content. To be reactive, you have to react to current events, news, trends and topics that people are talking about. You have to be quick off the bat and get in there first before your competitors do. Your reactive content can be in the form of a blog post, social post, video or imagery – there’s no restrictive format so you can choose the best way to communicate your message. Your reactive content has to be relevant to your business and industry. If your audience isn’t interested in a certain news topic, don’t create content around it. This won’t be relevant to them and won’t gain attention from the right users.

Where can I find reactive content?

Reactive content can be found almost anywhere with a credible source. Social listening is essential. Follow industry leaders, news channels and competitors on social media to see what they’re posting and sharing. Check trending topics and hashtags that are generating conversation in the industry to see if there’s expertise or advice your business could provide. Subscribe to industry newsletters as they often post breaking news and interesting conversations happening currently. Keep an eye on Google Trends to find relevant keywords that are being searched the most that day.

How do I create reactive content?

After finding the topic or event you want to write about, identify the angle you want to approach it from. The key is to only make reactive content where it adds value to your audience. You have to use the topic to educate, inform, or raise awareness rather than sell your products. Your audience will sense if you’re jumping on the bandwagon and won’t positively engage with your brand.

Create the content as quickly as you can but don’t compromise on its quality. The longer you wait, the more opportunity there is for your competitor to publish their content first. If you don’t publish immediately, there’s a chance your topic will become old news and audiences will have moved on. You can put procedures in place before creating reactive content to ensure the relevant people are on hand to sign it off as soon as possible.

What are the benefits of reactive content?

Stay relevant

Your brand must post content that’s about things other than your products or services. This can get repetitive for your audience and followers will become bored with your content offering. Reactive content shows your audience that you’re ahead of the game and quick to respond to current events. By offering content in the form of blogs or videos, you can add value to your content strategy by helping audiences learn new things. It keeps your social feeds, website and email marketing up to date with fresh content and imagery so you never run out of ideas.

Proactive content that’s well-researched can also be relevant, but reactive content gives you the edge. You can be sure that very few brands or businesses have written about the current event before you have. Your audience will view you as an opinion leader and look out for your reactive content in the future if it provides value to them. They’ll connect with your brand knowing you care about the things they’re interested in.

Improve shareability

Being one of the first to react to a piece of news or trending topic allows you to get ahead of your competitors. Whether you create a blog, video or image, sharing it across your social media channels improves your chances of virality. When your followers and those following the news resonate with your post, it can gain traction across social platforms. Finding your unique angle that adds value to the situation will help you stand out from other brands.    

With the increased likelihood of shares comes the possibility of negative comments. It’s important that your post is unique, valuable and doesn’t use others for your own gain. It has to be understandable for all audiences to be shared and accepted. If your message is misconstrued or miscommunicated, it can leave a bad taste in the audience’s mouth and tarnish your brand image.

Reach new audiences

Talking about new topics will help you reach audiences you haven’t connected with before. By sharing your post with your followers, they’re likely to see it and share it with their own following. By using relevant hashtags and tagging the people or brands involved will spread your post far and wide. With valuable reactive content, new audiences will develop positive associations with your brand.

By reaching a wider audience that wouldn’t have otherwise engaged with your brand, you’ll gain new followers and potential leads. You don’t have to just share a post, you can get involved in a trending topic, news item or current event by joining in the conversation online. You can comment, like and share others’ posts to get your brand name out there too.

Reactive content should occupy a firm position in your content marketing strategy. Proactive content can be scheduled at any time, but publishing valuable and relevant reactive content requires agility. Your social listening skills are essential to notice a trending topic, find your unique angle, create content and publish it – while never compromising its quality or message.

Written by: Laura Greenhalgh
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Written by: Laura Greenhalgh
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