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A solid consumer PR strategy allows your business to enjoy a larger audience and increased exposure. Read on to learn more about consumer PR and its importance in the business world.

What Is Consumer PR?

Public relations refers to how a business maintains relations with its stakeholders, including investors, media, government, other businesses in the industry, and consumers. In this blog, we will specifically talk about consumer PR because every business stakeholder is ultimately a part of the consumer market, whether it’s employees, investors, or the media.

Consumer public relations defines how brands build connections with the public, or more precisely, their target audience. It is all about building positive impressions about your brands, products, and services by disseminating relevant and engaging information to the public with an emphasis on your unique selling points.

Consumer PR – Then & Now

Consumer PR is not a new concept. It has been around for a long time now, although it wasn’t something that businesses purposely considered in earlier times.

The lack of technology meant building and maintaining consumer relations wasn’t as complex or detailed back then. Most of it was just about nicely dealing with the customers face-to-face. Then came the surge of technology, opening up multiple channels for businesses to communicate with their target audience.

At first, business organizations raised brand awareness by placing ads in newspapers, television, and radio. The rapid technological advancement in recent years has further exposed consumers to more advanced and instant ways of consuming media, like social media platforms, websites, and more.

Although companies now have more opportunities to get their message out to the public, it also means the noise and competition in the business world has reached an all-time high. Every brand must have the proper consumer PR strategies to achieve mass exposure and publicity.

Characteristics of Modern Consumer PR

Here are a few prominent characteristics of modern consumer PR dynamics:

Emphasis on Omni-channel Marketing: More is needed for businesses to connect with their target audience through just one or two marketing channels. From interacting with the audience on Twitter to making videos on YouTube, brands must adopt many ways to receive more exposure and build a larger customer base.

Importance of Story-Telling: Earlier, businesses could get away with using only hard-sell strategies because the competition in most industries wasn’t that high. Since consumers now have more choices, they don’t like brands pushing their products on them. This is why brands should back their products with a compelling story and unique insights that make the audience emotionally connect to them.

More Focus on Audience Interactions: Regular interaction with current and potential customers has always been important, but it is more critical than ever. The competition has increased, and you must keep in touch with the audience to stay on their radar. The more you communicate with your audience, the more they trust your brand. But remember to keep the communication swift, transparent, and meaningful.

Consumer PR Agency

Building and sustaining positive relationships with consumers is an ongoing process. It not only takes up significant time, money, and effort but also requires strong interpersonal and communication skills. Therefore, most companies prefer hiring a consumer PR agency rather than handling consumer PR tasks themselves.

Consumer PR agencies help brands build and maintain a consistently positive public image through various activities. More precisely, they interact with a brand’s audience on different platforms, post content on the right platform at the right time, organize or sponsor events, and collect good reviews from third parties.

Another crucial function of these agencies is to filter messages to make sure nothing inappropriate or irrelevant is shared. They also track audience interactions to see how the current public strategies work and what needs improvement. 

The Difference Between Public Relations and Marketing

Consumer public relations sounds very similar to marketing. Although both approaches focus on conveying the brand message to consumers, the difference lies in their objectives.

While the outcome of consumer PR activities is to build and maintain a brand’s positive reputation amongst the public, marketing is more inclined towards increasing the revenue for a business.

Both marketing and consumer PR are equally crucial for businesses to generate a high return on investment in this modern era. Every business should use a blend of marketing and PR strategies to connect with its target audience.

An important point to remember here is that the message conveyed through both consumer PR and marketing should be consistent. Brand messages aligned across all channels strongly impact consumers, making them more inclined to try your products and services.

Why Is Consumer PR Important?

Let’s look at the benefits of consumer PR.

Increases Brand Awareness

The core function of consumer PR tactics is to inform people about a brand, ultimately widening its consumer base. It involves sharing innovative and thought-provoking brand messages over multiple channels to garner more attention.

Builds a Strong Brand Image

Consumer PR not only focuses on creating brand awareness but also helps you reinforce a positive image in the market. With a strong brand image, you can enjoy higher engagements, increased sales, and significant growth in market share.

