Because marketing resources are both finite and precious, it's important to get the most miles out of every campaign and effort deployed in the name of marketing, PR and sales. In the case of earned media, several action items can maximize exposure while optimizing its measureable impact.
A combination of paid and owned efforts both online and offline can help make the most of media coverage and the landing page or pages it's linked to. Below are 11 tips to help drive more awareness, traffic and conversions from earned media.
1. Share with employees - This is the easiest and often most overlooked form of promotion. Employees communicate with their networks on a regular basis, both on and offline. They can't share what they don't know exists.
2. Social broadcasting - Many brands do this already. From earned media coverage to the landing pages they link to, marketers and PR professionals love to tweet, share, +1 and post this content.
3. Confirmation email - For website visitors who convert, be sure to carefully craft a strategic confirmation email when pitching high-impact content like case studies, ebooks, guides and whitepapers. This email should be shareable and present a secondary offer that naturally progresses the recipient further down the buyer's journey and decision-making process.
4. Email promotion - Content assets that are created as media bait for outreach campaigns can and should be shared with appropriate contacts that already exist in the database. These folks are generally already familiar with the brand and are more willing to engage with the content. They may even share it with someone new or be compelled to take a second look at the products and services offered by the brand.
5. On-page promotion - When launching new advanced content assets to pitch calls-to-action (CTAs) pointing to the landing page should be designed and placed throughout the site where prudent. Just because visitors don't click through earned media coverage and convert doesn't mean they won't seek out the content later. A CTA on the home page or resource section of a website ensures those folks can find what they're looking for.
7. Social promotion - Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter all have their own versions of native in-feed advertising. This is another great way to maximize the exposure of both earned media coverage and high-impact content.
8. Pay Per Click (PPC) - Search engines can be used to promote almost any content, but using PPC to promote earned media coverage may not be the best investment. Instead, consider using PPC to drive targeted traffic to the landing page of the advanced content used to pitch the media.
9. Retargeting - Campaigns that target visitors from earned media sources can drive additional and incremental awareness, traffic and conversions. If a landing page with a form is used to house high-impact content used for pitching the media, consider creating unique messages to retarget conversions and bounces differently.
10. Lead nurturing - If an email address is captured from an earned media visit, having a customized email nurturing or remarketing campaign in place can help increase the likelihood of incremental sales over time or shorten sales cycles.
11. A/B testing - Testing programs are the hallmark of conversion rate optimization. Multivariate and A/B testing help increase conversion rates over time. Landing pages linked to from earned media coverage with active testing in place will likely produce more conversions in the long run and assist in optimizing earned media returns.
Earning media coverage using high-impact content as the pitch hook is a relatively new tactic in digital PR and marketing. However, its impact can lead to massive up-swings in awareness, search engine visibility, social buzz, traffic and conversions - all coveted by marketing and PR professionals. To get the most out of earned media consider having the above 11 content promotion tips in place and ready to go. If you need help getting started with earned media, download The Inbound Marketer's Guide to Earned Media.
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