If your public relations department is great at earning media coverage or inclusion in industry publications through contributed articles, don’t overlook how those same PR tactics can be a boost to your inbound marketing strategy.
Marketing and PR efforts should not be separated by an impenetrable wall; instead, the content created by both departments should be related, relevant, and fall along a continuum that works as one to achieve company goals of driving website traffic, online lead generation and sales.
If PR writes the contributed bylined articles, but marketing is in charge of the business blog (and using it to generate online leads) it is time to put your heads together and implement these strategies for getting more mileage out of the effort put into writing those bylined articles.
1. Promote published articles on your blog.
When one of your company’s bylined articles hits the newsstands, so to speak (yes, I know, it is most likely published exclusively online by vertical media), your first instinct may be to share it on social media. It’s a nice recognition, after all, of your company leadership and position in the industry.
But first, step back. And have your social media manager hold off on sharing it for just long enough for your business blog writer to do one thing: Write a blog post about the article.
Why would you want to write a blog post about it, rather than simply sharing the article directly on social media? The answer is simple: lead generation.
If you only share the published article, you are sending your social media followers and others who see the posts to the publication’s website. From a marketing and sales perspective, it is more effective to bring your social media followers to your own site instead (or, at the very least, in addition to sharing the actual link to the online article).
When you write a blog post about the publication of that bylined article, you can also include in additional commentary in the post, and link to related information and calls-to-action for relevant offers on your site. That is how you boost your site’s SEO and capture leads (when visitors access a downloadable asset, free trial or other offering through a landing page form).
So, write a blog post about the article, and include a link to the original publication there, and THEN link to the blog post from social media. You still benefit from building awareness and recognizing the publication, but you also provide an opportunity for lead generation on your own website at the same time.
2. Repurpose articles as blog content.
Why let all of the research, interviews, writing and editing that go into creating a great bylined article result in only one piece of content?
Consider taking apart that article and rewriting it into a blog post—or better yet, an entire series of posts, infographics and videos for your business blog. The specifics will depend on the topic and format of the contributed article. If it was an article covering new original research done by your company (like the one from JONES’ client, West, that is included in our Best Practices Case Study: Bylined Articles, you may be able to mine the data for a number of different blog posts focused on reaching different buyer personas or different levels of the sales funnel.
The information also could potentially be written into an infographic, or turned into a short video, possibly as a Q&A with the executive whose byline appeared on the article when it was published.
3. Repurpose articles as downloadable assets to be promoted on your business blog.
Just as you can repurpose the information and ideas from a contributed article into business blog content, you can also turn it into the kinds of downloadable assets that help drive online lead generation.
While a bylined article may touch only on the key takeaways and most notable statistics from original research such as surveys, you can use the article’s insights as commentary in a complete downloadable report, which visitors would need to provide contact information to access.
If the bylined article is more instructional in nature, consider turning the concepts from it into a useable template, calculator or checklist that can help readers complete a task or conquer a challenge more efficiently. (Did you know that we have an entire section of our Inbound Marketing Learning Library dedicated to resources that help inbound marketers DO.)
4. Let sales in on the secret, too.
Sometimes the wall isn’t between marketing and PR. It is between the communications team and sales. But it shouldn’t be. After all, the goal of marketing and PR should be to set the stage for sales to be successful.
So make sure that the sales team knows about the publication of that article, that they know about the blog posts that go more in-depth or videos that offer a visual take on the information, and about the assets created from the same information. These are all pieces that a plugged-in sales team can use to help close deals by showcasing your company’s expertise and benefits.
When marketing content creators, marketing directors, public relations directors and the sales team work together, that single bylined article can be stretched to do much more than it may appear on the surface.
Learn more about the dos and don’ts of building contributed articles into content and inbound marketing campaigns, as well as the art of getting articles published in the first place with these resources: