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Do you need to raise awareness and increase demand for your consumer facing product or service?
Do you have a really cool product or service that you want more people to know about?
Then read on for ADPR’s ultimate guide to creating a consumer PR campaign and find out how to raise excitement, brand awareness and ultimately, sales for your business.
Public relations, marketing and communications have changed dramatically over the years and today, they are all inextricably linked. So, it’s important to know your product, understand what you want to achieve and make a plan of how you’re going to get there. Remember, it’s better to properly plan and take considered decisions than to rush into a big consumer launch, when you haven’t done the groundwork first.
Consumer campaigns form part of your public relations activity and is an important part of the marketing mix for brands wishing to build relationships with end-users – consumers. This marketing tactic serves to educate customers on new products and services as well as establishing a level of trust in a brand.
From social media, to press relations, working with bloggers and influencers, creating content and driving SEO – the world of consumer PR can be a complex one. Knowing and understanding this will help you build a robust strategic plan for your consumer PR campaign. So, we’ve put together our top tips to help you implement a killer consumer PR campaign…
Plan, plan and plan again
You now understand the importance of planning so to start with, decide what you want to achieve and work backwards with these simple steps:
Q: What is your ultimate goal?
Example Answer: Customers buy the product.
Q: Who are the customers?
Example Answer: Men aged between 35 & 50 in the UK.
- How do you know this? Why are these your customers?
Q: How or where do they buy it?
Example Answer: Via your website, a bricks & mortar shop on the high street or through someone else’s shop or website.
- Do you have retailers? Do you have a shop? Do you have a website?
- If the answer here is yes, great! If it’s no, what do you need to do next – Commission a website? Find retailers? Find a shop space?
Q: Is the product ready to buy? When will it be ready?
- What do you need to do to ensure it’s ready? Packaging, quality control, product testing, marketing research, materials, etc
…And the list goes on. These questions, and the resulting answers (or lack of answers), will help you build a “to do list” for you, your team and your business, along with a timeline of activities. You can then put this into a proper plan, with deadlines, responsibilities and actions. All of which will help you get closer to achieving your consumer PR goals!
The consumer environment is constantly changing and this means what worked for a brand 10 years ago, or even two or three years ago, probably won’t be successful now. Digital marketing is taking an increasingly bigger role within consumer PR campaigns as the end user continues to engage more heavily with social media, online websites, bloggers and vloggers. This makes it even more important to properly understand your audience – your consumer PR campaign needs to reach them wherever they may be.
This highlights the importance of truly understanding your customer base, who they are, where they are and want they really want. Are your consumers local, national or international? So do your research and find out all you can about who your customers are. You can do this in many different ways, for example:
- Market research
- Focus groups or feedback sessions
- Customer questionnaires
- Bounce rates from people leaving your website
- Social media follower analysis
- Google Analytics from your website
- Asking them!
Once you know this information, ask yourself these six questions:
- How do they consume their news?
- Do they use social media?
- What are they searching for?
- What are they reading?
- When are they active online?
- Who are they influenced by?
You have to take the time to firstly understand which platforms are being used, and secondly, when you should be using them. For example. it’s no use being online at 2pm in the afternoon, if your core market is online and consuming news at 9pm, or they’re consuming news via BBC Radio 4 and you’re trying to contact them via Facebook. Similarly, it’s a waste of time, money and effort trying to communicate with your end user through celebrities or influencers – a very expensive resource – if they’re not actively engaging with these people. Ensure your chosen influencers genuinely have a close connection to your target market.
So, once you know who you’re talking to and how you’re going to reach and influence them, think about what you’re going to say.
There’s a quote, “In order to stand out, you need outstanding content.” This cannot be more true for wanting your audience to engage with you. What is the point of creating amazing content, if no one wants to engage with it and share it?
Think about how you can add value to your customers – not only through your incredible product or service – but from your expert knowledge. For example, you might write a blog on your website with top tips (like this!), it might be an e-newsletter you send out on a regular basis or it might be an in-depth, thought-provoking article on a specific topic.
Consumers love to read new, interesting and engaging information, so share it – you’re the expert in your field and make sure they know that!
Creating content is one challenge, but ensuring your customers read it is another. Owned content is something you create and share across your own channels, but getting this content featured further, through independent and well-respected publications, influencers or celebrities is challenge two. This is called “earned content”.
