PRSA 2012 was a living, breathing example of integrating inbound marketing into communications. Inbound Marketing is an effort that pulls in your audience by offering them information they want, and ideally, they’ll be running to you.
Be findable & give direction.
To accomplish this, your audience needs to first be able to find you – so, make your messages easy to find – that’s the common sense part of this. Use the words and phrases your audience would use if they were trying to find you in a Google search. Messages needs to be remarkable, sharable and your audience needs to know exactly what you want them to do next. Is it a downloadable incentive? Maybe. Could it be telling them do take direct action? Sure. Mostly, you need to understand what your audience wants and give them a relevant call to action.
Why inbound marketing?
First, according to HubSpot, an inbound marketing lead costs 62% less per lead than traditional advertising. Beyond that, sharing intellectual property builds trust with clients and prospects, it provides lead generation, it’s trackable, it provides direct engagement, and it offers you real time data to drive your strategies while offering you the ability to showcase your expertise. Inbound marketing can be many things… it can be opinionated, quirky, fun, and emotional and it needs to be relevant, innovative, digestible, actionable, experiential, and of course measurable.
You want an example? In real life application and in the break-out session the example is as easy as pushing a button. The presenters specifically pointed to PR Newswire’s pre-conference and on-site promotion of our I ♥ PR campaign and mentioned how significant and notable example of inbound marketing pulling our audience in. (Kudos to our marketing team! J )
The I ♥ PR approach
Let’s dissect this… every registered attendee for PRSA 2012 received an email before the conference letting them know to stop by the PR Newswire booth on day 1 and pick up your I HEART PR button (numbered). Ultimately, the number on the button could make you the winner of a new Kindle.
But what did this really do for PR Newswire? Well, it did a lot. First the buttons were truly, as my grandmother would say the bee’s knees! Everyone wanted one. On a larger scale, it drove booth traffic and gave us multiple touch points with customers and prospects which fostered conversations that gave us credibility and talk about our latest offerings. We were on the radar of every attendee on day one to get their button and on subsequent days to stop by and see if they were a winner. And, it gave us the opportunity to talk, talk, talk…
So, all our literal button pushing, while it seemed like a cute novelty that people will wear proudly, in reality, it was genius display of inbound marketing at its finest. Okay, that may be a little strong, but we understood our audience and the campaign is remarkable, sharable, quirky, fun, actionable, experiential, innovative, digestable and trackable. Lead generation? You should see the stack of cards. Sometimes, effective inbound marketing is as easy as pushing some buttons and pulling your audience in. They were running to us!
Author Christopher Brimble is an executive account manager for PR Newswire.