The next generation of B2B PR is here. It seemed just like yesterday when ChatGPT was introduced. Now, there is a new AI or advanced automation solution popping up weekly. This has tech giants like Amazon and Google racing to catch up. We have to admit, it can be challenging to stay on top of the latest trends and tactics. From the increasing importance of leveraging data-driven insights to the growing role of content marketing and the rise of emerging technologies like machine learning and AI-powered tools, each of these trends is revolutionizing the way B2B businesses approach PR and marketing.
Let’s explore the top five trends that are shaping the B2B PR landscape today. This will allow your B2B to be better positioned to achieve its goals and drive business results.
First and foremost, you have to be able to prove that you are getting a return on your B2B PR investment. However, traditionally it has often been a challenge for B2Bs to measure the impact their PR was delivering. Today, there are numerous, powerful tools to help measure success and track the ROI of PR campaigns.
Analyzing data such as website traffic, social media engagement, and other key metrics tied to B2B PR KPIs provides a clear picture of how your PR efforts are working. Additionally, these analytics make it easier to make more informed decisions about PR strategies.
This data can then be used to optimize future PR campaigns. It can also allow for data-driven decisions about where to invest PR resources. B2Bs can demonstrate the value of their PR programs and ensure that they are investing in the strategies that are most likely to deliver the results they need to grow their business.
While evaluating the sentiment of media mentions in coverage can be helpful, achieving KPIs like key message inclusion and target media secured are the real drivers of growth that can consistently deliver an increase in awareness, leads, and sales.
We wrote a blog post about the top 5 B2B PR KPIs CEO and decision-makers should be incorporating into their PR strategies now to get ahead of the competition.
B2B PR Trends: Keep it real
Another important thing to be hyper-focused on these days is authenticity. It is crucial in B2B PR to be building and maintaining trust. It is also critical to be establishing credibility, with current customers and prospects. Trust and credibility are paramount in successful business relationships. It can be difficult to establish and maintain without authenticity. This is especially true these days with the increased spreading of “fake news”.
Authenticity shows that you have your customer’s best interest in mind. You are able to demonstrate that your company is honest and reliable. By being true to your values and communicating honestly, you’re able to create a unique brand identity that resonates with your prospects, making them loyal customers for years to come.
B2B PR Trends: Keep it coming
With that said, it’s important to note that authenticity relies heavily on consistency, it is what builds trust and credibility with your audience over time. Make sure your messaging, branding, and communications are all aligned and reflect your company’s values and differentiators. Establishing and reinforcing a powerful SSPS (Super Simple Positioning Statement) in all your messaging can help with this.
For a more effective approach, leverage your customer stories to demonstrate the impact your products and services have had on their business. These 3rd-party validated stories are often more trustworthy and they make your messages more relatable. This can help your audience see the tangible benefits they can gain by working with you.
Pro tip: B2B PR does not mean boring PR! It’s okay to sprinkle in some personality in your communications outreach. This could be through your brand voice, social media posts, or executive thought leadership pieces. This will also help build a connection with your prospects. People do business with people they know and like! This is especially true for B2Bs where relationships are built on personal connections.
Content still reigns
In the world of B2B PR, content is king. Developing contributed content has become increasingly important with many publications relying on this content to supplement their editorial coverage as full-time staff continues to shrink. Editors are always looking to publish high-quality content that provides their readers with valuable insights and perspectives on industry trends, news, or advancements.
This presents a unique opportunity for B2Bs looking to position themselves as industry leaders, improve conversions, connect with more potential customers, and, most importantly, generate positive media coverage. By creating content that is valuable and informative, B2Bs can educate, inform, and engage their audience. It’s a win-win for both parties.
But there’s more. By generating contributed content, B2Bs can repurpose that across multiple platforms and channels. This can include email campaigns, social media, their website, brochures, trade show handouts, etc. Rankin PR specializes in creating this exact kind of content for our clients. In fact, you have almost surely read some of our feature articles in some of your favorite trade publications.
B2B PR Trends: Using (not abusing) AI
New technologies are changing the way that B2Bs communicate with their audiences. A recent report by SalesForce revealed that AI tops the list of technologies B2B marketers will implement in the coming years.
However, this does not mean relying solely on emerging technologies, like AI, for your B2B PR. Why? Well for one, Google can identify AI-generated content and its algorithm ranks it lower than human-generated content. This can and will negatively affect your brand visibility and your sales funnel. There is a good reason why Google rates AI content lower. It is essentially because AI is not creating anything new. It is simply an amalgamation of what is currently available online and Google, at least at this time, is not rewarding that in the same manner it does original content.
So, while automation and AI are great tools that can be used to automate some of the more tedious and repetitive B2B PR tasks like media monitoring or helping to inform intelligent decision-making through data analysis, they cannot (yet) replace humans.
It really all comes down to the fundamentals of public relations. Whether it’s B2B or B2C, PR relies heavily on building relationships and understanding the nuances of human interaction. While a potentially helpful tool in generating copy, AI does not yet fully understand the complexities of human emotions and relationships, making it potentially difficult to develop meaningful connections with prospects and current customers. As the technology further advances, this may change.
Digital PR and link building
With all the digital white noise, it can be challenging to get the word out about your offering. The good news is, by implementing next-generation digital PR strategies B2Bs are able to break through and deliver their message to a substantially larger number of prospects – think hundreds of thousands instead of just hundreds.
This digital approach to PR will:
- establish you as an industry leader and expert
- build brand credibility and trust
- generate those most coveted leads
Digital PR allows you to tell your story the way you want. For example, social media platforms such as LinkedIn provide B2Bs with a direct line of communication with potential prospects. This allows them to share content, engage, and build relationships in real-time. However, even a great social media post only reaches a limited number of people.
B2Bs should also focus on optimizing their digital PR efforts by creating high-quality content that includes backlinks. Your potential customers are searching the internet every day looking for solutions that will satisfy either an immediate need or one in the future. Backlinks enhance SEO, making it easier for prospects to find them online.
Plus, digital content remains online for years to come, helping to boost its value.
B2B PR has come a long way over the years, moving beyond traditional tactics like press releases and emphasis on securing print media coverage to embracing more digitally forward approaches. It’s imperative to take time to evaluate your PR strategy periodically and incorporating new elements will ensure you’re able to take your B2B PR to the next level and stay ahead of the curve as the industry continues to evolve.
Ready to take your B2B PR to the next level? Reach out to Rankin PR now and embrace the power of digitally forward approaches for impactful results.