How to Boost Content Marketing Returns Through PR Integration

The “relations” part of Public Relations can sometimes be obscured by the desire for coverage at any cost – in reality, it’s the human relationships that PR creates and maintains that can make or break a campaign. If your advanced content (for example, digital guides, video campaigns or whitepapers) isn’t enjoying the success that it should, maybe it’s time to sit down with your fearless PR team and put some of the tenets of inbound marketing to use.

Content Creation meets Content Promotion

It’s no secret that great content can only be made better by great promotion, but what can your promotion team offer your content creation team?

Don’t expect success if you leave your promotion team in the dark while creating the content. Their first exposure to your content shouldn’t be at final handoff – your promotion and creation teams should form a strategic and collaborative relationship so that your content can be polished and promotable.

PR teams have a strong grasp on media trends that can influence three essential areas of content research:

  • Audience analysis –who is talking about your industry? About topics that relate to your solution? PR pros have the experience and skills to dig into the right social communities and websites to find out who will be most interested in your earned media placements.
  • Media assessment – where are they reading and sharing? Knowing which sites they frequent will help you identify the best language and approach to use in your next piece of advanced content. Topics vary in popularity across sites, and it’s an essential function of PR to understand what angles work best on which sites – use that to your advantage.
  • Content identification – what is most popular with this audience and these sites? Knowing what type of advanced content to create is just as important as its topic. Will your audience react well to an eBook, or is a video series going to be more effective? Your PR team should be able to let you know.

What does an inbound PR strategy look like?

Believe it or not, you can actually use your PR team to pull in experts and influencers before content is published – and even before it’s development has even started.

Ask your PR team if they can help you reach out to influencers (people who are well-connected and well-known experts in the field) before the content is created in order to determine if your topic and ideas are on point. When they get feedback, that can be a natural connection to inviting those thought leaders to influence the content further by participating in interviews or sharing some of their findings.

Getting influencers involved boosts the credibility and “pitchability” of content. If your team creates great content and develops great relationships, these well-connected experts may help amplify your piece.

It’s the ultimate win-win-win situation: your content is more informed and of a higher quality (making it more shareable), influencers get to exercise their thought leadership, and readers or users get the best experience possible.

Results of PR and Content Creation Integration

So, how do you integrate your content and promotion teams and what do the results look like?

First of all, make sure there are no silos; open communication is essential for the good of your content. The promotion team can benefit from knowing the research and thought process that brings this content to life, and the creative team should learn all it can from the relationships that PR can create and the experience they have.

Make sure both teams understand each other’s processes and make sure they can answer essential questions about where they can help and who needs to take lead on each step.

A successful promotion and creation integration shows in your final campaign results:

  • More media interest and earned coverage in your advanced content
  • Less negative feedback from media outlets, since the content is tailored and well-messaged to fit their audience
  • Higher click-through rate to your content (meaning you’ve placed the right content in the right place, thanks to careful research)

If your best content isn’t seeing the best results, ramp up your research by pulling in insights from your PR team. Whether it’s an external agency or an internal department, it’s time to start the conversation and move into a more strategic partnership so your content can start seeing the returns it deserves.