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How Content Marketing & PR Combined Can Generate Leads



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.

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.

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.

How Content Marketing and PR can Work Together

PR and content marketing are two sides of the same coin. Both focus on creating and communicating valuable information — just for two different audiences.

When it comes to PR, the goal is to educate existing audiences, such as loyal customers, stakeholders, and social media followers, about topics of interest. Assets created by public relations teams — such as press releases, white papers, or eBooks — are often posted on news sites or shared with industry publications to reach an audience that’s already listening.

Content marketing teams, meanwhile, focus on consistently creating high-value content that’s both timely and relevant and then sharing this content in hopes of generating new customer interest and expanding the overall audience. Content marketing teams are often responsible for email campaigns that encourage users to click through on new products or download reports; they may also create newsletters and social media posts and coordinate marketing partnerships such as those with social media influencers.

Combining these two approaches makes it possible to find and generate leads that are likely to become loyal customers.

Not sure where to get started with lead generation under a content marketing/PR model? We’ve got you covered with seven strategy options.

1. Find new channels

News travels fast. So fast, in fact, that even digital news outlets often can’t keep up. For businesses, this means that it remains important to submit PR pieces to familiar news sources and industry publications. It’s also worth finding accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn that offer similar news coverage at speed.

By using a combination of familiar and fast-moving options for content distribution, companies can increase their reach and their impact.

2. Combine science and art

While PR’s focus has long been on written content— press releases and white papers that contain the science of data collection and statistical interpretation — there’s a growing demand for visual content that offers a lower bar to entry.

The result? Marrying the in-depth content created by PR teams with more broadly-applicable infographic art developed by content marketing experts will help your content reach the widest audience possible.

3. Repurpose content

When it comes to content marketing and PR combined, there’s nothing wrong with copying yourself, so long as you do it the right way.

Here’s what it looks like in practice: You create a white paper or eBook about a new product, then repurpose this content to create multiple, shorter blog posts. The result? You capture both PR and content markets with similar — but not identical — content.

4. Talk up your accomplishments

Don’t be shy about awards you’ve won or honors you’ve received. Often listed on press releases, companies may be reluctant to mention awards in content marketing efforts for fear of veering too far away from social conversation into sales.

In reality, it’s worth highlighting what you’re good at, both on your website and in any content marketing campaign efforts. While there’s a balance to strike here between self-love and self-awareness, the evolving nature of consumer expectations has customers seeking out brands who have the credentials to back up big claims.

5. Create a reciprocal content framework

Your content doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Consider a white paper used by PR teams and then reposted as a blog and social media link by content marketers. If content teams can prompt engagement from potential customers, such as giving feedback or leaving comments, this can help inform the focus of the next piece of PR content, which in turn gives rise to the next content campaign.

6. Lean on established connections

Both what you know and who you know matters in marketing. It’s worth leveraging PR connections to help drive content strategies. These could be social media influencers, industry experts, or even long-term customers who are willing to share your content.

For influencers, this could mean an ongoing freelancer arrangement that requires a specific number of posts. For long-term clients, discounts or other offers could pave the way for content sharing.

7. Keep communications open

Last but never least in the fast-moving world of consumer purchasing trends? PR and content marketing teams need to stay in constant communication. This both reduces the risk of redundant or outdated content making it to news outlets or onto social media sites and helps ensure that new campaigns are coordinated for maximum effect.

Examples of Content Marketing and PR Lead Generation Strategies

So what does this combination of PR and content marketing look like in practice? Let’s take a look at four real-world examples.

1. Wells Fargo

PR is about digging into the details, while content marketing focuses on the outcome. Both work in favor of Wells Fargo, which donates up to 1.5% of its total revenue to charitable causes every year.

As a press release this is good information, but as part of a larger content marketing campaign, especially during the covid-19 pandemic, it’s a great way for the company to show themselves doing some good and connect with new customers.

2. Ford

Ford is focusing on sustainability and has committed $22 billion for vehicle electrification efforts to help achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. It’s an ambitious goal with a substantial timeline — but it also fits neatly with the current public focus on green initiatives.

By creating a narrative around this sustainable approach, Ford has the potential to reach environmentally-conscious consumers who would have otherwise avoided the popular vehicle maker.

3. Google

Google is also committed to energy reduction but has had more impact on the social side of corporate social responsibility (CSR) thanks to its outspoken CEO, Sundar Pichai, who is willing to engage both industry and world leaders in areas of social responsibility and equality.

As a result, Google is not only able to leverage its massive data resources to deliver relevant PR statistics but can back it up with socially-conscious action that makes for compelling content.

