Square2Marketing – one of the most successful inbound marketing agencies in the US – wrote an interesting post about how stories are the foundation of inbound marketing. I agree.
But stories are also the foundation of PR. PR people have always been great storytellers. It's what they do day in and day out – they tell the stories of their clients by engaging with various audiences, whether that's through writing press releases, blog posts and longer content formats like ebooks, or utilising social media, or even drafting speeches.
It's what PR people excel at – content.
So it turns out, content is the centrepiece for both inbound marketing and PR, which is one of the reasons why inbound PR makes perfect sense.
Strategy Before Tactics
As Square2Marketing explains, though, for inbound to work, you need a solid strategy. It's the same in PR. There has to be a reasoning behind why you are writing this press release and what you expect to achieve with it. Otherwise, you'll just end up writing something that brings maybe some sort of results. That's not what clients want. They want tangible, trackable results, and to have such, you need a well-researched and drafted strategy that guides your tactics, not the other way around.
Quality Over Quantity
What all this means is that even if you are publishing 10 blog posts per week and sending 100 social messages out there, if there's no alignment between that number, the content format, the actual copy etc, frequency is just that, the times something's been published. A lot going out, not much coming in because it's not targeted and planned strategically. Better choose quality than volume. And quality comes with knowing why you are writing something and then deciding what the format, the length, the frequency etc should be.
Few Good Leads Is Better Than Just Any Leads
Because with just any type of content you will probably get some leads (ie people who come to your website and find a downloadable ebook or whitepaper or any other type of a content offer, fill out a form to get it and so become a contact in your database, ie a lead). The problem with this is that clients just don't want any leads, they want good-quality leads that will end up buying and becoming a customer. That only happens when the people who find your content offers are actually the right ones.
Getting The Content Right
To get the right leads in, you need to define your buyer personas. You need to be very clear on who those ideal customers are, what their problems and challenges are, what questions they are seeking answers to, how they are researching solutions and making decisions. It's the questions they are asking that guide your content strategy. You answer these questions with content - blog posts, social messages, ebooks, whitepapers, videos. Your goal is to be helpful and supply people with the information they truly need. When you do that, you'll get the right people in. And then you continue giving them valuable, useful, relatable information and content to turn them into customers. Your clients will then be happy. Their customers will be happy too. And they'll probably refer more people to the business.
But if your content sucks, you either won't get any leads, or you'll get the wrong ones which won't end up becoming customers. And so your clients won't be happy as they won't have customers. It's that simple.
Good Content = Good Leads
If there's one thing you remember from this post, it's this:
There are no good leads without good content.
If your words are not relevant to whoever is finding your content, people are not going to stick around.
How do you create remarkable content?