When you think about marketing, sales and PR, do you think of it as a single line item in your budget?
If you do you may be missing the bigger picture of how these functions are really complementary channels. And by doing that you actually may be missing out on how to maximize investments in these areas. In fact, you could be wasting money on ineffective initiatives.
How critical is it to capitalize on your PR team’s earned media in your digital marketing? If the 2016 presidential election was any indicator, it’s your best bet for generating awareness and leads. Aside from the polling inaccuracies, Donald Trump’s victory surprised so many people because he spent less on advertising than any other candidate.
He made up for those unspent ad dollars by earning more free media than any other candidate -- nearly $2 billion over the course of his run.
The truth is, you need PR and digital marketing to accomplish certain goals. But it’s up to you to make sure those efforts are aligned.
Drive growth through PR and marketing
What if you have $10,000 in the budget -- which PR or Marketing function should you invest in? If you have to ask that question, you may not yet realize that these functions are not interchangeable. The answer is both; it’s the combination of PR and marketing that drives growth. And, yes, both are possible to do, even on a limited budget.
How to boost your digital marketing with PR
Articles and stories will often give your product a spin you didn’t anticipate and might just set you up for exponential returns. To get the most bang for your buck, use PR as a launchpad for digital marketing:
1. Make sure the one side knows what the other is doingThe biggest hurdle to overcome may be that sometimes one of your agencies believes that the other is taking money out of its pocket: If you didn’t spend so much on digital, you’d spend more on PR, and vice versa.
To beat this obstacle, hire agencies that are willing to cooperate and communicate openly with each other. Right now, almost 60 percent of CMOs do not believe social media is linked closely enough with their organization’s marketing strategies. To avoid that issue, appoint someone either within your business or at an agency to make sure the digital team leverages the PR team’s efforts.
2. Leverage PR in your digital marketing
This is a must. When you’re analyzing ROI, you have to think of both in conjunction, not in a vacuum. But remember: Some of the best-performing advertising comes from leveraging PR. If you run Facebook ads using an article from PR and see a high return, for example, that benefit does not occur entirely thanks to Facebook.
Having your digital team boost a positive piece of press -- not the way Facebook boosts posts, but by actually putting money behind it and using it as an advertising asset -- can create incredible momentum.
3. Be patient
PR and marketing aren’t silver bullets. Both efforts require a long-term commitment. They’ll mature over time but should be seen as augmenting current initiatives in the early days.
An example? Ethical fashion retailer Zady understands the long-term commitment required for an effective PR and digital marketing strategy. After a year of preparation, it launched a project called “The New Standard,” a platform providing information to consumers and the global community about the negative effects that certain practices in the apparel industry have on people and the environment.
Simultaneously, the company started its #fashion4climate campaign, and provided a call to action, releasing its first fall/winter collection. A year’s worth of research informed the campaign’s launch, and at this point, Zady isn’t done promoting it.