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    February 16, 2010 // 11:06 AM

    Pack Your Bags: How Content Marketing & PR Combined Can Generate Leads

    Written by Kirsten Knipp | @

    You're buying a new suitcase.  What do you want to know about luggage?  Ballistic strength?  Capacity in cubic centimeters?

    I didn't think so.

    luggage

    Hot off the Valentine's holiday weekend, we learned of a romance that unites unlikely bedfellows.  PR, which HubSpot's CEO Brian Halligan claims may be dead , joined up with content-based inbound marketing to deliver the ultimate result: leads for Suitcase.com!

    Inbound marketing rests on the assumption that people seek out and want to consume remark able content.  PR, historically, has been about getting a message, remarkable or not, in front of an audience.  In this case study, PR 20/20 ( a HubSpot certified partner ) and Suitcase.com combined the best of both worlds to deliver meaningful results.

    As travelers, we are Suitcase.com's target market.  For a spring campaign, Suitcase.com and its agency, PR 20/20 , wanted to get more qualified visitors, e.g. travelers, to its website to check out new luggage.  Knowing that yet another luggage sale would deliver only a minor spike while eroding margins, they wanted to approach it differently.

    Enter inbound marketing .  A new promotion, sale or product announcement really wouldn't do much for long-term leads.  But a valuable content asset that travelers care about could provide a spike and continue to drive meaningful traffic and leads over time.  Because Suitcase.com has an email database of 20,000 travelers, they were able to survey customers to find out their top travel concerns.  The resulting 2010 Consumer Luggage Report identified trends and behavior changes such as:

    • 57% pack lighter
    • 72% use carry-on bags for each trip
    • Size & weight are the top two luggage purchase criteria

    PR 20/20 helped craft the survey and content, then played a key role in sharing the outcomes with media outlets nationwide, securing coverage with ReadersDigest.com and the Taking off Travel blog .  Building on the content created from the Suitcase.com study, an entire feature, " 10 Ways to Pack Lighter When You Travel " was created on Reader's Digest.  There is some great advice there, but the real story is that the inbound links resulted in a spike in traffic to Suitcase.com and a surge in leads for downloads of the report.  Suitcase.com measures inbound links, traffic and leads to monitor results after the release of its content-driven campaign.

    To borrow a sports analogy ... this was a classic ally'oop.  Content served up the ball and PR gave it a slam dunk.  Perhaps a more romantic and Valentine's appropriate way to express this would be that content is your champagne and, when used appropriately, PR can pop the cork!

    If nothing else, this story may provoke you to think about your industry with a bit of ingenuity.  If you think your company doesn't lend itself to creating interesting content , you may be mistaken.  Companies across various industries are blogging, reporting and creating remarkable content that matters to their target market.  Why?  Because it drives traffic and generates qualified leads .

    Are you sitting on data that might be interesting to others?  Did this story give you any ideas about how you can evolve your content and PR campaigns to embrace inbound marketing and drive new sales?

    Photo Credit: geishaboy500

    Webinar - PR 2.0 for Marketers: Why Social Media Participation Matters

    seymour Want to learn more about how creating remarkable content can lead to PR coverage and lead generation?

    Download the free webinar to learn how inbound marketing and PR can be combined for results.


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