Public relations activities can promote and distribute content, giving it a much greater reach and taking it to new and wider audiences.Is PR the missing link you are looking for to take your content marketing strategy to the next level?
In this blog, we have covered content marketing and its many advantages for businesses, from increasing brand recognition and building trust with their customer base to generating sales leads and exponential revenue growth.
Once you have developed a comprehensive content strategy, are producing engaging, high-quality content, there is one more step you can take to fuel your content marketing and really take it to a level which will help you grow your business exponentially: public relations.
Public relations have been a part of brand strategies for a very long time and is seen by some as no longer relevant to the changing face of branding and marketing. However, does PR have a key role to play in one of the newest forms of marketing?
Let’s take a look at public relations’ advantages for content marketing, and how PR activities can be used to fuel your content marketing strategy.
What Is Public Relations?
Google Dictionary has a good public relations definition for business: “the professional maintenance of a favourable public image by a company”.
Maintaining this favourable public image usually involves dealing with the media and other important stakeholders.
Content marketing, on the other hand, is defined as “a type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services.”
Even from these simple definitions, you can see how public relations and content marketing are closely linked and have many areas of overlap. Both are concerned with or designed to create a certain image for a brand.
So how can public relations work with your content marketing strategy to achieve its goals?
Advantages Of Public Relations For Content Marketing
Although one of the oldest facets of communications, PR is evolving and adapting to stay relevant today. The most successful public relations professionals today are not fighting to get their message out in spite of the technological changes of the modern online world, they are working with the changing landscape to use public relations in new and innovative ways.
Public relations, when executed well and in a way which understands the potential of content marketing, can be highly advantageous to businesses’ marketing efforts. Public relations activities can promote and distribute content, giving it a much greater reach and taking it to new and wider audiences.
Public relations activities can promote and distribute content, giving it a much greater reach and taking it to new and wider audiences.
As content marketing is adopted by more and more companies, with more content flooding the internet all the time, public relations becomes even more relevant, as it is vital to making sure your content is more visible than your competitors’. After all, great content only has value if it is reaching your target audience.
Figures show that PR staff are expecting that PR agencies can deliver on areas relevant to content marketing, such as SEO and blogger outreach.
Image source: https://www.prmoment.com/category/pr-research/to-lead-the-digital-revolution-PR-must-invest-more-in-budgets-and-training
On the other side of the coin, content marketing can also support public relations efforts. Content marketing is a highly effective way to build a strong reputation for your brand, thus contributing to the “favourable public image” as mentioned in the core definition of public relations.
In this way public relations and content marketing are closely intertwined and can be used to support each other’s goals. PR is a great way to promote content, and content is a fantastic tool for public relations to get its message out.
How To Use PR To Support Content Marketing
PR strategies and techniques can support your content marketing efforts invaluably, multiplying your results. Here are some specific things you can do to use public relations strategies to boost your content marketing.
Use Media To Promote Your Content To A Wider Audience
The online world has opened up an exciting range of platforms businesses can use to connect with their audience. However, don’t overlook the power of the media in terms of distributing your content to newer and wider audiences, which can, in turn, lead to more website traffic, growth of your customer base, sales leads, and more. Although the media industry has changed much in recent years, journalists still have incredible reach and influence, whether through more traditional publications, or online news sites and magazines.
Apply digital PR techniques to work with journalists to promote your content by:
- Researching and identifying publications relevant to your business, your content or your audience
- Compile a database in a marketing CRM or similar of these publications with details of journalists or editors at the publication, including contact information, social profiles, and areas of focus or interest.
- Reach out to these contacts with content and pitches which you think are relevant to their audience
Get Guest Posts Published
It is becoming increasingly common for publications and blogs to publish guest posts and by-lined articles from external writers, particularly if they are well regarded in their field.
Approaching publications and well-known blogs to publish by-lined articles and guest posts by your business’ leaders can be a great way to build the public image of your brand. Furthermore, these kinds of guest posts also mean more high-quality inbound links to your site, not only driving traffic but improving your site’s SEO.
This is also an example of public relations and content marketing having a symbiotic, two-way relationship. By creating excellent, well-regarded content for example on your company’s blog you can position yourself as a thought leader in your industry. This, in turn, is more like to have you invited to write guest posts for major publications or to have your posts accepted, thus supporting your PR strategy.
Tailor your pitches to the publication’s calendar
Some publications, particularly traditional print publications, will make editorial calendars public. These calendars lay out the topics the publication will be covering through the year and on what issue.
