Got something to say? Want to tell more people than your core group of associates? There are a million ways to get your message out to a larger audience; two of the more effective are content marketing and public relations (PR). The lines between both are rapidly blurring and if the Spice Girls taught me anything, when “2 become 1” it’s a beautiful thing.
Both content marketing and public relations (PR) share a similar purposes; nonetheless, their definitions vary depending on the type of industry each is applied to. As many of the old SEO tactics no longer work, SEOs tricks have taken a more creative spin with the help of content marketing and PR.
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Sounds Good But What Do They Mean?
Content Marketing: Is the practice of generating informative and useful materials (blogs, ebooks, infographics, etc.) that customers and potential customers will find useful and influential. Overall, producing high quality content can increase brand loyalty and recognition.
Public Relations: Is the shaping and maintenance of a company or a brand’s image that is translated to its publics (anyone who will/can form an opinion about an organization). PR’s main focus ultimately surrounds the reputation or a company or a brand.
Okay Gotcha But How Do They Relate?
The keywords to take away from both definitions are:
- Brand Loyalty
- Brand Recognition
The relationship between these three terms is quite simple. How consumers view a brand shapes its reputation. Delivering content that shows consumers you’re authoritative within your niche builds a sense of trust. This trust will then be associated to your brand’s image (recognition).
Fun Example Time:
Back to the Spice Girls for a minute. After years of not releasing music (content), when their songs come on, I am not shy to start singing every word and break into dance. WHY!? Because they’re awesome, I love them and if anyone ever says bad things about them, I will defend their name(s). That’s what I call brand loyalty. And who doesn’t love British accents, simple pop music, skimpy clothing, oversized platform heels, and a variety of five made up spices. These are the symbols that I associate with their brand recognition. The collaboration of both are what has shaped their reputation.
Okay, fine… I got a little off topic. Back to it.
How Do They Relate to SEO?
Search engines, Google in particular, are constantly updating their algorithms to provide their users the best search results possible. With the release of Google’s Panda and Penguin updates (their not zoo animals, click the hyperlinks to know more), SEO has become less robotic and more humanized.
How is SEO more humanized you ask? Well the days of link farming, keyword stuffing and poor quality content are over. Google is now working towards a more humanized ranking index for websites and these ranking values now consists of more “real-time” metrics. Content marketing and PR influence ranking metrics like:
Social Media shares
Blogging / Guest blogging
This type of online material is considered to be quite timely or in other words a form of dynamic content.
It has become quite evident that social signals such as likes, shares, +1s, retweets and pins have influence on a brand’s search engine ranking. The more people interact with your social post builds your reputation, not only with customers but also with search engines.
Online reviews might be the most important humanized metric. Why? Because what’s written is completely out of the brand’s control. A study from Search Engine Land states “72 % of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.” Google understand the importance of these metrics and this is why Google+ Local was created.
No, press releases aren’t dead. Actually, online press releases are a great way to showcase your brand. If the information you’re releasing is awesome, there’s a good chance multiple online publications will pick up your story. This will get your brand in front a larger audience and catch Google’s attention.
Blogging is an awesome way to show customers your knowledge and personality and it’s the perfect avenue to build brand loyalty and brand recognition. Adding the keywords relating to your brand, optimizing blog titles and descriptions for search will get you noticed by search engines and by the audience you desire.
If you’ve yet to marry your content marketing and public relations efforts to benefit your online reputation, it’s time to elope them now! Spice up your Internet marketing strategy by publicizing your brand with awesome content. If you have something informative to tell your audience, share it on social media, sent out a press release, and write a blog. The way SEOs optimize websites is constantly changing and to stay relevant, one thing’s for sure creativity is key.
With so many similarities between content marketing and PR, do you think there should be one name for them both? What about “creative communications?”