A Bill Gates’ quote is famous: “If I was down to my last dollar, I’d spend it on public relations.”
Certainly, there’s validity for his philosophy. Consider what you’ll find even on Bing’s competitor, Google.
For example, on Google news you’ll typically find countless search results for the key word, Microsoft. On Google.com, you’ll see as many 8.5 billion results for Microsoft.
We learned public relations is 88 percent more efficient than content marketing, according to a 2014 Nielsen study underwritten by inPowered.
Ostensibly, the study demonstrates the power of earned media as a center of influence. A positive news report is quite valuable for credibility to build trust.
“With so many companies spending so much money on content marketing, we wanted to clarify what kind of content is actually impacting consumers and helping them make their decisions,” said Peyman Nilforoush, co-founder and CEO of inPowered.
“This isn’t about disproving any particular type of content, it’s about identifying the most effective blend of content types to help effectively educate and inform consumers,” he added.
The study indicates the news media still has more credibility than branded content and maintains a strong influence on consumers.
Moreover, it means a greater return on the marketing investment in the consumers’ perceptions in the decision-making to buying cycle.
“It became clear throughout the study that, while exposure to each type of content did provide a lift across different categories, credible content from experts was the only content type that performed consistently across all stages of the purchase process,” said Tommy Cheng, vice president of Nielsen Content Innovation Solutions.
The study featured the responses of 900 consumers.
They were exposed to three types of content:
— Earned media (PR)
— Branded content (advertising)
— User-generated content (online consumer reviews)
“When it comes to determining which content to utilize to best educate consumers, it is not an either/or proposition,” said Mr. Nilforoush. “But by beginning with a solid foundation of trust built on trusted content from credible, third-party experts, all other content will have a greater impact.
Certainly, inPowered is credible as a PR-minded company, as I discovered after downloading the report.
Here’s an excerpt of an e-mail from the company:
“I’m Pirouz Nilforoush, Co-Founder and President of inPowered. I wanted to reach out and thank you for being one of the first to try inPowered and see if you needed any help getting started.”
True, it was a computer-generated response but it was a nice touch — a well conceived approach that a lot of companies should emulate.
It’s worth noting PR is valuable but that’s not to say content marketing is worthless. PR should be part of an integrated set of strategies to build trust with consumers.
That includes B2B and not just B2C. After all, 82 percent of B2B marketers prefer content-marketing strategies according to a study.
Either way, building trust is paramount.
From the Coach’s Corner, related PR tips:
For a Bounce in Revenue, Try Strategic Press Releases — Ever wonder why some companies are always in the news or how they succeed on the Internet? It’s a good bet they have a good PR consultant or have mastered the art of writing press releases. You can level the playing field with effective press releases.
How to Leverage the News Media to Brand Your Business — Social media is OK for promotion. But if you need blockbuster publicity, use best practices in marketing. Play a trump card — leverage the news media for public relations.
Inspiration from Raymond Loewy for the Best Business PR — A lady, sitting next to Raymond Loewy at dinner, struck up a conversation. “Why,” she asked “did you put two Xs in Exxon?” “Why ask?” he asked. “Because,” she said, “I couldn’t help noticing?” “Well’, he responded, “that’s the answer.”
How Some Companies Get Creative in Customer Service for Great PR — As you no doubt know, it’s increasingly competitive and costly to attract customers. It’s also a challenge to hang onto to customers while adding more for your business growth. Typically, consumers react favorably to marketing after receiving five positive messages.
Best Practices to Manage Your Global Brand, Web Reputation — As you no doubt know, the digital age has brought new challenges and opportunities. Best practices are critical in order to maximize your Web presence and to manage your online reputation.
“Failure is an option”