Salesforce’s Dreamforce (or as Wired calls it, “The Massive Carnival of Geekery That Eats San Francisco”) just wrapped up. This year’s event, which drew over 160,000 people, came just weeks after one of the marketing industry’s biggest events, Hubspot’s Inbound. All of the buzz around these two gatherings had us thinking about how PR supports our friends in both marketing and sales.
Search the internet and marketing literature for how many times a person needs to see a message before they act and you’ll find numbers between 2 and 20. The number that comes up most often is 7. That’s a significant number of touches. PR can contribute to the effort by expanding the channels of message distribution beyond paid advertising. If a prospect sees an ad, reads a related article, notices a post on social media and then gets a call from a sales rep, they’re much more likely to remember and respond.
According to Neilson, 92% of people trust earned media more than any other type of advertising. A study by Socialnomics found that 90% of consumers trust peer recommendations. In short, earned content develops credibility in a way that owned content simply can’t. When PR does a great job of engaging the media and other influencers, the job of marketers and sales people gets easier.
Search Engine Optimization
The days of cranking out keyword stuffed press releases are over. (Thank goodness.) But PR still plays a critical role in search, which is important for both lead generation and sales. Links to your site from other sites with high domain authority, including many general and industry news publications, help boost your authority and thus your ranking. The search engines are also weighting social media engagement more heavily, making PR’s influencer outreach even more important. When rankings increase, traffic increases, marketing gets more leads and sales closes more deals.
Industry and Competitor Monitoring
It is essential for PR professionals to monitor the market for trends, events and conversations that might present challenges or opportunities. Most of us have sophisticated tools that help us monitor media and social channels for relevant information. That puts PR in the position to provide valuable insight that might not be as easy for marketing and sales teams to get. When teams are well integrated, information flows freely and PR helps everyone keep informed.
These days, PR teams are being judged more than ever on their ability to contribute to revenue. This is achieved by supporting everything that the sales and marketing teams do to change a potential buyer into a customer. We all have different tools, but we work together to build the top line.