Brand Awareness


How To Grow Brand Awareness In 2021

How To Grow Brand Awareness In 2021

How To Grow Brand Awareness In 2021

One way to grow brand awareness in 2021 will be to produce quality content and put your business, or a person within the business out there as thought leaders in your industry. Producing thought leadership content garners trust, recognition, and secures your reputation – all important elements of brand awareness.

You won’t be recognised for your views overnight, but you can make a start today.

Growing Brand Awareness with Thought Leadership?

Having a good content strategy and producing high-quality content is essential for any business wanting to make an impact, especially in the B2B sector where purchases are rarely impulsive or ‘a one-off’. In this sector, buyers will form most of their buying decision based on the content you send out into the world.

This can be on your website or via social media channels, relevant industry websites, or industry publications. Even back in 2016, more than 50% of B2B buyers relied on content when making buying decisions. This has continued to grow and will still be important in 2021.

But, with so many businesses now producing content, and lots of different voices in your industry, how do you set yourself apart from the competition whilst increasing awareness of your brand?

Thought leadership is one way to achieve this.

In the same Demand Gen study quoted above, 96% of their survey respondents wanted to see more content from industry thought leaders.

That is your prospective customers wanting your expertise, thoughts, and opinions. So, what are you waiting for?

 

The acid test of any thought leadership campaign is that it needs to be relevant to the target audience; distinctive from what the competition are saying, and demonstrably true. Relevance comes from demonstrating you understand your audience – their business context and their challenges.

– Simon Hayhurst, Coleman Parkes Research

By positioning either yourself or someone within your business as a thought leader you can meet the objectives of both your content marketing and brand awareness strategies.

With a reputation secured as the ‘go-to’ people for knowledge in your industry, more prospective customers will become aware of your brand, what you stand for, and why your knowledge is the most credible.

Positioning Yourself as an Industry Thought Leader

Before you position yourself, or someone in your business as a thought leader, some consideration should be put into choosing the best person for the job.

Who has a burning passion for what your company does? Remember, this might not necessarily be the most experienced person. Can you find somebody that has a good balance between loving what you do, and the knowledge and goods to back it up? Oh, and the ability to articulate their thoughts on what you do?

brand awareness 2021 and thought leadership grpahic

For many businesses, this should be the MD or CEO, but could also be the head of sales, the marketing director, or a salesperson.

Whoever it is, this person must be able to offer fresh insight and perspectives on what you do and your industry.

An important reminder though; thought leadership cannot be accompanied by a hard sell. The aim is to raise awareness, educate and provoke a response.

The Ultimate Guide to Increasing Brand Awareness

Thought leadership will be particularly important in 2021 as it’s a strong way of demonstrating you understand your customers, your industry and how you’re different from competitors.

Today, every business can easily produce content and get it in front of their target audience – the difference is to make what you’re saying, count.

Inside the ultimate guide to increasing brand awareness, thought leadership is one of the core elements we recommend you add to your brand awareness strategy. Download the guide now for further insights and tips on increasing your brand awareness in 2021.

Join our #B2BPR tribe:

If you’ve found this article valuable, you can get more useful insight here:

Download our ultimate guide to B2B PR campaign planning

READ this blog: can brand awareness generate measurable ROI?

watch our video: how to identify your target audience”

At ec-pr we are passionate about b2b communication. We believe your work is amazing and we want to help you tell the world how extraordinary it is. Get in touch.
The Definitive Media Lens Guide 2021 pdf

The Definitive Media Lens Guide

Find your business's maximum sphere of influence and equip yourself with the tools to reach it.

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Is Brand Recognition Different To Brand Awareness?

Is Brand Recognition Different To Brand Awareness?

Is Brand Recognition Different To Brand Awareness?

So far, we’ve dedicated January to all things brand awareness, covering the basics in our blog posts, and releasing the awesome, if we don’t say so ourselves, ultimate guide to increasing brand awareness.

Now it’s time to dive in a little deeper and get to the more complicated elements of your brand strategy. We’re starting by separating out a few terms that often get misused or mixed up when talking about brand awareness.

We’re talking brand awareness versus brand recognition; two terms we often see used interchangeably but shouldn’t be.

What is brand awareness?

We already wrote an article explaining brand awareness but here is a brief recap.

