B2B public relations generates buzz about a company and its products. It attracts the attention of prospects through the media. This is done through press releases, pitching and writing articles for trade publications, arranging press interviews, and other outbound tactics.
In an increasingly competitive marketing world, it’s becoming more difficult to track and prove the results from these outbound B2B public relations activities. With so many digital media outlets, it’s hard to measure the real value of news and article pickups. And on top of that, the boss is continually asking how PR efforts are contributing to new leads.
This is why integrated marketing programs that blend inbound and outbound have become so popular recently. An inbound marketing strategy combines quality educational content with search-optimized online properties (websites, blogs, social media, etc.). Targeted prospects can easily find information and solutions from a company exactly when they need it.
So, if traditional B2B public relations is largely outbound, how can it help support an integrated inbound strategy? Let’s break down some different activities:
This is where the bulk of traditional PR time is spent. Building relationships with editors is still very important, as is getting news and articles published. They help boost SEO and the number of inbound links to your site. Media relations activities help establish thought leadership and build trust. This can greatly improve the results of inbound marketing. People are more likely to read and share information from a company that they have seen on reliable news sources and industry pubs.
Traditional trade show strategies provide classic examples of sales teams going for the hard sell. Because of evolving buying behaviors, many companies today are focusing less on the sale. Instead, they are focusing more on nurturing customers with a positive experience and valuable information. Trade shows and other industry events are still an excellent way to discover prospects. Then, you can target these prospects using an inbound strategy. Trade shows also provide great opportunities to collect data about an audience. You can discover their needs and what questions they have, which can be used to write informative content.
Remarkable content is the fuel that drives a successful inbound marketing program. Whether it’s an e-book, white paper, video, or infographic, remarkable content should do the following:
- Educate the audience about the importance of your products and services.
- Answer common industry questions to establish thought leadership and trust.
- Inform people about specific products, how they solve the audience’s problems, and why they are superior.
- Convert prospects at several stages throughout the marketing journey to reach the ultimate goal of converting them into customers.
- Nurture current customers so they continue to make purchases and provide positive word-of-mouth references.
Blogs and Social Media
These two tools give inbound marketers the power to self-publish valuable, timely information directly to their audience. Channels like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook provide powerful data. You can use these valuable insights during all stages of inbound planning and execution, from persona development and content creation to publishing and analysis.
In B2B inbound marketing, social media and blogs share content that addresses readers’ specific challenges. They also use calls-to-action to guide them to higher-level information. Both blogs and social media contribute largely to SEO, which allows companies to get found easier online. So, if you aren’t bloggin’, you better check your noggin.
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.