Content marketing and public relations (PR): you can’t have one without the other
When content changes with every passing second and sharing makes or breaks a post, PR is inextricably linked with company content. Here are some examples of content marketing strategies that create good PR strategy and good PR strategy that boosts content marketing results.
Non-branded Content Hubs
L’Oreal hasn’t made it obvious that they run the popular website Makeup.com. Visitors need to go to the very bottom of the site to find any mention of L’Oreal. Given that it’s a site made up of videos, lists, giveaways, news, and other sharable content, people probably aren’t doing much investigating to find out who owns it. This non-branded content hub gives L’Oreal the opportunity to show their products in videos and blogs without making it appearing to be an overt advertisement.
L’Oreal owns a ton of brands, like Maybelline, Essie, Urban Decay, and Lancome. How many people actually know that? It’s PR genius because L’Oreal gets loads of engaged visitors every time their content is shared. No one gets annoyed at them for bombarding them with advertisements, and their image stays untarnished. With non-branded content campaigns such as this, the content is frequently press-worthy. L’Oreal won a 2012 Brand Innovator award in Content Marketing for Makeup.com, and the site has been featured in article on MarketWatch, Bloomberg, The Guardian, and Yahoo Finance.
YouTube for Youngsters
Just try to pretend that little kids don’t have buying power. LEGO has patterned their entire YouTube channel on engaging children in content, rather than in advertising to parents. Fun videos, webisodes, and movie tie-ins appear on the page. The content endears LEGO to kids, and probably to parents too, who are thankful for the distraction.
The Guardian reports that LEGO’s YouTube channel receives more than 1 billion visits every month. Over 5 million children are members of their club, and a large portion of this success is due to LEGO’s mindfulness how their content speaks to children. The videos also offer tips and tricks for building with LEGOs, which keeps kids engaged with the product.
A PR Strategy from Data-driven Content
A company like Hotels.com ends up with a lot of data. A major content marketing challenge they face is how to present that data in a readable, sharable way. Hotels.com groups their data into reports and press releases that are relevant to a particular market. That way, it’s easy for websites in that market to pick it up. For example, a piece comparing the uptick in hotel prices with a new emphasis on business meetings at hotel properties was covered by business magazine Incentive. Another example of a company using customer data to create content that gets PR coverage is SeatGeek. Using their massive database of ticket prices they have been able to create infographics like “SeatGeek’s Guide to the Big Game,” and get coverage on sites like CNBC and Bloomberg
Ask and Answer Your Customers
McDonald’s Canada set up a website which encourages consumers to ask them questions, which they genuinely and quickly answer to keep the discussion going. It’s a way of connecting the individual with the company and a brilliant tactic for busting some of the myths about what goes into McDonald’s food. For a company that is always in the public eye, giving people a place to ask what is in their food is very smart. It quickly became a hit with the public.
The site creates transparency and makes consumers feel personally involved. This is something that’s increasingly important in an age where getting answers from a real person is nearly impossible. Plus, you don’t have to ask a question to use the website. Though the number of questions asked only numbers in the tens of thousands, questions have been read over 3.1 million times. McDonald’s also scored 21 percent better with focus groups regarding the quality of their ingredients after this campaign had spread.
Putting PR strategy and content marketing together is a sure-fire way to increase your ROI. These five examples are only a few of the ways companies are taking advantage of this relationship. The options are endless. What’s holding you back? Take your PR and content marketing plan to the next level by gaining inspiration from these examples.
What examples do you have of PR strategy converging with content marketing?