What is the goal of your B2B PR? Many would say that the primary objective is to create buzz and awareness around your company. Yet, it plays many more vital roles that are easy to overlook. One is getting B2B leads.
Are you tired of chasing sales leads that aren’t all that interested? Do you want more qualified sales leads that need what you're selling and who will create larger revenue for your company?
You’re in good company.
According to a recent survey, 32% of digital marketers said their greatest challenge was delivering quality sales leads -- with second place at 16% going to delivering enough leads.
How can your PR efforts help you to consistently deliver high quality B2B leads? Let’s look at 3 tools that you can pull out of your PR toolkit to get the job done right.
The Perfect B2B PR Toolkit to Getting B2B Leads
1. Press Releases
What are press releases? There are enough opinions flying around about press releases to confuse the heck out of you. Some strongly believe press releases have passed their expiration date. While others go though shenanigans to reinvent them. Here's the blunt truth. To ignore press releases is to lose out on the power that they provide to PR efforts.
First, let’s consider press releases as used today. Releases are a tool for an organization to announce a product launch or other news. To fit the demands of press release best practices, your release needs to include the following:
- A headline that catches people’s interests, especially on social media
- An exciting subject matter
- Relevance to people’s busy lives
- Simple, uncomplicated language that is easy to follow
- A call-to-action
- SEO optimization
- Contact information
How do press releases increase quality leads? There are three main reasons press releases are ideal for lead generation. First is their authority. Press releases coming directly from an organization, give the cachet of crediblity to the information being shared. Second, their sharability -- press releases are meant to be shared, cited from, and reproduced across social media and other sites. Third is their ability to drive traffic to your site with engaging call-to-actions.
With authoritative, sharable and enging information, the press release is an ideal way to reach more people.
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2. White Papers
What are white papers? Each industry may have its own definition of white papers. For general PR purposes, we like to use Hubspot’s definition: “A persuasive, authoritative, in-depth report on a specific topic that presents a problem and provides a solution.” In the end, white papers are meant to educate an audience about issues they face and ways to resolve them.
White papers typically are at least six pages in length, with a title page, table of contents, and introduction. They provide more meat than eBooks or blog posts, and are meant for serious reading by people involved in the industry.
How do white papers increase quality leads? In a recent survey of digital marketers across several fields, 40% said that white papers produce the most revenue. Why is that? Consider for a moment the complicated and in-depth nature of white papers. Who reads them? People who are serious about and invested in the industry and want helpful answers. These aren’t casual buyers. They are usually further along in the buying cycle, making them a more qualified sales lead.
White papers can help create the perception of a company as a credible, trustworthy industry authority. When someone is ready to buy, it is more likely the prospect will go to the company whose educational matetrials he's read and valued.
The following is a white paper produced by Adobe about Global Insights on Document Security. True, not a page turner for the average Joe, but for those in the business, it provides important information on document security.
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3. Industry Speaking Engagements
What are industry speaking engagements? Speaking engagements come in all shapes and sizes -- from small local business gatherings to large, televised TED talk-type conferences. For the purpose of lead generation, aim to become a speaker at an industry-specific event. Public speaking at these industry events can be a large door to other opportunities beyond lead generation, so it’s a valuable investment of your time.
Remember, the purpose of a speaking engagement is to educate your audience, not to sell. People are tired of being the target of a sales pitch. So instead, focus on gaining credibility and authority with your audience.
There are several ways to get more speaking engagements. You could...
- Network with other speakers in your industry
- Add a speaking page to your website that outlines your expertise and availability
- Reach out for smaller speaking engagements in your local area
- Offer to speak for free
- Create thought leadership quality content
How do industry speaking engagements increase quality leads? Speaking engagements are a great way to come out from behind that cold company exterior, and allow people to see you and your expertise. When people hear you speak, they feel more engaged, they see your expertise first hand, and your credibility grows in their estimation.
Of course these PR methods aren’t the only ones in your toolbox. However, they are three key ones that you will want to invest in.
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Key Points to Keep in Mind...
- Press releases need to be authoritative and sharable if they are to effectively reach a wide audience.
- White papers show you off as a credible authority in your space, and are usually downloaded by high quality, ready-to-buy sales leads.
- Speaking engagements are meant to educate the audience, not serve as a sales pitch.
- Speaking engagements help to bolster you as an authority in your space and provide a captive audience
These B2B PR tactics require time and work on your part, but think of them as an investment. As time goes on, your Investment will pay off in high quality B2B leads ready to buy since you will be top of mind.
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