While we often hear content marketers talk about the difficulty of consistently producing fresh, engaging, brand content, they’re not the only ones who face this struggle. PR professionals also have to keep a fresh stream of content coming to fuel their campaigns, keep their media and influencer relationships active, and build executive thought leadership profiles. But when PR is dialed into the content marketing organization’s workflow, it opens up a whole new treasure trove of potential coverage, while turning PR into a corporate MVP by amplifying brand content.
Here are four everyday activities that PR pros can use to amplify brand content.
Include Brand Content in Influencer Outreach
As you cultivate influencer relationships over time, a big part of making them mutually beneficial is keeping an eye out for ways to promote their expertise through your channels. And involving them with your content marketing efforts is an easy and effective way to do so.
- Before publication: Use content-in-progress as a reason to reach out to influencers with whom you are cultivating relationships, and ask them if they’d like to be included with a quote or a link to a resource.
- After publication: Send completed content to influencers who frequently write on the topic as an FYI, either as simply a thoughtful gift of content or with an invitation to pitch a related follow-up collaboration.
Deepen and Promote Your Referenceable Customer Relationships
While it would be great if every media request for a quote was for our executives, frequently they’re looking for a customer to talk to instead. When this happens, the last thing you want to do is to scramble to try to find a referencable customer who is willing to talk to the media, and who may or may not be an interview pro. That’s why it’s important to nurture customer relationships over time, so when an opportunity for that dream story pops up, you know exactly who to ask. Here are two ways to do so:
- When you are participating in brand editorial meetings, suggest customers who might have a relevant story or quote that could enrich the content.
- After that content is published, pitch an interview with that customer to the media, using recently published content as your proof of engagement with the topic.
Integrate Content in Your Ongoing Media Relations Outreach
It’s always difficult to make your PR pitches stand out from the competition. But when the pitch is supported by relevant content, it’s got a better chance of piquing a journalist’s interest. Here are five easy ways to integrate brand content into media relations outreach:
- Use content as proof of source subject matter expertise. Pitch the internal content author as a source in response to relevant media inquiries.
- Repurpose written, audio, and video content. Turn the content into a visual and use it in your next PR campaign as a resource.
- Increase the reach of proprietary data. Pitch proprietary data or research-based content to the media, either as a one-time story, or monitoring the trends over time and how they affects your audience.
- Create a rich media soundbite. Have the content author record a video elevator pitch for the piece of content and/or the topic in general and include it in a media pitch.
- Build inbound links. Include a request to link back to relevant owned content with every interview you place.
Boost Brand Content with Paid Media
In the early days of the Internet, some brands could get away with publishing content through their owned channels and waiting for the audience to materialize. But those days are over. Now, to reach brand fans with your content, there needs to be paid distribution as part of the plan. For those of you who are wondering why I’m including paid media is part of the PR professional’s toolbox, that’s because I’m a proponent of Gini Dietrich’s PESO model. Media and influencer relations are just a small part of her framework.
With that perspective in place, here are a few ways PR professionals can use paid media to support brand content:
- Content syndication. Syndicate the content through a third-party distribution tool such as Outbrain or Taboola.
- Sponsored content. Publish the content as part of a sponsored content agreement.
- Guest blog. Place it as part of a guest blogger agreement with an industry publication, such as a multi-blog series with Entrepreneur, or part of an executive’s Forbes blog.
- Boost with a paid social post. Take your best organic social media post that’s sharing the content and put a small budget behind it to increase its reach beyond your brand followers.
PR + Content Marketing = BFFs
By regularly incorporating your brand’s measurable content marketing efforts into your PR strategy, you will become better able to show the ROI on your PR efforts. And with the content team as your new BFFs, you’ll never be stuck wondering what story angle to pitch next for your quarterly campaigns.
To learn more about how to integrate your PR and content marketing efforts, download our ebook, Unlocking PR’s Potential with Content Marketing.