April 4, 2013
That is the title of a recent Aberdeen Group report, Publish or Perish: Content Marketing is the New PR, which you can download for free (registration required) here.
Content Marketing Leaders and Followers
According to Aberdeen’s report, the companies it considers leaders in PR and Brand Management achieve greater performance metrics than followers, such as:
- 23% of their marketing-generated leads are sourced through inbound or content marketing (vs 10% for followers)
- 12% growth in year-over-year company revenue (vs 3.5% for followers)
- 20% year-over-year increase in media mentions (v 2.7% for followers)
- 15% year-over-year increase in social media mentions (vs 2% for followers)
The Changing Role of PR
One of the key insights from the research has to do with how PR has changed in the past few years. While the key mission for Public Relations in most B2B companies is still related to brand recognition and market credibility, the increasing role of content marketing in assisting PR with such efforts is now being seen as critical at most leading companies. The research points to 63% of respondents indicating that content marketing is being used as part of an overall PR strategy at their companies.
Companies considered “leaders” are the first ones to understand the importance of integrating content marketing into a broader PR effort, as their report points to 94% of leading companies stating that their PR function is now a component of their integrated marketing communications efforts and showing also that leaders are 50% more likely than followers to indicate that PR has evolved into a content marketing role.
Aberdeen recommends the following actions as you develop or reconsider the role of PR and your PR strategy:
- Align PR and Marketing: this involves a shared editorial calendar and unified web strategy
- Content Rules: you have to change how external PR firms and agencies are hired and evaluated, and also pay special consideration for SEO
- Search Engine Optimization: having PR work closely with the SEO team to navigate the new waters of content marketing, like correlating inbound website traffic with PR activity
- Measure what Matters: new measures for PR (inbound site traffic, web analytics, etc.) should be carefully considered in combination with more traditional ones (media mentions, advertising equivalents, etc.)
If you have been adopting content marketing strategies at your own company, the research results are probably not surprising but rather reinforce the notion that content marketing is here to stay. If your company has a traditional PR department or agency, now is a good time to start re-thinking your public relations strategy and how you approach it with content marketing.
To access the report click the image below.
August 5, 2010
Interesting set of articles on Inc’s Magazine June Edition “Inside America’s Best Run Companies”, showing how the best small business companies run and the perks and benefits they have to attract and retain top talent. Take for example the following stats mentioned in the magazine:
- 75% of companies offer educational assistance to its employees
- 83% of companies practice open-book management
- 28% of companies pay 100% of employees costs for health insurance
- 95% of companies offer flexible work arrangements
On top of that, they highlight some of the nicest perks some companies offer, like:
- On-site pickup and return of clothes that need laundering (McGraw Wentworth)
- Subsidized meals delivered at employee’s desk (Dealer.com)
- Two weeks of full-paid leave to work for a nonprofit (Patagonia)
- $5,000 spending money if you travel abroad plus one extra week vacation (LoadSpring)
- Professional cleaners go to your home every two weeks, at no cost to employee (Akraya)
If you come from the typical 9 to 5 job where being there is what is expected and you look forward to vacations like a prisoner eager for his 1 hour outside in the patio, then the list above is nothing short of a paradise. The reality is, more and more companies are adopting practices like these (especially telecommuting and flex hours) because technology is such that not only allows you to do it, but makes you more productive.
But companies don’t offer these nice perks just because they are run by nice people. They offer them because the market for talent is fierce. Finding and retaining the best people has always been a challenge, no matter your industry. When you have a little bit extra to offer, being that the free lunch or whatever, you are a step above the competition. And the word gets around and your hiring costs are reduced because people are now finding you for a change.
The best marketing ends up being what the employees tell their friends about their companies. How they like (or don’t like) the perks, and when magazines like Inc pick that up and write a story.
November 16, 2009
Presentations can be boring. Yes, I believe you are nodding as you read this. You have sat through your fair share of hour-long PowerPoint displays that were accompanied with a not so good speaker. What if you could change all that and have the message, whatever is was, delivered to you in six minutes and forty seconds?
Welcome to the world of Pecha Kucha.
I recently attended the Business of Software conference where I participated in a Pecha Kucha competition. The rules are you have to present 20 slides with 20 seconds for each (total of 6:40). Sounds easy and I thought so too when I signed up for it, but is far from a walk in the park.
To present well in this kind of format you have to rehearse very well. More than your typical “and in this slide I will talk about X”, because since the slides are automatically timed, your delivery has to be on time all the time. What if we could change the way our companies treat presentations and just give everyone six minutes to tell their stories? We would certainly have shorter meetings and maybe better content.
So next time you prepare a presentation, think about how you’d do it if you had only 6 minutes. What is essential? What is just fluff? How can you present in a way that will engage the audience? Less is sometimes better.
Are you ready to present? 3…2…1… Go!
October 21, 2009
Gartner Group is known in the technology industry as a heavyweight analyst group that influences a lot of purchasing decisions. Big companies all turn to Gartner’s reports to help them on emerging trends and technologies. Software vendors like to boast when they are placed in a specific position on Gartner’s famous Magic Quadrant report. The Magic Quadrant (MQ) report has been around for years and is used to showcase key players in a certain industry, comparing them and ranking them against a set of criteria.
Gartner's Magic Quadrant is now on trial
The problem? Gartner’s MQs have long been seen with suspicion by industry veterans and no matter what industry is showcased, it has always raised questions about why certain vendors were not included and why their view of the market is so different (like here about the DataWarehouse MQ, here about the WCM MQ, and here when it tackled Cloud Computing just to name a few). Gartner analysts try as they might to correct what they see as misunderstandings again and again are facing an uphill battle.
That’s why I was not surprised when I read on Dave Kellogg’s blog that ZL Technologies is suing Gartner over the MQ. Is an interesting lawsuit because it brings up the question of whether these vendor reports can really help or hinder a company’s ability to grow. And it will help stir some debate about the usefulness of such reports to consumers in general and how relevant the reports are. From what some vendors say, depending on your space the analyst report won’t help you at all. Stay tuned!
July 16, 2009
The recent advent of the lost NASA tapes (they lost the original tapes from the Apollo 11 mission, the first Moon landing, then found out that they had all been erased) got me thinking. At my company we do our best to keep “old” stuff like pictures, awards, magazine ads, even show signage. Sure, call us pack rats but we like going back in time and talking about the old days and how things changed. Not only that, we feel a certain pride when we look back in time and realize how much we have accomplished.
A project that has been on my list for some time now, is to get all of those pictures and select a few that we can use on our website as part of our company history page. Adobe and General Electric are just two examples that come to mind that make good use of their history to talk about their origins and how it relates to what they do today.
How can a company’s history be used effectively? Here’s a few additional options:
- Sales can talk about the company’s past to reinforce the message that the prospect is dealing with an established, solid player
- Human Resources can show new employees and interviewees what the company culture feels like by sharing photos of past events
- Volunteer organizations, once they see information, pictures and nominations from past activities can get in touch and partner with the company for a future joint community event or non-profit activity
- Putting up a timeline with pictures at the company’s lobby can not only entertain visitors but give them a quick lesson on the company’s origins
- Managers can refer back to historic events and milestones to reinforce the message of the company’s mission and goals during staff meetings
- Marketing can use the company’s history not only on the website (photos and videos) but also on collateral, either as part of a campaign or simply to reinforce a point about the industry, the company’s reputation, or to give the company a more human face
So how are you using your company’s history in your marketing efforts?