Over three years ago, I stumbled into the world of inbound marketing for a sales firm after a series of public relations internships. What I’ve found more and more each day is the overlapping of tactics from each field: PR and marketing. The shift into leveraging marketing tactics in PR is certainly no happenstance. Chalk it up to the “everybody is a publisher” moment we’re experiencing. According to an article I read in The Next Web, “social media and the ability to go directly to the source,” made information readily available to reporters thus changing the way PR practitioners reached their audience. Inbound marketing grew in appeal as it’s all about making it so your audience finds your brand instead of the other way around.
At its basis, inbound marketing is about creating value in rich, thoughtful content that will bring your target audience to your brand. Below are just three ways you can start incorporating inbound marketing into your PR Strategy.
- Become a content creation machine. Instead of simply disseminating one press release, repurpose it into many different content pieces. Create an eBook, or condense that eBook into an infographic or short blog post. And whatever you do, provide a Call-to-Action (CTA) at the end of each piece. A CTA is a button or phrase that drives your reader to take some form of action: sign a petition, register for an event or ask for more information.
- Start/Expand your client’s/company’s blog. This is a great place to pump out that rich, thoughtful content I mentioned earlier. You don’t want to necessarily “promote” a specific launch or product here, but after you provide meaningful information such as a “how to,” create a CTA at the end that drives your reader to complete some sort of action. Think of it as passively promoting your brand to the reader. And another great reason for a blog can be answered in tip #3.
- Optimize your press releases (and blogs) for SEO. Note that PR and marketing both aim at getting your clients found. Carrie Morgan at Convince and Convert says with this goal in mind, why not make your press release easy to find by optimizing your release and/or blog around a keyword related to the topic? I love her easy go-to method for finding the right keyword. Simply use Google’s keyword research tool paired with the Google AdWords tool, and input a few words related to the topic. Let Google generate a few keyword ideas for you and pepper them throughout the title and body of your release. It’s important to note that this is just one basic method for starting your SEO. Like the tactics I mentioned before, there are many ways to truly leverage SEO and various marketing tactics to get your client’s brand out there. I think by just implementing these ideas one at a time, you are on your way to bringing your PR strategy to the next level.