GROW! Marketing and Public Relations Tips

Online Content and How it Fits into Green Public Relations

Posted by Katie Dubow on Mon, Dec 17, 2012 @ 8:57 AM

content marketing resized 600If you read this blog, you know that content is king.  But, does it matter where that content lives, whether it's online or in print?

Print is a medium that our clients still live for and we still see value in and getting a hit in the Wall St Journal or Southern Living is a home run.  But, what if magazines and newspapers follow the Newsweek trend and move all of their content online?  According to the Pew Research Center’s statistics on print vs. online media, more than half of Americans currently receive their news from digital sources, and the number of people relying on social media exclusively for their news has doubled in the past two years.  The trend to digital is increasing everyday. 

So, the question becomes, how do we, garden industry public relations pros, communicate this ever-changing landscape and its importance to you?

Well, we blog about it for one!  Here are a few key points on this online vs. print media change in the marketplace:

1. Earned media vs. owned media

As marketing fields become more integrated, as are the types of media to work with.   A piece of earned media, such as an article in a magazine, should now be used to help shape and create owned media: blogs, tweets, Facebook posts and case studies.

High-quality and timely earned-media still reins here, especially when paired with relevant and valuable owned media.  This can help drive even more traffic to a website and elevate brand awareness to the next level.  Plus, it ensures that the media coverage has a higher valuefor your business.

2. Analytics

With the advent of analytics, tracking the results of what we do, public relations for the lawn and garden industry, has become easier. Analytics can help show the impact of a print hit by looking at the potential increase in direct traffic to a website. Online coverage can be broken down further by checking out referring sites.

Then, we can analyze which PR hits drove the most people to a client’s website. This level of information can provide insight to clients on what is and isn’t working for media outreach, which is someting that has been hard to measure pre-internet.  It can also help provide some return on investment for your work, and allows us to refine and shape a client's campaign goals accordingly.

3. Playing the numbers game

Most online outlets have higher circulations than traditional print publications. In fact, many magazines and newspapers are outdone by their own online counterparts. For example, the Sunday print edition of The New York Times has a circulation of about two million, while the online-only version has more than 15 million unique visitors per month (numbers pulled via Cision).

As mentioned, clients will always enjoy seeing their product in the glossy pages of a magazine or on the front page of the newspaper, but online coverage has the potential for more eyeballs to be exposed to your product and brand, and for a longer period of time.

4. Content (online) is KING

While that mention in yesterday’s newspaper is probably now in the recycling bin, a mention in a media site continues to live on well past the date it was posted. The article featuring your client will be archived on the site, making it forever searchable to those who might have read or heard about it elsewhere.

Also, websites usually share links to their posts via their social media channels (and they usually include social sharing buttons with the article), ensuring your coverage reaches a broader audience and can be shared and disseminated often and widely.

5. SEO-ify

Print articles will more than likely mention your company’s website, but this requires readers to go to a computer and physically type in a link to access product or brand information, which is also harder to track.  But, online media removes that middleman, placing hyperlinks directly to your home page, product page, or blog, in the body of the article. With the simple click of a button, the latest news and offerings are available to readers.

In addition to this easy exposure, every one of these links leading back to your website is great for your online reputation and search engine optimization (SEO). As more original articles with links to your website appear on popular, well-respected websites, your SEO reputation will only increase.

6. More Content....

Articles in a print publication are limited in the type of assets they can incorporate. For example, print media can only include a photo (and the inclusion of a photo is usually dependent on space). With online features, you have ability to share other assets you have created, such as slideshows and videos, making your product or service that much more attractive to potential consumers.

7. And, even more content

Unlike magazines that tend to be released monthly and newspapers that come out daily or weekly, online outlets are constantly looking to generate and update content. This need for continuous content creation enables us to not only approach online sites and editors with varied, strategic angles, but also gives us a platform to immediately make outreach for clients when there is breaking news.

It is our job to stay relevant and as media continues to shift and transform, we strive to stay on top of the changes and educate ourselves well enough to explain these new developments to you. This will not only help us maintain relevancy in our field but ensure we are a continued source of trusted information for current and potential clients.

Looking to move your business to a move online content drive platform?  Let us help you. 

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Topics: lawn & garden public relations, content marketing, inbound marketing

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