It’s reasonable to think of content marketing and PR as separate entities, but the truth is, in today’s multi-platform, social media-dominated world, PR and content marketing need each other. As all brands drive to feed multiple channels with content, getting a message to resonate with the right audience is harder than ever. That’s why your digital marketing mantra should firmly position content alongside PR, so that the two become one and the same.
We’re about to show you what the child of content marketing and PR looks like, and why you should matchmake your two teams.
Brand building with integrated CM & PR
Good content marketing is all about selling your business without selling it - producing useful, relevant and timely content that your audience will love. You attract potential customers to the brand by building trust and authority by adding real value to the wider conversation. This can be in the form of blogs, vlogs, podcasts, Slideshares, webinars, social media posts and email campaigns. However, finding an authoritative channel for your content delivery is vital, which is where PR comes in.
PR traditionally relies on healthy relationships between brands and publications. PR agencies will try to get column inches for their clients by selling relevant article ideas to journalists in the national, local and trade press. Sound simple? It’s not. It’s based upon a delicate trust between journalists and marketeers, and win-win situations that suit both the interests of brands as well as the readership of different publications. But good PR relies on having good content, and good content is often distributed using the principles of PR.
Aren’t they the same thing?
Not anymore, and here’s why. The concept of ‘native advertising’ is where marketing is heading; the more natural and organic the better. There’s nothing more effective than positioning your brand in a way that is interesting and useful, via an authoritative third-party outlet. Journalism and PR have great synergy these days, with PR agencies influential in establishing the standard of content marketing.
In short, if you want your quality content to reach the right people, then PR is the art-form of finding the right channels, which today can mean the right bloggers and industry influencers. Marketing content to influencers blurs the boundaries between content marketing and PR. Content marketing is becoming more challenging as businesses seek to reach audiences with the best material, trying new techniques and approaches to captivate and convert. 2016 has been the year of diversification, with the rise of Snapchat, 360-degree video, Facebook Live and Periscope, content marketing is increasingly about having cutting edge conversations in new ways. But isn’t this just all a big PR stunt? Well, yes.
Why should I combine PR with content marketing?
Successful content marketing relies on distribution, which is why your PR team and content marketing team can learn from each other. Marketing relies on reaching an even greater audience and increasing brand awareness, which PR pros are best placed to help with. Although corporate blogs carry value, they are more self-promoting and carry less credibility than earned media. The general public are still more likely to trust traditional news outlets, meaning that PR can generate more credible ‘hits’ for the content your team is generating. PR and marketing are working towards similar goals; increasing thought leadership, brand awareness and more authoritative positioning within the industry.
Google also rewards websites that have high-quality backlinks from other authoritative websites. In essence, search engines see backlinks as recommendations so, provided their from well-respected sources, the more backlinks you have, the higher up search rankings you’ll appear - another great reason to get content and PR working in sync.
How can I integrate my content marketing with PR?
It’s simple to get your PR and content marketing working together to improve the quality and reach of your campaigns. It all starts with getting your objectives clearly mapped out. Having a joint PR and content marketing strategy means that your team can work towards extracting the maximum ROI on any collateral you create. This also enables you to have a consistent brand messaging, giving a clear editorial focus.
In practical terms, firstly have the two teams working together on reviewing and forecasting the latest trends, enabling your content team to have more clarity on what material will have the maximum impact. Whether it’s contributing articles to industry publications, webinars or vlogs, your PR can act as a pipeline to enable your marketing to reach a broader audience. By connecting the two teams, you can even produce press releases rich with SEO keywords, or make sure your blog posts get noticed by local influencers.
Collaboration is the key to great PR and fantastic content marketing, and taking this campaign-based, innovative, integrated approach will almost certainly see you give birth to new business opportunities.