Under the ever-expanding banner of communications sits a fairly new, but vitally important, pairing: #PR and content ####marketing. The two disciplines are becoming so closely intertwined that in a recent YouGov survey of the PR industry, 66% of the practitioners interviewed agreed that in 15 years’ time the term ‘PR agency’ may no longer exist – such is the impact of our digital communications.
#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.
Here are a few reasons why you should consider integrating your PR and content marketing 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.
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
In 2016 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, online, TV and radio, word of mouth and, if applicable, in-store. Campaigns should not be a one-man band of PR or content marketing; to succeed they must be a perfect marriage of both. 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 and content marketing teams can track campaign #success from the initial publication to eventual conversion.
To find out more about how content marketing and PR could help your brand, get in touch with the Formative Content team.
Jenny is a trained journalist and accredited CIPR practitioner with more than 10 years’ experience working in sectors that range from property, recruitment and hospitality to engineering, live entertainment and charities.