How brands communicate is changing. We now have access to a 24/7 digital mine of information – and at the heart of it all is content; compelling, relevant, useful and intelligent content.
Under the ever-expanding banner of communications sits a fairly new, but vitally important, combination: PR, Content Marketing and Digital. Content Marketing takes the story-telling, relationship-building strength of PR and combines it with the sales-focused, attention-grabbing strategy of marketing to accelerate brand awareness, audience engagement and, ultimately, boost conversions.
Integrating content with PR, optimizing for SEO and sharing through digital and social channels creates seamless and cohesive marketing campaigns that produce great results. Each component is strong. Integrating them together makes each stronger than it would be on its own and maximizes your marketing dollars.
Here are a few reasons why you should consider integrating your PR, Content Marketing and Digital activity:
Creating content that is interesting and useful for your audience naturally encourages engagement. The more visible (and regular) your content is, the more an audience begins to trust a brand and become an organic brand ambassador (think Facebook shares and retweets!)
Brand awareness and amplification
Whether you’re a start-up or an established business, creating intelligent content that promotes your key messages is invaluable. Content Marketing promotes your content across a multitude of platforms, casting its net wide to capture the attention of a wider audience. As it’s online, you can link back to your website, track engagement and gain real insight into your communication strategy.
Sharing content through your company’s website provides many benefits. It provides a valuable resource for customers and prospects to educate themselves about your products and activities related to your products. It positions your company as an industry leader and builds awareness and advocacy for your brand. Strategic content also provides SEO benefits. Strategic content drives relevant traffic to your website. Building strategic content around keywords and phrases that your customers and prospects are searching for online puts your company on Search Engine Results Pages that you may not have otherwise been on and drives new traffic to your site.
Influence the media
Content Marketing needs PR to make sure it’s seen and its messages are heard by the right people. If those people include journalists, bloggers and online influencers then your content acts like your own press release on a global and multi-platformed scale. Whether your video goes viral, or the FT picks up an interesting blog, you are generating publicity and organically building important media contacts.
It’s all about strategy
The customer journey is a multi-channel experience from awareness to final purchase. As Google’s ZMOT model depicts, people will access information about a brand using print media, digital, TV and radio, word of mouth and, if applicable, in-store. Campaigns should not be a one-man band of PR or Content Marketing or Digital; to succeed they must be a perfect marriage of the three. Consistent messaging, defined roles, and a targeted integrated strategy is the name of the game.
Measurement and ROI
Campaign measurement has historically been a tricky task for PR practitioners (how, after all, do you measure sentiment and reputation?) – but marketers are well-versed in measurement. Marketing bridges the gap between PR and sales, and by working collaboratively on integrated campaigns, PR, Content Marketing and Digital teams can track campaign success from the initial publication to eventual conversion.