The PR BlogDigital PRContent & InboundThe Inbound First PR Strategy: The Beauty From Within

The Inbound First PR Strategy: The Beauty From Within

Prioritise those who care about your business.

Cover photo: @jerrysilfwer

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.

Here’s why:

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.

Jerry Silfwer speaking about inbound marketing
Jerry Silfwer (Doctor Spin) speaks about inbound marketing.

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:

  • Push mar­ket­ing vs pull marketing.
  • Cold selling vs hot selling.
  • Cold leads vs hot leads.
  • Traditional mar­ket­ing vs per­mis­sion marketing.

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.

Please sup­port my blog by shar­ing it with oth­er PR- and com­mu­nic­a­tion pro­fes­sion­als. For ques­tions or PR sup­port, con­tact me via jerry@​spinfactory.​com.

PR Resource: Deep Content

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:

  • Level 1: Articles
  • Level 2: Content Upgrade
  • Level 3: Resource/Lead Magnet
  • Level 4: Ebook
  • Level 5: Online Course

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

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:

  • Infographics
  • Blog Articles
  • Whitepapers
  • Social Media Updates
  • Landing Pages
  • Lead Magnets
  • Swipe Files
  • Template Files
  • Content Upgrades
  • Online Courses
  • Podcast Episodes
  • Livestreams
  • Email Send-Outs
  • Events
  • Case Studies
  • Webinars
  • Video Tutorials
  • Interactive Quizzes
  • Press Releases
  • E‑Books
  • Testimonials
  • Influencer Collaborations
  • Mobile Apps
  • Slide Presentations

Learn more: The Content Themes PR Strategy

PR Resource: Evergreen Content

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:

  • Two years. To be con­sidered ever­green con­tent, I think the con­tent must be rel­ev­ant and valu­able for at least two years. It’s an arbit­rary time frame, but if an organ­isa­tion can pro­duce con­tent last­ing for two years, it will typ­ic­ally last for much longer.
  • Actual interest. To be con­sidered ever­green con­tent, there must be an exist­ing volume of search engine users look­ing for the inform­a­tion. Without search volumes, the con­tent will likely be ‘ever’ without the ‘green’.
  • Gentle garden­ing. Evergreen con­tent will only stay ever­green if you tend to it occa­sion­ally. To check if everything’s work­ing, add some­thing help­ful if needed, and per­haps clean out some unne­ces­sary stuff. It’s a bit like garden­ing, I find. 
  • Personal touch. It’s dif­fi­cult to pub­lish some­thing unique. However, adding your brand’s ton­al­ity and flair to the con­tent is always pos­sible. The object­ive is to estab­lish trust and author­ity, so a touch of per­son­al­ity matters.

Learn more: The Evergreen Content PR Strategy: Forever Is a Long Time

PR Resource: More PR Strategies

1 See also The Publics in Public Relations (Doctor Spin).
Jerry Silfwer
Jerry Silfwer
Jerry Silfwer, alias Doctor Spin, is an awarded senior adviser specialising in public relations and digital strategy. Currently CEO at KIX Index and Spin Factory. Before that, he worked at Kaufmann, Whispr Group, Springtime PR, and Spotlight PR. Based in Stockholm, Sweden.

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