Brand awareness is the level to which people in your target market are familiar with your brand. Can people identify you amongst your competitors and remember key elements of your brand?

Can customers remember why you’re so well-known and what makes you so brilliant? When they have a particular need or problem, are you the first business they think of?

This is all brand awareness.

Increasing brand awareness is taking action to ensure as many people as possible get to know everything about your company, and products or services.

Brand awareness eventually turns people into customers as they become familiar with your values and what problems you can solve for them. Brand awareness also encourages repeat business and turns customers into advocates.

pink fishing nets

 Brand awareness eventually turns people into customers as they become familiar with your values and what problems you can solve for them. Brand awareness also encourages repeat business and turns customers into advocates.

What is brand recognition?

Brand recognition is one aspect of brand awareness and shouldn’t be used interchangeably. It’s an important element of brand awareness but is a much simpler concept, brand recognition is how recognisable your brand is.

The most obvious brand recognition elements are your company name and logo – important visual markers when it comes to recognising your brand. Brand recognition can also include your tone of voice, company colours, even a personality.

Brand recognition is great because it’s the shiny stuff that catches people’s attention.

 

“The first lesson of branding: memorability. It’s very difficult buying something you can’t remember.”

– John Hegarty

The more recognisable elements your brand has, the more likely it is to be remembered.

We’re sure you’ve played one of those quizzes before where you must guess the company name just by seeing a snippet of their logo, hearing a catchphrase, or seeing their brand colours?

Those types of quiz demonstrate how powerful brand recognition can be and why great branding is vital to your business.

Brand recognition vs brand awareness

Hopefully, the above demonstrates the key differences between brand awareness and recognition but this isn’t a ‘take one or the other situation’.

Arguably, brand awareness does play a larger role in your brand strategy because it makes your customers familiar with you on a deeper level than brand recognition. If recognition is the shiny thing that grabs attention, then awareness creates a lasting familiarity that eventually leads to sales, loyalty, and customers championing your brand.

But on the other hand, have you ever heard of a mega-successful company where customers don’t know the name of the business, recognise the logo, or know one detail about the brand? Not really!

In summary, Brand recognition needs to work alongside awareness to give a well-rounded picture of your company!

Join our #B2BPR tribe:

If you’ve found this article valuable, you can get more useful insight here:

Download our definitive media lens guide to help you maxmise your sphere of influence

READ this blog: what is branding and why is it a key component of your PR strategy?

watch our video: how to identify your target audience”

At ec-pr we are passionate about b2b communication. We believe your work is amazing and we want to help you tell the world how extraordinary it is. Get in touch.
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Download

Can brand awareness generate measurable ROI?

Can brand awareness generate measurable ROI?

Can brand awareness generate measurable ROI?

“Can brand awareness generate measurable ROI?”, is a reasonable question for any sensible business owner or marketer to ask; no business can afford to invest money on activities that don’t have quantifiable results.

Branding and brand awareness can be notoriously tricky to measure, especially when you’re looking at it in a vacuum. Although brand awareness sits right at the top of your sales and marketing funnel, it isn’t a clear-cut acquisition channel, more of an assistant to other acquisition methods.

However, there are a few key indicators of brand awareness you can measure – let’s have a look.

Can brand awareness generate a measurable ROI?

Brand awareness is needed – how would you ever make any sales if nobody has heard of your company? But, viewing it as a direct way to boost sales is perhaps the wrong way to frame brand awareness and instead, brand awareness should be viewed as an assist to sales.

For example, if you were to exhibit your company at a trade show, it would be fairly easy to work out the ROI of that exhibition, helping you decide if you want to invest money in this channel again.

Brand awareness isn’t so simple as it infiltrates every area of sales. Going back to the trade show example – a potential customer may look for your stand because they were already aware of your brand, once meeting you they may decide to buy. This may be more difficult to measure but brand awareness certainly played a part in that sale.

This example shows how brand awareness helps at every part of your sales funnel; the same example can be applied to an inbound phone call or email.

In summary, brand awareness will not be a big direct win and is more difficult to measure but is certainly an important aspect of your overall sales and marketing strategy.

pink fishing nets

Why measure brand awareness?

Last week on our blog, we explained what brand awareness is and we have also put together the ultimate guide to increasing brand awareness – we think raising brand awareness is important – even for B2B companies who may not have traditionally given much thought to brand awareness. 

