Many companies come to us ready to invest in earned media to ensure they’re top-of-mind for sales deals and RFPs. In my experience, many of those companies aren’t putting the same resources into blogging – posting once every few weeks, or not at all. But they should be.
While PR is a great tool for getting discovered on third party properties, blogging on your own site shouldn’t be overlooked to reach new audiences.
One of our newer clients understood this, but didn’t have the means to keep up consistent blogging in-house. They brought SHIFT on as a content partner, intending to build out the PR component of the program once content was off the ground.
It was a good choice – the results speak for themselves. In the first 3-month period:
– The blog is the largest source of page views (25% for all users and 35% for new users), nearly doubling over the previous quarter
– Individual blogs were 5 of the top 10 pages viewed on the site
– Individual blogs were 6 of the top 10 landing pages for the site
There are a lot of reasons why centralizing PR and blogging efforts make sense. PR’s job is to invent fresh ways to tell a company’s story, know what trends and challenges target customers want insight on, and turn brands and executives into industry resources and thought leaders. A blog should do the same.
Here are some of the ways we used a PR mindset to inspire our content calendar for said client:
- Share Data – Surveys, studies and data are all over the media. Reporters are hungry for numbers that quantify trends, challenges and opportunities. Turns out, so are customers and prospects. A la Eloqua, we launched an ongoing Chart of the Month series, using third party data. A quick blurb adds context to the data findings and a nicely designed chart makes for great, sharable social content.
- News Briefs – The media breaks down news into what matters for their readers; so should vendors. Busy business leaders want digestible, down’n’dirty recaps of how everything from new legislature and regulations, to economic shifts, to news out of the biggest companies in the industry is going to impact them. Doing what we call, in PR, “rapid response” works on a blog, too.
- Interview Experts – Press rely on the experts to add context to their stories. Having balanced perspectives and multiple sources is part of what makes media so powerful. Using the Q&A model for blog posts is an easy way to bring in “outside voices” and get around the common bottleneck of not having enough resources and writing sources internally. Customers, partners and industry are great partners to produce timely, educational Q&As alongside.
Together, PR and blogging are the one-two punch companies need to reach and engage new users – and keep them coming back. SEO-focused blogs are an important tenant of a content strategy, but borrow some of these PR-influenced tactics, too, and see if your results also speak for themselves.