Inbound is fast becoming a paradigm shift for PR.
As optimising web content becomes increasingly essential, inbound is becoming an intriguing opportunity for marketing and public relations.
But when it comes to inbound, most PR professionals think about landing pages, conversion rates, and Software-as-a-Service (like HubSpot, the leading inbound software).
However — inbound marketing is also a PR strategy.
The Inbound Mindset for PR
Inbound marketing is a fundamental shift for PR professionals.
Inbound vs Outbound
The inbound mindset is a fundamental shift in public relations.
Instead of focusing on trying to spawn non-existing audiences, PR can do so much more with existing online publics. 1See also The Publics in Public Relations (Doctor Spin).
If your inbound PR strategy is good enough, you might not even need an outbound PR strategy.
Read also: The Inbound First PR Strategy: Beauty From Within
Drawing the Line Again
Drawing a line between those who know you and those who don’t know you is nothing new:
Too many organizations consider inbound audiences as “already paid for” and thus do not need further attention. Hence, most companies instead pour their PR- and marketing budgets into various outbound activities.
“Why should we spend our PR- and marketing budgets on ‘already acquired’ audiences?”
This is a flawed PR approach:
In a wired world, not bothering with your existing community won’t give you the long-term online success you seek.
Brands cannot afford to ignore their existing brand communities.
Recommendation: I use Email List Validation to protect my sender reputation by keeping my lists free from bouncing emails.
Inbound is Smarter PR
Many brands focus on landing pages for list building, content themes, call-to-actions, viral loops, conversion rates, lead magnets, content upgrades, landing pages, a/b‑testing, marketing automation, email marketing etc.
Definition of a Landing Page
Landing page (LP) = a web page stripped of standardised menus and sidebars with a single call-to-action often repeated as the users scroll further down the page.
Read also: Iceberg Publishing — The Cool Way to Grow Traffic and Conversions
But inbound is more than just deploying various tactics to capture online leads.
Most companies want more traffic, fans, emails, and sales. But in most cases, reaching new outbound audiences isn’t the real problem:
If your site isn’t growing, what happens if you compensate for that lack of engagement by paying to 10x your traffic? Now you have 10x the number of people who are not engaged — and your budget is spent. Doesn’t make much sense, right?
However, if you activate and engage your existing audience, it won’t stay small for much longer. Because in a wired world, people influence each other. And people influence algorithms.
And that’s the real PR power of inbound.
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PR Resource: Deep Content
Above is an example of an online content structure that’s five levels deep.
In the example above, five layers of evergreen content are stacked:
Deep content is centred around providing increasingly higher quality to content divers since they’re more valuable than surface browsers.
As for the importance of structure and depth, the logic is the same as for iceberg publishing and content themes.
Learn more: The Deep Content PR Strategy
PR Resource: Content Themes
Let’s use a fictitious example of an IT company. First, they decide on a promise filter for their content strategy:
Promise filter: We make IT easy to understand.
Then, the IT company breaks their core message down into four business-critical content themes:
Q1 content theme: We make people understand the Internet of Things (IoT).
Q2 content theme: We make people understand business automation.
Q3 content theme: We make people understand cloud computing.
Q4 content theme: We make people understand managed services.
For each quarterly content theme, they produce content packages. Each content package could contain the following:
Learn more: The Content Themes PR Strategy
PR Resource: Evergreen Content
What’s evergreen content? For a piece of content to be evergreen, it must sustain its value over time. Meaning: The content must be relevant today, tomorrow, and the foreseeable future.
While news content might have a more significant impact short-term, evergreen content instead accumulates over time.
There are different ways to leverage evergreen content. I recommend a few axioms for evergreen content:
Learn more: The Evergreen Content PR Strategy: Forever Is a Long Time
PR Resource: More PR Strategies
Doctor Spin’s PR Strategies
Make sure to explore a wide variety of PR strategies for every different type of situation and challenge:
Learn more: How to Create a PR Strategy That Actually Works
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