Marketing budgets across the globe have seldom been under as much strain as they are now - just surviving and staying on an even keel is a result. For those brave enough to be trying to launch a new brand or service, however, it’s a positively panic-inducing time.
If you’re stressing about how you’re going to attract customers to your new proposition there are two strategies that you will have to employ...
PR and Content Marketing.
Quick explainer for the uninitiated. PR is defined as being 'earned media' and encompasses your efforts to create and maintain strong relationships with media, bloggers, investors and influencers. Its purpose is simple: to position your product or service in the most positive light in order to enhance reputation and, ultimately, to garner sales and get your bottom line looking black.
Content Marketing is a different beast. Categorised as 'owned media', it's a basket of strategies to generate, feature and share interesting content, the aim being to leverage what you create in order to engage with a specific audience (or audiences). The final target is the same - to get more people invested in what you have to offer - but it's not the same thing as PR.
Here's the thing, though… if you really want the magic to happen you'll have to combine both PR and Content Marketing. By definition, the latter only succeeds in its mission if it reaches your eventual customers - that means placing it where they can see and access it. PR can play a huge part in helping in that process along, positioning content in all the most beneficial places. It's a symbiotic relationship of the best kind… think of PRs as birds and bees and your content as pollen.
Create fresh, interesting and informative stuff that people will actually care about. That can take a host of different forms: thought leadership articles, expert commentaries, surveys, infographics, customer stories, reviews, brand journalism (which includes video and webinars).
Get that content out to the opinion makers and potential customers within your sectors. That can be via traditional media (print and TV) as well as online media (bloggers, influencers, relevant websites) and social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tik-Tok etc). Doing so will drive engagement, build authority, create new conversations (hopefully with potential sales prospects) and, ultimately, give a measure of credibility to your proposition. Trust matters.
Execute Steps One and Two well and you'll invariably reap a rich bonus: strong SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). Brands that create a regular and consistent flow of original content - and ensure they obtain backlinks to their own website - invariably find themselves organically rising up Google's search rankings.
While there are still some cute tricks that SEO specialists can play in order to get you appearing higher up in searches, it's a basic truth that nothing pleases Google's fickle algorithms more than seeing a consistent flow of original desirable content, one that's being seeded out to, and in return by, those in your universe.
There are no shortcuts here but the good news is there's a voracious, never ending appetite for new information and insights. If you want to kill two birds with one stone, speak to an independent PR specialist that's spent decades generating original content and getting it out there. You already know who I'm going to suggest… click here and let's get the conversations going...