4. Netflix

Streaming giant Netflix offers paid parental leave for parents — most take between four and eight months but they can take up to a year — putting them well ahead of most corporations.

While the parental leave itself is a great talking point, combining information about this program with details about the ongoing success of the company at scale creates a great content narrative, one that could pay significant dividends over time as companies grapple with the ongoing impact of The Great Resignation.

PR and Content Marketing: Making the Most of this Dynamic Duo

PR and content marketing together can bring lead generation opportunities to the table. Public relations offers relevant information for interested parties to help create reciprocal relationships, while content marketing makes it possible to streamline the process of lead-to-customer conversion.

By combining forces, these disparate delivery methods become a dynamic duo, capable of generating leads that are more likely to convert — and more likely to share their experiences with other potential customers.

Want to make the most of this practical pairing? Use PR to establish and reinforce relationships with industry insiders and influencers, then lean on their connections to distribute purpose-built content that helps generate high-quality leads across your target audience.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in February 2010 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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Take back your ROI by owning your data



Treasure Data 800x450

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Other brands can copy your style, tone and strategy — but they can’t copy your data.

Your data is your competitive advantage in an environment where enterprises are working to grab market share by designing can’t-miss, always-on customer experiences. Your marketing tech stack enables those experiences. 

Join ActionIQ and Snowplow to learn the value of composing your stack – decoupling the data collection and activation layers to drive more intelligent targeting.

Register and attend “Maximizing Marketing ROI With a Composable Stack: Separating Reality from Fallacy,” presented by Snowplow and ActionIQ.

Click here to view more MarTech webinars.

About the author

Cynthia RamsaranCynthia Ramsaran

Cynthia Ramsaran is director of custom content at Third Door Media, publishers of Search Engine Land and MarTech. A multi-channel storyteller with over two decades of editorial/content marketing experience, Cynthia’s expertise spans the marketing, technology, finance, manufacturing and gaming industries. She was a writer/producer for and produced thought leadership for KPMG. Cynthia hails from Queens, NY and earned her Bachelor’s and MBA from St. John’s University.

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Revolutionizing Auto Retail: The Game-Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai



Revolutionizing Auto Retail: The Game-Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai

Revolutionizing Auto Retail The Game Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai

In a groundbreaking alliance, Amazon and Hyundai have joined forces to reshape the automotive landscape, promising a revolutionary shift in how we buy, drive, and experience cars.

Imagine browsing for your dream car on Amazon, with the option to seamlessly purchase, pick up, or have it delivered—all within the familiar confines of the world’s largest online marketplace. Buckle up as we explore the potential impact of this monumental partnership and the transformation it heralds for the future of auto retail.

Driving Change Through Amazon’s Auto Revolution

Consider “Josh”, a tech-savvy professional with an affinity for efficiency. Faced with the tedious process of purchasing a new car, he stumbled upon Amazon’s automotive section. Intrigued by the prospect of a one-stop shopping experience, Josh decided to explore the Amazon-Hyundai collaboration.

The result?

A hassle-free online car purchase, personalized to his preferences, and delivered to his doorstep. Josh’s story is just a glimpse into the real-world impact of this game-changing partnership.

Bridging the Gap Between Convenience and Complexity

Traditional car buying is often marred by complexities, from navigating dealership lots to negotiating prices. The disconnect between the convenience consumers seek and the cumbersome process they endure has long been a pain point in the automotive industry. The need for a streamlined, customer-centric solution has never been more pressing.

1701235578 44 Revolutionizing Auto Retail The Game Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai1701235578 44 Revolutionizing Auto Retail The Game Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai

Ecommerce Partnership Reshaping Auto Retail Dynamics

Enter Amazon and Hyundai’s new strategic partnership coming in 2024—an innovative solution poised to redefine the car-buying experience. The trio of key developments—Amazon becoming a virtual showroom, Hyundai embracing AWS for a digital makeover, and the integration of Alexa into next-gen vehicles—addresses the pain points with a holistic approach.

In 2024, auto dealers for the first time will be able to sell vehicles in Amazon’s U.S. store, and Hyundai will be the first brand available for customers to purchase.

Amazon and Hyundai launch a broad, strategic partnership—including vehicle sales on in 2024 – Amazon Staff

This collaboration promises not just a transaction but a transformation in the way customers interact with, purchase, and engage with their vehicles.