89% of B2B marketers say brand awareness is their most important goal, ahead of sales or lead generation – Content Marketing Institute

Brand awareness increases familiarity in your audience and with familiarity comes trust – an important factor for many B2B companies, especially those providing services.

Have we convinced you yet how important brand awareness is?

If increasing brand awareness is an important part of your sales and marketing strategy, then it needs to be measured just like any other marketing activity.

How can brand awareness be measured?

One of the easiest ways to measure brand awareness is to simply ask your customers more questions.

Don’t underestimate the power of a good survey.

Surveying customers and potential customers needn’t be a onetime activity or a big deal either – just ask new customers where they heard of your company or product when they get in touch. Keep a record of answers so that you can evaluate which of your brand awareness campaigns are taking effect.

This is one of the more ‘low tech’ options when it comes to measuring brand awareness but it’s highly effective as you’re getting the information you need straight from the source.

A broader survey could involve asking a random selection of people who aren’t customers if they are aware of your company or products. Information gathered can be used to inform future campaigns and maybe look at how you are trying to approach your target audience.

pink fishing nets

Your website and analytical tools can also be used to measure brand awareness – one super easy metric to check is the number of hits your website receives via searching for your company name or any unique brand terms. You can use Google Adwords Keyword Planner, Trends, and Search Console to track this.

If customers are searching your name, the name of company-specific products, or services then they’re already familiar with you. Capture this information to gauge how brand awareness campaigns are working.

Social media is also a powerful tool when it comes to measuring brand awareness. How much your brand is mentioned on social is a good indicator of levels of brand awareness and can be used to track any changes.

Key metrics to take note of are the number of brand mentions, engagement, and reach. Tools like Hootsuite or Sprout Social are useful tools here.

Join our #B2BPR tribe:

If you’ve found this article valuable, you can get more useful insight here:

Download our ultimate guide to B2B PR campaign planning

READ this blog: what is branding and why is it a key component of your PR strategy?

watch our video: how to identify your target audience”

At ec-pr we are passionate about b2b communication. We believe your work is amazing and we want to help you tell the world how extraordinary it is. Get in touch.
The Definitive Media Lens Guide 2021 pdf

The Definitive Media Lens Guide

Find your business's maximum sphere of influence and equip yourself with the tools to reach it.

Download

Subscribe to our updates

Stay up to date with the latest insights, case studies, and PR guides.

The Ultimate Guide to Writing a Press Release 2021 pdf

The ultimate guide to writing a B2B press release

Revised for 2021

Our expert B2B PR guide with 9 steps to creating a press release that editors want to publish.

Download

What is brand awareness?

What is brand awareness?

What is brand awareness?

We’re starting the new year off with a bang – a big branding bang that is.

Starting with the release of our ultimate guide to increasing brand awareness, we’re dedicating January to all things brand awareness! We’re going to be covering absolutely everything you’ve ever wanted to know about branding, how to raise your brand profile, how to measure ROI, and what techniques we think are worth pursuing in 2021.

But first, allow us to take you back to the beginning with an introduction to brand awareness – what is it? Why is it important?

What is brand awareness?

Brand awareness is a level of familiarity with your product, services, or company within your target audience. There are many ways to define this, here is one of our favourites, and easiest to understand:

“Brand awareness represents how familiar your target audience is with your brand and how well they recognize it. Brands with high brand awareness are generally referred to as “trending,” “buzzworthy, or simply “popular.” – HubSpot

When customers are aware of your brand, they should be able to remember certain key aspects such as your unique selling points (USPs) or more intangible assets such as the ‘feel’ of your business and products. 

The ultimate test of brand awareness is to think of a generic product and see what brand pops into your mind.

For example…imagine you need to find information online and have to use a search engine – which do you choose?

Did you think about Google?

That is brand awareness!

Out of all the search engines available, the first to pop in your mind was Google.

Because Google has a high level of brand awareness, consumers can recall which search engine will satisfy their query – without even seeing an advert from the brand.

Brand awareness is the level of recognition and association by a potential customer towards your products and services.

Now, that level of brand awareness is top tier holy grail stuff and has come after many, many years of marketing – to the point where for many, the word ‘Google’ has become the verb for looking up information online.

