Bridging the ‘Inbound’ Gap.
Getting your content published in the media has some big advantages: it improves your SEO ratings and your Google News Alert hits, as well as giving a - not inconsiderable - boost to your credibility and 'industry thought leadership' status. For - despite all the effort and resources expended in developing ‘personas’ and walking your prospects through the funnel by creating compelling content for each step of the way, and all the social media posting in the world - that gap between your prospective customer and your fantastic content still needs to be bridged.
Inbound marketing works by leading customers down the sales funnel by increasing their engagement with the brand. Inbound marketing is a consciously very ‘hands-off’ and indirect approach: there’s never a noticeable sales pitch. This involves creating blogs, posts on social media, infographics on Instagram, industry white papers, email newsletters etc: content that will hopefully picque people’s interest. If it’s engaging enough, then the expectation is that your market will interact with it, reading and sharing, and come away with a positive impression of the brand that influences later purchasing decisions.
The problem though is getting your prospects to your content in the first place. Content marketers generally turn to other ‘hands off’ marketing techniques like 'paid discovery', and 'paid search' in an attempt to help people find their content. But of course these are just paid advertising techniques by another name, except now they advertise your marketing content rather than your product.
The best way to overcome this is to bring the best of your content directly to your prospects in a setting they consider credible. This is what good tech PR does – it identifies the best place for your content – be that local or vertical media - and then moulds it to suit the medium, and seeks to position it there. And it is very effective - and significantly more credible and attractive than other 'amplification' methods: remember HubSpot’s own survey of business software purchasers State of Inbound Report placed the media (at 39%) as the number one third party resource CEOs turn to in order to inform their purchase decisions (and 44% among C-level executives). This compares to less than a quarter of digital marketing emails even getting opened, and with a ‘click through’ rate of just 4% (Smart Insights 2017 Email Marketing Report).
Getting your content published in the media has some other big advantages too: it boosts your credibility AND it improves your SEO ratings and your Google News Alert hits. Having your product written about in one of your industry's leading magazines or sites confers the imprimatur of that publication on you and your company. Editors and writers are gatekeepers of their title's hard won credibility, so publication automatically boosts your brand or product in the eyes of your audience in a way that a self-published blog, or a social network post, or the best assembled infographic never can. And it also improves your SEO ratings by allying to a major title, and significantly boosting your 'Google News Alerts' hits.
Remember: creating compelling content is crucial, but so too is getting it published in credible outlets where it will be seen by more than just your colleagues and acquaintances. That is the hard part, the part usually brushed over by content and inbound agencies.
(Pic: Bowl of Tulips)