If you’re looking for ways to grow your industrial or B2B technology company, B2B publicity is a great place to start. B2B companies are increasingly looking at feature stories published within trade publications as a way to generate a pipeline of leads. The reason is simple. Sales, in many ways, is a numbers game, and publicity increases the number of people that are aware of you and your offerings. It also increases your credibility and perceived value. Plus, B2B publicity has the power to increase your search engine rankings. So, how do you get started maximizing B2B lead generation with PR?
Here is a step-by-step guide for CEOs, business owners, or anyone tasked with growing revenue for a B2B.
Effective PR for B2B companies
Most people have heard of public relations or PR, but let’s start by making sure we are on the same page with what it actually consists of. The main function of PR is to utilize the media to generate a positive impression in the minds of your target audience. While the press release is the most common tool associated with PR, it is not always the most effective approach for most B2B companies. Sending out a press release may be part of a larger PR strategy, but for B2Bs there are much more effective techniques that are now being utilized.
Let’s step back for a second and discuss what makes PR so attractive for B2B companies. First, there is the bang for your buck. PR is essentially free. Yeah, we know there is NO such thing as a free lunch, but in marketing and communications, public relations is about as free as it gets. That’s because, unlike an advertisement where you pay for a placement, in PR that placement is earned. You essentially are creating a story that is valuable to both the media and its audience and you share it with them at no cost. It’s a win-win.
For example, maybe you have a good story about an emerging industry challenge and possible solutions that companies could use to solve that issue. Well, the media might take your idea and use you as a source to quote within the story. Now, you have helped build your brand, enhanced your reputation, and positioned your business as a thought leader in your industry. Well done!
The only cost associated with PR is the price you pay for an expert to help make it all happen.
Building a pipeline of potential customers
Now, here is where that can lead to building a pipeline of prospects. Somewhere out there is a potential customer looking for the solution that you offer. They may be suffering in silence or they may be researching for companies that have solved similar challenges for other people. Either way, they would like nothing more than to know that you are out there and that you can relieve their pain.
However, if you are not generating enough publicity then you are keeping those people in the dark. They can’t find you, and you can’t help. So, everyone loses. Who wants that?
PR tactics for generating leads
So, now let’s look at the type of PR a B2B company needs to be utilizing. First, it’s about telling the story yourself. You can’t depend on a journalist to understand your differentiators and value proposition, but your PR agency can and should. For example, Rankin PR has found a niche in writing feature articles for its clients. These stories get picked up by industry trade magazines (print and digital) in high quantities. In fact, we have some stories that have been published over 30 times. Which for a lot of industries means just about every publication ran it.
What happens next is our clients begin to see their website traffic increase, the number of calls and email begins to escalate, and before long sales are growing year-over-year.
Furthermore, it is not a blip on the radar like a once-in-a-lifetime article in the Wall Street Journal would be. People have short memories, so you have to be consistently in front of them. By creating valuable and informative news headlines, you keep yourself top of mind and attract not only additional customers but those that are a more ideal fit for what you do.
Targeted messaging for B2B audiences
The key to earning media coverage is creating content that is interesting, informative, and relevant to your target audience. It has to be about them. What in the story benefits them? What are they going to gain by reading it?
Types of stories that your customer wants to read:
- Customer Stories / Case Studies: These are an excellent way to showcase your products or services and demonstrate how they have helped other companies. They can provide social proof and help build trust with potential customers. What problems were they having? What solutions did they try? Why did those not work and why has your approach made a difference? What benefits are they seeing?
- Coming trends: This is a great way to position your offering as a solution to what an industry may soon be faced with. What should your target audience be aware of and what should they be looking at as a possible solution? Answer common questions in your industry, provide solutions to pain points, and share your expertise.
- Thought leadership: This is a powerful way to position your business as a leader in your industry and generate leads. When creating thought leadership content, focus on providing value to your target audience, rather than simply promoting your business. This could include providing insights, tips, and best practices that help your potential customers solve their challenges and achieve their goals.
Measuring the effectiveness of your B2B lead generation
Now, it’s important to track the results of your efforts so you can see what’s working and what’s not. This will help you fine-tune your strategy and get the most out of your B2B publicity. There are a number of Key Performance Indicators (KPI) you should be tracking (we wrote a whole blog on that.)
B2B PR can be a powerful tool for growing your industrial or B2B technology company. By following these tips for maximizing lead generation: the complete guide for b2b marketers, you can build your brand and drive business growth! Get started today by setting up a meeting with us to see if you are a fit for our B2B publicity program.