So how, you might wonder does this work for smaller businesses, newer products, or B2B products and services?

Well, the concept is still pretty much the same. Brand awareness simply means making customers aware of your brand and your qualities, so that the next time they come to a situation where your product or service would fit, the first business they think of is yours.

You will already know who your target market is (hopefully), their pain points, and needs – your number one goal is to ensure your business is the very first they think of when it comes to those problems or needs.

Why is brand awareness important?

Brand awareness is the very first step in your marketing funnel – the concept used to gain new customers and sell products. Awareness of your brand at this stage is the very first your customer hears or sees from your brand which is why it is so essential your branding is correct in the first place, and why you go the extra mile to differentiate your product or services from the competition.

But brand awareness isn’t only important when you are casting your net wide – customers already familiar with your brand, whether you have already done business before or they are at the consideration stage can also be nurtured when you increase brand awareness.

pink fishing nets

Brand awareness campaigns are you telling customers old and new who you are and what you stand for. In the process, you will acquire new customers, encourage those thinking about becoming a customer and possibly bring old customers back.

Despite brand awareness playing such an important role in any marketing strategy, many businesses do not pay as much attention to raising awareness as they ought to. Which sounds crazy when you think how obvious it is that most buyers or potential clients would much rather work with a business they’re already familiar with!

How do you increase brand awareness?

Brand awareness may have slipped down your to-do list because for many people, the concept can sound rather abstract and well, a bit lofty! But no matter the size of your business you should be working on raising awareness.

Even B2B businesses who may struggle with the concept, as branding and brand awareness is something you may associate with consumer brands, should be paying more attention to increasing brand awareness.

If this sounds like you, we have good news:

EC-PR have created the ultimate guide to increasing brand awareness, packed full of actionable hints, tips from industry leaders and insiders, and just about everything you need to know when creating a brand awareness strategy.

Download your completely free copy here.

As mentioned, we will be posting all this month about brand awareness so keep your eyes peeled for further information on brand awareness ROI and some of our best tips for this year.

Join our #B2BPR tribe:

If you’ve found this article valuable, you can get more useful insight here:

Download our ultimate guide to B2B PR campaign planning

READ this blog: what is branding and why is it a key component of your PR strategy?

watch our video: how to identify your target audience”

At ec-pr we are passionate about b2b communication. We believe your work is amazing and we want to help you tell the world how extraordinary it is. Get in touch.
The Definitive Media Lens Guide 2021 pdf

The Definitive Media Lens Guide

Find your business's maximum sphere of influence and equip yourself with the tools to reach it.

Download

Subscribe to our updates

Stay up to date with the latest insights, case studies, and PR guides.

The Ultimate Guide to Writing a Press Release 2021 pdf

The ultimate guide to writing a B2B press release

Revised for 2021

Our expert B2B PR guide with 9 steps to creating a press release that editors want to publish.

Download

What is branding and why is it a key component of your PR strategy?

What is branding and why is it a key component of your PR strategy?

What is branding and why is it a key component of your PR strategy?

Branding plays a fundamental role in how your customers, and potential customers, perceive your company.

Branding and PR

This perception, and image, of your brand is shaped by how you look, how you act and what you say.   Which is exactly why PR and branding are closely connected; both are ultimately about image management.

This week, we’re taking an in-depth look at what branding means to different people within the marketing industry and we’ve asked three industry experts to give us their take on what branding is and how they define it.

First to comment is Sally Fisher, an independent marketing consultant, who runs Marketing, Done In A Day. Sally says that she’s often explaining the difference between marketing and branding.

You can read Sally’s blog on this matter here, but here’s her perspective…

One thing I’ve noticed recently is that there’s often much confusion around what ‘Marketing’ is versus what ‘Branding’ is…

Marketing and Branding are two different concepts; they’re intrinsically and unequivocally linked and each can, and does, impact the other, but they’re two different things.

Brand image

Branding is about creating a full and holistic personality for your business – your vision, your mission, your values and your value proposition.  These are the foundational aspects of your business which help create and project your personality, how you look, what you say, the way you do things, the service and experience you provide.

Your brand identity such as your colours, your logo and your tone of voice etc should represent your brand personality, and together they should all present a joined up, consistent and positive brand experience.

