How marketing agencies combine public relations and inbound marketing to improve brand reputation and sales

August 4, 2022 by Clever Samurai,

A cursory internet search regarding the relationship between public relations and inbound marketing will result in countless articles discussing the differences between the two. Guides on how to separate their strategies, methods, and objectives are plentiful, but this could lead a reader to false conclusions, or an assumption that they should be treated and utilised as totally different concepts. It’s true that PR and inbound marketing are distinctly different when it comes to how they reach their goals, but ultimately, their end goals are the same: improve brand perception, reputation, and interest in a company’s offerings. Any marketing agency worth their salt will provide both services in tandem, as they know this is the most effective way to direct more business to their clients.

If you treat PR as a form of inbound marketing, marketing which attracts customers to your brand by providing value to them, then it can be a valuable tool which will not only increase sales but your brand’s reputation as well. PR efforts can be considered a marketing channel of their own, one which works just a little bit differently than what you might be used to.

A professional marketing agency will use PR as a tool to facilitate earned content marketing o

Opportunities, such as placements in publications. At Clever Samurai, we always suggest content marketing through a PR lens, with the goal of showcasing the knowledge of in-house experts and thought leaders working at any given company. This knowledge is shared in industry publications, and functions as inbound marketing; readers will come to hold a more positive perception of a brand if they are exposed to valuable content in publications.

Before we explore the relationship between PR and inbound marketing, let’s define the oft-discussed differences in their focus, abilities, and metrics.

Focus

  • PR aims to refine and control how a company communicates with different groups. These groups could be customers, but they could also be media outlets, politicians, charities, and so on. PR controls the flow of information from the company to these groups, in an effort to improve their own reputation.
  • Marketing efforts are focused on advertising a product or service to increase sales. It’s really that simple. How do you convince your target audience to go with your product or service instead of your competitors? You market your product to them. How does it solve problems they deal with? How does it make their life easier? If you can effectively communicate the answers to these questions, and your product or service is appropriately priced, your marketing will succeed.

Abilities

  • PR can influence popular opinion of a given brand. Messages disseminated through PR channels can be perceived as more trustworthy than direct marketing, and indirectly contribute to increased sales
  • Marketing is the simplest way to increase sales. Distributing material which promotes your product or services to your target audience is the quickest path to boosting revenue.

Metrics

  • PR success can be a little harder to measure and is typically geared towards long term results. Ultimately, it is most important to measure success in terms of how your brand is perceived by the general public, or at least your target audience. Earned media coverage and resulting positive word-of-mouth reputation are things to consider. Find out what makes a great PR campaign.
  • Marketing success is much simpler to measure. Have your marketing efforts lead to an increase in sales? Yes? Great, in that case you’ve succeeded. You can, of course, get more specific than that, but at the end of the day increasing sales is the key metric.

Now let’s look at some ways you can mix PR and marketing to give your business the boost it needs.

Social media marketing builds positive brand perception, as influencers share your product

Social media can be a great PR tool, not just for improving brand awareness but also brand reputation through providing support services or functioning as a point of contact. If you are easily visible and reachable online, customers are more likely to trust your brand. Bonus points if you offer crisis resolution through your social media marketing channels as well.

Of course, social media can work together with content marketing as a platform to promote marketing materials. You could also work with social media influencers to improve your brand’s reputation. The market for influencers has grown tremendously in recent years, and people are more likely to trust the word of someone they follow and support over traditional online marketing.

Marketing yourself towards the media

The news, journalists, publications and other media outlets can be one of your greatest assets when it comes to improving your brand’s reputation. Cultivating healthy relationships with media groups can be accomplished in a large number of ways, and a marketing agency will often utilize interviews, press releases, articles for publications, paid media opportunities, and so on to grant your business exposure and marketing opportunities.

Marketing your business as ethical and responsible improves brand perception

A competent marketing agency will go over the effectiveness of emphasising the ethical position of your company. An excellent marketing agency will understand that conducting public relations with ethics at the forefront of its strategy will lead to businesses gaining an invaluable reputation as an honest, transparent entity. PR’s ultimate goal is to build a relationship of trust between companies and customers. Touching on aspects of a business that speak to their commitment to environmental responsibility, charitable pursuits will aid that sense of trust.

PR and marketing work well together, as people buy from brands they like and trust.

Ultimately, if a customer is faced with two products, similar in price and effectiveness, their decision will be swayed by the brand they trust more. A top-tier marketing agency will take advantage of this tendency and, through combining PR and inbound marketing, will work to influence a customer’s decision.

If you’re looking for a marketing agency with unparalleled expertise and success when it comes to securing earned media placements through content marketing, look no further than Clever Samurai.

 

How marketing agencies combine public relations and inbound marketing to improve brand reputation and sales

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