Public relations is the practice of building mutually beneficial relationships by providing relevant and timely information to already existing audiences. At the same time, content marketing is all about creating content that attracts and retains new audiences.
While these concepts may seem like two ends of the spectrum, combining content marketing and PR gives your organization a new approach to lead generation.
Challenges generated by current prospects
Customer acquisition costs (CAC) are rising. About 60% of marketers say their CAC has increased over the past three years, making it more important than ever for companies to identify potential leads and increase the chances of those leads converting quickly into paying customers.
Content marketing excels at the second part of the equation. As a result, companies dedicate more of their marketing budget to content-based campaigns. As the Marketing Insider Group points out, the most successful companies now spend 40% of their total marketing budget on content-driven campaigns. PR budgets are also growing as companies look to maintain strong existing connections – in the US alone, businesses now spend more than $6 billion a year on public relations efforts.
result? Spending to retain existing customers and drive conversions is increasing. For many companies, however, lead generation is hindered by content networks that are too broad to capture the ideal audience, and an overly focused PR approach to maintaining the status quo.
Can you use PR to generate leads?
yes. By combining traditional PR methods with content marketing strategies, existing audiences can be leveraged as a starting point for new connections.
For its part, PR aims to keep current audiences interested and disseminate key information about business operations to relevant news and industry media.
By incorporating techniques that content marketers use to drive engagement (quizzes, surveys, or user-generated content), PR teams have the potential to generate new leads that already connect with current audiences, thereby capturing more of the target market.
How Content Marketing and PR Work Together
PR and content marketing are two sides of the same coin. Both are focused on creating and communicating valuable information – just for two different audiences.
In PR, the goal is to educate existing audiences such as loyal customers, stakeholders, and social media followers on topics of interest. Assets created by public relations teams, such as press releases, white papers, or e-books, are often published on news sites or shared with industry publications to reach audiences that are already listening.
At the same time, content marketing teams focus on consistently creating timely and relevant high-value content, which is then shared in hopes of generating new customer interest and expanding overall audiences. Content marketing teams are often responsible for email campaigns that encourage users to click on new products or download reports; they can also create newsletters and social media posts, and coordinate marketing partnerships, such as those with social media influencers.
Combining these two approaches can find and generate leads who may become loyal customers.
Not sure where to start generating leads in a content marketing/PR model? We offer you seven strategy options.
How to Generate Leads with Content Marketing and PR Strategies
- Find new channels
- Science meets art
- Repurpose content
- talk about your achievements
- Create Reciprocal Content Framework
- Rely on established connections
- keep communication open
1. Find new channels
News spread quickly. So fast, in fact, that even the digital news media often can’t keep up. For businesses, this means it’s still important to submit PR articles to familiar news sources and industry publications. It’s also worthwhile to look for accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn that provide similar news stories quickly.
By using a combination of familiar and fast-moving content distribution options, companies can expand their reach and reach.
2. Combining science and art
While PR has long focused on written content (press releases and white papers containing the science of data collection and statistical interpretation), there is a growing demand for visual content that provides a lower barrier to entry.
result? Combining in-depth content created by your PR team with more broadly applicable infographic art developed by content marketing experts will help your content reach the widest audience possible.
3. Repurpose content
With a combination of content marketing and PR, there’s nothing wrong with copying yourself, as long as you do it right.
Here’s what it looks like in practice: You create a white paper or ebook about a new product, then repurpose that content to create multiple, shorter blog posts. result? You dominate both the PR and the content market with similar but not identical content.
4. Talk about your achievements
Don’t be shy about the awards you’ve won or the accolades you’ve received. Often listed in press releases, companies may be reluctant to mention awards in content marketing efforts for fear of moving too far from social conversations to sales.
In fact, whether on your website or in any content marketing campaign, it’s worth highlighting what you’re good at. While there is a balance to be struck between self-love and self-awareness, the changing nature of consumer expectations has customers looking for brands that are qualified to support big claims.
5. Create a Reciprocal Content Framework
Your content doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Consider a white paper used by the PR team and then republished by content marketers as blogs and social media links. If the content team can facilitate engagement with potential customers, such as providing feedback or leaving a comment, this can help determine the focus of the next PR content, which in turn leads to the next content campaign.
6. Rely on established connections
What you know and who you know are important in marketing. It’s worth leveraging PR connections to help drive your content strategy. These could be social media influencers, industry experts, or even long-term customers willing to share your content.
For influencers, this can mean ongoing freelance arrangements that require a specific number of posts. For long-term customers, discounts or other offers can pave the way for content sharing.
7. Keep communication open
Last but not least in a world of rapidly changing consumer buying trends? PR and content marketing teams need to maintain constant communication. This both reduces the risk of redundant or outdated content entering news outlets or social media sites, and helps ensure that new campaigns are coordinated for maximum effect.
Content Marketing and PR Lead Generation Strategies Examples
So what does this combination of PR and content marketing look like in practice? Let’s look at four real-world examples.
1. Wells Fargo
PR is about mining the details, while content marketing is about results. Both support Wells Fargo, which donates 1.5% of its gross income to charitable causes each year.
It’s great information as a press release, but as part of a larger content marketing campaign, especially during the covid-19 pandemic, it’s a great way for companies to show they’re doing well and connect with new customers .
Ford is focused on sustainability and has committed $22 billion in vehicle electrification efforts to help achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. It’s an ambitious goal with a long timeline – but it also fits perfectly with the current public focus on green initiatives.
By building a narrative around this approach to sustainability, Ford has the potential to reach environmentally conscious consumers who would otherwise avoid the popular automaker.
Google is also committed to reducing energy consumption, but has had a greater impact on the social aspects of corporate social responsibility (CSR) thanks to its outspoken CEO Sundar Pichai’s willingness to work with industry and world leaders on social responsibility and equality. Influence.
As a result, Google is not only able to leverage its vast data resources to deliver relevant PR statistics, but to back it up with socially conscious actions that result in compelling content.
Streaming giant Netflix offers parents paid parental leave — most take four to eight months, but can take up to a year — putting them well ahead of most companies.
While parental leave is a great topic on its own, combining information about the program with details about the company’s large-scale, continued success can create a great content narrative as the company grapples with The Great Resignation.
PR and Content Marketing: Making the Most of This Dynamic Pair
PR and content marketing together can lead to opportunities for leads. Public relations provides relevant information to interested parties to help build mutually beneficial relationships, while content marketing simplifies the conversion process from leads to customers.
By combining forces, these different delivery methods become a dynamic duo capable of generating leads that are more likely to convert and more likely to share their experiences with other prospects.
Want to make the most of this practical pairing? Use PR to build and strengthen relationships with industry insiders and influencers, then rely on their connections to distribute purpose-built content that helps generate high-quality leads within your target audience.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in February 2010 and has been updated for completeness.