Marketing activity

Marketing is the act of growing your business and making you money – actively targeting the right customers in the right place, using the right channels to position your business on their consideration list and ideally, persuade them to buy from you. Your marketing efforts utilise your brand components to present a consistent, joined-up message.

Coca-Cola Brand

If we consider the ubiquitous brand Coca-Cola – the first thoughts that come to mind are: Red, white, global, refreshment, diet drink, consistent, reliable – these are the brand aspects of Coca-Cola and represent how they’ve chosen to position themselves in our minds.

But their marketing efforts are how they target us as customers, how they sell their drinks to us, their chosen advertising channels, the messages they communicate and their distribution choices – making Coca-Cola available to us all, globally!

In a nutshell, your brand is how you are perceived in the minds of your customers – your brand is what you ‘ARE‘!

Your marketing is the planning and action you take to acquire and retain your customer – marketing is what you ‘DO’

Sally Fisher – Marketing, Done in a Day.

Julie Frances, a Creative Director at Creative Fire says that questions around branding can often be tricky to answer. 

She explains the origins of the term and what her take on branding is here:

The term “brand” came from cattle ranchers over 50 years ago and in the late 80’s, companies like Coca-Cola started to brand their packaged goods in a way that differentiated them from the bland competition.

As time went on and marketeers got savvy, they realised that there was more to ‘a brand’ than just a company name and a pretty box!

Branding has evolved and with time, it has become more subjective. Branding has become more about a person’s feelings (or perception) for a product, service or business.

Let’s explain what branding is not.

Branding is not limited to a logo or a colour scheme. It is not simply to make people aware of your business or service. These are critical elements of the brand building process, but these only scratch the surface.

It’s also important to acknowledge the difference between branding and marketing.

Marketing is the activity designed to promote your business; it will complement branding, but it doesn’t replace it.

Here is our take on what branding is.

1 Brands mean different things to different people.

It can play a different role depending on who it interacts with and when. Some people will connect meaningfully with an aspect of a brand while others won’t. Quite often a person’s relationship with a brand can develop, increasing trust, loyalty and engagement. Smart and successful brands work hard to reach different audiences who matter to their business to cement the relationship with the brand.

2 Brands grow, develop, respond and shift with the times.

It helps to think of branding as an ever-evolving experience rather than a structured set of rules. A brand can be the sum of interactions with infinite possibilities and every touch point makes a difference.

3 Brands are about feelings.

When you ask people why they love certain brands, they might provide a list of logical reasons but in the end, it often comes down to a feeling. How does that brand really make them feel? Successful brands hold great emotional meaning for people and that’s what can make a brand loved and respected.

4 Discussing the impact of a brand is easier than defining what a brand is.

When we talk about defining a brand, we often talk about what makes a brand impactful for a business. It might be better ROI or an aligned leadership. Impact from a brand refresh or a new positioning, a great campaign or just more brand engagement is where you really see a brand doing its job well. For example, the impact of an engaged workplace can create increased innovation, productivity, creativity and loyalty amongst employees and new recruits.

Ultimately, your brand is what the marketplace says it is. 

– Brian Woyt, Founder of the branding agency Wolf & Missile.

Establishing an understanding about how you and your business define your brand and what it means can help guide your brand and business forward. But remember, it doesn’t matter if you think your brand has the potential to be the next Apple or Nike — what really matters is what your target audience thinks of your brand.

10 steps to help build a brand:

  1. Establish the purpose
  2. Identify the target audience
  3. Create a unique voice for your brand
  4. Tell your brand’s story
  5. Design the brand’s visual elements
  6. Establish a differentiation
  7. Build out your brand
  8. Promote, promote, promote
  9. Get advocates for your brand
  10. Evolve as you grow

-Julie Frances, Creative Director at Creative Fire

And finally, Amir Bazrafshan, Founder of Apricot Box says that If you want your business to stand out, be remembered and be valuable, then branding is a term you need to understand intimately.

If you don’t understand what branding is, you won’t be able to use it to your advantage. That’s what this blog post aims to clarify so that you know what branding is, what it entails and why it’s essential to the long-term growth of your business.

What branding isn’t

Branding is often used interchangeably with things such as a logo, identity, a product or a promise.

But branding is none of these.

For example, a logo is a very useful business tool that helps to add distinctiveness and recognition, but it’s not branding – it’s a symbol of the brand.