Promotes Credibility

Consumers trust a brand better if they know how it operates. This is where consumer PR can help. Consumer PR professionals strive to create positive talk about a brand amongst the public in different ways: publishing leadership pieces, building influencer connections, and implementing networking strategies. Your credibility soars high once the positive messages about your brand become common to the public.

Helps Manage Reputation

Reputation refers to how people perceive your brand based on what they see and hear about it. It can be positive or negative and change. Reputation management is one of the main functions of consumer PR strategies.

Businesses may often find themselves in unfavorable situations, like negative reviews from a dissatisfied customer or legal problems arising from a misinterpreted advertisement. Consumer PR helps them avoid such problems and repair the damage through media connections and press releases.

Strengthens Your Online Presence

A robust online presence is key to success in today’s era. As a part of consumer PR strategy, a brand can use social media and other digital platforms to talk to its customers, resolve conflicts, and monitor their changing interests.

Consumer PR experts can build a plan to stay active on online platforms to grow relations with all groups of consumers.

Becomes a Source of Added Value 

Your consumer PR strategy can be a significant differentiating factor between you and your competitors, helping your brand shine as an industry leader. It can add value to your business in several ways: by helping you personalize your brand, increasing its visibility, and strengthening the company profile.

Generates Quality Leads

The functions of Consumer PR strategies are not just restricted to reputation management and raising brand awareness. They can also be targeted towards more advanced goals like lead generation and conversions. Posting content on the right platforms, using compelling CTAs, incorporating social proofs to your profiles (reviews and ratings) – all such efforts make more people interested and willing to try out your products and services.

How to Establish a Consumer PR Strategy?

Identify Goals

The first step is to identify the end goal of all your consumer PR activities. It will guide your efforts and help you decide on the appropriate measures for tracking progress. You can aim to achieve increased brand awareness, enhance customer loyalty, build investor confidence, etc.

Choosing a single goal isn’t necessary; you can select a mix of different goals and make separate plans to achieve them. Remember to keep referring to your objective list to ensure you are on the right track.

Focus on Target Audience

The next step is to focus on your target audience. Decide who you want to target at the moment and in the future. You can also target more than one or two groups if you have enough resources to cater to their needs. Research and list all relevant information about your audience groups, like preferences, qualities, demographics, and other activities. This will help you develop messages tailored to their specific requirements.

Analyze Competition

At this point, you should also analyze what other businesses in the industry are doing to grow and maintain their relationships with consumers. You can browse their websites as well as social media profiles and posts to see what works for them and what doesn’t.

Use the Right Consumer PR Content

List down the key messages you want to convey to the public, and later, think about which tactics you want to implement.

Remember that those tactics may not work effectively if you have nothing valuable to share. Nobody will be interested in what you say if it’s not appealing enough.

Some effective consumer PR tools and opportunities are corporate news, an upcoming event, an e-newsletter, or an in-depth article on thought-provoking topics. Don’t forget to add a unique angle to your content, explaining why the audience should care about your brand.

Learn to Pitch the Right Way

Once you have the content ready, pitch it to different platforms through appropriate communication methods. People don’t often have enough time to read or go through lengthy content, so make sure both your content and pitch are concise.

When you pitch other platforms to publish your brand story, introduce yourself briefly, give a short review of your message, and mention why it would interest their viewers.

Examples of Effective Consumer PR Strategies

  • You can support a social cause to build an emotional connection with your audience. Many people agree they are more likely to buy a brand that contributes to society in some way than one that doesn’t. It can be anything, from giving away coats to the needy in winter or donating to the education sector.

 

  • Personalize your brand by interacting with customers on different platforms. They will definitely be willing to buy from you more often if you interact positively with them. You can personalize emails, products, and services for specific audience groups to make them feel more valued.

 

  • Become a thought leader in your industry by leveling up your research and content creation game. Provide consumers with valuable insights on industry trends and events, offer informative courses and presentations on engaging topics, and publish thought-provoking articles backed by facts and figures. Becoming an expert within the industry will help you strengthen your credibility amongst the audience.

