I'll let you in on a secret: Press mentions might be the cherry on top of your content marketing strategy.
Confused? Enticed? Hungry? Allow me to explain.
Defining Press Mentions
In its most basic form, a press mention is exactly what it sounds like: a mention of you or your company by the press.
That mention might come as a result of a journalist writing about a topic in your industry who quotes you as an expert source. Or maybe a contributor to an online publication is providing advice to the readers of her column and uses a tactic your company has covered in its blog content as an example to illustrate her point.
These mentions can be formatted and presented differently depending on the opportunity. You could find your brand included among many others in a list of amazing examples. You or your company leaders could be quoted or interviewed in a piece of content. In harder-to-come-by instances, your brand might be the feature of an entire article.
Traditional public relations agencies pitch stories to reporters and media outlets on behalf of clients with the goal of receiving a write-up for their client in a reputable publication. Many PR firms have historically been used as a solution for controlling the public narrative; however, as audience expectations around authenticity in marketing and communication have risen, tactics used by these firms have shifted to meet them.
Today, press mentions are one of the most positive PR tools brands can use to establish lasting credibility and trustworthiness with their audiences, which is why we've expanded our services to include press mentions. And they can be even more powerful with content marketing at their side.
How Press Mentions Complement Content Marketing
Press mentions are an excellent complement to existing content strategies, and that's because content marketing and PR go hand in hand. Without credible content, it's tough for your PR team to pitch stories to the press. And missing out on press mentions means missing out on the extended audience reach and validation from third-party sources you can't obtain through your owned content alone.
The best part about press mentions (to a biased content junkie like myself) is that they're an incredibly powerful tool for achieving your marketing goals. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of bringing these two together:
- Boost Credibility: Press mentions provide third-party validation to your message that's nearly impossible to get through owned media. You can sing your own praises all day, but if no one else your audience trusts can back up what you're saying, that credibility isn't very strong. There’s a reason word of mouth is still hailed as a top form of marketing: People value the recommendations of others. When your company is mentioned by a trusted outside source, it adds major credibility to your brand.
- Extend Brand Positioning: When your company has a clearly defined positioning strategy, press mentions can take your message a step further than the bubble of your sales pitch and extend your positioning into the world of your actual industry. Seeing your company as a part of the larger narrative validates the genuineness of your claim as a thought leader or expert and achieves unique brand positioning goals that content marketing alone often struggles to do.
- Fuel the Content Fire: When strategically published by the right sources, mentions can turbocharge your existing content strategy. Press mentions position you as an industry expert, generate and nurture leads, and educate your audience on new products or features. Combine your base of valuable content with a few mentions that expand your audience and you've fueled a blazing content fire.
Again, keep in mind that this is a two-way street. Without high-quality, consistent content, your PR team is going to have a hard time pitching stories to the press, and without mentions, your content could miss out on extended reach and validation.
Your content marketing strategy is a consistent and steady push, and press mentions, when sprinkled throughout that ongoing push, are able to provide valuable spurts of momentum and quick wins. Your efforts won't necessarily collapse without press mentions, but those mentions can give your content strategy the boost it needs to help you see even greater ROI.
For example, by combining press mentions with its content marketing (and overall marketing strategy) to cast a wide net of various content types that engage its audience, one of our clients increased its blog sessions by nearly 20 percent in four months.
And another of our clients, Working Not Working, generated high-quality leads from just three press mentions that fueled the company's ongoing content strategy within the first quarter of working with us.
Leveraging Press Mentions for Long-Term Value
Gaining those press mentions isn't the end of the road, though. These quick wins can and should be leveraged to maximize the value of your PR. Too often, companies land a press mention and kick back, thinking the mention will take over and work its magic from there. Not quite. In reality, a press mention finds its true value in how you utilize it.
For instance, if you’re mentioned by Forbes, add a badge to your press page that says, "As seen on Forbes," and link to the published mention. This can be especially useful for companies working to establish credibility in a quick, straightfoward way. You can also use one of our team's favorite content distribution methods and add the mention to your email signature. And don't forget about sales collateral and social media fuel!
Press mentions have a valuable place in your content marketing strategy. As you integrate PR into your content and your mentions begin to gain traction, you'll see increased brand awareness, qualified leads, partnership opportunities, and more. This valuable earned media might just be the cherry on top that helps you reach new audiences and build your credibility through content.