15 Jun How Are You Using Public Relations to Generate Leads?
How are you using public relations to generate leads? If public relations (PR) isn’t part of your marketing mix, you’re missing a key element in your lead generation toolbox.
PR is more than just an awareness tool. The practice is driven by content and relationships, two areas that can create qualified leads. Leveraging great content and nurturing relationships adds fuel to your funnel. It’s also an element of earned media – the highly sought-after exposure you get through print and online publications mentioning your brand in editorial content. In addition, earned media includes customer reviews and testimonials; positive social media mentions, shares and links; word-of-mouth recommendations and blog content about your products or services.
“Two-thirds of consumers (66 percent) report that they trust editorial content from newspapers and magazines.”Nielsen Study
How effective is earned media? A Nielsen study shows that 83 percent of consumers trust recommendations from people they know. Two-thirds of consumers (66 percent) report that they trust reviews and opinions posted online and editorial content from newspapers and magazines. Print advertising is trusted by 59 percent to those polled. Here are a few ways to ignite PR as a lead gen tool.
Create Content with a Kick
Yes, I said PR is more than just an awareness tool. The reality is prospective customers need to know you exist. Then, they need to include your brand among those they are considering. Activate that awareness and then kick it up a notch with informative, useful content. The point of brand content is to create an action, leading potential customers to consider your product or service. Sounds like lead gen to me!
Make sure each of your content drivers includes a call to action. That call doesn’t always have to be “buy here” or “shop now.” Encourage consumers to learn more by leading them to your website, signing up for emails and other incentives that keep them engaged.
Leverage Existing Relationships and Cultivate Some New Ones
So much of PR is relationship building. People like to work with and buy from people (and companies) they can relate to. How are you nurturing existing and building new relationships? What your company stands for is especially true today as corporate social responsibility gains momentum among Millennials and Gen Zers. The buying strength within these groups (18–40-year-olds) wields exceptional power while placing high value on companies that leverage their success to do good things. Your company is more than the products and services you offer. Consider leveraging company culture as part of your PR effort.
Toot Your Own Horn
Put your hard-earned, Earned Media to work for you. We know that earned media boosts search engine optimization (SEO.) There are simple ways to increase the audience for the articles and social mentions your PR generates. Sharing great public relations hits on your social channels increases reach. Adding an “In the News” section to your email marketing is a great way to spread the third-party endorsements you’ve worked so hard to get.
Be a Leader – Why Aren’t You on the Speakers List?
Whether it is B2B or B2C, people flock to leaders. How are you showcasing your company as a thought leader? In-person trade shows are back – pop a few Tic Tacs, get ready to shake some hands and talk about your industry and your company. Getting on the speaker’s docket takes some foresight and planning, but nothing says leadership like speaking to an audience of potential customers at a trade show.
For more ideas about how to leverage earned media and PR, contact Kathleen, firstname.lastname@example.org.