To energize your PR campaigns with the multiplier effect of blog articles, social media shares and other earned media exposure, there are some basic tactics that tend to fuel conversation and engage customers with content they generally trust more than ads and traditional news coverage. While these tactics do require some extra effort and hands-on attention, many of the techniques can be applied by B2B as well as consumer brands.
Earned media strategies are all about maximizing meaningful engagement with industry influencers, brand advocates and prospective customers to increase sharing of online content and drive referral traffic. They are most effective with prospects in the product consideration and evaluation phases, as a majority of online consideration and evaluation takes place in industry communities and trusted third party sources. The process for crafting and implementing an earned media strategy that effectively targets, engages and converts your audience includes several key elements:
A complete understanding of your targeted audience is integral to creating content that they will find genuinely valuable. Investing in primary and secondary research is key to clarifying what drives your audience to engage with and socially promote your brand.
Targeted content that is fact-based, instructional and/or entertaining will lead to more favorable publicity and social shares. Networking with brand advocates and community influencers to help with content development will ensure that it is on-track with your prospective audience. It will help to position your brand as an industry authority and will generate buy-in from the advocates and influencers who aided in the content creation. Since they have ownership in the process, they will be more willing to blog about and socially share your brand content with other community influencers.
Targeted Distribution of Content
Once content has been created, it should be tailored to specific bloggers, community influencers, online communities and publications. Start with the advocates that you initially enlisted to help you create the content. They can also assist your brand with building consumer trust and a positive reputation, through meaningful brand conversations with their communities.
Utilizing earned media to reach out to your prospective market(s) should be part of an integrated communication brand strategy. For more information about combining non-traditional ploys with mainstream PR initiatives to leverage consumer energy, maximize brand engagement and build a positive brand image, give us a call.