Over the years; marketing has evolved, human behavior has changed. Marketers need to keep up with the changing trends in order to stay ahead of their competitors. This is a statement that we hear quite often these days. But how do marketers can keep pace with regularly changing scenarios? A rule or trend that was relevant just yesterday, is redundant as of this morning. How do you keep up with a rapid change? The answer is, to some extent, an understanding of the basic emerging marketing gimmicks like Inbound Marketing, some PR tactics and a whole lot of listening.
There is an evident concurrence between PR and Inbound Marketing and combining both could make a formidable mix for your brand to boost awareness, traffic and your brand’s position as a thought leader. Both provide tools to each other which they wouldn’t normally have access to on their own. Inbound marketing strategies can largely benefit from PR activities to build awareness, authority and confidence with a larger audience. Inbound marketing also provides the required tracking and measurement pieces to PR, needed to prove its ROI and stay ahead in the business. In other words, inbound marketing offers a crucial missing piece of the puzzle that actually drives traffic and customers to your website. On the other hand, PR activities can benefit from having access to much higher quality content for placement, as prioritised by inbound marketing. By combining both fields of expertise, you get Inbound PR which can definitely help in taking the idea to the next level and increase brand recall.
There is no doubt in the fact that both the rise of inbound marketing and digital marketing go hand in hand. The growing popularity of social media platforms gave rise to a more empowered and informed consumer, which in turn led brands to prioritise value-added content over direct response tactics. As brands began to see the value in creating content that brought their customers to them, Inbound Marketing grew and became a must in today’s digital age.
Now that Inbound Marketing is gaining pace, it is being integrated into almost every other aspect of marketing including PR. Social media, content marketing and SEO are the most essential components of Inbound Marketing that have similar goals as PR – visibility and awareness, thus complementing each other perfectly. Once marketers have wrapped their heads around inbound marketing and public relations, it is time now for them to smartly integrate the two to achieve maximum results.
Following some simple tactics can ensure that your PR efforts lead to results that impact your inbound marketing objectives.
- Using effective SEO tactics in content including press releases, blogs and others. Both PR and Inbound Marketing aim to help brands to be found easily. So why not enable an easy search for the audience by simply including the most popular keywords related to the topic in our content? This one simple exercise is sure to put you far ahead of your competitors. The famous retail giant, Amazon is a classic example. Amazon generates as much as 57% sales from long-tail keywords. Time and again, they have demonstrated how optimising their content has worked in their favor by driving sales and impacting product rankings.
- Content can be used as fodder for publicity as every piece of content counts. Content developed for inbound marketing can be leveraged for PR pitches and releases. Likewise press releases can be used as SlideShare, blogs and other inbound assets.
- Clearly social media is used to meet almost all marketing goals. Social media has transformed the way brands sought attention earlier. Now, Social media is used not only to promote your brand, display its products & services but also to show a different side of the brand which might otherwise go unnoticed. Various social media channels are now used to drive sales. For instance, with Instagram shopping and Facebook shops coming in, people can be directed to product e-commerce pages right from their timelines. Apart from social selling, social media is also used to spread the messaging further. The iconic chocolate brand 5 Star, for instance utilised the power of social media to reach its audience in southern markets, where KitKat, Mars and Snickers already had a stronghold.
The brand took to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to run an initiative in which the brand characters – Ramesh and Suresh payed a tribute by emulating superstar Rajnikanth’s iconic moves through digital videos, gifs and static posts. Clearly, the use of PR and Inbound Marketing can facilitate the incorporation of your news and thought leadership into the existing social media promotions to help the brand reach a larger audience.
Needless to say, PR and Inbound Marketing are excellent strategies individually, but they can work even better when thoughtfully combined. Thus, it would not be wrong to say that PR and Inbound Marketing do not have to live in separate worlds, rather, they can work together to make each other better and change the landscape of how businesses market themselves.
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