While some marketers may have not yet recognized the profound effect content marketing is having on public relations, others are noticing the natural extension both functions form in relationship with one another. A content marketing strategy should be representative of your brand and voice, convey your business’ main principles, all while being entertaining, useful and relevant. If you are a PR professional, do these objectives sound much different from the work you are doing to communicate how your business is making an impact on your industry? The bottom line is, both functions of content creation and PR are built on the foundation of establishing relationships and motivating others to become ambassadors for your brand. Check out these key impressions that content marketing has made, and will continue to make on PR:
Establishing a content marketing strategy is not built entirely on an “if you build it they will come” philosophy. While there are many organic search and SEO benefits to regular blogging, oftentimes partnerships with high profile influencers or organizations with high traffic websites can have an incredible impact on follower and engagement growth. When we think about PR’s role in content marketing strategy, there are a few ways that a collaborative content approach may come into focus.
- Guest blog opportunities: How often do you see the word “contributor” next to a writer’s name on a prominent news website or blog site? Probably fairly often. These individuals are not necessarily journalists or employees of the publication, but rather, industry experts that have shared a piece of content that is important and relevant for the site's readers. Securing a guest blog spot on a news site or organization’s site can often mean greater impressions than a traditional editorial placement. Additionally, when influencers are invited to guest blog on your business’ site, they will likely share the post with their large networks – driving significant traffic to your website.
- Influencer outreach:
Gone are the days when a PR professional drafts a press release, sends it to the masses and expects a good response. A certain level of research is needed during your content outlining and drafting phase to identify journalists’ areas of focus and expertise. This extra step will ensure that you are crafting your content in a way that tells an interesting story and hits key areas of focus for specific writers. Much like the research we do to target influential journalists in our industry’s areas of concentration, when generating potentially collaborative and share-able content, research on other influencers who are initiating and taking part in important conversations within your industry is a strategy you should not ignore.
Additionally, try focusing on creating content that includes expert insight from industry professionals. Is your content relevant to the list of industry influencers, bloggers, podcasters, etc., that you’ve created? If it is, then find ways to strategically get the content in front of them with the hope that they will share it with their networks.
- Partnerships: Influencer outreach is not the only way to leverage collaborative content opportunities. What associations and trade organizations offer the opportunity for expansive reach among their members and followers? What other professionals are you connected with that have large networks and may be motivated by your request, or an incentive, to share your content? Research ways to collaborate and share among their communication channels.
Incorporating collaborative content into your marketing strategy ultimately requires research and relationship building. Take time to get to know the writing style, interests, behaviors and needs of your prospective partners. All of this should be done in an effort to create a relationship built on mutual goals. While keeping these goals in mind, collaborative content relationships and partnerships will likely result in converting more prospects to customers, increased brand recognition and strengthened customer loyalty.
Coming soon: In part 2, I’ll focus on the 4 other ways content marketing has made an impression on PR through credibility and approachability, angle and storytelling, sponsored and native content, and ways to blog as a media outlet.
What changes have you made to your content marketing strategy to incorporate a PR approach and collaborative partnerships?