Is your company’s B2B public relations strategy an outbound one? That is, do you rely solely on earning placements of articles, product highlights and interviews in print and online trade journals? Or are you focusing on inbound PR tactics? Inbound tactics include publishing your own content and having buyers find you through internet searches and social media interaction. Actually, your B2B public relations strategy doesn’t have to be an either/or proposition. By strategically integrating earned and owned media strategies, you can significantly expand the reach of your PR efforts. You can also engage more industry professionals and prospective buyers.
Get the most of your public relations strategy
Earned media is publicity you receive from a third party. You don’t pay for this publicity like you do with print and digital advertising and “native advertising” (what used to be known as advertorials). Earned media includes getting your brand positively positioned in trade publications and news sites, as well as industry-related blogs and social media sources. Owned media refers to channels that your company controls — your website, blog, email and social sites. It’s populated with content you create and own. Your owned content comes in many forms, including:
- Social media posts
- White papers
- SlideShare presentations
- Technical data sheets
- Case studies
When you use both, you realize the benefits of a complete B2B public relations strategy. You combine the brand-building power of outbound marketing with the lead-generating power of inbound marketing.
Features that differentiate earned and owned media
- Your story: Editors make the call regarding what to publish from your well-crafted press releases and articles. Journalists select what portions of interviews with your subject matter experts they use in their pieces.
- Publication: It’s up to the gatekeepers whether or not to post or publish your company’s news. Focus on fostering relationships with editors, journalists, bloggers, and publishers. When you take the time to research publishers’ content needs and editorial calendars and pitch news they can use, you improve the chances of publication.
- Credibility: When industry influencers publish your article or post news about your brand, it’s third-party validation of your company’s value in the industry.
- Tracking: Measure your PR placement success by receiving notice from print and digital monitoring services, your own searches and Google news alerts.
- Your story: You own the narrative. You create a message that your customers care about, providing educational and relevant content that drives readers to your website to learn more.
- Publication: You share your content on channels that you own. This allows you to match content to your targeted prospects, which leads them to more in-depth information that you also create and own.
- Credibility: Ideally, your content should answer industry questions and solve specific challenges. If it sounds like marketing jargon, you risk losing credibility as a thought leader.
- Tracking: With marketing automation platforms, you can learn which keywords land you at the top of internet searches and drive traffic to your content. You can also understand exactly how visitors use your website.
Double your B2B public relations power by integrating owned and earned media into your game plan. That way, prospects and peers find your industry insight both on the pages of a trade journal and through an internet search that leads to your blog. It’s a great way to secure your place as a trusted source of information in your field.
All marketing tactics should be thought of as part of a larger whole, rather than separate pieces. By strategically integrating all tactics, the programs become more effective and cost efficient. An Integrated marketing communication plan helps you meet real business objectives – generate leads, grow revenues, gain market share, and become the leading brand.
Lisa Goetz is a public relations executive at Schubert b2b, where she primarily writes content and manages media relations. She brings 20 years of editorial and communications experience to Schubert b2b and holds a PhD in English literature from Duquesne University. When not in the office, Lisa likes to take excursions with her husband and hang out with her cat and a good book.