Public relations is the practice of creating mutually-beneficial relationships by providing relevant and timely information to an audience that already exists. Content marketing, meanwhile, is all about creating content that attracts and retains new audience members.
While these concepts may seem like opposite ends of the communication spectrum, combining content marketing and PR offers a new approach to lead generation for your organization.
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Current Challenges in Lead Generation
Customer acquisition costs (CAC) are on the rise. About 60% of marketers say that their CAC has increased over the past three years, making it more important than ever for companies to both identify potential leads and increase the chances that these leads are quickly converted into paying customers.
Content marketing excels at the second part of this equation. As a result, companies are earmarking more of their marketing budgets for content-based campaigns; as noted by the Marketing Insider Group, the most successful companies now spend up to 40% of their total marketing budget on content-driven campaigns. PR budgets are also growing as companies look to keep existing connections strong — in the U.S. alone, businesses now spend more than 6 billion per year on public relations efforts.
The result? Spending to keep current customers and drive conversions is on the rise. However, for many companies, lead generation is hampered by content nets that are too wide to capture the ideal audience, and PR approaches that focus too much on maintaining the status quo.
Can you use PR for lead generation?
Yes. By combining traditional PR approaches with content marketing strategies, it’s possible to leverage existing audiences as a jumping-off point for new connections.
On its own, PR is designed to keep current audiences interested and disseminate key information about business operations to relevant news and industry outlets.
By integrating techniques that content marketers use to drive engagement (quizzes, questionnaires or user generated content), it’s possible for PR teams to generate new leads that have existing connections with current audiences in order to capture more of the target market.