Sinking trust in media is forcing many PR professionals to shift or extend the focus of their communications strategy from media relations to content marketing. It’s an adjustment that requires changing the channels of engagement from third-party news outlets to owned media like corporate websites, blogs and social platforms. But the core elements of success remain the same. It’s not as hard as you think.
PR is perfect for the job of successful content marketing. After all, it’s all about effective storytelling and influencing audiences. The journalistic skills of 1) uncovering story angles that resonate with your buyers or prospects, and 2) packaging and sharing those messages in informative, authentic and straightforward ways are central to content marketing strategy.
If you’re finding your media relations efforts aren’t paying off, but don’t want to lose the investments (of time and money) you’ve already made, here are three easy ways to boost ROI without reinventing the wheel.
3 Tips to Shift Toward Content Marketing
Publish that article yourself.
Take that bylined article and convert it into a blog (or series of blogs). Add some images or photography, double check for SEO, break up copy blocks with subheads or bullets, and pull out a few tweetable quotes for design variety. Then post it on your brand’s website, LinkedIn profile and open publishing platforms like Medium. Once it’s live, start your marketing engines. Send an email to customers, push out via social media… you know the gig.
Package your story as an infographic or whiteboard video.
Have some research or survey results, or more simply, an expert’s perspective on how your industry is changing? Bring those insights to life in a visual format. Most of us process and retain information based on what we see, so whether you’re spotlighting statistics or introducing new ideas, telling a visual story increases interest and engagement.
Pretend you’re pitching to media; what’s your hook? Then apply journalistic thinking to help your audience simplify a complex issue or challenge a common industry belief. Keep it brief: headline, 5-6 supporting facts, conclusion. You don’t necessarily need a design expert, either. Explore one of the many free or economical resources like Picktochart or Canva. Feature the final product on your brand’s website, send it to customer/prospect databases, link to it in email signatures, incentivize employees to share with their social networks, etc.
Become your own reporter.
Be the journalist interviewing your subject matter experts or customers. Beyond written content, consider producing a podcast or recording a YouTube series. If you have or want to build a strong social following, try experimenting with Facebook Live or Instagram Stories. It’s a strategy that allows you to act quickly. When you see breaking news, call on one of your executives or key opinion leaders to react and share perspective in the moment.
The challenges in today’s media landscape can be frustrating, but they can also be exciting opportunities. Use your storytelling skills to reach brand reputation and awareness goals in more ways. Shifting and expanding your brand’s communications strategies to bring more content marketing into the mix guarantees more PR bang for your buck.