If you are part of a small marketing team or manage the marketing function on your own, it’s very likely you outsource some aspects of marketing. However, it can be difficult to decide which parts of your strategy you should keep in house, outsource or even if they’re necessary at all.
If you’re confused about the difference between content and PR or are unsure if you should hire a content marketing agency, a PR agency – or both, then read on.
The Difference Between Content Marketing And PR
Content marketing and PR are two distinct sections of marketing. Content marketing is associated with the rise of digital marketing, whilst PR is much older and is often associated with print media.
Content marketing, the newer of the two, was born from a need to publish good quality content to naturally earn backlinks, website visitors and a higher SERP position. Not only that, but a content strategy also aims to educate and inform customers or the public. The effect of that is a company can then build their reputation and become recognised as leaders in their industry or at least an authoritative voice.
The aim of a good content marketing strategy is to provide genuinely useful, entertaining or insightful content to your desired audience. The goal is to achieve backlinks, page views, awareness and leads.
PR is an older discipline than content marketing and is closer to advertising – PR is rarely natural and has traditionally been used to make announcements about a business in a formal manner. A new product launch or a merger, for example.
Because PR is quite separate to content, success is measured in a different way – usually via media placements, press mentions and impressions. This is where I think it becomes obvious which of the two methods provides much more valuable KPI’s…
Content marketing goes one step further to make your audience aware of your business, and measure this awareness via quite visible metrics – page views, time spent on your website etc. And awareness is ultimately what both communication methods are about, right?
Different Approach Same Goal
Although we’ve shown PR and content are two very different beasts, if the goal is to make people aware of your business, is there a need for both? After all, the natural effect of good content marketing is that you build your reputation and brand awareness anyway.
Arguably, content marketing wins every time just because of its very measurable nature. And you know us marketers love measuring things.
There are some approaches in content marketing that can also be viewed as PR too. Guest blogging for example.
Guest posting means placing content on a website different to your own and gaining a backlink in the process. Referral traffic comes through to your website and it’s a great way to reach a new audience.
The catch comes with the approach – guest blogging still needs to keep that ‘natural’ content approach. That means the guest content should be genuinely useful, informative and engaging. There are no points in this system for bragging about yourself for a backlink.
Why Should You Hire A Content Marketing Agency?
PR has its place but if your budget means choosing a content marketing agency or a PR agency, what should you do?
Hopefully, what I’ve written so far has demonstrated the key differences between the two, the quite similar ultimate goals and most importantly; how the two channels are measured.
It’s important to note here that a content marketing strategy is much more often about a sustainable long-term gain, rather than the ‘big impact’ good PR can have.
Also, PR is usually done on a more ad-hoc basis but content marketing is about consistency and routine work (one of the key reasons smaller marketing teams outsource their content marketing is the lack of in house resources to be able to commit to a long term strategy requiring regular work)
If you’re looking for hard KPI’s that demonstrate success, then I would go for working with a content marketing agency. I would say that though, seen as content marketing is what I do!
But if you really think about it…content marketing is continual PR. Rather than saving up news to formally announce, a good content strategy is constantly pushing your brand and your products, just in a much more useful and palatable way.
As you’ve probably gathered by now, GrowTraffic is a content marketing agency!
If you would like more information on how we can help you get started with a content strategy get in touch.