 

  • Contribution to the community matters a lot when it comes to setting a strong foothold in the industry. You can donate time, products, facilities, and money in different ways to help with the community development process. For example, you can serve on a community board, volunteer at a homeless shelter, take part in local festivals and parades, and other activities.

Methods and Performance Indicators of Consumer PR Campaigns

Consumer PR experts can use different methods to get their message out to the public, such as:

  • Videos
  • Events
  • Collaborations with Influencers
  • Seasonal News

Here are a few common factors that show the performance of your consumer PR campaigns:

  • Likes, Comments, and Shares on Social Media
  • The Number of Leads and Conversions on the Website
  • Mentions on Social Media

Final Words

To make your consumer PR strategy work best for you, you can combine different approaches and produce a PR calendar that includes all PR activities you plan to incorporate in the coming weeks or months.

Don’t want to go through the hassle? Hire a consumer PR agency specializing in multiple consumer PR tactics like event planning, social media management, content creation, and more.

Feel free to get in touch with us if you want to know more about consumer PR. 

Ah, the early adopter. Their the people who grab on to things first, they start trends and they are influencers in their respective communities.

Whether you’re a startup, a movement or a personality, you need these early adopters. Marketing to early adopters can be slippery though, what they grab on to is almost entirely motivationally based. Toss out your traditional “Three P’s” of marketing if you want to capture this crowd, you’re going to need to think through what makes them tick.

Whether you’re building a product or starting a movement, keep your early adopters in mind. Strategies of early adopter marketing require a deep understanding of their motiviations.

Early Adopters Value Intellectual Stimulation

It doesn’t matter what your target market is, a certain segment of them are early adopters and early adopters like to be challenged and stimulated.  Puzzles and quizzes are intriguing to these people, but they get bored easily, so make sure the content matches the intelligence level.

Don’t mistake this to assume that every puzzle or quiz is intriguing to early adopters. They aren’t necessarily the “Buzzfeed” quiz takers. They like to learn and be challenged but they aren’t interested in dumbed down versions of anything. By the time something has caught mass adoption, early adopters have either “been there/done that” or are already deeply engaged in using the product.

Early Adopters Have High “FOMO.”

Because they value their role as early adopters, they never want to be “out of the loop” or miss something that’s particularly cool.

Tap into that “Fear of Missing Out” during the earliest stages. Give them ways to be cool to their community by letting them be the gateway to a broader audience and you’ll be tapping into their desires to be seen as an early adopter.

Google generally does this really well when it launches products. It does an initial invitation to known early adopters and gets everyone else clamoring to be part of it in the first phase and SEEN as an early adopter. Google definitely has marketing to early adopters down.

Early Adopters Are Attracted to Art, Emotion and Adventure

Perhaps more than any other target market, early adopters are pulled in by emotion, art and adventure.

This is one reason why Apple’s early emphasis on design caught on with early adopters, they loved the elegance of the product and interface, the art of the experience.

Remember, art, emotion and adventure can happen online and offline. This is a place where you can really get creative and have some fun. It’s also easy to identify these people based on where they go because events like TED and TEDX inherently draw early adopter personality types.

Because of this constant searching early adopters have, curiosity is a primary trigger for action. Tripping the curiosity trigger requires some thought because early adopters aren’t generally suckers for the usual mass-marketing techniques; they’re a little more sophisticated than that. You’re going to really have to think of something that genuinely makes them curious.

The “Why” Seriously Matters

Early adopters are very observant they generally see through tactics and need a reason to be inspired.  Your marketing message to early adopters needs to be centered around something inspiring.

Instead of focusing on product features, tap into the deep intellectual and emotional reservoir of early adopters and give some insight to them about why this product or movement matters. You’ll likely need to do some message testing here, but it will be worth it once you hit on the “why” that matters most.

Don’t Confuse Early Adopters for Extroverts

It’s easy to lump the two together, but research shows that messaging that targets extroverts actually repels early adopters. Early adopters like intrigue and creativity, they aren’t particularly attracted to social attention in a public way. This doesn’t mean they aren’t on social media, it just means that their triggers are different. They like to have their role as early adopters confirmed, but they also like to be the messenger of that delivery.

