What’s the Difference Between Content Marketing and PR?

The Difference Between Content Marketing and PR

Here at Lollipop Digital, our new clients often ask us about related fields in marketing. It’s only natural for brand owners to confuse the processes and functionalities of various jobs. For instance, they usually equate content marketing with PR.

When you’re running a business, you need to connect with your customers. To do this, you need a compelling story, and this is where content creation comes in. Before you even pitch an idea to your audience, you need to prepare your story. Now, if you work with a PR agency, their people will determine how they can distribute your content. In this way, the relevant audience will be able to see it. 

Meanwhile, a content marketer is the one who shapes the angle of your story to fit a particular peg. Usually, content marketing teams have their own distribution plan. However, they also work with PR to widen their distribution channels and leverage relationships.

How Do You Define PR and Content Marketing?

The Business helm of the Queensland Government defines PR as “the practice of managing and guiding perceptions of your business to attract new customers and strengthen the loyalty of existing customers.”

Meanwhile, the Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing as “a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”

By examining the definitions above, you can consider content marketing as a subset of PR. Basically, PR is the all-encompassing practice of using the most effective manner to distribute the right message to the target audience. Now, content marketing is a digital strategy that even PR people use to develop and deliver content. Essentially, it involves creating and using your own publishing channels to get your message across. Moreover, it can also entail using existing digital channels like social media.

Success Metrics for PR and Content Marketing

While PR and content marketing are related fields, they do not always have the same goals. Consequently, they do not have the same success metrics. In general, success in PR is measured in terms of “impressions,” “press mentions,” and “media placements.” In this field, certain impressions—even negative ones—are better than no impression at all. Even so, these success metrics are not as valuable as content marketing’s KPIs. 

In content marketing, success is measured based on referrals, page views, and driven leads. There are two ways to approach the end game in this field:

  • Guest posting – You can post your article or newsletter on other blogs and sites. Content marketers know how important it is to get quality backlinks. Not only do they provide SEO value, but they also contribute to referral traffic, which digital marketers can measure through analytics. With the data they gather, they can determine which publishers provide the most relevant readership and value.
  • Publishing your own content – There are all sorts of rich engagement metrics that will let you measure the value and performance of the content on your site. Aside from social media shares, time on site, and comments, you can also use tracking codes on offers for conversion monitoring. This way, you can determine which guides, blog posts, or pages are driving sales.

Before the digital era, marketers used impressions to measure reach. However, with the advancement of technology, we’ve gained even more effective ways to measure marketing success. It’s good for a brand to get mentioned, but a mention with a link is always better. After all, the link brings higher chances of converting a reader into a sale. 

Now, in terms of angle and content, advertisements differ from PR in many ways. Content marketing involves directly talking up a service or product. On the other hand, PR is more like thought leadership. Basically, it involves providing entertainment or sharing skills and knowledge that inspires consumers to buy your stuff. They believe what your brand promises because they are already on your side.

Which Is Harder: Content Marketing or PR?

It is harder to execute good content marketing, and it involves science and art. You need a great deal of creativity, specialised skills, tons of effort, and even a dash of luck. Moreover, content marketing has an unpredictable ROI. In some cases, you may hit the home run. However, in other instances, your efforts may fall flat. 

Even so, investing in content marketing is worth your while. When every element works out, you will see remarkable results. There will be spikes in traffic and sales, and you will even get years’ worth of organic leads. You can attribute all these elements to expertly written content. 

Of course, you can only reach your content marketing KPIs if you work with professionals. As we’ve mentioned, you need the right skills, talent, and tools to pull it off. Well, that’s where Lollipop Digital comes in. Our team consists of SEO specialists and web content writers who work together and use results-driven strategies to help bring a brand’s message across. We will come up with a plan that will help you reach both existing and potential customers. What’s more, we will help you to develop a trusting relationship with your customers.Contact Lollipop Digital today and discover how we can give your brand a competitive edge online!

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