Yesterday, the PRSA-National Capital Chapter hosted a panel on content marketing and public relations. The panelists–Michael Laxineta (Custom Briefings), Bruce Namerow (Interactive Strategies) and Anne Holtz (Home Innovation Research Labs)– did a great job of explaining what content marketing is, how it works and how to make it work better.
Michael Laxineta said he believes that the “PR profession is the original content marketer.” He says that 91% of business-to-business marketers are using content marketing, and that the biggest challenge is providing engaging content. Bruce Namerow said that content drives anything, and that brands now are their own publishers.
Content marketing has many benefits, including brand awareness, nurturing leads and building relationships. Anne Holtz said that prior to embarking on a content marketing strategy, Home Innovation Research Labs was doing great stuff, but people did not know about it. Having a strategy in place has helped get traffic to its website.
In order to develop a successful content marketing program, you should consider these five key steps:
1. Make sure that your content marketing is in line with both your business and communications goals.
2. Understand exactly who your audience is and what information they need.
3. Do keyword research so that you are using the terms and keywords people actually search.
4. Personalize the content to your audience needs. It is not about reaching everyone but about reaching your niche with the information they need.
5. Make sure your content is mobile-ready.
Perhaps content marketing is just a fancy new term for what we used to call integrated marketing communications, as my friend Karen Addis from Environics Communications said. Whatever we call it now, it is still smart to reach your audience with the information they require to build a relationship with your organization or to buy from your business.