The first step to using content marketing as an effective tool for PR is to understand how it fits into the PR equation. Public Relations is focused on raising awareness, influencing opinions and managing reputations to drive bottom lines, while content marketing is focused on awareness, lead generation and sales. Content marketing can best be thought of an extension of PR – elevated awareness resulting in positive engagement.
As a startup or small business owner, it is extremely important to realize the benefits that you will experience by employing effective content marketing tactics to further your PR objectives. By providing timely, relevant, and useful information, you will be able to attract customers and build a loyal following that will drive your bottom line.
Here are some tips on using content marketing as an effective PR tool:
- Know the importance of owned media: Over the last few years brands have been increasingly becoming publishers in an effort to create an engaging digital presence. PR plays a pivotal role in strategically developing content that aligns with your business objectives, tells your story, and ensures that it resonates with your target audiences.
- Think like your audience: One of the most important components of content marketing is to put yourself in your audience’s shoes – find out what they are interested in and produce it. Before you develop your content, go back to your communications/PR plan and look at your defined target market segments, then tailor your content to appeal to those segments. Do some market research to see what interests and appeals to them – tailoring your content to your audiences is one of the most important aspects of using content marketing as an effective PR tool.
- Engagement, engagement, engagement: In order to use content marketing as an effective PR tool, you need to produce content that engages your audiences. Make sure yourcontent peaks interest to inspire engagement, for example, instead of producing traditional news releases, try crafting a social media release – they usually include a mix of multimedia like hyperlinks and embedded video and images as well as embedded social media links to your social media pages. The key is to get people interested in your content, spark conversations, and build relationships.
Like PR, content marketing can best be thought of as a marathon, not a sprint! As a content publisher, your job is never done – think of your content marketing activities as an ongoing journey and not just a means to an end. Your content’s main purpose is to attract, educate, and engage your target markets and ultimately turn them into loyal customers/clients in the long run!