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How to Become the Ultimate Master of Your B2B Public Relations

Posted by Wendy Marx

Mar 8, 2017

How to Become the Ultimate Master of Your B2B Public Relations

Have you recently taken on your company’s B2B public relations, and find yourself a little overwhelmed? Or are you an old-timer to B2B PR, but wish you could be more effective. It’s only natural. After all, B2B PR is an intricate specialty with many moving parts that can’t be learned in a weekend. It's also changing so fast it's tough to keep up.

So what can you do to get your B2B PR under control and moving in the right direction?

We’ll do you one better. Let’s look at the basic concerns that every B2B PR professional should address, and how you can handle each one like a pro.

The 5 Pivotal Concerns of B2B Public Relations

1. Segmentation

You need to learn what makes your customers tick. Who are you aiming your message at? Once you have a clear profile of your audience, you're more likely to hit the mark and strike their pain points.

You should have at least three basic segments -- partners, customers, and suppliers. Build your profiles with the help of these basic questions.

  • What is each segment's basic demographic? (This includes average age, location, education, and income level).
  • What is each segment's values and interests?
  • What features and benefits shape a segments view of your company?
  • What emotions drive their interaction with your company?

Dive into the psyche of your customesr and learn as much as you possibly can about them. You can never have too much information to successfully guide your PR efforts.

 

Done right, a successful lead generation strategy will fill your sales funnel with quality leads that ultimately convert and reward your company with their business --Michael Brenner

 

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2. Content

In this day and age, the majority of people do their own research before making a purchase. In B2B, where purchases carry a higher price tag, this trend is even more prominent. Instead of waiting by the phone for questions, be proactive. Prepare content with your buyers’ questions in mind, making it easy for them to find answers.

There are no set rules when it comes to content creation. Every industry has its own content cocktail that works for them. In general, content creation can include:

  • FAQ section
  • Interviews
  • Blogs
  • White papers
  • eBooks
  • SlideShares
  • Images
  • Infographics
  • Videos

Find out what content formats work best for your particular audience, and focus your energy on those. How do you discover them? Look on social media and forums to learn what types of content people like and share, and what other companies in your industry have used successfully.

Don’t underestimate the power of content. It is a powerful way to show your expertise and build your credibility among your audience. Keep those content fires burning with frequent creation. Use tools like BuzzSumo and Alltop to see what’s trending so you can be in the forefront with pertinent content. Try to be first to address a new trend or answer an important question as soon as it comes up.

An important part of content that sometimes gets overlooked is a call to action. It helps your prospect and customer know the next step to take. Whether it’s an eBbook, whitepaper, or a sales call, they know where they can go. Include one in all of your content to effectively convert your audience into leads.

 

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3. Measurement

You’ll never know if you’ve hit the mark without measurement. Nowadays, just about everything that goes into B2B PR can be measured. A good and affordable (aka free) program like Google Analytics can give you number of readers, click through rates, and bounce rates so you can get the otherwise hidden results of your hard work. 

Another way that you can tie specific results to your PR efforts is through surveys. A well-placed survey can let you know what specific tactic motivated a client to make a purchase decision or to view you as a contender in his or her decision-making process.

 

Quality marketing metrics can have a direct and measurable impact on business outcomes such as sales, revenue and customer acquisition. --Robert Caruso

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4. Marketing

This term really ties together everything that we’ve talked about so far. Marketing is the guidance system that helps your content reach the desired mark -- your buyers’ personas -- and allows you to easily change direction based on given metrics.

This term also encompasses more than it ever has in its history. Since the integration of digital and social media, marketing has become a mega-pronged tool.

Social media is undoubtedly a major component of successful marketing. Such social networks such as LinkedIn and Twitter are great venues to share your content and encourage conversations around industry topics. It can also be a great way to engage with your audience, answer questions, and even field complaints.

 

B2B marketers who have a documented strategy are more effective and less challenged with every aspect of content marketing. --Joe Pulizzi

 

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5. Full Engagement

Engagement seems to the buzzword for B2B PR, and may often be misunderstood. Let’s take a fresh look at what this term means in your personal PR efforts. It’s not just a comment here or a retweet there. It goes much, much deeper.

In fact, the term “relationship,” may in fact fit better. Why do we use that word? Because the ties that you create and cultivate with your prospects are iust that. When you make a sale, a link is created between your company and the buyer. It’s a relationship that needs attention and nurturing in order to thrive -- and overarches every experience you have going forward.

When a customer is fully engaged and happy, it creates even more positive PR and brand loyalty. It's worth the investment of your time and effort to nurture these relationships.

Some Pro Tips to Get Your Foot in the Door of B2B Media Relations

How do you decide which publications to pursue for media coverage? Where would your content get the best results? Here are a few tips that will help you find media placements as well as how to prepare for any media interviews.

Talk to Your Clients

The question you need to ask is, where is my audience? This is not a physical location. We’re talking about what they read, as well as where they go for advice and trusted business insights.

Do Your Research...Thoroughly

Know your industry inside and out. Industry publications will expect you to know your stuff, so be sure you prep for an interview. If you want to be viewed as an industry expert, you need to know all the ins and outs -- the terminology, the acronyms, the issues, and even have insights on the future of the industry.

Observe Your Competitors

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. This adage rings true even in the realm of B2B media relations. Always keep an eye out for what content your competitors create and which publications publish their pieces. This knowledge is power in your pocket.

Fielding Media Coverage

Once you’ve chosen the publications to pitch to and have a solid base of knowledge from which to draw, you're ready to present yourself to the media.

Because you’ve taken the time to learn your industry inside and out, you should be ready to have a solid conversation and make an interesting pitch. Yet, keep in mind that no one can know everything, so don’t be afraid to say, “I’m not an expert in that area, but I can put you in contact with someone who is.”

Also, recognize that many journalists in the B2B sector are under a major time crunch and may be spread rather thin. Respect the time that they give you, and be ready to get to the point quickly. It should be relevant, interesting, and should center on the issues rather than your company.

 

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A Few Points to Keep in Mind...

  • Create buyer personas to more strategically target your B2B PR efforts.
  • Create killer content, and measure its effects on your PR to see what works and what doesn't.
  • Integrate social media into your marketing strategy to reach the maximum amount of people.
  • Talking to clients and observing competitors are great ways to know which publications to publish your content in.

B2B public relations doesn’t have to be rocket science. With these basic principles in hand, you should be ready to skillfully wield your PR tactics and get real results.

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