There are other ways we marketers can “borrow” from our PR counterparts to improve our content marketing efforts. Here are three approaches / strategies I regularly borrow from my days in PR (Ruder/Finn NY circa mid-90s).
Creating story arcs and editorial themes are essential to good storytelling. In PR, these concepts are core to a solid strategy. Too often, however, I see content marketers don’t spend enough time developing story arcs and editorial themes for their content marketing efforts. Many fail to connect the dots between content marketing efforts into well-thought-through editorial themes.
Additionally, many content marketers don’t utilize consistent story arcs across multiple versions of similar content. This mismanages reader expectations and creates lower content consumption. Think if you had several product one-sheets that used differing outlines to tell your product stories. How disjointed would that product marketing messaging be? The same is true for all content. Well-developed story arcs are essential to managing readers’ expectations. Storyline development will increase consumption and engagement.
Whether it’s by leveraging speaking events (or webinars) or a byline in a trade journal, content marketers tend to forget the power of earned distribution. Earned media – as our PR counterparts call it – is essential to drive content consumption. Too often we worry about content’s impact on SEO, and thus showing up on Google, and miss this very valuable approach.
Think of it another way. Imagine if, in addition to choosing events where your executives (or your PR agency) are familiar, you chose a series of events based upon your high-level editorial themes. These speaking opportunities would be much more interesting and content-rich for the audience. And, I’ll venture to say from experience, you’ll be where your competition isn’t. This differentiation alone will deliver better visibility for the content that your team is creating.
One thing you learn working with sales leadership regularly is that sales enablement is a key bridge between marketing and PR. PR pros for years have engaged sales leadership to use the deliverables from PR efforts in their sales process. For example, getting coverage in a trade journal turns into an email for all the sales reps to speak to their clients with non-salesy content.
However, many content marketers fail to use sales teams as a strategic way to drive content distribution. If done strategically – and planned with the sales enablement team – this can be a simple and very visible win for your content consumption. And impact your efforts in a big way.