Building a company image or brand profile is no easy task: competition is tough and consumers are sales-savvy and cynical. While it’s natural for companies to want to promote their product or service, some methods are more effective than others.
As an independent public relations agency, we act as the extended arm for many in-house marketing teams. Though we have a common goal of increasing exposure and building a positive public image for the company, we often go about it a slightly different way.
Typically, we hunt out and share a company story or concept that appeals to a broad audience that could include journalists, potential customers, industry experts, researchers and even competitors.
This often means taking an idea, a thought or an industry trend that, while relevant, is one step removed from the company’s product or service, and holds greater meaning to more people. Such content may come in the form of a media articles, research trends or blogs, and will:
- Have broader relevance
- Allow more people to relate to the topics discussed
- Back up all claims
- Avoid promoting a single product or service
- Potentially draw upon credible research
- Leverage a trending school of thought
Most importantly, this content will appeal to journalists who’re seeking objective, informative and digestible stories to keep their readers coming back for more.
Sounds simple enough, right?
Perhaps in theory. However, we’re frequently faced with the challenge of striking a balance between creating informative stories that attract diverse readership, and elevating a company’s product or service to target potential customers. What pleases a journalist commonly will not appeal to a brand ambassador.
So how do we manage this predicament?
According to Marketo’s recent market research and Content Marketing vs. Traditional Advertising info-graphic, sharing media articles is one of the mosteffective content marketing strategies—in fact, it is ranked a close second behind social media out of all available marketing tactics.
Based on these findings, and in our experience, there has never been a better time for companies to expand their reach via original, objective and compelling content that resonates with journalists and is likely to be published.
Once published, not only will the coverage become an invaluable asset for the marketing toolkit, and boost the company’s SEO via high-quality inbound links, it will demonstrate to both potential and current customers that the company has a vested interest in thought-leadership and contributing to its industry—not merely boosting the bottom line.
In our opinion, any well-rounded marketing and communications plan should include quality journalism and media coverage that appeals beyond the company’s immediate audience—thinking broader produces bigger results.