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Public relations is a powerful tool if you’re looking to reach more people with your message, product or expertise. If you’re looking for volume, then public relations is the fastest way to get your message out to millions of people with just one piece of content. Once you’re featured in the press, your credibility will automatically soar, and you’ll be seen as an expert in your industry. From a reputation perspective, getting featured in the press can be a game changer for your business as you’re positioned as someone with authority and influence.
But before you even think about your PR strategy, there’s something you need to be nailing first: the customer journey.
PR can kick-start the customer journey
PR is classed as a top-of-funnel activity. One of the roles PR plays is to drive volumes of traffic to your website. In an ideal world, you want people to be inspired by what they’ve read online or in print or heard on the radio or on a podcast. You want to inspire them to take action, which should involve visiting your website to find out more about you, what you do, why you do it, who you help and how you help them. There’s a reason people call your website your online shop front — it’s the place you want to drive people to, where they can find out more about you and ultimately to buy from you.
If you have a website, then the biggest asset at your disposal is Google Analytics. Make sure you’ve linked your website to Google Analytics so that you can track where your visitors are coming from, see which pages they’re viewing and how long they’re spending on each page. This vital information shows what your potential customers and clients are interested in and how they’re interacting with your content. It gives you an insight into what’s working and what’s not, so that you can double down on what’s working and either tweak or remove what isn’t.
Related: How to Utilize Public Relations Without Sacrificing Your Own Narrative
How to give customers a seamless experience
If you’re a service-based entrepreneur or business owner, then there’s a high chance that potential clients will want to get to know you more before they buy from you. Once they’ve seen you in the press and have visited your website, you’ll want your website to capture their data so that you can nurture them with email sequences and regular newsletters and build the know-like-trust factor.
You’ll also want your website to be up-to-date and provide information that is useful to them — this can be a blog, other free resources or even links to your social-media pages. And more importantly than that, you’ll want to make it easy for people to book a call with you via your website or make a purchase. Once potential clients have visited your website and interacted with you, you want to ensure that what happens next works seamlessly. If they’re booking a call, is that process automated or are you manually messaging people with your availability? If it’s automated, is the process easy to follow and understand?
Related: Customer-Journey Mapping: The What, How and Why
If you’re a product-based business and customers are purchasing something from you, is that purchase being posted to them? If it’s being posted, are you taking care over the presentation and how it’s delivered or simply chucking it in any old box?
If it’s electronic, is it a simple and seamless process? If you’re delivering an electronic product, what does that delivery process look like? Does it automatically pop up upon purchase or is it delivered via an automated-email sequence?
All of these factors are part of the customer journey and the customer experience. How these parts fit together makes up the overall impression that you’re having on the customer and the reputation that you’re building.
Don’t underestimate the power of Google Analytics
Going back to Google Analytics, over time you’ll gather enough data to assess where people are dropping off in their journey to becoming a customer or client. You’ll be able to make the necessary tweaks to ensure a positive experience that makes them want to buy from you again or recommend you to their friends, family and colleagues.
If they’ve had a positive experience, chances are they’ll post about you on social media and tag you in the post. This will then drive more people to your social-media channels and hopefully drive more traffic to your website.
Related: Try Google Analytics, It Can Do Wonders for Your Business
If you have any leaks or gaps in your customer journey, then you really do need to plug them before driving more people to your website; otherwise, you’re wasting time, energy and money on attracting more visitors, who will then potentially fall through the cracks and do more harm than good to your reputation.
Taking the time to assess your current customer journey or setting it up properly from the outset will be the difference between a sales pipeline brimming with new leads or a reputational disaster with no new potential customers. Once your customer journey is on point, then you can start to build on your credibility by getting featured in the press and gaining the kudos you deserve.