The importance of public relations in the growth of a company’s reputation cannot be overstated.
Public relations is a well-known top-of-funnel marketing strategy and with good reason. Your brand image goes from 0 to 100 when you are published in a relevant magazine and receive media exposure.
Interacting with the media builds trust with the people who matter most: your potential customers. By building a positive brand reputation for your business, you can ensure your products stand out in the marketplace. When you establish credibility, your prospects become customers.
When combined with effective content marketing and website management, public relations can help you improve your sales funnel and possibly generate revenue. Later on, we’ll talk about three public relations strategies to help you increase your B2B sales. First, let’s talk about how B2B and B2C brands are different.
Differences between B2B and B2C brands
Type of customers
While B2C businesses primarily sell to individuals, B2B businesses design their products and services to help other businesses run smoothly. What’s more, B2B clients usually have a longer buyer’s journey simply because the products and services they buy require more of an investment. After all, when you’re spending lots of money, it makes sense to take the extra time to ensure your money is going towards a product or service that’s worth buying.
While an individual client might convert into a paying customer within a day, business owners can take weeks to months to make up their minds. For this reason, your marketing material needs to be designed differently if you’re targeting B2B clients. Some examples of B2B businesses include Hootsuite, Zoom, Kickstarter, and even Pressfarm.
Pressfarm is a PR agency that comes armed with a team of PR specialists, expert writers, and certified designers who can help you generate publicity for your business, whether it’s a startup or an established company.
With a professional press release, some compelling guest posts, and an eye-catching media kit from Pressfarm, you can capture customer attention when it matters most. Besides creating this content for you, Pressfarm has developed distribution strategies that have proven successful for hundreds of brands across industries.
By submitting your content to the right media outlets and startup directories, Pressfarm can boost your online visibility. This distribution process can ensure you rank in relevant search results across different search engines. Additionally, by giving you access to our media database of over 1 million journalists across industries, we help you to keep doing targeted pitching for up to a year.
With one of Pressfarm’s PR packages, you can reach out to potential customers directly and turn them into paying customers.
Duration of services
The services you deliver as a B2C brand will be different from those you would deliver as a B2B company. More specifically, the duration of your services would normally be longer as a B2B company. This makes sense, given that it takes longer to deliver custom business solutions than it does to sell a product or service. When clients sign up for B2B solutions, it can take weeks to months to fully deliver the services they’ve paid for.
For example, if a client signs up for branding services, understanding the brand image they’re after and what they stand for then delivering these in branded products and marketing solutions takes time. In comparison, making a sale as a B2C brand is a more rapid process with immediate results. Once the client pays, you send them a confirmation of payment received, ship the product to them or deliver the service and move on to the next sale.
B2C brands score more regular repeat purchases than B2B brands simply because B2C customers invest less money in the products and services they buy. Furthermore, the delivery of B2C products and services isn’t extended like it is in B2B brands. Even so, when operating as a B2B business, it’s important to deliver top-notch customer services to keep your clients coming back. A happy B2B customer will not only sign up for more services down the road but also refer other businesses that could turn into big-ticket clients for you.
B2B and B2C brands have distinguishing qualities. Even so, they have one thing in common: a desire to be recognized as industry thought leaders in their respective industries.
Businesses frequently combine traditional and digital B2B Public Relations (PR) approaches to gain a competitive advantage and influence their market.
Nevertheless, declaring something is much easier than putting it into action. Companies spend a lot of time and money attempting to get as much attention as possible, but this does not always work.
There are a lot of great B2B public relations strategies out there, and we have developed a list for you. In the remainder of this article, we will be answering the following questions:
- Is there a difference between selling to businesses and individuals?
- Which publications should you target?
- How can you earn “do-follow” backlinks to improve referral traffic?
- What kind of content should you provide and what kind of calls to action are most effective?
Is there a difference between PR for B2B and B2C brands?
Whether you’re in the B2B or B2C space, public relations is all about cultivating and sustaining a brand’s relationship with the public.
The primary purpose of B2B public relations is to establish and maintain a favorable brand image among consumers and other business partners. If you put the right amount of work in and use the right strategies, you can boost the brand image over time by making it seem modern, trustworthy, and successful. Traditional public relations tactics may not be required to establish a strong voice for your company. According to a recent poll, 72% of marketing decision-makers prefer microblogging over social networking, podcasts, and RSS as a destination for their B2B PR activities.
