Content marketers often confuse public relations (PR) with content marketing – a dubiety that muddles the lines between these two industry-related fields.
Whereas PR benefits from content marketing approaches, PR metrics hobble the successful outcomes of content marketing.
Forbes quoted recognised marketing expert David Meerman Scott, who outlined the distinctions between the various aspects of marketing.
He said: “You can buy attention (advertising). You can beg for attention from the media (PR). You can bug people one at a time to get attention (sales). Or you can earn attention by creating something interesting and valuable and then publishing it online for free.”
His last postulation relates to effective content development and underpins the importance of quality content that grasps the attention of a target audience.
As such, content marketers should understand and apply the differences between PR and content marketing to hit the mark and deliver results.
Industry experts maintain that content marketing focuses on a specific niche, brand, or product and always aims to gain and retain interest and increase sales.
PR, on the other hand, aims to promote the public image and perception of a company as a whole.
Content Marketing Institute (CMI) describes both content marketing and PR as strategies to raise appeal among certain audiences.
CMI highlights that content marketing takes things one step further by aiming to create customer reactions that will lead to profits.
It’s fair to state that content marketing needs to invoke user interest, evolve such interest into actionable responses that firstly delve into and gain value from the content, and, secondly, invest in the product or service.
Studies indicate that internet users crave information and variety but fervently avoid any form of advertising or overt marketing.
Findings by Edelman showed that hardly a third of consumers trust marketed brands.
Edelman coined the term ‘trust-washing’, describing it as the inability of brands to deliver on their promises and using current issues to manipulate audiences and boost sales.
More than 55% of consumers reported that they can spot ‘trust-washing’, which shifted consumer expectations and behaviours from believing word-of-mouth advertising to wanting to see and experience results.
Your content should therefore encapsulate and convey honest value if you are to gain the trust of your target audience.
Forbes suggests gaining and keeping audience trust by being:
- Consistent: Rolling out consistent content that earns rather than assumes trust from consumers. Sticking to brand values and beliefs and not changing every other day harbours target audience trust.
- Reliable: Consistency flows into reliability and the two complement each other and enhance consumers’ trust as they know that they will get what has been consistently promised and delivered.
- Investigating the true needs and wants of consumers cultivates an understanding that can be felt and valued by your target audiences.
Experts maintain that content following the above principles is taken seriously simply because it takes the target audiences seriously.
Purecontent is a professional content developer that explores and creates content that speaks directly to your target audience to deliver defined outcomes and stimulate sales.