Content Marketing Through a PR Lens (GroupHigh #OutreachMarketing Summit)

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  • Content marketing through a PR lens.
     
    Hello and thanks for having me! I’m here today to talk about a hot topic – content marketing – but as a tool to generate PR outcomes.
     
    We’re going to take a look at content marketing through a PR lens.
  • Let’s start by making sure we’re all on the same page when it comes to PR. PR covers a wide range of tactics, but the nuts and bolts include things like media relations, community relations, public affairs, event management and crisis communication.
  • Over the past few years, we’ve been incorporating more and more social elements into our campaign
  • Incoroporating content marketing into PR strategies is a natural extension as we continue to blend traditional and digital PR
  • When you approach content marketing through a PR lens, you’re producing and disseminating content that will support typical PR goals, such as: increasing web traffic, establishing thought-leadership, reputation management, building and nurturing relationhips with customers, prospects, analysts and other stakeholders; generatin leads – you get the point.
  • Let’s take a closer look by reviewing five case studies. These are all projects we’ve helped clients execute, so if you have specific questions about the campaigns, feel free to share on Twitter with the #OutreachMarketing hashtag
  • First up, Madison Electric products. For those who still like to say that content and social can’t work as well in B2B, this is the ammunition you need to show that yes, in fact, it can.
    Madison is a manufacturer of electrical supply equipment based in Cleveland, OH. Like most copanies in this industry, they were hit pretty hard by the recession. They knew they needed to shake things up so they’d be positioned for growth coming of the recession. During this down time, they decided to up their content game – specifically to change how they were perceived among their industry peers, build collaboration with like-minded, non-competitive companies, innovate best practices (particularly around new product development and communicatino), and educate the industry. They believed that by helping the industry as a whole, everyone benefits.
  • We worked with them to develop content buckets. This is an exervise we use frequetnly when working with clients, especially sales-driven organizations where the natural instinct is to promote. As you know, you can’t be overly promotional via social channels, so we put a framework in place to ensure content stays on message and on brand without being “me, me, me”-centric.
    In this case, these are the buckets we landed on that guided our content creation efforts.
  • Realizing that the best new product ideas would come from people in the field, not a bunch of suits in a boardroom, Madison launched the Sparks Innovatino Center – the industry’s first approach to crowdsourcing product development. The idea was simple: Submit an idea. After Madison evaluated it, if they felt like it was a good fit and they could help the inventor bring it to market, they’d team up and work together.
    We needed to use content to build trust, highlight successful inventors and get the industry to embrace the spirit of innovation.
  • Here are two examples of blog posts that do just this. On top, you see an post sharing how the Marines were also tapping into crowdsourcing product development. It was an interesting story, so we shared it and included a little bit about Sparks in the most – a very, very soft sell. The second post here is an interview with one of the inventors who brought and idea to Madison and ended up having the product developed and sold across the country. It literally changed his life.
  • We also wanted to have some harder, more direct calls to action. To celebrate Coke Day – which commemorates that day the innovative recipe for Coke was perfected – we encouraged people to submit ideas to Sparks. Anyone who submitted an idea would receive a free case of Coke. Small and inexpensive, but fun.
  • Up first is a very recent example. ShotTracker is wearable tech for basketball players. March Maddness is the holy grail for basketball fans and players, so we wanted to capitalize on that energy and interest in the sport to reinforce our position as the go-to resource for shooters, while also driving website traffic, securing media coverage (to also boost credibility and traffic) and spark social chatter and opportunities for us to have natural engagements with fans.
     