The number of decision-makers involved: B2B vs. B2C
Starting with the prospect, B2B sales involve several decision-makers. For this reason, you should be ready to convince more than one individual, even if the cash commitment is contractual or one-time. An effective way to do this is to identify the key decision-makers and adapt your pitch for each person. By doing this, you can ensure that your products or services appeal to enough people and encourage them to collectively sign their company up for what you’re selling.
B2C, on the other hand, usually refers to a single end consumer, so doing marketing is a little less tricky. However, you still need to create a buyer persona and identify how to communicate with them in an appealing way.
Since B2B businesses take longer to complete a sale, there are many more phases of persuasion in B2B sales than in B2C sales. Given that there are more decision-makers and more money to spend, you need to plan your strategy in stages. Only initiate each stage once you’re confident that your client has arrived at the stage in their buyer journey where they will be open to the approach you’ve chosen.
How to do PR for your B2B business
Step 1: Decide which publications you want to target
A full-page advertisement in the Wall Street Journal or New York Times is considered the pinnacle of achievement in the field of public relations. Even so, if you’re selling a more niche product or service, you might get more success with smaller, more specialized media outlets.
Studies show that focusing on specific verticals within an organization is the most effective way for B2B brands to connect with potential customers and generate sales. By focusing on specialized media outlets and pitching specific verticals to them, you can ensure that readers who actually care about what you have to say know about you. While pitching stories to different media outlets, focus on articles that help readers solve a particular issue. Such articles are more likely to get published than those that do not offer a solution to a problem.
Aside from increased visibility, your business will profit from an increase in the quantity of high-quality referral traffic created due to all of the attention it has gotten.
Step 2: You must get “do-follow” backlinks to improve referral traffic
Public relations is critical when it comes to search engine optimization. Your website almost always gets a link when your company is mentioned in the press. These backlinks are essential in order to boost your website’s authority and, as a result, the authority of your brand.
Backlinks are links that lead from your website to another website on the internet. Obtaining knowledge from someone with a high degree of authority boosts your own authority.
How vital is website authority?
First, the authority of your website will directly influence how highly Google ranks your website in search results. If your peers see you as an expert in your industry, Google will rank you higher than your competition on the search results page.
Furthermore, establishing authority increases the likelihood that your target market will recognize the content on your website. The more time and effort you spend developing content that ranks highly for important transactional keywords, the higher your chances of success will be. When choosing keywords for your campaign, remember that long-tail keywords generate more high-quality leads. Moreover, having high-quality, relevant, and authoritative backlinks may help your website in various additional ways.
In order to be effective, these links must be do-follow links.
While do-follow backlinks boost your website’s ranking in search results, no-follow links have no impact. Before exposing a link to a publication to the audience, ensure that it’s a do-follow link.
Step 3: Provide thought-provoking content and conclude with a clear call-to-action
You have chosen a few specialized media outlets to contact and chosen the right keywords to use in your content. While using these keywords can boost your online visibility, it’s just as important to create valuable content to go with these keywords. It’s true – Google will rank you highly for using keywords that are commonly searched for. Nevertheless, if people aren’t clicking on this content and the dwell time for this content isn’t high, Google will penalize you. In other words, your ranking will drop if it isn’t obvious that people are enjoying the content you’re producing.
This is where your content creators will need to be a bit more innovative. It is vital to show your prospect that your company has a solution to their problem. It is equally critical to avoid providing them with all of the tools they will need to do this work on their own. Give them just enough information to convince them that it’s worth paying for your product or service to solve the rest of their problems.
Consequently, your written content should direct readers to a call to action on your website while also offering a detailed explanation of the activities they may partake in on your website. Gated content such as e-books, whitepapers, and other forms of reports will be pretty helpful in funneling qualified leads into your sales pipeline. You may be able to improve your company’s image by providing prospects with valuable information and utilizing email marketing and promotions to warm them up even more.
If you do not employ call-to-actions, you may emphasize that this gated information is available on your website without making the item seem intrusive.
Some final remarks
In today’s digital market, the best way to sell your B2B products or services is by using the information to convince your potential clients that you know what you are doing. It’s also important to demonstrate that you’ve developed the best business solution on the market. Once you’ve captured attention in this way, it’s just a matter of getting prospects into the sales funnel and feeding them with more information piecemeal (as is appropriate at each stage of the buyer’s journey). With the right public relations strategies, you can monetize this information by turning your leads into paying clients. These clients will not only come back but also refer other big-ticket clients to your brand. Finally, once a business has converted into a paying client, you can use PR strategies to encourage them to stay loyal to your brand for the lifetime of the business.