Pedal to the Metal

Seamless Online Purchase:

  • Complete the entire transaction within the trusted Amazon platform.
  • Utilize familiar payment and financing options.
  • Opt for convenient pick-up or doorstep delivery.
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Hyundai’s Cloud-First Transformation:

  • Experience a data-driven organization powered by AWS.
  • Benefit from enhanced production optimization, cost reduction, and improved security.

Alexa Integration in Next-Gen Vehicles:

  • Enjoy a hands-free, voice-controlled experience in Hyundai vehicles.
  • Access music, podcasts, reminders, and smart home controls effortlessly.
  • Stay connected with up-to-date traffic and weather information.

Driving into the Future

The Amazon-Hyundai collaboration is not just a partnership; it’s a revolution in motion. As we witness the fusion of e-commerce giant Amazon with automotive prowess of Hyundai, the potential impact on customer behavior is staggering.

The age-old challenges of car buying are met with a forward-thinking, customer-centric solution, paving the way for a new era in auto retail. From the comfort of your home to the driver’s seat, this partnership is set to redefine every step of the journey, promising a future where buying a car is as easy as ordering a package online.

Embrace the change, and witness the evolution of auto retail unfold before your eyes.

Revolutionizing Auto Retail The Game Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai

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How to Schedule Ad Customizers for Google RSAs [2024]



How to Schedule Ad Customizers for Google RSAs [2024]

It’s no wonder that responsive search ads have steadily grown in popularity in recent years. Through Google’s machine learning capabilities, RSAs provide a powerful way to automate the testing of multiple headlines and descriptions to ensure a closer match to user intent. The benefits are clear: RSAs mean broader reach, better engagement, and improved performance metrics.

However, all these benefits come at a significant (but reasonable) cost – they can be extremely difficult to manage, especially when it comes to updating ad copy to promote limited time offers.

I know this firsthand – I work with several ecommerce clients with promotions that constantly change. Not too long ago, I found myself going through the consistently tedious process of updating a client’s RSA headlines and copy. As I was making the changes, I thought to myself: “There must be a better way to update this ad copy. I shouldn’t have to use find and replace so many times while pausing and enabling my ad campaigns.”

After expressing this to my colleague, Jordan Stambaugh, the two of us agreed there must be a better way. But we’d have to make it happen. A few weeks later, we put that idea into action and created a more efficient process for updating RSA ad copy on a scheduled basis. If you want to try this process for yourself, just keep reading.

Responsive Search Ad Customizers 101: Basic Options & Execution

Before diving into the process of scheduling automatic updates for your RSA customizers, it’s essential to understand some key Responsive Search Ad fundamentals.

First, you can customize three main options within RSAs: the Attribute Name, the Data Type, and the Account Value. Each of these plays a vital role in personalizing your ads:

  • Attribute Name: This is essentially the identifier for the customizer. It is how you’ll reference the specific piece of information you’re customizing within the ad. For instance, if you’re running a promotion, you might name an attribute “Promotion.”
  • Data Type: This indicates the kind of data the attribute represents and it determines how the information can be formatted and used within the ad. Common data types include Text (for plain, non-numeric text), Percent (to represent percentage discounts), Price (to denote monetary values), and Number (for any numerical value).
  • Account Value: This is the default value for the attribute that you set at the account level. It acts as a fallback if more specific values aren’t provided at the campaign or ad group level.

For example, if you wanted to promote a 10% off discount using RSAs, you’d use the “Discount” attribute, a data type of “Percent,” and an account value of “10% off.” Then, when someone is searching for products, Google would test automatically inserting a copy regarding a 10% off promotion into your ad.

Once you’ve set up the right customization options, you can start to format your RSAs with customizers.

Here’s how:

  • Start by typing in {
  • Click on Ad Customizer then select your attribute
  • Google will populate your attributes that are already uploaded
  • For a simple offer, use the “Default text” attribute as a catch-all. This will ensure your ads run smoothly if Google can’t pull the right messaging from your RSA feed



How to Schedule Your Ad Customizers with a Feed

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s cover how to schedule your ad customizers.

Just follow this three step process:

1. Create the feed

Start by creating two sheets: The Parent sheet, and the Child sheet. The “Parent” sheet will act as the primary data source, while the child sheet will pull data from the parent sheet.

We’ll start by building the parent sheet. After opening the sheet, start by renaming the active tab to “Promotions.” Don’t skip this step, it’s crucial for referencing this range in formulas later on.

In your “Promotions” tab, head to the top row and label columns A, B, and C with the headers of your ad customizer attributes. For example, you might have “BrandSaleHeadline” as your attribute in column A, “text” as the Data Type in column B, and “Shop the Collection” as the Account Value in column C.

