A solid B2B strategy is one of the biggest ingredients to a successful public relations. Sadly, it's also an ingredient that many companies forget when moving forward with a campaign.
According to a report from Smart Insights, around 50% of companies do not have a dedicated marketing plan! So why should you?
Strategies have been around for thousands of years. Whether it’s on the field of battle or on a sports field, well-planned strategies are what create winners. The same is true in public relations. Whether it’s a B2B marketing strategy or a press release strategy, your PR efforts need a strategic guide to be effective.
A dedicated strategy will help you and your company to:
- Focus on the big picture
- Track costs
- Measure results
- Get everyone on the same page
- Improve for the future
Let’s now look at 6 steps for creating a B2B strategy that will lead your PR efforts to victory.
How to Create a Winning B2B Strategy
1. Identify Your Core Audience
This requires that you be specific. Create a small core group to be your target audience. Think of this like a game of archery -- the ultimate goal is to aim for the red bull’s eye in the center. You need to define that “bull’s eye” within your B2B marketing strategy. Otherwise, your arrows will be all over the map, and fail to create results.
This may take some refinement as you whittle down to who your core audience is. To better understand who your audience is, you need the following information about them:
- Business goals
- Social media channels
- Motivation for buying
How do you get this information? Primarily, through surveys. You might send an email saying that you want to be sure you're creating the content they need. Ask them for this information to ensure that's the case.
Once you determine what separates your target audience from the pack, you have your bull’s eye!
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2. Identify Your PR Goals
In archery, the goal is clear: hit the bull’s eye with an arrow. In PR, however, goals become more complicated. What response do you want from your target audience? This will determine how you approach your strategy. There are two fundamental goals driving successful PR campaigns: brand recognition and brand response.
Brand recognition aims to differentiate you as an authority within your industry. If brand recognition is your goal, create campaigns that showcase your knowledge and understanding of the industry -- including trends, problem areas, and unique solutions.
Brand response aims to engage clients and stimulate sales. This step is most effective, though, when you’ve already reached the goal of brand recognition.
With these goals in mind, let’s move on to our next strategic step…
3. Create a Clear Message
Now that you know your goals, and whom you want to reach, it’s time to create your message.
To create a telling message, know what motivates your audience, and what problems they face. Use online forums and social media to find out what's on your target audience's mind. Craft a message that addresses your prospects' concerns, and motivates them to action.
Research your competitors to see how they meet the needs of your audience, and determine how you can fill in any gaps of their message.
Your message needs to stand out as different from your competitors. Be a unique voice that draws people in. If your messaging isn't clear and different, you will fade into the background.
4. Decide On How to Deliver Your Message
Based on your target audience and your PR goals, your message delivery will change. What blogs or media outlets does your target audience frequent? What social media channels do they follow? What influencers or bloggers capture their interest?
First determine what media outlets would benefit your campaign. Is there a trade publication or niche blog that your target audience reads? Then hone in on who within that media outlet you want to reach out to. Journalists have their own beats, so you will want to do thorough research to find out who would best fit into your press release strategy. PR tools like Cision can help you find the right journalist, blogger, or influencer to contact.
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5. Get the Timing Right
Let’s go back to our archery analogy for a moment. Archers need to time their release at the right moment -- if they do it when the wind is blowing, for example, it will throw off their shot. Timing is everything. The same is true in public relations.
If your timing is off, your press release could be thrown off and miss the mark. Keep track of major business events and releases that would draw attention away from your message. This small detail could make or break your press release strategy. No matter how perfect your messaging and delivery are, if your target audience misses it, you’ll lose out.
6. Measure the Results
Take the time to periodically measure your results against your goals. You could measure:
- How many press releases you distributed
- Media outlets that covered your press release
- Client engagement
- Number of sales during your campaign
- Mentions on social media as a result of the campaign
Use these results to refine your strategy in the future. These measurements can teach you a lot about your audience, how to improve your message, and even where your message should be delivered.
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A Few Things to Remember...
- Take the time to determine your target audience, and address your campaigns to them.
- Create a clear message that addresses the motivations and concerns of your audience.
- Use the right media outlets and social media channels to reach your audience.
- Time your press releases and campaigns when there's nothing to conflict with them, and measure your results carefully.
Never be caught without a plan again! Crush your competition and garner positive PR results with a solid, dedicated B2B strategy.
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