Written by Rob Smith
There is no single magic formula for raising awareness of your brand. Anyone claiming that they can boost your profile overnight, shoot you up the search rankings in a week and increase customer conversion immediately is leading you up the garden path.
Instead, boosting your company’s profile and online performance requires a combination of ingredients that all play their own part in helping to drive customer awareness and conversion and, ultimately, the bottom line.
Two of the key components of this are PR and content marketing, which together can help to share information about a brand’s products and activity, while also demonstrating its expertise in the field.
However, despite their similarities, the two are not the same, with each having their own distinct benefits and both relying on the other for maximum effectiveness.
PR’s key strength is enabling a company to directly promote both itself, its culture and its services, as the media is the principle target. This overlaps into reactionary activity, such as crisis communications and brand reputation management, the importance of which we have previously addressed.
Content marketing’s main facet is its ability to drive organic traffic by targeting the end user’s requirements, answering their questions, and subsequently capturing their interest. Gone are the days of explicit promotion in content, and in its place is genuine thought leadership that puts the customer’s needs first and creates brand recognition and affinity.
Where both PR and content marketing overlap is in their fundamental approach to communication, with both acting as tools for brand positioning. This extends to strategy, with the best content marketing strategies always including a PR element that focuses on adapting and tailoring content, where relevant, to extend its reach and maximise amplification.
The perfect balance
The key to striking the balance between the two is by ensuring content does not become too promotional, and making sure the PR function never loses sight of its ability to generate direct awareness.
Another key crossover is in the measurement of results, with content marketing’s analytical approach to gauging the impact of a campaign capable of being extended to PR, to determine who is engaging with content, why they are doing it, how they have come across it, and what impression it is having on them.
We believe in the four pillars of PR and content – Generation, Creation, Amplification, and Evaluation – all of which are integral to each other, and combine to create a rounded, cyclical and effective approach.
Both content marketing and PR remain irresistible forces in the world of business, and – when combined – can help to power up any strategy and bring about tangible, long-lasting results.