How to Get Content Marketing Wrong? Think Like a PR Person

How to Get Content Marketing Wrong? Think Like a PR Person

Difference between PR and content marketing Public relations, as defined by the Public Relations Society of America, is “a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.” Content marketing, as defined by the Content Marketing Institute, is “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience – and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.” Both PR and content marketing as strategic approaches aim to reach designated audiences in a win-win way. Eyeballs vs. hands (PR metrics vs. content marketing metrics) PR measurement revolves around eyeballs: How many people could have seen the content? How many people did see it? Essential content marketing metrics Of course, the ultimate goal of most content marketing programs is to get your audience to fork over dollars for your products or services. Stage two: Do something, anything Once you have the audience’s eyeballs, you need their hands to take a deliberate action to indicate they want to connect with your content. Stage four: Buy from us At this point in the journey, the audience member converts into a lead or even a customer. CRM data: Evaluate available analytics to see how many customers (i.e., people who have made a purchase) participated in an earlier stage of the content marketing journey (i.e., subscribed or watched a video). Don’t let your content marketing die You’re a content marketer. If you follow the four stages outlined above – see, do, trust, and buy – you’ll demonstrate a strategic understanding of content marketing’s value to deliver results for your brand. Follow Ann on Twitter @anngynn or connect on LinkedIn.

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If you want to be taken seriously as a content marketer, stop acting like a member of the PR team.

If you want to show that content marketing is a distinct contributor to business results, stop using only PR metrics.

Every time you use PR-centered metrics to show the “value” of your content, your content marketing program dies a little bit.

Sure, public relations and content marketing are overlapping fields, but they’re not the same. (I’m an accredited PR professional as well as a content marketer. I’m not arguing that one approach is better than the other, simply that they have different goals, which require different metrics.)

Difference between PR and content marketing

Public relations, as defined by the Public Relations Society of America, is “a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.”

Content marketing, as defined by the Content Marketing Institute, is “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience – and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”

Both PR and content marketing as strategic approaches aim to reach designated audiences in a win-win way. But content marketing goes one step further (that’s the marketing part) – to drive profitable customer action.

That’s why your reports must demonstrate how content marketing drives customers to act, and that action is not limited to an ultimate purchase.

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Eyeballs vs. hands (PR metrics vs. content marketing metrics)

PR measurement revolves around eyeballs:

  • How many people could have seen the content? That’s reach.
  • How many people did see it? That’s impressions.
  • How many times is the brand cited? That’s mentions.

Sure, PR measurement lightly touches on what the hands do – “likes,” shares, or comments. But that’s it for engagement.

Critics dismiss these eyeball-focused numbers as vanity metrics. They are not vain. They’re useful. They allow PR professionals to evaluate whether their strategic communications are achieving the goal.

But for content marketers, those eyeball metrics are vapid if they’re the only ones used. It may be nice to have a bigger reach, more viewers, and more “likes” (or “loves”), but those numbers should lead to some action. That’s the difference content marketers make.

Essential content marketing metrics

Of course, the ultimate goal of most content marketing programs is to get your audience to fork over dollars for your products or services. But typically, getting to that point involves many steps – and you need to evaluate how well your individual content marketing tactics help your audience complete each step.

How do you do that? Start by breaking the content marketing journey into four stages – each with its own goal. Then…

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