Proven B2B PR Tools to Engage Target Audiences Effectively
One critical success factor at the planning stage for an effective PR campaign is to identify your audience. Only by knowing the exact profile or persona of the customer or influencer with whom you are trying to connect, can you assess their habits, and identify which media, channels, and therefore PR tools, are optimum to reach and connect with them.
Earned media offers the use of a wide range of techniques to drive tailored engaging content which can differentiate you from competitors and build brand awareness. A well-executed and co-ordinated programme of PR activities will engage with key audiences, drive traffic to your owned resources and take key messages directly to the decision-makers.
So, let’s get tactical and look at some of the B2B PR tools which have proven success in creating maximum impact and return. And before employing any of these tactics, always perform a reality check; the content you create has at least one element of news, issues, or evidence at its very heart and must be relevant to your audience and the media agenda today.
Effective PR Tools
News announcements – these can be in the form of new customer wins, new products, or company expansion. They are an effective way of demonstrating to your target audience that you are a dynamic force within your industry; that you are an attractive employer and partner that delivers value. Announcements may seem traditional but will create a dialogue with your key media outlets and provide useful approved content that can be published by multiple publications.
A by-lined / thought leadership articles – these are articles authored by the client, typically a generous length of between 1000-2000 words, which is strategically placed in a target trade/business media. In many cases it is a non-promotional article that informs and educates on a topical industry issue, through which you can demonstrate expertise and build credibility and respect. In certain circumstances, editors will allow some product or service information within technical articles. Whereas news provides a breadth of coverage across a range of ‘achievements’; features deliver depth and demonstrate deep sector-specific knowledge. They are an excellent way to elevate the company profile with customers and influencers.
Case studies – these bring to life the company and solutions and benefits and are an effective third-party endorsement. Customer testimonials in the form of case studies examining the background, solutions and benefits of a project or partnership can boost business credibility and support business development. You can exploit this valuable content further by re-purposing for a multitude of channels, including publishing the content on your own website, blogs, LinkedIn, and other social channels. Case studies are considered the holy grail which every editor wants to access.
Press briefings/media interviews – a press interview provides you with an opportunity to build a new relationship as a spokesperson for the company, industry expert and ongoing source of sector information for the journalist. As a conduit, you can shape the way your areas of expertise are reported. Press interviews are not just about blowing your own trumpet, they are an opportunity to generate interesting industry debate and discussion, in addition to educating and persuading the journalist that your opinion is worth listening to.
Media relations – truly effective media relations come from knowing the prominent writers and bloggers in the industry who write on the specific business area in which the company operates. By ‘news-jacking’, pitching content to a journalist who has covered a topic and your company can add value to the discussion, there is a chance for a follow-up article or to be front of mind when the journalist writes a similar piece in the future. Asking journalists for their editorial plans and submitting information for planned features, or even suggesting feature ideas, is another route to be included in articles they are writing. Getting as close to the key writers in the key target media provides the best opportunity to make, and keep, your business front-of-mind.
Amplify Content Through Owned Media
Stakeholders and decision-makers access information through their daily routines from multiple avenues and sources. Creating your content and disseminating through releases, case studies and articles to gain media coverage is part of the success, the earned media element. But the key to amplifying these ‘wins’ for the company, and to maximise their exploitation is to repurpose and share this content and coverage in the company’s owned, especially digital, channels. Now you have a cohesive PR strategy which aligns the external and internal assets.
The company website and, social media accounts are powerful channels through which you can demonstrate authority, experience, and depth of knowledge. These owned media tools can utilise content and mirror the themes of the PR campaign delivery. Publishing creative content will grab attention and even a company blog post can drive traffic and sales, so it’s important to maximise these outlets that you have complete control of.
One tactic is to insert a backlink to a specific page you want to send your audience to in media-placed articles and press releases. In doing this, you can drive traffic to the right area of your website from high-ranking platforms and blogs and attract your audience directly to your resources. Another tactic is to share quality media coverage on LinkedIn with a short summary and link to the article, to get a discussion going in your network. Remember that you are completely in control of all these tools and can therefore shape a narrative and the way you want to be perceived by your target audience. Key areas to consider are:
- Social media posts
- Whitepapers or guides
- A podcast
- Video content
- Webinars or seminars
Create A Synergy Between PR And Marketing
Leveraging PR successes through owned media does not happen by osmosis. Success is a two-way thing. The secret to a successful 360° approach is by ensuring the PR tactics are intrinsically synched into the marketing efforts. Interesting blog content on the company website could be re-purposed for a PR media pitch, and in the same way, a published article should ideally be shared on LinkedIn by key company spokespeople as well as the corporate LinkedIn account. Timing is key and great things can be achieved if there is close synergy and effective communication between the PR team and marketing owners.
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