Once your headers are in place, move to cell C2. Here, you’ll input the expression =lookup(today(),F:G,E:E). This formula will play a key role in dynamically updating your RSA customizer based on the current date.

Next, go to columns E, F, and G, which will be used to manage your scheduling. In these columns, you’ll list out the different values your chosen attribute might take, alongside their corresponding start and end dates. For example, under the “BrandSaleHeadline” attribute, you might schedule various promotional headlines to appear during different sale periods throughout the year.

Here’s how your sheet might look:

Now look back at the first 3 columns on your sheet. They should look like this:

Now create a second sheet. We’ll call this sheet the Child sheet. It’s going to automatically pull in data from the parent sheet you just created, and will be the one you link to Google Ads later on.

Columns A, B and C will be almost identical to the child sheet, but we will be using a special formula later so we can automatically populate this. So, start by labeling Row 1 Column A “Attribute,” then the next column as “Data type,” then column C as “Account value.” 

Then go to C2 and use this expression to populate the right account value from the parent document: =importrange(“[PARENT DOCUMENT URL HERE]”,”Promotions!C2″)

Your sheet should now look like this:

We recommend adding a date range with default text for any days you’re  not running a promotion. In the example above, we have “Shop Our Collection” appearing as default text.

2. Input attributes

Once you have your feed created, the next step involves inputting your attributes into the Google Ads platform. This can be done either manually or through a bulk upload.

For the manual approach, navigate to “Tools & Settings” in your Google Ads interface, then go to ‘Setup’ followed by “Business Data.” Here, you’ll find an option for “Ad Customizer Attributes.” Click the plus sign to add your attributes. It’s crucial to use the same attribute names that you’ve established in your Parent Google Sheet template to ensure consistency and proper data synchronization.



Alternatively, if you prefer the bulk upload method, again head to “Tools & Settings.” This time, select “Bulk Actions” and then “Uploads.” For this process, you only need to upload columns A to C from your template. 

Be aware that it might take some time for your uploaded attributes to be reflected in the business data section of Google Ads.

3. Set up an automatic schedule

At this point, you’ve almost finished scheduling your ad customizers. Navigate to Tools & Settings, then Bulk Actions, then Uploads, then click the Schedules tab at the top. Select your Child Google Sheet as the data source, and share your Google Sheet with the appropriate email.



And there you have it – Google will automatically pull in the data you populated in the sheets into your RSAs.

Common Challenges When Scheduling RSA Ad Customizers

When we test these sheets with our clients in the wild, we’ve uncovered five common challenges. Be on the lookout for these issues – solving them before they happen can save you a lot of trouble down the line.

Not scheduling your upload when the site changes 

The first and most significant hurdle is the mismatch between the scheduled data upload and website content updates. For instance, if the Google Sheet is set to upload at 11 am, but the website changes occur at 3 pm, there’s going to be a discrepancy where the wrong message could be displayed for several hours, or new messaging could appear prematurely. Conversely, if the website updates happen before the scheduled sheet upload, outdated promotions might linger until the new data is imported. Synchronizing these schedules is crucial; it’s best to align them so updates occur simultaneously.

Skipping QA during a message change

Another pitfall is neglecting quality assurance (QA) during message updates. It’s vital to regularly check the business data section to verify that the correct values are in place post-update.

Issues with the IMPORTRANGE function

Then there’s the technical aspect of setting up the IMPORTRANGE function correctly in the Google Sheets template. The ‘child’ template must reliably pull data from the ‘parent’ sheet. If this function isn’t configured correctly, data won’t be imported as needed.

Not sharing access of the Google template for automatic uploads

Pay attention to your access permissions for the Google Sheets template. Google will prompt you with the email address that needs permission to access the ‘child’ sheet for automatic uploads. Overlooking the sharing of your sheet with this address will prevent the system from working.

Having date range gaps in your parent sheet

Lastly, a common oversight is leaving date range gaps in the ‘parent’ sheet. Every single date must be accounted for without overlaps. A practical tip is to have an ‘evergreen’ backup message ready, scheduled to run continuously, ideally through the end of the year, to cover any potential gaps.


Leveraging Google Sheets in conjunction with Google Ads to schedule RSA ad customizers is a game-changer for managing dynamic promotional content. This process not only streamlines your workflows but also ensures that your ads remain relevant and up-to-date, reflecting current promotions without the need for constant manual intervention. 

By adopting this method, you’ll save significant time and effort, allowing you to focus more on strategy and less on the minutiae of ad copy updates. Give it a try and experience a more efficient way to manage your RSAs, keeping your campaigns fresh and engaging with minimal hassle.

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