Public relations is all about building relationships on credibility and trust. In today’s digital world, PR alone doesn’t secure you the same level of trust it once did. Nowadays, people crave content, too.
Content marketing is creating and delivering valuable information to your target audience. When done right – through an authentic brand voice – content not only communicates a brand’s goals and progress, but also ignites a level of brand loyalty unattainable through any other kind of marketing.
Content marketing has become the main vehicle for effectively increasing awareness, and is delivered in a way that is more credible than traditional advertising because it’s owned, rather than paid media.
Consumers are voluntarily reading information and gaining knowledge about a brand or the industry directly from the brand itself rather than encountering advertisements that focus more on visual presentation and the product or service being advertised than engaging content about a brand or industry. Simply by creating content, brands have the opportunity to become a trusted thought leader in their industry.
Public relations, on the other hand, focuses on earned media. PR professionals pitch their clients’ stories to the media to earn placements. In the same way that PR professionals don’t usually have a say in what actually gets published, content marketers don’t have a say in how consumers respond to the content that they read.
When used effectively, content marketing starts conversations and engagement among consumers. Positive and consistent engagement leads to brand credibility and good publicity – a goal all PR professionals strive for.
With traditional earned media, brands gain credibility through exposure by trusted writers and publications outside the company. Readers learn about some aspect of the brand and gain initial interest, driving them to do research on the brand, likely leading them to a brand’s website. That’s when the importance of content marketing comes in: when brands utilize content marketing, they develop their own voice by becoming a form of media themselves.
Unlike earned media, brands have total control of the content that readers see. Constant, engaging content on owned media keeps readers coming back. By combining both methods, PR professionals can help their clients reach a new level of exposure and credibility that cannot be achieved by just one strategy alone.
What content will get your customers excited?
*Written by Consumer Public Relations intern Bonnie Zeng, Communication major at Boston University (class of 2016).