It might just be the most overused word in business: content. It was voted hottest business word back in 2013 and it’s only gotten bigger since then.
But that’s because content is amazing. Content has changed everything. Content is the fuel driving brand visibility and leads. Content is one of the most effective and versatile vehicles marketers have. (Okay, you’re getting sick of me saying “content.” I’ll stop. Or at least cut back.)
There’s another reason we can’t stop talking about it, though. It’s because content is still something of a mystery to businesses. Brands know they need it; marketers and PR teams know they have to produce it; sales reps know it can convert leads; customers know they want to read, watch and devour it every day.
But how does PR content work? Why does some content capture national attention while other pieces get ignored? How can PR teams ensure they spend their budget on the smartest content marketing strategies executed by the most talented creatives?
These questions aren’t easy to answer. Everyone’s pumping content into the digital landscape, to the tune of 1400 new blog posts every minute. And the content revolution isn’t just for traditional marketers; brands are turning to their PR teams to write byline articles, white papers, ebooks, and other assets. After all, content creates trust, which is the heart of PR.
Which is one reason PR has an advantage here. Your typical marketing campaign lacks substance according to one survey; some marketing teams still talk about the brand too much, focusing on promotion that benefits the company over content that benefits the customer. But PR practitioners are well versed in the art of persuasion. While a marketing team can run any campaign they want to, a PR team needs to win over media contacts and influencers to get their stories out there. We already know we have to drop the hype and create a message that resonates with the reader or we just won’t succeed.
That positions PR teams as the perfect resource for content creation. Consider the following.
• Articles, ebooks and videos can establish thought leadership by positioning executives as subject matter experts in their field.
• Publishing guest blog posts, op-eds and byline articles in trusted media outlets is a quick road to credibility. After all, unlike a paid ad, contributed content has to be approved by an objective editor.
• A steady pipeline of online assets, from ebooks to infographics to columns, quickly elevates a brand’s image while expanding its digital footprint and boosting search rank.
• Case studies can show how your company helped a customer solve a problem, while podcasts and videos can humanize brands and engage consumers across channels.
• Cynical buyers tend to recognize and ignore marketing hype – but content can educate those consumers on your product and dissolve their buying objectives.
• Measuring content performance can help your PR team frame its value in solid sales numbers and social metrics.
In the end, it all comes down to connecting with future customers. That’s what content does, which is why content development should come so easily to PR teams. No doubt you already assist with your brand’s communication strategy. You probably also develop talking points for interviews and write press releases and manage all media outreach. Working with a company’s content pipeline and editorial calendar is a natural next step – and one that offers potentially immense returns.
That’s why going forward IrisPR will be talking more about content for PR pros – how to create it, how to develop an effective strategy, how to measure its consumption, boost its performance, tell powerful stories and more. The content revolution is only going to continue. We’ll help you craft the pieces that’ll keep your team on the winning side.