This is when you have to think about the tactics you’re going to use to distribute and promote your fantastic content, and get yourself noticed by other people. You can say you’re amazing and your product is the best on the market, but when someone else says this about you, it’s worth so much more than you saying it yourself.
Think about your target market and what media they may be consuming. For example, golf enthusiasts might be reading Golf Monthly or they might be reading Men’s Health. A fashionista might be reading the likes of Vogue, Cosmo and The Sunday Times Style – both in print, online and via the app. They may also consume their news through Facebook’s news timeline, private groups and pages, or through Instagram influencers and stories.
In order to get access to these journalists and influencers you need to build meaningful relationships with the key people at the right titles. Get to know your media before you make your pitch, look at their social media feeds to see what they generally comment on or news they share, research their biographies and see what stories they’ve written recently and make sure you’re speaking to the right person for your topic. Don’t try and contact the tech editor if you’re offering a travel feature.
In addition to generating your own content and getting it placed, you should look to earn links back from authoritative websites in order to improve your own website’s search visibility. This is a core part of Google’s search algorithm.
Links back to your website from those with high domain authority – for example, The Telegraph or The Independent – will push your own website further up Google’s search pages. So, don’t be afraid to ask for a link back to your website or specific product pages, and make sure you share the piece when it’s live! The more people who see it, the more traffic is likely to be generated to your site, and ultimately, buy your product!
Social media presence
We live in a social world and increasingly greater numbers of people are consuming their news directly through Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. People may be influenced by a celebrity’s actions and comments, and often make impulse purchases because they have seen Kylie Jenner wearing a jacket, or David Beckham promoting a new fragrance for example.
In a rapidly developing world, businesses who aren’t on social media are getting left behind. Everyone loves to share new products, their travels, news and photos on social media – so get involved. If you haven’t already, set up pages on the channels that you know your customers are active on. This way you can reach new potential customers and build advocates for your brand, often without having to spend any money and certainly without leaving your desk.
However, if you do have some budget to invest in social media, Facebook advertising is incredibly useful for targeting specific demographics – whether they’re in a specific age bracket or gender, have certain hobbies or interests that link to your business, or simply live in the right place. It’s a really affordable way to target these people and get in front of them when it matters most – and we’re talking from as little as £10!
Working with influencers and ambassador.
Influencers – whether on a social media, celebrity or media level – can be an invaluable tool for your consumer PR campaign. Over the last couple of years, there’s been a sharp rise in the amount of influencers there are, but also how many brands are using influencers and paying to work with ambassadors.
The influencer trend came about because of their impressive audience following and enviable engagement levels from the tens of thousands of people who follow their content, believe what they’re saying and act upon their advice – for example, buying a new product, following a specific company or watching a new programme.
However, as they are such a powerful tool, bloggers and social influencers soon started charging for content and reviews, and brands were prepared to pay. You are likely to be expected to pay for their services – which can range from around £100 to £10,000 (and much more in some cases!) depending on what you’re asking them to do.
The beauty of working with influencers is that if they really love the brand or the campaign, you can tell! You get a feel for the passion, love and honesty of a blogger’s content and want to know more with each following post, social media comment or new live feed. Now more than ever, people trust real people. People in their teens and twenties are far more likely to trust a product, business or service recommendation if it is made their favourite influencer. An influencer report by Morning Consult (2019) revealed that 72% of Generation Z and Millennials follow influencers. The report states that these people have their trust and truly do influence their purchases.
For more inspiration on successfully working with influencers, check out our recent award-winning consumer PR campaign for Helly Hansen, On The Horizon.
Getting your consumer PR campaign right is critical. It’s not a quick process and will take time, energy and investment to ensure you’re speaking to the right people, with the right message at the right time. But we’re here to help, this blog post just scratches the surface! Get in touch today and we can work together to create the perfect campaign that will boost your business.
If you have a new product to launch our Optimised Product Launch service takes all the hassle away! Whatever it is you’re planning to launch, you can leave it in our expert hands to reach the audience you want, accompanied with awesome content that will drive sales and position your company in the best possible way.
You have created a product or service that your customers want or need. That is an amazing achievement. How often do you take the time to step back from the day to day to focus on the bigger picture within your business? With just a few small tweaks your company could be even more successful than it already is.
We have created the Revitalise and Grow sessions to do just that! And they’re absolutely free. We are passionate about helping businesses succeed and we know that communications is a powerful tool to help you achieve your goals.