Which B2B marketing technique allows you to become better known, enhances credibility, thought leadership and finally boosts sales?
If your answer was “public relations," give yourself a pat on the back!
For a long time now, PR has been sometimes viewed as a revenue-earning step-child since it’s tough to categorize. Of course one can always total press clippings, but how does that ultimately drive sales? It’s tough because there doesn’t seem to be a direct correspondence. How about the person who saw an article praising your product/service, and several months later decided to use it? Or what about all the folks with no recollection how they heard about you but somehow know about your product or service?
Okay then, should we just give up trying to tie public relations to sales?
Well, not if you’d like to get extra work from your PR campaign by also using it as a lead generation device.
Consider your press release to be an invitation for a potential client to take an action that brings this person closer to buying. For instance, you can include a call to action in your release that brings the prospect to your landing page. From there, the prospect is able to download “free” content after giving you some contact information. Congratulations, you’ve now started a dialog! Now without further ado, here are....
5 approaches to PR you can use in your B2B marketing efforts to bring in sales:
1. Refuse to Use Generic Press Releases
Although Press releases are a fundamental part of public relations, you still need more than just any old press release – you need a specific strategy.
Your release should complement your marketing efforts. It would be completely ineffective to write a generic press release intended only for distribution. You need to think: What am I trying to achieve with this release? What action do I want the reader to take after he/she sees the release?
2. Take Advantage of Multimedia
Get the most B2B marketing value possible in regards to click-throughs and lead generation. Colorful, engaging (and maybe even interactive) multimedia content like slide shows and videos enhance the effectiveness of your call to action. You can experiment to find out which type of dynamic content would best reach your target market.
3. Provide Readers With Extra Content
Don’t view the release as a one-time shot. Utilize it along with additional content for your target market. Ensure your release leads to other pages, blog posts, articles, videos, or anything else you can think of. All of the above can similarly link to your press release. As an added benefit, this will also help your company get ranked higher in the search engines.
The purpose for this sophisticated “web of content” is to connect with your potential clients and bring them into your sales funnel. The sales process has become a quite complicated and multi-layered process, and as Reevoo Insight has discovered, customers can come in at a variety of touch points and change from one channel to the a different one before the final conversion.
4. Get Social
If you have yet to incorporate social media into your B2B marketing strategy – time to get started! Social media is becoming increasingly omnipresent. It can be used together with pretty much all of your initial marketing strategies, press releases included.
Make it a piece of cake for anyone to share your release by including some social sharing buttons. Finally, remember to include a short synopsis of your release so it can be easily spread by fans without much effort.
5. Shoot for Specifics
Don’t sit back and relax after one press release. Continue to test your releases and change them depending on your target market and the response you receive. Certain calls to action might produce different effects on a given segment of your audience. This also applies to content. For instance, you might decide to emphasize one point in a release geared to executives and a different one when targeting agencies.
Throw everything together and you have a public relations program that will significantly boost the ROI of your B2B marketing campaign.
Now how are you increasing the value of your press releases? Have you been using any of the above techniques already? Are there other ones you’d like to share? I’d love to hear your thoughts!