Public relations has historically focused on creating or transforming public perception. Today, in an era of heavily used social media and rapid-turn news, companies now have both unique communications challenges as well as limitless communication opportunities.
It’s no secret that client, employee or vendor opinions can make or break a business. Glassdoor, Indeed, BBB, Facebook, Yelp, TripAdvisor and others provide fertile ground for opinion seeding. And opinions, even from strangers, drive sales. Once rooted in a solid handshake, the sales process has shifted somewhat in that companies can digitally seduce new business while driving more traffic to their website, blog and social media platforms. It’s within these digital locations where many relationships begin and often result in a sale. Here are a few tips to easily establish positive relationships with your visitors and turn them into company promoters through inbound marketing:
- Engage and delight.
The most important element of PR is engaging content. You must tailor your content to your target demographic, while responding to their challenges or interests. What problem does your company solve? How do you creatively solve it? Remember that people make purchasing decisions based significantly on emotion. A well-merchandized product or service will get tons of business, just as a creative and interesting digital presence will attract more fans, followers and customers. Provide smart, remarkable content that satisfies your customers’ curiosity and needs, and they will extend your reach through shares, likes and purchases.
- Encourage evangelizing.
Once a client or customer signs on the dotted line or clicks the “buy” button, you’ve initiated a relationship that you must foster. Encourage customers to spread the word about your company and make it easy for them to do so with available share links or an incentivized referral or review program. Opinions of others impact how and where we spend our money. Happy customers will tell their friends, who will then tell their friends and so on, creating a broad web of evangelization.
- Track and measure.
PR has always been a combination of public perception and measurement in the form of clips and impressions. Today, companies can track even more data to determine optimal traction and discover what content or messaging is resonating best with key audiences, as well as what isn’t. Tangible measurement is the only way to quantify PR, social media, advertising and marketing efforts. Where are people reviewing your product or service and what do they have to say? Does the media perceive you as a key player in your industry? Are people sharing your content across social media platforms? Once you determine what works, your company can amp up strategies to build upon successful campaigns, ultimately extending your reach toward a broader net of champions.
The customers you have are equally as important as the customers you haven’t met yet. Creating opportunities to leverage happy customers further strengthens the reach and perception of your company. Highlight the connections you’ve already established to attract new business using inbound marketing tactics, several of which you can find in Axia Public Relations’ inbound marketing guide, available for download today.
Wendy Bulawa Agudelo has nearly 20 years of experience in technology, business, consumer and nonprofit public relations. She serves on the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress PR Task Force and is a culinary enthusiast and champion for the special needs community. Wendy has worked for Axia Public Relations since September 2014. Learn more about Wendy Bulawa Agudelo. Connect with Axia on Twitter @axiapr or tell us what you think in the comments below.
Featured image credit: 123rf.com