Where Does PR Fit into The Marketing Funnel
The term PR, Public Relations, is as simple as it states and is an important factor in marketing of any product or service. It is a technique of connecting with public and creating a positive image of your service or product.
One can simply release a book or film, however, what’s the point of doing the same, if no one is aware of the same? Articles / blogs etc are written for the public and you want them to read the same. Until you tell them that ‘look I have written a book about so-so topic’ people may not come to know at all about your book. Thus, PR is important to make the customers aware of service or product, by activities that help build a positive relationship.
Businesses have always used variety of means and tools to create PR. You must have often seen a press release of a film and the actors of the same in some chat show etc; these all are ways of generating curiosity and awareness about your product.
There are numerous positives of good PR activities. It helps in
- Building relationships
- Developing trust
- Increases visibility and brand awareness
- Increases conversion
Its like creating a chain, where you influence the visitor with your content and then divert them into conversion.
What is a marketing funnel?
A marketing funnel is a series of acts/exercise a consumer goes through before finally converting into a lead. Why for that matter a marketing funnel is called funnel and not anything else? For this we need to understand the shape of the funnel. It is wider on top and gradually narrows down. This means that there are many people on top and gradually reduces like a funnel into zeroing into conversion.
How can we get people on the top of the funnel? Bringing people on top is where PR works. Motivating people to pay a visit. Let’s see how PR helps us to get people to be a part of the top of the funnel.
- Marketing campaign
Generating awareness of your company/business/brand. How? Through
- Content marketing
We all know the importance of content marketing by now. The contents, blogs, videos are all means of creating awareness and recognition to your business. All the businesses are doing content marketing, which makes it more important to employ PR.
PR is the means to bring your content forward, in front of the audience. What will be the use of content, a good content if it is not been seen? why waste money on creating it? make the best use of it by presenting it to your audience and create awareness of your business.
For the content to make great impact, it needs backing of good PR. The job of PR is spreading out the right content to the right audience and creating a dramatic impact.
- Social media
Social media is a great platform to reach out to a good number of audiences. Here also the PR will promote you and your ads. Your campaign can be in the form of videos, strips, blogs, content, etc. the PR promotes you and creates awareness of your business on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube etc. It generates a buzz around that brings people on top of the funnel.
Marketing campaigns thus lead to awareness.
The next step to the funnel is
- Developing interest
Once visitors flock to your site, you need to hold them there, and cater to their interest. Again, you can hold them with your creative interesting content, videos, infographics etc. You can understand what they want and help them reach there. Allow them to take a tour and develop interest in your product/service.
They may or may not convert, but they will surely appreciate the experience at your site. So, make your website such that people can stay and enjoy.
The level of interest people show on your site gives you an insight in to your marketing strategy. PR can only work best if you your service / product is also the best, and is of use to people. A classic example here can be that of a movie that flops for lack of a good script inspite of having spent a fortune on PR activities. It fails to be a hit because of poor product and thus, people will reject it in one show.
You may lose your investment, as PR is not cheap. So, plan well, and evaluate your strategy and find the loopholes, and try again with new plan.
- Ready to be converted
The last stage is the conversion stage, where people move down to purchasing and converting. This is the pattern of funnel, that flows down, to ultimately closing the deal. Once they have purchased you would like them to repeat their visit and make them your loyal customers.
So again, the cycle begins- bringing in new and retaining the old. So, in all where did you find the PR? On top and the bottom. The cycle goes on like this, hence you must not assume that the job of PR is over.
Digital marketing needs to be enhanced by a good PR.
How can you make the best use of PR for your business?
You have by now understood PR is good and necessary for your business, but you can help your PR work best for you. It’s totally in your hand to give leverage to your PR. The way you present your content to online journalists, makes a lot of difference, and is imbibed in the same way in your marketing strategy.
You must not shy away from PR even if you are a start-up company. We know with your shoe-string budget, you may feel stressed, but believe me it does more good in the organizations interest than bad in terms of the stress. PR will pursue meticulously with your SEO and digital marketing strategy and work towards enhancing and leveraging to you benefit.
PR can boost your landing page and can improve your search engine optimization by taking advantage of key search term trends. PR can help the start-ups with Brand designing, training and brushing up for immaculate presentation.
The start-ups as against to big brands are little apprehensive and PR is a great tool to help them to open up in the marketing arena.
Don’t expect and instant turnaround in your marketing strategy with the employment of PR. Be patient. They should be looked upon as investment, which gives benefit as it grows, and the longer the period is.
Once you have taken to PR, its important to track the effects of PR. Tracking, retracing and adapting to changes are the basic of any marketing strategy.
So, here we are able to establish that PR is required both on top and the bottom of the marketing funnel.