So this begs the obvious question…

…what is it?

Simply put, branding is the process of giving meaning to your business and its offering.

The power of branding means that you can take something, even if it’s a commodity and use branding to:

  1. Differentiate from similar products/services
  2. Be easily recognisable
  3. Be recalled at points of purchase more readily (i.e. be top of mind)
  4. Command premium prices (helping to increase your profits)
  5. Earn loyalty

Those that understand branding will understand that it’s one of the best and most important investments that a company can make.

The tools of branding

Branding is a long term and ongoing process and there are many tools and techniques that a business must draw upon to get it right.

Your brand will live in the minds of your audience so what and how you communicate plus the quality of service/products and follow up all matter – they all work together to build a brand.

Products are made in a factory, but brands are created in the mind. 

Walter Landor.

How do you ensure that all these separate parts are pulling in the same direction and stay coherent over the long term?

By developing a solid brand strategy.  

This document is your road map. It will guide operational and creative decisions. It helps to unite a business and all stakeholders.

Trying to brand your business without a brand strategy would be like trying to drive to a specific destination without a map. In the fog. Whilst blindfolded. Don’t do it!

Elements of your strategy should include details on objectives, market segments, mission, values and a strategic position.  All of this will help you to be deliberate in your choices around your brand identity.

Your brand identity is a collection of elements that you use to articulate your strategy to your target audience – so things such as:

  • Logo
  • Other distinctive visual assets
  • Colours
  • Tone of voice
  • Messaging
  • Font selection
  • Photo style
  • Etc.

These must all work together as a system, with a common through line – the through line being what you want people to know and understand about your brand – what you want to mean to them.

The thing is, people are so busy and are exposed to so many different stimuli on a moment by moment basis and so, you have to be very selective about what you want people to know about your brand.

Your strategy will help you to define this and be purposeful about it.

Once you have your brand strategy and identity defined, it’s time to execute.

branding and pr are about perception and reputation

The branding mindset

A brand isn’t grown overnight – branding is an ongoing and long-term process and commitment.

If you don’t embrace the long-term nature of branding, then you’ll be frustrated and not get the results that are possible.

Building brand reputation

The way that branding works is that you make impressions on your audience, day by day, message by message, experience by experience – all of which compound into a specific meaning that the audience has of your business and offering.

And all of this takes time!

If your strategy and execution is on point, then what your audience understands of you will be very close to what you want them to understand.

Meaning, those benefits – recognition, distinctiveness, premium prices, long term growth and stability, will be yours to enjoy.

Your brand is the single most important investment you can make in your business 

– Steve Forbes, Editor in chief, Forbes Magazine.

-Amir Bazrafshan, Founder of Apricot Box

Why is having a strong brand important for B2B PR?

Branding and PR may sit separately within your organisation, but they must work together seamlessly to build customer trust and create a positive brand perception. This can only be delivered through a cohesive, optimised, and effective communication strategy.

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As Ted Reubin said so articulately: “Your brand is what your business does, what you stand for, and how you approach your work. You have significant control over your brand because you are able to decide what you want to do and how you want to do it. You can’t completely control how others see your brand, but you can do everything within your power to leave them with a positive impression.

Your reputation is what people remember and share about you. Living up to the standards of your brand doesn’t guarantee a good reputation, but it’s an excellent place to start. Brands that are reliable, accountable, and customer-friendly will often have a positive reputation, but it’s no guarantee.”

Brand reputation and PR

Reputation stems from how you make people feel about your brand and how your stakeholders pass on that experience to others. You have to work hard at shaping that reputation through proactive and authentic marketing communication programmes i.e. public relations.

Join our #B2BPR tribe:

If you’ve found this article valuable, you can get more useful insight here:

Download our complete guide to B2B PR Campaign Planning

READ this Tech PR case study: How 2i found its voice: The 18 benefits of a communication strategy

watch our video: how to identify your target audience”

At ec-pr we are passionate about b2b communication. We believe your work is amazing and we want to help you tell the world how extraordinary it is. Get in touch.
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The vital role of PR in Sales

The vital role of PR in Sales

The vital role of PR in Sales

Let’s examine the role of PR in Sales

A well-executed PR campaign plays into all stages of your customer’s journey—putting more leads in your pipeline, nurturing your prospects as they move down through the funnel, and building enough trust to seal the deal.

