In B2B, the emphasis is on creating a trusted brand and making buyers confident that your company is one they want to do business with. Ultimately, the result is more sales - however, it can be difficult to quantify this outcome.
What Are the Different Types of B2B PR Activity?
There are four different types of B2B PR and each can be equally valuable in achieving your goals of increased exposure and brand recognition.
It's all about blending PR media placements, demonstrating social proof and ensuring that your PR budget is positioned to maximise returns.
Earned B2B PR
When we say 'earned', we mean that the PR content published about your brand has been generated by something you have done - a review, testimonial, referral or brand endorsement.
This type of PR is valuable, but it's also something you don't necessarily have control over since much of the content is user-generated.
There are several options if you need to focus on earned PR, which could be:
- Collaborating with bloggers, industry experts or partners and asking for brand reviews or publishing insights and opinion pieces they are likely to be interested in sharing.
- Asking existing clients with whom you have a great rapport whether they will be happy to participate in a case study to showcase the benefits of your product or service.
- Providing statistics, research or opinions to contribute to news stories or as an expert quote or snippet.
If your B2B business is proactive about engaging with other brands, endorsing things you love and recommending companies you enjoy working with, they are significantly more likely to return the favour - and bump up your earned PR.
Owned B2B PR
Owned media means content your brand owns and has created, which refers to anything you publish on your site, email campaigns, social media channels or other platforms.
PR content shared in this way might involve your web content itself or supporting content such as a video, blog or podcast.
While creating and circulating owned media is easier to control, its impact can be less than earned media since buyers place more credence in third-party content that acts as social proof.
The best approach is to set yourself a target and a purpose for each piece of content - what do you want to achieve, how will you measure success, and what will you change if your results aren't as good as you'd like?
While optimising content for SEO remains important, from a PR perspective, you need to make your owned media as engaging, informative and genuinely useful as possible, keeping your target buyer in mind.
Shared B2B PR
Shared PR has become more influential as we communicate, buy, sell, and advertise more and more on social media channels. Shared media includes anything you produce and post to allow readers to cross-post and communicate your content to a broader audience.
That could include social media feed posts, information posted in forums (e.g. Quora), and anything else published publicly.
Shared media is comparable to earned media in buyer perceptions, so you could maximise exposure by:
- Collaborating with other brands or industry leaders to produce shared content endorsing both companies.
- Focusing on progressive, beneficial social media content that adds value to your audience.
If your brand is active online and responds to user-generated content, your audience is more likely to feel positive about tagging your product or service or mentioning your business.
Paid B2B PR
Finally, some aspects of your PR campaigns can be paid for, blending social media ads with Google targeted promotions and conventional advertising.
Paid PR could include:
- Placements in global, national or regional publications or news broadcasters.
- Features in reviews, news round-ups or other columns through digital news providers.
- Guest blogs in large-readership channels.
Some traditional paid PR methods are extremely expensive (think TV advertising or campaigns published in magazines or newspapers), but digital PR can be more accessible.
You must pick your target publications, news sites or channels carefully to ensure that your paid promotions (even if presented as a non-sales piece of content) will reach the right demographic and gain a larger audience.
Much depends on your sector, the trade publications with the highest viewer numbers and the nature of the PR content you'd like to circulate, but paid PR can support your other PR efforts and increase awareness of your company by a considerable margin.
Why Is PR Important to B2B Businesses?
Strategically used, B2B PR can be an effective tool whether you need to establish yourself in a competitive market, amplify your presence as an industry leader, or get out in front of negative issues or press as a reputation management exercise.
A comprehensive PR approach can broaden your reach, emphasise the added value you offer your customers, and make your target buyer more inclined to think of you next time they need to make a purchase.
Interested in increasing your B2B sales?
Get in touch with Tiga B2B marketing agency today to discuss how we can transform your B2B marketing strategy. We provide B2B content marketing services as well as B2B branding strategy to transform your B2B PR.
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