If you’re a smaller consumer brand, it might feel impossible to compete with the big guys. But according to Nielsen, in the United States “manufacturers outside of the top 100 have contributed to 52% of their region’s annual fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) growth,” that’s an incredibly promising trend for any consumer product, from skincare to cannabis. But the challenges to increasing market share aren’t imagined. In some categories, especially consumables, over 50% of consumers have no brand preference. This underscores the importance of small, independent CPG brands to invest in branding with awareness and loyalty strategies. Neilsen IQ has done some fantastic research for small, independent DTC and CPG brands.

Nielsen Chart for Consumer Product Brand Loyalty

 

 

 

 

 

69% of consumers are actively looking for new and trendy CPG products. Tapping into current trends is a key way to appeal to this audience.  Whether the brand is launching, or already launched, there are always PR opportunities to increase sales by driving awareness and loyalty. The key takeaway on all the most recent Neilsen data: premiumization is absolutely key for small, independent CPG brands. 

Driving Awareness for Small Consumer Brands

When Snapple tea was a small independent brand, it relied on PR, including crazy stunts with two ambitions in mind: acquisition and sales. When they were acquired by Quaker Oats, the PR stunts stopped and sales decreased. In fact, PR is often responsible for trends that drive consumers. Before CBD, a wellness ingredient that almost everyone now knows was allowed to advertise, it relied on firms like Avaans Media to create PR campaigns that educated consumers and created awareness for their brands. PR is almost single-handedly responsible for launching CBD into the public’s general knowledge. Other wellness products have benefited from PR, including melatonin.

Independent brands often turn to PR because while PR is an investment, it’s still more affordable than many other branding initiatives such as advertising, especially when you include videography costs. Facebook is famous for launching thousands of new DTC brands, but of late, many independent CPG brands are finding Facebook’s advertising to be less effective. Ambitious consumer product brands are turning to PR in ever greater numbers to reach consumers, and stay in front of buyers. A PR campaign can reach hundreds of billions of annual impressions. Is it any wonder that everyone from new consumer products to old standbys is moving dollars to PR?

New CPG brands can use PR to validate the brand. An upfront burst of PR is a powerful trust indicator. Many consumer brand startups showcase PR wins on their website and in advertising as a way to increase consumer trust. Independent boutique products use PR to nail their launch because they need to appeal directly and immediately to their consumer. As Nielsen notes in small brand, “There is little room for error in small launches. Nailing your activation requires planning and strategic execution. Whatever your differentiation—hitting your target, justifying your premium or communicating a new usage occasion—it must land, and land well,”

 

Driving Loyalty for Independent CPG Brands

If your consumer brand isn’t exactly new, but also isn’t a household name, then using PR to increase loyalty and awareness is effective. 25% of consumers are mainstream followers who sometimes try new products, but don’t seek them. This is a critical audience to penetrate. If you’re broadening your audience to this important, but slightly elusive group, you want to make sure your customer product reviews are solid, and that your early PR had at least 1-2 tier 1 press hits so you can use the ever-so-important social proof to lure this audience in.  Good PR also allows existing customers to have their choice validated and is a great opportunity for them to sing your praises to their friends.

But that’s not the only way PR helps early and mid-stage CPG brands. PR helps your customers see you understand who they really are. Bob’s Red Mill used PR to improve its already stellar reputation through purpose-driven storytelling. Not only does PR help new consumers find your product, but it also reinforces the good choice your current customers have made. A good PR firm will help you identify ways to differentiate and to secure brand-improving earned media.

Combine PR and Social Together for CPG Brand Success

There’s good news and bad news for any brand trying to break into the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry. First, the good news: The value of the CPG market in the United States alone was estimated at $635 billion in 2019, so there’s a ravenous audience for these products. The bad news, though, is there are so many brands within the CPG space it can be difficult for newcomers to make their mark and reach potential customers.