In this way, PR campaigns can help your salespeople to convert more leads into prospects and more prospects into conversions, therefore boosting the bottom line – just like advertising, direct outreach, and other marketing campaigns that are often more directly linked to conversions.

PR broadens your reach

There’s no doubt about it; the brand awareness buzz that good PR creates can help you capture more leads.

Carefully selected placements and media mentions ignite conversations that help boost your presence in the real world. These help create high-value backlinks and referral traffic, to improve your rankings in the search results – putting your brand firmly on the map.

This boosted presence in the marketplace, ultimately translates to more leads entering the top of your sales funnel—and not just any leads, but leads that are well-acquainted with your brand, and already have a level of familiarity with your product or service.

celebrating the brand awareness buzz from good PR

PR helps position your brand

A well-executed PR campaign can attract more ideal prospects by perfectly positioning your brand in the marketplace.

Whatever the qualities that make up your brand identity—from the cool sophistication of Apple, to the visionary courage of Tesla—a good PR campaign can showcase those qualities, demonstrating to your target audience that your product or service has the characteristics needed to solve their specific problem.

Z

An 8-step communication strategy to help you win new business

PR shapes your brand story

Among other media strategies, placements in carefully selected publications can evoke these qualities by creating a strong narrative. The power of stories was illustrated in an experiment by Stanford professor Chip Heath, who asked students to give one minute speeches containing three statistics and one story. Afterwards, only five percent of listeners recalled the statistics, while more than sixty percent remembered the stories.

Whether your story is one celebrating your achievements—commercial or otherwise—or promoting your culture and purpose, narratives can hit emotions that resonate amidst endless noise. The strength of this emotional association is what helps you remain top of mind, on their consideration list, and build a reputation that keeps your customers coming back to your brand, instead of your competitors.

In this way, exposure in the right places doesn’t just draw more leads into the top of your funnel, but they trickle down through the sales process, ensuring prospects are receptive to your brand, and likely to trust you enough to feel good about working with you, as opposed to your competitor.

effective PR helps build trust

PR builds trust

Trust in institutions—including businesses, government, and the media—is at a low ebb, according to the 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer. This erosion of trust is particularly noticeable in the tech industry, where the pace of change has become so fast that many feel left behind—waiting for their jobs to be replaced by automated bots or AI.

PR can help overcome this lack of trust

by creating a strong relationship with customers through what infamous Psychology and Marketing professor Robert Cialdini calls pre-suasion:

“The process of arranging for recipients to be receptive to a message before they encounter it. Strategically guiding preliminary attention, to move prospects into an agreement with the marketing message before they ever experience it.”

While B2B PR blogs can help to establish authority, and paid placements in established publications can demonstrate your credibility, appearing in the editorial section of a magazine or newspaper is the gold standard for building trust. Because these articles have been independently endorsed by a trusted third party, their credibility runs deeper than blogs, paid placements or advertisements, helping you to build a great brand reputation and win real lasting trust with your audience.

PR helps overcome customer objections

At the end of a customer’s journey, unforeseen objections can suddenly arise that are guaranteed to make a new salesperson sweat. A robust, strategically planned PR campaign can anticipate and address these customer objections before they are presented—making the life of a salesman a little easier.

According to research from DemandGen, 41 percent of B2B buyers consume three to five pieces of content before even engaging with a salesperson.

Content published on your owned channels, such as social media and website can help overcome common sales objections, including hesitancy over pricing and misunderstanding of benefits.

More effective however, is third-party content.

A study conducted by Nielsen in 2014 revealed that third-party “expert content ” was even more effective at lifting purchase considerations than user reviews, with PR boosting familiarity significantly more than branded content.

“On average, expert content lifted familiarity 88 percent more than branded content and 50 percent more than user reviews; they lifted affinity 50 percent more than branded content and 20 percent more than user reviews.”

By tying this type of content into your sales process, through links in emails or social media, the strength of ‘expert content’ can be fully capitalised on, to help avoid last-minute complications, overcome objections, and reinforce the customer’s buying decision.

So, to summarise; from bringing more primed leads into the top of the funnel, to building trust and overcoming sales objections, a solid PR strategy and campaign plan can make life easier for your sales teams, directly boosting your bottom line and having a positive impact on your brand reputation.

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