Feature Articles: Create Demand for Your Solutions

Feature Articles

When it comes to public relations, there are a few tactics that an agency can utilize to promote your business. There’s the standard press release and the pitch – where an attempt is made to get the media to write a story about your company. Both can be effective ways to communicate with your target audience when done right. However, there is a third possibility that very few agencies are offering their B2B clientele; the feature article. That’s too bad because having a B2B PR agency that can write feature articles and then facilitate the placement of those within trade publications is one of the single most effective strategies available today.

Feature articles boost your awareness, educate your target audience, and deliver the credibility needed to close more deals. Writing feature articles for trade publications allows you to maintain control over the content. You get to generate a story that engages with your audience because it is informative, beneficial, and even disruptive. Within that feature article, your agency can clearly lay out your differentiators and value propositions without the hype that often comes from advertising.

Why don’t B2B PR agencies offer to write feature articles?

If feature articles are so effective, why don’t all PR agencies offer them? The simple answer is that they are considerably more challenging to execute.  Feature articles require great writers who can deliver content on par with the editors of a trade publication. A good writer can write a press release about your business. However, if you want longer-form content like a feature article, then at some point a writer’s unfamiliarity with your business, or the industry as a whole, will become evident. At which point, if gone unchecked, your business will begin to lose credibility.

Plus, it is a lot more time-consuming and costly to have to generate feature articles for clients.

Another reason that PR agencies don’t offer feature articles to B2B clients is that they may just like the ease of simply coming up with an idea and letting journalists do all the work. However, sometimes pitching the media can deliver less than stellar results. You may have experienced a PR pitch that just did not turn out like you thought. Maybe your competitors got top billing and you were barely mentioned at all. Or maybe the journalist got your differentiators wrong or watered them down to the point that there was very little value for your business.

Why do we need a B2B PR agency to write feature articles?

While most companies can and do create longer-form content on their own, it can often become “all about the company” and the features of their products. This type of writing often becomes overly promotional and even advertorial in nature. Your customers may want to read that on your blogs, social media, and other channels, but an editor is unlikely to publish that – at least not unless you pay them for the advertising because that is essentially what it is.

While generating long-form content – like blogs – can be helpful, even the best attempts at this reach only a very limited number of people who follow you on social media or regularly read your blog posts.

Unless you’re an iconic brand like Coke or Nike, there are certainly potential customers out there who may not even know you exist. If they do know about you, it may not be enough to recall you when a purchasing decision comes up. Expanding your exposure will unlock new customers and is key to growing your business.

To engage with a larger segment of your target audience, try utilizing PR articles. These can describe one of your success stories and feature a customer doing the talking for you. Then your B2B PR agency can get those published in numerous trade publications, delivering your message to a much wider audience.

If done right, these feature articles will grab the attention of your prospects and drive them to action. But how do you get started? Read on to find out.

Do people still read trade magazines?

Yep! Even today, people continue to read trade publications. In fact, according to Zipdo, 90.4% of adults read trade publications. Furthermore, 87% of magazine readers trust the content within trade magazines. Due to their specialized content for specific industries, trade publications cater to highly targeted audiences. As a result, they offer a unique opportunity for B2Bs to communicate directly with their desired audience.

Trade publications hold a lot of power for B2Bs because they reach an active audience that’s interested in exploring unique products and services. This doesn’t just build credibility and authority but also fosters a competitive edge in the marketplace. A highly crowded market requires highly specialized channels, and trade publications are the perfect channel for B2Bs looking to rise to the top.

Lastly, and even more importantly, based on research by LinkedIn, 80% of decision-makers want articles, not ads, from potential partners. This holds true across almost all B2B industries. The key to leveraging this, however, is generating the right content.

How do you create content that converts into qualified leads?

You need content that provides relevance. It has to educate, benefit, and help the customer solve a problem. It also needs to guide them to reach an informed buying decision and compel them to act. This is where Rankin PR has found a niche. We can create content that not only gets published in numerous trade publications but can address your target audience’s needs and desires.

While every single Fortune 500 company utilizes it to some degree, PR is particularly beneficial and impactful for B2B companies that rely heavily on building trust, establishing credibility, and nurturing long-term relationships. This holds true for companies with more restrictive marketing budgets. That’s because PR can provide content in trade publications that would cost the equivalent of hundreds of thousands of dollars in advertising for just a fraction of that per month.

Lastly, how do feature articles create demand for your products?

There are many ways feature articles create demand for your business! Here are just a few:

  • Feature articles increase awareness with your target audience, positioning you as an expert and leader in your industry and generating inbound leads.
  • They include word-of-mouth testimonials from your customers, which are seen as more reliable and trustworthy.
  • Feature articles can explain your value proposition and why you’re the best possible solution.
  • They increase organic search results and overall SEO strategies by securing placements in online publications that also include a backlink to your site, building credibility over time, and increasing your site rankings.

In conclusion, B2B companies should be prioritizing feature articles because they are an effective way to grow your business. These high-quality published articles, when placed in targeted trade publications in volume, have a momentous, positive impact on your business and create demand for your product. Their residual value is immense and only limited by your sense of imagination and creativity.

Need some creative inspiration? Contact Rankin PR and we’ll touch base on how to best create demand for your business.