How to use online PR effectively to increase sales

hands-1167619_1280The discipline of public relations (PR) is one of the most cost-effective forms of marketing.  PR is essentially managing the flow of information and news between a person or organization and its various publics such as customers, partners, employees, bloggers, journalists, and others.  There is a lot to like about PR, particularly when brands can tell their stories in far greater detail and at a fraction of the cost of a typical advertising campaign.

A well executed public relations program has many benefits—from an implied third party endorsement of a company to enhanced customer relationships and industry reputation.  The end result is an accelerated buying process, moving leads deeper and faster into the sales funnel towards conversion. Continue reading

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5 Steps for Building a Content Marketing Strategy

According to a 2011 study by the Content Marketing Institute, 90% of B2B marketers are participating in content marketing and plan to allocate 26% of their total 2012 marketing budgets on this practice.

One of the best ways to build a brand and deepen customer relationships is via content marketing.  It’s fundamentally the creation, publication, and distribution of relevant, high-value content, tailored to the needs of targeted groups.  The Content Marketing Institute’s definition also includes the desire by vendors to attract, acquire, and engage with audiences.

Marketers are communicators of value and have been transformed into educators. Buyers are seeking information from vendors on how to solve business issues. Companies that embrace good content marketing practices are destined for more leads, conversions, and sales.

With the explosion of easy online sharing and distribution of information, marketers now have a way to scale and reach many more people.  Good content is an integral part of search and social media networking, and can take many forms, including articles, case studies, blogs, whitepapers, and videos.  Many people are responding well to visual content over plain text.  It won’t be long before we see more of the social network Pinterest in the B2B marketing world.

Let’s look at 5 content marketing strategy steps aligned with a buyer’s journey:

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