Start-up? Why you need to invest in PR AND content marketing
You’ve created, developed and tested an incredible product or service. You’ve registered your company, got your business plan nailed and you know your elevator pitch inside out.
Now all you need is customers. But what’s your strategy for letting them know you exist?
Luckily, you have two very powerful and cost-effective weapons in your arsenal: PR and content marketing.
For clarity’s sake, here’s a quick definition of both.
PR agents promote companies, or individuals via editorial coverage. This is known as ‘earned media’ – stories appearing on websites, newspapers, magazines and TV & radio programmes – as compared to ‘paid media’ or advertisements.
The aim of PR is to create and maintain a positive brand image, build a strong relationship with your audience, and drive inquiries and sales.
Content marketing is an umbrella term covering a set of strategies to create and distribute relevant content, in order to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined target audience.
The ultimate goal is to drive sales.
Hand in hand
Content marketing is the golden child of modern marketing. High quality content can drive long-term relationships, establish you as a thought leader, improve SEO, and nurture trust between a buyer and your brand. But your content must be visible. So it needs to be published on a major blog, in an industry magazine or appear on your site and be linked to by influencers. In other words, your content needs to ‘get out there’, and PR can help.
So, let’s look at some of the ways you can combine the almighty forces of PR and content marketing to establish you as the start-up to watch in 2016.
Leverage content and PR to become an industry thought leader
Every entrepreneur wants to be regarded as an industry leader. But to achieve this status, you need to prove you’re the best at what you do. And the best way to do that is to demonstrate your know-how through thought leadership content.
You need to craft opinion pieces for targeted media and land your commentary in industry news articles. This will demonstrate that you know everything about the market in which you’re operating.
There are an ever increasing number of bloggers, reviewers and online magazines, and they can drive huge numbers of visitors to your website. Make sure you engage with them on social media, and participate in discussions they have about your industry.
As you start involving yourself in conversations, you’ll get a credibility boost that will impress the media, investors and potential clients alike.
Build your customer base with engaging content
You need to create and share valuable content to attract prospects and convert them into customers. The type of content you share should be closely related to what you sell; it should also be educational, entertaining, informative and consistent, so your target customer will get to know you, like you and trust you. Ultimately, they will want to do business with you.
Improve search results with strong content
Ever Googled a company, only to find it’s not a top hit, and then given up digging for more information?
For your start-up to succeed, your customers need to find you online. High-quality and regular content will improve your search engine rankings. So will online media coverage, as the news articles will link back to your website.
Think beyond traditional media
The platforms now available to create and distribute content – from guest posts on influential blogs, to press releases in the form of visual infographics and slideshows – are endless. There’s no excuse to blend into the background.