Enhancing Content MarketingUse your public relations team to support your program

As we approach the end of 2015 and look to the future, it is apparent that content marketing has been, and will continue to be, an important part of the marketing strategy of credit unions. While traditional marketing techniques are still relevant, content marketing offers an innovative way for organizations to create and distribute valuable content to their target audience to increase the number of new members and retain existing ones.

However, simply establishing a content marketing program is no longer enough to keep up with the competition. Credit unions are now realizing that using a public relations program to promote this initiative is what ultimately makes content marketing more effective.

Here are four ways in which public relations can help promote a credit union’s content marketing program:

1.            Consistent Messaging
Search engine optimization is a large part of content marketing, and it starts with important keywords with which the credit union would like to be associated. These keywords should show up everywhere: blog titles, whitepaper topics, company boilerplate, twitter hashtags, etc. A PR program uses the same keywords and ensures that they are the focus of all future content, creating consistent messaging and thereby enhancing SEO. In addition, press releases with embedded keywords can be published in your online media room, assisting in driving more traffic to your website.

2.            Social Media Promotion
An extremely valuable way to promote content is through social media such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. A PR program should include a social media calendar of month-by-month posts and tweets that correspond to press releases, articles, events and blogs. Credit unions can even embed a “click to tweet” in a press release to engage current members, prospective members and the media in company news. Major news hits can be published in company newsletters, and blog readers can be invited to view more articles with calls to action.

3.            Creating Content
Content marketing does not exist without content, and luckily your PR program is already producing it! Repurposing content is very valuable; for example, a press release can serve as the starting point for pitching topics to the media, blog ideas, tweets, etc. Articles created for PR purposes can easily be transformed into new thought leadership pieces, while remaining focused on the central theme your credit union is trying to promote.

4.            Embracing Timely Issues
Finally, your PR program should help keep the content marketing program focused on timely issues that matter to members. For example, around tax season, members might be looking for information on budgeting. This seasonal topic can be used to promote budgeting tools or showcase investment options. A PR program helps keep the distribution of information coordinated with similar content to create a unified message at all times.

Content marketing has proved to be an extremely valuable tool for credit unions, and its popularity is only rising. However, the program can only reach its full potential when combined with a comprehensive public relations program. Merging content marketing and public relations can create unique and timely content with consistent messaging, while simultaneously promoting valuable content that attracts members across all communications channels.

Catherine Mootz works for William Mills Agency, , the nation’s largest independent public relations firm focusing exclusively on the financial services and technology industries. The agency can be followed on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or its blog.

CUES’ Credit Union Management’s online-only “PR Insight” column runs the first Thursday of every month.

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