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Incorporating PR into Your Inbound Strategy

Inbound PR isn’t new, but there’s still a need for defining what it is or what it does exactly. You’ve probably heard of Public Relations (PR) and inbound marketing being separate from each other and may not be sure how the two work together. PR’s main goal is to boost the reputation of your brand while inbound marketing’s main goal is to get customers to come to you while focusing on driving revenue to boost profits.

So, what is inbound PR, and why should you care? According to Iliyana Stareva, author of the book Inbound PR:

“Inbound PR refers to a new way of thinking about modern Public Relations. Inbound PR combines the best of two worlds – PR’s core strength in content and writing and inbound marketing’s ability to plan with numbers in mind and measure throughout the way.”

Inbound PR is about building brand awareness, generating leads, and converting those leads through your PR strategy.

So, why pick inbound PR for your company? Let’s dive in.

 

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Reputation is Everything

PR and inbound marketing work together by building awareness and authority to earn trust, leading your business to generate happy leads that turn into happy customers.

In case you haven’t heard, reputation is everything in this digital age. Consumers are online multiple hours a day, constantly searching, educating, and reviewing products before reaching out and communicating with companies. As a result, once the customer does make the first point of contact with a company, they are usually pretty far down the sales funnel and ready to make their purchasing decision.

As marketers and sales folks know, people don’t just buy products, they buy brands. If someone is buying your product, chances are they’re already connected with your brand in some way, shape, or form.

Marketing and PR are responsible for establishing awareness and authority, providing value and information, and earning trust to leave the customer educated, satisfied, and wanting to return over and over.

Content Overload

Content is king — or at least that’s how it used to be. In the current age, people are bombarded with various types of online content on the daily. Some can say that we’ve become so accustomed to seeing content that many of us shut our minds off when we’re scrolling through our social media feeds.

Of course, content is important and very much needed to help educate and sell products, but is there too much of it? How do you differentiate your content from everyone else’s?

Inbound PR centers the strategy around your customers by using PR to promote your content so that it stands out and attracts the customer to you. According to Social Media Week, 91% of consumers are prepared to reward brands for their authenticity.

Aligning Around Your Customers

Happy customers are the keys to trust, and trust is the key to a successful business.

Customers don’t like to be chased by sales — this runs the risk of leaving them annoyed and could give your brand a bad reputation. The whole point of inbound PR is putting your customer stories at the center of your company story to earn trust and succeed in your business.

 

 

But what if you don’t have an in-house agency or PR resources to promote your story? Fear not! There are many things you can do to boost your inbound PR efforts to promote your content so that it stands out.

Ways to Align Around Your Customer Story:

There are several ways you can incorporate PR to align around your customer’s story to ensure they stay at the center of your marketing efforts.

Modern PR works through various media methods:

  • Earned Media refers to publicity gained through promotional efforts other than paid media. This is the best tactic to build your reputation.
  • Shared Media refers to social media. It is constantly evolving as customers change their minds and evolve.
  • Owned Media refers to communication methods owned by you or are within your control, such as websites, blogs, and email.
  • Paid Media refers to external marketing efforts, mostly paid placement advertising, PPC, branded content, and display ads.

Try incorporating one, or all, of these methods into your marketing efforts.

 

 

Additionally, word of mouth referrals and real testimonials from happy customers are one of the best ways to gain new business. Create advocates and incite them to leave online reviews on your website. Take the positive stories left by your customers and pitch them to the media to gain authority and trust in your market.

Using a Net Promoter Score (NPS) Survey is another effective way to gauge how your customers feel about your company. You can use these scores for marketing as well as for customer service. Consider handing off all customer surveys with a high score (8, 9, or 10) to your marketing team to create customer ambassadors for your brand.

Other ideas include bylined articles in the media, video testimonials by your customers, and case studies placed on your website.

Even if you don’t have an in-house agency or PR resources, there are lots of things you can do to boost your inbound efforts and create authority and trust for your brand. We at Belo + Company can help you get started.

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Maggie Ryan
Maggie Ryan
Maggie is a Marketing + Sales Enablement Specialist for Belo + Company. Maggie has experience in various aspects of business, including starting her own company in Uganda, Africa while she was serving in the Peace Corps. When she is not creating at work, she enjoys spending time with her family and making jewelry in her spare time.