Many CPG brands rely on social media to increase their reach and engage with their audience. This is an excellent strategy, but it shouldn’t be the only approach aspiring brands take if they’re looking to expand. A well-crafted public relations campaign can enhance the benefits of social media while also furthering a brand’s reach in other ways. A strategic public relations campaign can do things that social media can’t, and vice-versa, so brands should incorporate both PR and social media into their marketing.

At Avaans Media, our innovative PR and social media tools make us the ideal team to help your CPG brand extend its reach and better engage with customers. With our proven track record of success and dedication to helping purpose-driven brands find success, we can help you reach your goals and make a positive impression on consumers. We’ll craft an innovative, personalized campaign highlighting what makes you unique and put that message where it will produce the best results for your brand.

If you’re ready to see what a truly modern, virtually enabled PR agency can do for your purpose-driven brand, get in touch with us. We have team members in Los Angeles, New York, San Diego, Denver, Honolulu, Phoenix, and Washington, D.C.. You can also set up a call by filling out the form on our contact page. We look forward to hearing from you.

CPG PR vs. CPG Social Media: Why Not Both?

It’s a mistake to think of PR and social media as an “either/or” choice for how you market your CPG brand. While social media has tremendous influence, it should not cannibalize all of your marketing efforts. Social media may have a broader reach than PR, at least in the abstract, but marketing is about more than the number of people who see your content. If you don’t put that content in front of a receptive and engaged audience, all your efforts will have been for nothing.

The key reason to incorporate PR in your marketing efforts is the inherent skepticism many people have about the messages they receive on social media. A study from the Content Marketing Institute found that 70 percent of consumers prefer to get information about a company from articles rather than advertisements.

The preference for third-party articles makes sense when you consider the issue from a consumer’s viewpoint. Many consumers tend to distrust what companies say about themselves because consumers generally have no way to verify the message they’re receiving. If they get that same message from a blog, newspaper, magazine, or some other platform they already trust, they’re much more likely to believe the content of the message.

How To Use PR In Combination With Social Media To Promote Your CPG Brand

Your PR and social media campaigns shouldn’t compete with each other or be siloed. To get the best results for your company, you need to harness the strengths of PR and social media in ways that enhance both efforts. Here are a few ways CPG brands can combine PR and social media in their marketing:

  • Branding- With so many iconic brands already established in the CPG space, a clear and distinct visual identity is essential for any newcomer. You need a consistent color scheme, logo, text style, tagline, tone, and imagery across all your marketing channels. This is where PR shines, and once you’ve established your brand, you can send the materials to your social media team. This way, you know all your content has a clear, concise, well-established theme that reflects your company and your values.
  • Media relations- The cornerstone of PR is getting positive coverage of your CPG brand in various media outlets. However, social media can supplement and amplify the efforts of your PR team. If you generate enough social media buzz, media outlets will come calling to find out more. And once you’ve gotten some coverage in third-party outlets, your social media team can post those stories across your channels, creating a positive feedback loop.
  • Live events and affiliate marketing- One of the best ways to get other people interested in your product is to show someone else using it. There are two key ways to do this: Live events and affiliate marketing. If your PR team stages a live event to show off your products, your social media team can share photos and video clips from the event to reach new customers. And if your PR team can get other social media influencers to market your product, you can use social media to piggyback off the influencers’ content and their built-in trust with their audience.

Work With Avaans Media PR Firm To Help Your CPG Brand Find Its Potential

At Avaans Media, we’ve already showed how we can help CPG brands reach the next level. One of our biggest successes involved our PR firm’s ability to combine social media and public relations a hemp-based CPG wellness brand that was looking to grow its customer base ahead of its initial public offering (IPO). We offered personalized review opportunities for journalists, hosted live events, and used branded social media content to shape the client’s image in a more positive light.

By the time of the client’s IPO, we had generated more than 200 pieces of positive press coverage over three years. Our custom content also generated more than 10 billion earned media impressions, at an estimated value of more than $5 million. Best of all, the client’s share price had risen by 300 percent.

It’s always a challenge for CPG brands to find new audiences, but a quality PR firm can make a massive difference. If you’d like to see what Avaans Media can bring to your organization, let’s talk. You can set up a call by visiting our contact page or contact one of our team members across the United States. We look forward to working with you.