For any company that’s trying to increase its thought leadership and brand awareness through content marketing, public relations is an essential piece of the puzzle. Press mentions can help companies reach new audiences, give their SEO a boost, and provide coveted third-party credibility.
Heartbeat saw this firsthand through its work with Influence & Co. when it increased its follower counts, sign-ups, and closed deals as a result of its press mentions.
Now, let’s take a closer look at Heartbeat’s content marketing objective, its content strategy, and its results.
The Content Marketing Objective
Heartbeat is a social marketing technology that connects brands with the Millennial and Gen Z consumers they’re trying to reach. Brands that use Heartbeat’s technology have access to intuitive tools that can help them build a community of brand loyalists — and then activate them to answer surveys, engage with content, and create trackable nano-influencer marketing campaigns.
Heartbeat’s goal for content marketing? Driving more awareness for the company.
To achieve that objective, Heartbeat teamed up with Influence & Co. to create a comprehensive content marketing strategy rooted in thought leadership, starting with a press push around a new launch. And that goal would be measured based on website traffic, qualified leads, and generated revenue.
“Our main challenge is that there’s limited time to produce high-quality content but not necessarily a lack of understanding for what the content would be for us,” Heartbeat CEO Brian Freeman says. “I had insights and concepts and ideas that I wanted to scale, and having Influence & Co. be able to act as the stenographer of our ideas was an awesome thing.”
The Content Strategy
For Heartbeat’s content strategy, the target audience consists of decision makers at agencies and brands who are looking to better understand their Gen Z and Millennial audiences. Roles in these audiences include social marketers, performance marketers, brand managers, digital marketers, brand strategists, and media buyers.
A key component of reaching this audience with thought leadership content was helping Heartbeat secure press mentions about the company’s expertise: business-to-consumer marketing, business-to-business ad management, ambassador programs, and loyalty programs.
“I wanted to bring up the authority of our business by promoting ideas that we had internally, but those stories weren’t being told anywhere,” says Freeman. “That was the big challenge. Traditional press is about milestone moments, like launching a product or raising money. Other than that, it’s hard to be included in press. But there are innovations that happen weekly in a startup, and sometimes these are industry-changing innovations, but they’re happening inside the company.”
To help, we homed in on a few strategies to secure press for Heartbeat:
- We pitched Freeman as a source to journalists for his expertise in influencer marketing or to journalists covering social media trends, ambassador programs, or loyalty programs to help brands better understand their Millennial and Gen Z audiences.
- We highlighted Heartbeat’s B2B self-service platform as a cutting-edge resource for ad creation, buying, and management.
- We pitched articles bylined by Freeman as source material for contributors and journalists.
And this approach led to some impressive returns on Heartbeat’s PR investment.
Through our joint efforts, Heartbeat saw seven press mentions go live over the course of two months!
These press mentions were published on sites including Business Insider, Glossy, Forbes, and AdExchanger. But the most impressive results came from a mention in Mashable.
As a direct result of the mention in Mashable, Heartbeat saw the following results within two weeks:
- Generated 1,057 new creator sign-ups on TikTok
- Increased follower count average to 98,000
- Signed four brand-new deals
A big component of this success is Heartbeat’s focus on maximizing the reach of its content. “We include our press in all of our cold outreach,” says Freeman. This helps the company leverage its library of thought leadership content for sales enablement by showcasing Heartbeat’s expertise and third-party validation, which leads to a smoother and often more successful sales process and a better “meetings set” rate.
If you’re looking to bolster your content marketing strategy, press mentions can be a great addition to get your expertise in front of a wider audience and secure that coveted validation from credible, sought-after publications.