I’ll admit it, when I first came to the Bravo Group I didn’t know almost anything about public relations. I had had quite a few internships in the past (five to be exact) and I consider myself pretty knowledgeable about other subjects, such as SEO and social media, but never before had I done an internship in the PR field. So one day I got to researching and what I found was pretty interesting. I could write you a pretty long report about all the different things I learned about PR, but I’ll spare you having to read that and instead focus in on just one topic: content marketing.
So what is content marketing?
According to the content marketing institute (yes, that’s a real thing), content marketing aims to “attract and retain customers by consistently creating and curating relevant and valuable content with the intention of changing or enhancing consumer behavior.” So basically, content marketing is when companies try and communicate with their customers without the objective of selling anything.
What does any of this have to do with PR?
Since the advent of social media, consumers have changed in a couple of ways. The main change that has really affected PR is the fact that now, consumers really want to have a meaningful relationship with companies. And guess what type of marketing helps create these meaningful relationships? You’ve got it – content marketing. No longer can PR firms be successful by simply blasting out their content to as many consumers as possible. In order to survive, PR firms had to adapt, and one way to adapt is to embrace content marketing.
That being said, here are the top 4 content marketing trends that I found in my research:
Our Definition of “The Media” is Changing
Since the advent of the internet, the way news is being disseminated has drastically changed; instead of dealing only with the media, companies now have to take social media into consideration when figuring out how they want their information dispersed. Although the typical media news outlets do have some control over social media, effective social media usage cannot be restricted simply to them. Now, local blogs and individuals (specifically celebrities) can have as much power, if not more, as these typical media outlets.
Companies are becoming Contributors
Specific brands who have their own blogs and produce their own content are now becoming very mainstream. Many brands even hire in-house writers and editors to produce their content, some frequently have prominent employees such as CEOs and CFOs post pieces.
That being said, with everyone publishing their own content, it’s very important that a company’s content be high quality and informative, rather than being promotional. If your content follows these requirements, then most will be accepted with open arms.
Consumers Want – and Expect – to Interact with the Company
The days of consumers simply reading the news is gone; these days, consumers want to interact with it. This concept has made social media sites a must-have for any company. Not only do they allow companies to get their content to their customers, but they allow customers to have conversations with the company quicker and easier than was possible before.
Not only can social media provide constant engagement with the consumer, but it can also provide the company an identity that they might not have been able to foster otherwise.
Distribution is Up to You
Just because you publish something on your company blog doesn’t mean that everyone will automatically flock to it; instead, you have to put in more effort to get the results you’re looking for. Thankfully, there are a myriad of channels you can turn to to distribute your content!
Social media is probably the most obvious answer to your distribution problems. You should be blasting your content out through multiple social media channels. Don’t be afraid to do this more than once! However, you can also use your company newsletters, emails, forums, etc. Add a little SEO know-how and you’ll be visable in no time!
Catharine Gaylord || Wayne Office