You can use this information to make send them the right pitch at the right time for the content they will be interested in publishing. You can even go one step further than this and create specific content to suit specific topics you know a publication will be covering in an upcoming issue.
Use Press Releases To Improve SEO
Press Releases have long been a key part of the public relations toolkit. These days, they remain useful for getting your stories to news outlets and publications, though as we’ve already discussed the modern media landscape demands approaching journalists in new and more personal ways.
However, press releases also have an additional benefit in the age of digital marketing: they can help you to direct traffic to your site through SEO. Press releases are generally published widely online, therefore represent a goldmine opportunity for SEO. By approaching press releases the same way you approach your content, that is researching and including SEO keywords, adding back-links and ensuring the press release links back to your site, you add another opportunity for your business to be discovered by users on search engine ranking pages.
Public Relations Example: Mint
Personal finance app Mint is a great example of good content marketing which was taken to the next level thanks to public relations activities. Mint used solid marketing strategies to gain recognition for their brand and move towards positioning themselves as a leading resource in their sector. The created a personal finance blog, and regularly posted high quality, useful and engaging content.
However, although they started to gain a good following for their content, the blog fell short in delivering the size of audience they needed to meet their business goals. They then established a relationship with Gawker Media, which puts out popular blogs such as Lifehacker and Gizmodo. Once Mint started promoting their content through Gawker Media’s sites, the audience for their own blog exploded.
Identify And Build Partnerships
PR goes far beyond journalists and the media. PR is, in essence, about reaching influential stakeholders relevant to your business and your customer base. In this way, PR can help not only get your content to a wider audience but also to ensure your target audience takes notice of your content. Your audience may view your content as more reliable, trustworthy or important if it reaches them via a reputable publication, or alternatively through an industry leader.
Other stakeholders who can be helpful to your content marketing strategy include other companies, organisations and associations. Think about the organisations and associations in your industry or sector which have a large audience or strong network. How can you partner or collaborate with them? Would they be willing to promote your brand, or perhaps your content, on their website, email newsletters, or other communications?
Look For Speaking Engagements
One excellent way of building and using industry connections is through conferences and speaking engagements. Research and identify opportunities for your company’s key people to make appearances at conventions, conferences and industry events. Not only will this build your relationship with the association or organisation holding the event, it is also a platform to publicise your business’ content and expertise to others in the industry, building your relationship with your audience as well as reaching new audience members.
Submit To Awards
There are now a variety of industry awards which recognise quality content, across a range of sectors. Submitting your content for their consideration, even if you are not awarded a prize brings your content to whole new audiences, as well as contributing to your business’ reputation as a thought leader in your sector.
Work With Influencers
One of the trends we have seen in 2018 has been the ride of the Social Media Influencer. Many brands have recognised the power of influencers and are working with them to promote their brands and their products.
The influencer approach doesn’t need to stop with traditional promotion and advertising. Influencers can also be useful partners when it comes to content marketing. If you have content which would be of interest to an influencer, or useful for their audience, you can ask the influencer to promote it through their platforms.
Research and Identify Relevant Influencers
Similar to the approach to journalists, consider building a database of influencers relevant to your brand and your audience, including contact information, areas of interest, and as much personal information on the influencer as possible. This means when you reach out to them you can be as personal and specific as possible in your approach, which is critical for establishing a good relationship.
Build Personal Relationships
It is important to remember that building relationships with influencers is different from establishing corporate partnerships or dealing with the media – you need to treat them as individuals. Having a personal approach and putting time into building a relationship is particularly important because influencers are now being flooded with requests for collaboration with businesses and brands.
Furthermore, many influencers are extremely savvy when it comes to PR and understand how important image is in their position. With so much choice, and with their image to consider, they will want to make sure that they only collaborate with companies which are professional, reputable and suit their own brand.
At Connect London, we understand the power of content marketing: we work with businesses to develop an effective content marketing strategy built with appropriate, high-quality content, and we have seen the amazing results this can deliver.
However, businesses which execute a content marketing strategy which does not include public relations activities are missing out on vital opportunities to promote their content and therefore grow their business.
Content marketing and public relations are a great combination. Public relations activities amplify your content marketing strategies, helping your content reach wider audiences and making sure your target audience takes notice. Content, for its part, can be an invaluable tool for public relations.
Connect London helps our clients grow their businesses exponentially through quality, UK based content creation and content marketing strategy. You can learn more about our services here or contact us for a proposal.