    So, we decided to create an infographic – think of it as a guide to the best shooters in the Sweet 16. We included all the pertinent stats from each of the 16 teams left in the tournament, as well as profiling the top shooters and some other March Madness-related fun facts.
    The Sweet 16 was finalized on a Sunday with games beginning that Thursday, so for this to work, it had to come together quickly. We mapped out as much as we could ahead of time and then pulled the data Monday morning. We conducted media outreach Tuesday and Wednesday and released the actual infographics for embedding on Thursday AM – coinciding with the beginning of the Sweet 16.
  • CBSSports embedded it and a number of their reporters shared it. This was like gold for us, because CBS has the broadcast rights to the NCAA tournament so TONS of people were going to their site looking for all the latest info about the tournament. It turns out that the infogrpahic was viewed about 90,000 times that weekend. Social sharing was also very strong, creating a lot of engagement opportunities for the client, while staying focused on shooting -- our core positioning.
  • A couple years ago, we started working with Seen, a platform for Instagram campaigns and insights. After their initial launch, we decided to do some very targeted content marketing to build awareness and generate leads specifically within the sports industry – a vertical they’d identified as high-growth. We created two infographics: one playing off the London Olympics and one playing off the Opening Day of baseball. In addition to generating media coverage and driving traffic to the website, we wanted to use the content pieces as an avenue to show the power of the platform.
  • The highly targeted approach worked. By securing media coverage on outlets like Yahoo Sports and ESPN.com, we reached sports marketers. Traffic increased 360% and we generated more than 50 viable leads. The Indianapolis 500 was one of those leads, and they ended up signing on as a client and using Seen to power their entire #Indy500or bust campaign last year.
  • Next, I want to share two examples from Marketwired. A few years ago Marketwied acquired Sysomos, a social media monitoring platform. This helped the company evolve from a press release distribution service to a company with product offerings for both traditional PR people, as well as community managers and digital marketers. Knowing that community managers were an important target for Marketwired, we teamed up with TheCommunityManager – the group behind the popular Twitter chat – to survey their members and develop an ebook, which was relased on Community Manager Appreciation Day.
     
  • The book has been viewed around 30,000 times and provided an in-road to this influential group of people. Creating co-branded content is a smart way to stretch your resources and expand your reach – especially helpful if you’re trying to reach a new community or group of people.
  • The other Marketwired example deals with a more traditional PR function – investor relations. The SEC determined that social media was in fact a viable, acceptable channel for public companies to communicate market-moving information to investors and stakeholders. However, many of the traditional wire services were advising IR professionals to simply continue to use the press release as the main communication channel. Marketwired wanted to help the investor relations community understand that Wall Street was already making investment decisions based on information coming from social and digital channels.
     
    We commissioned a survey of Wall Street investors, analysts and executives to gather data about social media’s impact on Wall Street. The findings were fascinating, and went against some of the commonly heald beliefs. Now, we had valuable data to shape the conversation.
  • Using that data, we created a blog post and infographic, as well as content for multiple speaking engagements and webinars.
  • And, coming full circle, this last example is meant to serve as a reminder that content marketing shouldn’t be limited to online content – such as blog posts, infographics, ebooks, etc. There’s a whole host of more traditional PR tactics that you can revisit. For example, going back to Madison,
    At one of the major industry conferences, Madison hosted a roundtable discussion – bringing together ~20 leaders from different companies and perspectives. Goal was to talk about technology and its impact on the electrical industry, as well as new opportunities for innovation. People worked in small groups, with each table having a facilitator to keep the conversation moving. Then, after the breakout sessions, each table presented their discussion topic and results.
  • The information was captured and turned into a white paper that was released through Madison’s social channels, and in partnership with one of the key industry trade publications.
    Additionally, that set the stage for an invite-only LinkedIn group to keep the collaboration going and provided the foundation for future events and upcoming events and conferences.
    We typically talk about content marketing and how it can generate PR ourcomes. This is a good reminder that more traditional PR activies – like events – can also spur new content marketing opportunities.
  • Let’s take a closer look by reviewing five case studies. These are all projects we’ve helped clients execute, so if you have specific questions about the campaigns, feel free to share on Twitter with the #OutreachMarketing hashtag
  • And with that, hopefully you’ve seen a few ways content marketing can be used to strengthen your PR program.
     
    If you want to continue chatting about content marketing or anything else related to integrating traditional and digital PR, you can email me or connect on Twitter. Also, we’re sharing a weekly enewsletter with best practices and tips, which you can grab by following this bit.ly link.
     
