Increases in the speed, accessibility and prominence of digital communication have given way to a world in which we are constantly surrounded by news. Even if you’re not actively reading an article or searching for the news of the day, you’re probably receiving news updates when scrolling through social media platforms or receiving regular updates from various news sites’ push notifications. Tuning out from the daily headlines is almost impossible unless you’re truly trying to stay disconnected on vacation somewhere! Pew Research Center reported that the vast majority of Americans, at least 83 percent, get news in some form as a part of their everyday lives. Whether it’s a breaking headline or the latest trend, this constant flow of content informs the way we think and see the world like never before.
As a result, companies need to stay up-to-date with the news to deliver current, topical and meaningful marketing content in order to effectively engage with and captivate their audiences. Based on a survey by IBM and Econsultancy, while many companies reported being satisfied with their ability to deliver relevant communications to customers, only 21 percent of consumers said that this was actually the case. By capitalizing on various elements of news, such as timeliness, proximity and prominence, businesses can more effectively connect with consumers, ensuring their status as industry experts and go-to professionals.
Here are five elements of news that you can take advantage of to keep your audience engaged, informed and interested:
1. Timeliness: As a pest control professional, utilize your industry insights to anticipate the news cycle and stay current. Is travel season on the horizon? Spread bedbug awareness and travel prevention tips, and market your capabilities regarding these particular pests. Come fall and winter time, make sure your audience is taking the necessary precautions to fortify their homes as rodents start to seek shelter. Content that is relevant to the time of year or season will more effectively engage consumers by catering to their current needs and concerns.
2. Prominence: Pay attention to nationwide issues in order to stake your claim as an expert in the national conversation, bringing a local tie to national news. Awareness and knowledge of major news and current events shows consumers that your company is well-informed and up-to-speed. Recent national concerns like Zika virus and the re-emergence of bedbugs provided companies with the ideal opportunity to affirm their expertise and use a common concern to connect with customers.
3. Proximity: While national headlines may seem to make the biggest splash, don’t take local news for granted. If a cockroach infestation was recently discovered at a local restaurant, promote your company’s pest control capabilities and educate consumers on the health threats posed by these pests. Or, if there’s a local event like a carnival or barbecue coming up, talk about how to deal with pests such as mosquitoes and wasps while participating in the fun. In general, make sure you’re always focusing on the pests that affect your audience, whether it be termites in California or ticks in the Northeast. Adding a local tie to your marketing content can help emphasize the importance and necessity of your business. Furthermore, showing that your goal is to ensure the safety and health of the local community can go a long way toward creating positive brand awareness and consumer loyalty.
4. Oddity: Do you think your customers know that mice can squeeze through openings as small as a dime? When it comes to the pest control industry, there are a number of ways to grab consumers’ attention with novel or interesting content like eye-opening statistics or little-known fun facts about pests. To create summer pest awareness, your company could share insights like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s finding that diseases transmitted by ticks, mosquitoes and fleas have spread by threefold in recent years. If termites are a local issue, citing that the total weight of all termites in the world is greater than the weight of all humans would certainly strike a chord with consumers. Think outside the box!
5. Human Interest: Some of the most impactful and notable news is that which elicits emotion. If local residents are suffering from a vector-borne illness or disease, spread awareness on how to protect against this virus and the pest that carries it. Affirm your commitment to ensuring that others protect themselves from these dangerous diseases by practicing the necessary pest prevention strategies.
By capitalizing on these various elements of news, companies can ensure that their marketing and communication efforts are meaningful and effective. Businesses that are oblivious to the news, delivering content that is out of date or irrelevant to their audience, will not only fail to attract new customers, but might also drive away existing ones. As consumers are constantly and increasingly surrounded by news and information, it becomes ever more important for companies to be in tune with this flood of content. Being able to think and see the world like your customers do will allow you to more effectively communicate and engage with them through media relations, social media and marketing efforts, thereby helping to secure brand loyalty and success.
Cindy Mannes is the executive director of the Professional Pest Management Alliance. Visit www.npmapestworld.org/ppma for more information on how you can become involved.