Are You Ignoring PR In Your Digital Marketing Strategy?

Have you noticed what people are doing online every day? They are Sharing, Commenting, Liking (Dis-liking) Content, Searching, Purchasing, Reviewing and more . . . AND they’re doing it all day on online.

Let there be not the slightest doubt – Today people are heavily invested online.

Public Relations is all about people. Hence, today digital marketers have no choice but to blend carefully curated PR processes into any digital marketing strategy they craft.

In 2018, if your relegate PR processes to the back burner when crafting a digital marketing strategy you do this at your own peril. Let me assure you, you are leaving money on the table.

The rapid growth in communication and PR specialist jobs from 2014 to 2018 strongly supports this.

Digital PR Job Growth

The world has become more connected. In 2018, people are completely open to such connections.

Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Email, Slack chat, Skype, Zoom meeting rooms and multiple other digital communication channels rule person to person communications.

Today human beings are quite comfortable engaging with each other online. Geographical boundaries are not a restriction anymore. Today business MUST engage customers globally are geographical boundaries are not a hindrance.

Business Insider reports that there are 1.49 billion people (and growing) on Facebook alone each month.

This is perhaps the single largest, captive (i.e. within Facebook groups), engaged, alive, dynamic customer marketplace which PR processes can help you tap into with relative ease.

Monthly Facebook Stats

So What Is PR?

Public Relations is defining and strengthening a business’s brand image through outreach to consumers, other businesses, and influencers.

Rather than peddle the above definition I like to share the example that a lot what marketing professors use when they describe what Public Relations really is.

You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to her and say: ‘I am very rich. Marry me!’

That’s direct marketing.

You’re at a party and see a gorgeous girl. One of your friends goes up to her and pointing at you says: ‘He’s very rich. Marry him.’

That’s advertising.

You’re at a party and see a gorgeous girl.

 You get up and straighten your tie

 You walk up to her and pour her a drink

 You open the door (of the car) for her

 You pick up her bag after she drops it

 You offer her a ride

AND

Then say, ‘By the way, I’m rich. Will you marry me?’

That’s public relations.

In short, Public Relations is:

 Giving a hoot about people in the hope they will give a hoot about you in return.

 It’s taking the initiative to deliver measurable value only then asking for something in return.

Your business wants more customers, which is good.

BUT

So does the next business, and the next, and the next.

In such a crowded space, marketing can easily make a lot of potential customers skeptical.

Which is (exactly) why Public Relations is so necessary and (effective).

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1. Content Marketing

The term content marketing is not a lot more descriptive than Public Relations. That’s probably because the two are closely related.

Like Public Relations, content marketing helps build business/customer relationships.

Rather than waiting for people to seek out your business, a (great) content marketing strategy seeks people out. Then gives them multiple reasons to do business with you.

A great content marketing strategy:

 Doesn’t try to sell your product or service

 Instead it provides measurable value to customers/consumers, for free

 It offers advice, tactics, lessons, and – How To – type of tips

 It asks for nothing in return

When content marketing is done right, it actually:

 Increases sales

 Increases audience size

 Increases consumer trust in your company

 Simply because you took the initiative, of sharing value add, content with the consumer for free.

A whopping 97% of B2C businesses rate their content marketing strategy as successful successful in helping multiply their business income.

Success In Content Marketiing

85% of organizations, especially if they are Internet-driven, use well thought through content marketing, as part of their overall marketing strategy. They know this truly drives customer engagement.

Does your organization use content marketing

Just How Effective Is Content Marketing?

Well, 77% of B2C marketers attribute their success at least in part to their content marketing strategy. As shown in the image below.

Content Marketing and Increased Success

However, a disclaimer:

As the above statistics illustrate, many businesses have taken to content marketing.

 This means that the online space is filling up quickly.

 This means that getting your content noticed amidst all the noise is a growing challenge.

My recommendation?

Create unique content that other businesses in your vertical aren’t creating. Make such content stand out.

Ask yourself:

 What new angle offers a fresh perspective to consumers?

 How you can make your content marketing strategy worth your prospect’s time?

 How to make some pretty amazing stuff to grab a prospect’s attention?

 How to create a content marketing strategy that is unique, valuable, and interesting.

It’s so easy for people to go and read your competitor’s content.

Always strive to provide measurable value for your consumers rather than trying to be gimmicky or creative. There’s a time and place for both.

That said, adding value will bring you more traffic, leads, and sales than gimmicky or creative writing.

2. Brand Mentions

If you don’t know when people are talking about you and your business, interacting with those people — Public Relations — is practically impossible to do.

But how do you know when people are talking about your brand?

Well, you have to monitor notifications of brand mentions on all social media platforms you are represented in.

BUT don’t just pay attention to the mentions. Interact with the people who’ve done the mentioning.

Thank them for their feedback. Ask follow-up questions. Treat them as you would a good friend.

Nike support does a great job of this on Twitter.

Nike On Twitter

Their feed is full of replies to customers seeking answers or giving props to the brand.

Monitoring mentions on social media platforms will really help you engage with your target audience.

That said, when you need to monitor mentions all across the Internet, whether they intentionally tag you or not, you’ll need a tool to do so. Without appropriate tools, you’re only groping in the dark.