    Thanks for having me today!
  • Content Marketing Through a PR Lens (GroupHigh #OutreachMarketing Summit)

    1. 1. @prTini • #OutreachMarketing Heather Whaling • @prTini #OutreachMarketing Content Marketing through a PR lens
    2. 2. @prTini • #OutreachMarketing PR “nuts and bolts” media relations community relations public affairs events crisis communication Photo credit: Sgrizzo
    3. 3. @prTini • #OutreachMarketing PR “nuts and bolts” media relations community relations public affairs events crisis communication social media
    4. 4. @prTini • #OutreachMarketing PR outcomes PR “nuts and bolts” media relations community relations public affairs events crisis communication social media content marketing
    5. 5. @prTini • #OutreachMarketing Photo credit: Wulfman7 PR-centric content: • drives web traffic • establishes thought- leadership • manages reputations • builds stakeholder relationships • generates leads • … and so on.
    6. 6. @prTini • #OutreachMarketing examples of PR-driven content marketing 6
    7. 7. @prTini • #OutreachMarketing GOALS: • Change perceptions • Build collaboration • Innovate best practices • Educate the industry
    8. 8. @prTini • #OutreachMarketing Content buckets: • Innovation in action • Relationship-driven business • Cleveland (Ohio) rocks • Paving the way through leadership • Madison: Up close & personal Photo credit: changeable_fate/
    9. 9. @prTini • #OutreachMarketing Sparks Innovation Center: Crowdsourced product development
    10. 10. @prTini • #OutreachMarketing Through content, we reinforced positioning and promoted Sparks. Relevant buckets: Innovation in action Up close & personal Paving the way
    11. 11. @prTini • #OutreachMarketing Through content, we reinforced positioning and promoted Sparks. Relevant buckets: Innovation in action Up close & personal Paving the way
    12. 12. @prTini • #OutreachMarketing Results: • Hundreds of submissions • 17% company growth • 37% new sales growth
    13. 13. @prTini • #OutreachMarketing ShotTracker wearable basketball tech GOALS: • drive website traffic • reinforce positioning as shooting resource • secure media coverage • spark social chatter & participation opportunities
    14. 14. @prTini • #OutreachMarketing Outcomes: • CBSSports.com & niche basketball sites • viewed ~90,000 times • increased web traffic • social interactions with fans, players & reporters
    15. 15. @prTini • #OutreachMarketing Seen Instagram marketing platform GOALS: • drive website traffic • generate leads in sports industry • secure media coverage • demonstrate platform power
    16. 16. @prTini • #OutreachMarketing Outcomes: • ESPN.com, Mashable, Yahoo! Sports + more • increased web traffic 360% • 50+ viable leads
    17. 17. @prTini • #OutreachMarketing Marketwired: #CMAD Monitoring platform GOALS: • reintroduce brand to community managers • drive website traffic • establish thought- leadership • spark social chatter & participation opportunities
    18. 18. @prTini • #OutreachMarketing Outcomes: • ~30,000 views • generated new influencer relationships • strengthened partnership • spike in web traffic
    19. 19. @prTini • #OutreachMarketing Marketwired: SEC Ruling News release platform GOALS: • Establish IR leadership • Differentiate from competition • Generate new leads
    20. 20. @prTini • #OutreachMarketing Outcomes: • Major media coverage, including WSJ and IR pubs • Multiple speaking engagements • Generated new leads
    21. 21. @prTini • #OutreachMarketing GOALS: • facilitate collaboration among industry leaders • build/nurture new relationships • reinforce industry leadership
    22. 22. @prTini • #OutreachMarketing Outcomes: • Achieved goals • Laid foundation for future collaborations • Enhanced Madison’s standing among its peers
    23. 23. @prTini • #OutreachMarketing tips to help content marketing succeed 8
    24. 24. @prTini • #OutreachMarketing Pre-Launch: • Plan, plan, plan • Gauge interest in advance • Build relationships with naturally aligned communities • Seed content with media, influencers to provide early “lift” Photo credit: nicholas_t
    25. 25. @prTini • #OutreachMarketing Post-Launch •Repurpose to extend timeliness • Leverage content for additional PR opps • Amplify with paid social • Maximize impact via email and social Photo credit: andy_tinkham
    26. 26. @prTini • #OutreachMarketing Disrupt the status quo. Build awareness. Acquire customers. Excel in the social world. Increase sales. Innovate best practices. Heather Whaling • @prTini heather@gebencomm.com bit.ly/afreshapPRoach

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