B2B tech marketers often think public relations (PR) exists in a completely separate world cut off from digital marketing. What they fail to realize is that, with a little forethought and coordination, PR can actually help with key digital marketing goals like lead generation.
First PR Alliance is made up of an international network PR firms with years of experience helping B2B tech marketers achieve their organizational growth objectives.
If you are looking for a way to leverage you PR resources to boost your company’s lead generation, consider some of these ways one of our First PR Alliance firms can help:
Integrate with your PR firm
Many SMB tech companies are resource constrained. All the more reason a PR firm should be a complement to your internal marketing team. Indeed, it’s wise to keep your PR firm abreast of your latest marketing plans. Consider inviting the Account Manager from your PR firm to attend routine marketing meetings to better understand your marketing strategy and plan PR for any upcoming marketing initiatives. Your PR firm can even offer real-time messaging consulting as you seek to refine the marketing campaign. What you want to avoid is having marketing loop in PR as an afterthought.
Leverage social media
Many B2B tech companies make the mistake of forgetting to ‘socialize’ their news announcements. If it’s important enough to take to the media, it should have its own social media initiative to maximize reach. One of the best ways to do that is to ensure your key employees and stakeholders share it on their respective social channels. While you’re at it, why not make sure the news announcement is shared by all employees? Imagine what the reach of your news would be like if 50, 100, or 500 employees tweet and post about it? It would be a veritable tidal wave of social buzz, all of which would serve to increase your chances of getting the attention of prospects seeking your offerings.
Build a robust press room
Press rooms are a great way to add more value-added content to an SMB tech company’s website. What you may not realize is that a press room these days is a repository of rich content about a company’s offerings, its backstory, and even call-to-actions (CTAs). With many press rooms you can add pictures, videos, infographics, audio commentary, and even case studies. The sum total is a web page that can attract and inform media professionals but even grab the interest of customers and prospects. The best news of all? It’s a boost for your SEO strategy as well, providing plenty of deep-links to your website.
Exploit owned media
Blogging is a mainstay of inbound marketing, so why not incorporate it into a PR campaign to broaden awareness of your latest news? Avoid cutting and pasting the news release into your blog, and instead take it as an opportunity to add more detail, emotional color and a CTA. Most active blogs drive considerable site traffic, so not taking advantage of integrating it into a PR campaign is a lost opportunity for more lead gen. Your CTA should be simple as well. Either provide a clickable box to take a visitor to a dedicated landing page for your campaign or just cut to the chase by adding a demo request box. The blog is an excellent source of top-of-funnel leads for any a B2B tech company to take advantage of whenever possible when running a PR campaign.
Mention in a newsletter
Don’t think of your newsletter as just a way to drop user tips and new product or service features. The newsletter can amplify your PR campaigns by getting them directly in front of your target audience of customers and prospects. Feel free to add links to mentions about your company in a news section to help validate your company and perhaps drive even greater interest in your offerings. The key is to put more valuable content in front of a high-potential audience and drive more click-throughs to your website.
A B2B tech PR firm typically helps its clients by researching and scheduling speaking opportunities at conferences, trade shows and other networking events. The trick is to get your key leaders and subject matter experts in front of an audience comprised of your target buyer personas. For example, say you offer a cloud-based knowledge management solution for the legal industry, then you may want to speak at a legal technology conference on how AI and deep learning is transforming law firms’ ability to research time-intensive topics like past litigation records. Speaking to fellow professionals is a great way to exert influence and grab mindshare among a high potential target audience, which can drive future lead gen for your offerings.
Trade show support
Industry conferences and trade shows are marketing bread-and-butter for many B2B tech companies. It’s how they meet new prospects and deepen relationships with existing customers. Another key benefit for B2B companies attending a trade show is to use it to announce a major new product. PR firms that specialize in B2B tech, much like the ones in First PR Alliance, can help design and execute an effective trade show media campaign, which can act as a force multiplier for your lead gen. Swyft’s own experience is proof of that. One of our clients needed help for a trade show in Dubai after a disappointing result in the previous year. We helped craft a trade show PR strategy that helped them double their orders year-over-year and drive record foot traffic to their booth.
More and more B2B tech PR firms use contributed content as a pillar of their media outreach strategy. Because the competition for media coverage is so intense, contributed content has become a win-win for tech companies and media alike. Media outlets get a continuous stream of good content from subject-matter experts, which keeps their websites fresh, full of relevant content and ranked high in the search engines. The better news for the media: they don’t have to pay for content production. B2B tech companies love it because it’s an effective thought-leadership activity that gives them a chance to show off their industry knowledge while reaching a much wider audience than they otherwise could through their own blog. Indeed, respected news outlets like Forbes have the Forbes Tech Council and CIO has the IDG Contributor Network, both of which provide effective digital branding opportunities for companies. Contributing content to media like that translates into more reach, more awareness, more click-throughs, and more leads.
Wire releases still help
The usefulness of newswire services has real limitations. But for new product launches and other major announcements, using a wire to distribute a press release is a great way to expand the announcement’s reach. Most PR firms keep an ongoing relationship with a wire service like Business Wire and Marketwired (Swyft uses Business Wire). First PR Alliance firm members regularly coordinate wire distributions on behalf of their clients, which includes choosing the right industry channel and geography most suitable for a given client’s branding goals. Every wire service has a syndication agreement with major media sites like Forbes and Yahoo Finance, plus a wire release can stay as an active page on their sites indefinitely. Interestingly enough, it’s not uncommon for contacts of PR firm listed on a wire release to receive sales inquiries from interested prospects that learn about a product from the wire release. It’s just one more example of how your PR firm can and does positively impact lead gen.