March 29

Why You Should Think Outside The Box


Have you ever heard of a strategy known as “topic bridging?” This is a marketing concept related to the creation of content. It’s used by the most aware blog publishers to ensure that they always have something that’s relatively fresh to present to their readers and viewers.

Topic bridging is an attempt to connect what can often be a rather narrowly focused subject area to other, related areas of interest. In other words, you’re finding a topic that can be tangentially related to your storyline and which should be of interest to others who are seeking relevant education or entertainment.

When developing a small business, you should always bear in mind that topic bridging can prevent your online marketing from becoming stale. It can also be of great value when it comes to public relations. The key takeaway here is to set aside brainstorming sessions on a regular basis. Set up these meetings with trusted advisors including your virtual assistant team, with the objective of finding a storyline that’s “hot” but also of relevance to your niche.

So many small business owners miss this kind of opportunity, as they’re so engrossed in what they’re doing. They don’t realise quickly enough that a major, breaking news story has some relevance to their own business.

You don’t need to engage the services of a highly paid consultant to keep you aware of such opportunities. As a small business owner you and your virtual assistant team are best placed to make that connection and to bridge that topic, so long as you’re constantly aware that you need to do so. When you have a regular meeting dedicated to this, perhaps every week for half an hour or so on the same scheduled day, then you’ll get into the habit of keeping your eyes and ears open. Then, when a breaking story arrives, whether regional or international, you’ll be able to make the connection immediately and get to work on a story.

When a subject is trending, media organisations are actively on the lookout for resources to enable them to do a better job of reporting. If you’re seen to be “visible” here and proactively creating a position on the story, then there’s an excellent chance that your involvement is going to get picked up by the very people to whom you want to market. This will, in turn, enable you to create a better relationship with them. Then, when you have a less dramatic PR line that you want to spin, you’ll be well positioned to get valuable column inches or airtime.

Another way of looking at this is always to be thinking outside of the box. The tendency is to focus on your business too narrowly. This can lead to opportunities missed and – worse – leave you with a dull or stale message; more of the same, all the time. Don’t conform to business norms. Increasingly we’re all finding that only really unusual stories move through the eye of the needle.


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