Consider using Mention. Mention is a powerful social media monitoring tool. It tracks mentions in multiple social media channels. Mention will provide you with tons of worthwhile business insights driven via social media.

Mention A Social Media Monitoring Tool

Monitoring when, where, and how people talk about your business doesn’t only give you an insight into general brand opinion, it also gives you the opportunity to personalize the experience for prospects.

This means you can resolve any particularly nasty comments with class. Thus leveraging customer relationships to sell more inventory. Personalizing the experience for prospects makes people more loyal to your business. Loyalty pays.

Loyal customers are:

 Five times more likely to repurchase items

 Forgive mistakes

 Seven times more likely to try a new offer

 Four times more likely to refer your business to a friend

Engaging with your customers leads to an average revenue increase of 40%.

40 Percent Increase In revenue

Because of this, 60% of businesses believe that customer service (a cornerstone of Public Relations) will primarily determine of who succeeds and who fails as shown in the image below.

60% Organizations See Customer Support as Winning

You run a business, but that doesn’t mean your business can’t interact with people. In fact, your business should take extra steps to do so.

Interacting with people when they mention your brand is a great way to retain the customers who are consistent spenders with your brand.

3. Influencer Marketing

How does influencer marketing relate to PR? They go hand in hand.

With influencer marketing, businesses build relationships with an audience of influencers.
It’s a refer-a-friend kind of marketing strategy.

A business pays an influencer to talk well about their company. Which in turn drives the influencer’s audience to turn their attention to the business.

As long as the influencer matches the company in style, niche, and size this relationship building tactic is incredibly powerful. 90% of consumers trust recs from their peers, while only 33% trust ads.

90% customers support peer reviews

You might be wondering if peer recommendations are very different from influencer recommendations.

Are they? After all, what is an influencer? Someone who can influence the lives of their audience?

An influencer is simply someone who is a peer to a large group of people? Remember, 65% of brands bank on the fact that influencer marketing works because it’s relational.

65% of the brands use Influencer marketing

They are right to put their money and time into it. At least, according to consumers. 20% of women consider purchasing a product that has influencer backing.

20 Percent women will BUY because of peer reviews

68% of consumers trust online opinions from other consumers.

68% consumers trust to online opinion of other consumers

Influencer marketing is a great way to let someone else sell your product for you. This is often far more effective than trying to sell it yourself.

There’s an influencer for every business size, style, and product. You might have to do some research to find the right one.

Choose the right influencer, and your marketing campaign will work. Choose the wrong influencer and kiss your invested money goodbye.

4. Publication Features

Getting featured in publications, that have a massive audience, is a great way to drive traffic to your website, get an SEO-helpful backlink, and increase brand awareness.

The online publication SUCCESS DOT COM receives thousands of social media shares on almost every article that they put out.

Success dot com Social Shares

Success dot com isn’t the only one. You can see shares-a-plenty on sit like Entrepreneur, Mashable, Forbes, and Fast Company.

If you get your business or content featured on any/all of these publications, the impact will be huge.

You can indicate that your business was featured in these publications, on your landing page with pride. You will also get loads of traffic from the massive amount of views that these publications drive.
BUT
How do you get featured?

Well, in two words, Public Relations.

You could, of course, get featured by getting lucky.
By having a regular contributor approach you and ask you for content.
BUT
That’s unlikely.

Rather than wait for a bit of luck, you can often pay writers to tactfully include you in their work.

You can do this by having a public relations specialist who can connect, maintain relationships, and pitch to contributing writers.

Many contributing writers are looking for a new topic to bring to their editor. If you hand them one on a silver platter, chances are they’ll take it with excitement.

Try meeting writers through social media platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook. Message them to pitch your topic idea and ask for a feature.

Getting featured in a top-notch publication is a great marketing tactic, for your public relations specialist to start focusing on. The more you get featured, the more traffic and brand awareness you’ll generate.

So why use public relations in digital marketing?

Because every marketing strategy needs a personal touch. Public Relations is just the thing to do this.

Why Public Relations In Digital Marketing?

In digital marketing, there is an endless supply of tactics and techniques to choose from.

Paid advertisements play a large role in digital marketing. SEO has its place as well. Since much of digital marketing is viewed as impersonal. Hence, public relations is increasingly important.

Public Relations is like the good friend and the savvy salesperson. They don’t pressure you into buying their product. They definitely don’t outright ask for a sale. That is, not until they’ve provided measurable value for you first.

Public Relations sound take the initiative in the business to consumer relationship. PR says, No, you go ahead and have a seat while I do everything. Before ever asking you to make the purchase.

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Ivan Bayross
Digital Marketing Strategist, International Author, Consultant & Business Mentor
I've been an entrepreneur for more than 33 years.

I've taught marketing and finance at a few MBA schools in Mumbai, India. These subjects are like a horse and carriage. You can't have one without the other.

I am technology savvy too as I am armed with an M.Tech from Manchester University, UK. In that sense, you could call me a geek-marketer, as I’m comfortable with both technology and marketing.

I have written and published 70+ books in tech and digital marketing. Many of these are available on Amazon.

I've been working in digital marketing for around 18 years. I love to teach the subject, plus define, execute, and tweak digital marketing strategies for my own websites and my clients.

I'm moving my love for teaching to the web.
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