Have you noticed what companies are doing to succeed in building themselves as business thought leaders? Are you a B2B business that is looking for a way to stand out and move your brand to the next level? If the answer is yes, then it might be time for you to adopt a B2B public relations (PR) strategy.
Whether you are an enterprise-level, small- or mid-sized business in the B2B market, PR can help you excel your brand presence and drive business referrals. Here are 6 key steps to a successful public relations strategy.
1. Have clearly defined goals
Now that you have decided it’s time to take your company knowledge and leverage it in a proactive way, you want to develop clear B2B Public Relations objectives. First your goals need to be realistic. PR is a long-term strategy to build your brand position through legitimate third-party endorsement and placement. For example, at REBL, our B2B PR strategy starts with positioning our clients as thought leaders in their industry, local and nation communities. The main objective is to drive recommendations by reminding their referral network of our client’s industry expertise. By keeping them top of mind with their network, they get the referral when a potential client is looking for a company providing their services or product.
This is especially important for B2B businesses that rely on their business relationships for referrals. In a B2B business, a referred lead is worth 10 times more than a converted lead.
2. Identify your target audience
Remember that you are trying to reach people who have influence in your industry. If the opinion shapers are singing your praises, then your target audience will find your brand appealing.
Therefore, you have to do research on who will be interested in your services or products as well as who can purchase them. This information will help you determine their behaviors like the type of media they love reading, listening, or watching. With this information, you’ll tailor your message to your target audience, thus increasing your PR strategy’s impact. This process is called mapping out the Buyer’s Journey.
3. Determine your key message
With the knowledge of who your target audience is, now you can create a good message that will suit their preferences. Remember that for your Public Relations strategy to be effective your key message must be memorable and believable to your audience.
Normally, people’s purchasing behavior is influenced by what they remember about a product. This could be something they read, heard, or saw. Creating a memorable message will help push the sales of your products. So, ensure that your core message is credible, easy to remember, and understandable.
4. Know the best media outlet to use
All target audiences have their reading, listening, and viewing behaviors. Some age groups like watching content online, others prefer reading different publications and some prefer engaging with certain media outlets over others.
Therefore, you have to research the distribution channel that your target audience prefers: whether international, local, national, or regional. For instance, a financial firm can place its message in a local business publication or on a national podcast featuring business news.
Note, that the distribution channel can highly depend on the type of message you develop for your audience. Remember that some messages are only successful if placed on a blog verses in a video or podcast.
5. Come up with the best B2B Public Relations tactics
Choosing the right B2B Public Relations tactics and being consistent with them will fuel your PR strategy. The secret of running a successful B2B PR strategy is knowing how to use different media to reach the right audiences. For instance, after researching your target audience’s media behaviors, you may decide to use both digital and broadcast media.
Therefore, place your message on multiple, but targeted platforms, such as a digital magazine, local newspaper, radio, podcast and social media to ensure your brand get to a large percentage of your target customers.
For example, if you are a financial advisor and your target audience is clients with assets of more than $1mil they are more likely to read or listen to a podcast. A weekly podcast with your senior executive team would be better suited for your $1mil + target audience.
Verses a target audience of recently graduated professionals who are more likely to consume information from social media. For the young professional, they are more likely to listen to your interview with a key young professionals’ influencer. With concrete objectives and tactics, your B2B Public Relations strategy will be bear fruit.
6. Measure the success of your B2B PR strategy
A good B2B Public Relations strategy must have measurable indicators of success. Some ideas of how to measure your PR program:
- Customer reviews
- Number of expert interviews with the media
- Number of article placements with 3rd party publications
- Being asked to speak as an expert
If you discover that you’re achieving your goals, then continue using your B2B PR strategies. If not, then look for ways to improve your tactics. It is important to review your PR strategy regularly to ensure its effectiveness.
A good B2B Public Relations strategy will ensure that your company has a positive image. Creating a good PR strategy goes far beyond having the best market reach; you have to know your audience, craft a message that suits them, and use a media that can reach them. This six-step process will help you get started to create your own B2B PR strategy to get the most out of your marketing efforts. Contact REBL to learn more about crafting an effective B2B PR strategy for your business.