Content marketing is the hot new trend in marketing, specifically life sciences marketing, and for good reason. Effective content marketing can help to position one in the space they strive to own, provide increased exposure, build brand awareness, establish and/or increase one’s reputation by generating thought leadership and help one achieve expert status in the industry.

The benefits speak for themselves. The question is how does one build an effective strategy? The following strategy is an efficient method for authoring original material to be used for publication in trade journals and in one’s own thought leadership vehicles.

First, develop a list of content ideas and a list of industry-specific target publications. Next, review recent issues of publications and editorial calendars to determine topics of interests, writing styles, audience and contacts. Then, pitch 1 -2 of the relevant content ideas to the publication contact via email. The email should include information on the author, content outline or brief header and first paragraph (but no more than that), potential sources, potential word count and timeline for completion.

A few things to keep in mind when pitching story ideas:

Publications work months in advance so if you are aiming for inclusion in a specific issue or season, the final content could be due 2-3 months prior.

Most publications will only accept original content, i.e. content that has not been published prior, including through one’s own thought leadership vehicles.

Be cognizant of what you are submitting and how often. Journalists receive hundreds of story ideas daily. It is important to be known as one who submits ideas that are timely and relevant, otherwise “nuisance” emails could be deleted and never opened.

If the idea is accepted by the publication, it can be republished on the company website with attribution or links to the article, increasing Google rankings and search engine optimization or SEO. If the publication declines, the idea can be used for an upcoming newsletter or blog post. This highlights the multipurpose nature of authored content. Compelling content can be reused, repurposed and recycled.