By Alba Fraile, on 17 May 2016
Many CMOs focus their marketing plans on performance marketing actions such as emailing and social ads and often forget about public relations. PR is crucial when working on building product awareness, rebranding strategies, creating interest and stimulating demand for your product.
Nowadays PR strategies are often executed through content marketing actions in non-branded content hubs, such as alternative blogs and microsites. Putting the two together is a secure way to increase your ROI and make sure your brand’s voice is heard and understood properly in a very valuable way, by offering your audience high quality content and information that fulfills their information needs and interests. However, you need to make sure the content you create and post under your brand’s name follows a previously determined strategy that is completely aligned with your company’s goals and marketing objectives. Your PR action plan can’t be conceived as independent from the rest of your marketing tactics, with the new rules of engagement between marketers, publicists and journalists, it’s unlikely that actions and strategies that worked in the past do it nowadays.
With the appearance of social media and the digital era, nothing is really private any longer. Your strategy needs to take into consideration how transparent PR and marketing platforms are nowadays and how everything communicates. The barrier of entry has lowered and the competition is tougher, and PR seems to have evolved towards techniques with a complete digital approach, such as inbound marketing, that is being extremely successful and is here to stay. While most senior PR professionals know they need to be online, a large percentage of them don’t know where to start from. The truth is, there’s not only one way to adapt your old PR strategies & actions to the digital reality and you will need to develop your digital PR path according to your organization’s goals and objectives putting efforts in developing your team’s digital marketing skills and asking for external services if needed, because if you’re going to do it, you wanna do it right!
1. Digital PR and Brand Storytelling
If you’re trying to master the art of online PR, keep in mind that nowadays brand storytelling is more relevant than ever before (that’s what PR is all about, at the end of the day). Storytelling has gained importance in the digital marketing game because today’s users and audiences seek transparency from brands more than ever before. A well built strategy will effectively communicate your brand’s promises and will remain in your audience’s memory more consistently. A study has proven that the human brain becomes significantly more engaged when hearing a story than when hearing facts, that’s why you should put your efforts on the creation of your story and its communication before moving forward with other digital marketing tactics, because that’s what will serve as base for your whole strategy and will make it coherent and credible.
Make your customers have a memorable, positive experience when learning more about your brand and consuming your content. You can track their the engagement you get when you share branded content with your audience and learn from it, that way you will also be able to know them better, know what kind of content they seek, what their needs are and what leads to conversions more effectively. This will be very valuable information and insights that will ease your decision making process not only making it simpler, but also more ROI oriented and efficient.
2. Broaden your Digital Marketing Actions
Does your content always leave your audience asking for more? That means you’ve mastered the your brand’s storytelling and it’s time to take another step in order to reach your digital marketing & PR campaigns excellence. Content is crucial for many reasons, especially for SEO purposes and brand positioning. However, you can take your strategy to the next level by covering and being present in other channels that will allow you to reach different audiences and specific segmentations that will also be interested in your brand when worked on properly.
Social media platforms such as Twitter can allow you to reach high quality audiences that actively engage with brands with a high conversion rate. Most Twitter users consider it the fastest and most effective way to find information, and probably that’s what they’ll expect from your brand. It can be used for many purposes, and one of them is to take your PR strategy online. You’ll be able to jump on trends by using hashtags, engage with your users, promote offers, services and send traffic to your brand’s website. You will need to make sure that your brand’s personality and voice is reflected on your Tweets, so be careful when giving opinions or positioning yourself in polemic issues, it could lead to a brand identity crisis that you should avoid at all costs.
3. What Strategies Are Key for Success?
It’s an evidence that PR has changed massively and sending out tons of standard press releases just doesn’t work as it used to a decade ago. The new era of digital PR is based on the combination of traditional PR with content marketing, social media and search. Static news need to be transformed into conversations that allow you to speak directly to your target online.
One simple and effective way to build up your PR content strategy is to repurpose successful content you already have into fresh content. For instance, a press release can be repurposed into a blog post, a Pinterest infographic, a LinkedIn news update and more. When you repurpose content you created for other platforms, don’t simply rewrite the pieces, go one step further and transform them into content that provides value and is useful to your audience.
Once your content is ready to be shared with your audience, take it ever further with the second major step of digital PR: SEO. This marketing function should be taken into account on all your PR activity and content creation. With this said, it’s important that you team is aware of it and knows its mechanisms and functionality. By taking a mindful approach, you will be able to boost your impact instead of hoping on the accidental success and you will become newsworthy by having a larger impact on customers who are looking for content similar to yours. When your content is ready and optimized for SEO, share it on social media like there’s no tomorrow!