Storytelling with Earned Awareness
Perhaps the most powerful tool in marketing is earned awareness — because it means you have done something that people care about. Unlike paid media — such as pay per click Google ads or print advertisements — earned awareness means that someone cares so much about your business that they are willing to tell the story for you.
A content marketing plan that includes blogging, social media and email is incomplete. Without public relations, you’re only doing 75% of the job.
Public relations is defined as a “strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics,” according to Public Relations Society of America. We love this definition because like everything else in marketing (and life), if your story is not authentic, honest and full of integrity, you aren’t building a path for success.
How can a small business implement PR?
There is a misconception that public relations is a press release that you write and send to the local news media. Sure, that’s one part of it.
However, good PR is all around you. It’s the ongoing conversation people are having about your brand when you’re not in the room. It’s the coordinated story you tell about your business on social media, email, blogs, contributing news articles, staff bios, etc.
Above all else, PR is earned attention you receive for doing something great. Has your business adopted a charitable organization to give to? Did your staff decide to volunteer at a soup kitchen for Thanksgiving?
Perhaps it’s something a little less noble? Did you recently win an award for “Best Company Ever”? Did you surprise the employee who has worked for you the longest with a party (or a new car if you’re Oprah)? These are opportunities to turn warm and fuzzy feelings into brand awareness stories.
B2B buyers want content with more input from industry thought leaders
Millennials who are more likely to be influenced by blogs or social networking sites
Business decision-makers who prefer to get company information in a series of articles versus an advertisement