By Doreen Clark
You are rocking your inbound marketing strategy! You’ve got an interactive website full of infographics; you’re actively blogging; your social media accounts are buzzing with activity. You’re even publishing e-books on a regular basis. Everything you put out there is search engine–optimized. You have effectively built a digital content–rich empire. So, there’s nothing left to do, right? “If you build it, they will come.” Your sales team should be flooded with emails, e-form inquiries, and contact information from leads who have come to you. The phones should be ringing off the hook. Maybe they are, maybe they aren’t. In either case, though, are you really sure you are reaching as much of your target audience as possible?
No. Because no matter your industry, your target audience is inundated with marketing content coming at them from every direction. And generating content, alone, does not mean it’s magically appearing before the eyes of your most coveted customers.
Enter PR. Many companies think inbound marketing is all they need to fill their sales pipeline. Many believe that inbound marketing is the new PR. But that is not the case. Just as the marketing industry has transformed and adapted to a quickly changing digital market over the past decade, so has public relations, and it has a lot to offer. In fact, engaging the right kind of public relations program that complements your inbound marketing strategies can result in a marriage made in heaven. Here’s how:
Give Your Content the Star Treatment
You’ve invested a lot of time, money, and brainpower in your content. You’ve built a strong brand, refined your messaging, and developed many sources of great content that effectively tells your story. So why is it only sitting on your website waiting to be discovered? That content is a valuable commodity, and it should earn some well-deserved attention. The key is a PR program that is centered around a strong media relations plan. Think of PR pros as Hollywood talent agents. They are relationship builders, and they know how to get their clients out in front of the right people who can push them to the next level. PR pros already have media contacts that they know and trust. They will not only let the media know your content exists, but also work with their editorial contacts to get it seen, and that is crucial. Getting one of your infographics or a link to your latest e-book in a news article gives greater exposure and puts you one click away from a larger pool of new prospects. Why not give your content that extra push?
Get Ready to Walk the Red Carpet
But it’s not just your content that deserves exposure. Your company has industry experts who know their business inside and out. They are innovators and thought leaders. After all, they are the geniuses behind your products and services. So why keep them hidden within the walls of your office? A good media relations plan will not only get your content noticed, but also shine a spotlight on your most talented executives. PR pros know what their media contacts are writing about, and they can set up your executives with interviews to provide quotes for the next big article covering your space. Don’t worry if your executives are not used to media interviews—a bit of media training will do the trick to get them prepared. Not only can that lead to your new industry star being quoted in an article, it can also become a feature with your product or service front and center—putting your executives on the map as industry thought leaders and positioning your company as an expert in its field.
Give the Ultimate Awards Speech
Now that both your content and your experts are garnering media attention, it’s time to shoot for the stars and score the prize—a byline article. This is an editorial piece written by (or for) your company that is credited to one of your top executives. While it is educational in nature, a byline article allows your company to control the message and tell its story in a persuasive way to a captive audience. This may sound like a lot of work, but your PR team is ready for the challenge. Your content is already there, and your expert is a whiz at discussing the subject at hand. Once the article is published, you will not only have more validation that your company is leading its space, but also more content and sales collateral at your fingertips.
So, you see, marrying inbound marketing with a good PR program can give you that Hollywood ending you’ve always dreamed of.
Photo by Photo by Trinity Kubassek from Pexels