To stay ahead of competitors in the highly competitive and crowded B2B market, organisations need to ensure they are utilising all of their resources effectively.
In this era of social media, companies need to look beyond traditional B2B public relations and develop their own digital PR strategies to ensure maximum brand exposure.
There is no question that social media is an effective tool, whether it is increasing brand awareness, enhancing your brand image, creating stakeholder relationships or generating sales and revenue.
To ensure your brand message cuts through the clutter of the overcrowded online environment Marketing Elements suggests considering some of the guidelines below:
Monitor your profile regularly
Make sure you are fully updated on what everyone is saying about your brand. Monitor your online sources regularly. It is crucial to know what your current and potential customers are saying about you at all times. Keep updated on every conversation your brand is engaged in. Monitor all online forums carefully:
- Facebook and Twitter account
- B2B blogs about your industry (Tip: Use Google Reader or similar RSS feed platform to monitor all news in one place)
- News feeds (Tip: Tweet Deck is currently the most popular software to monitor desired tweets and #hot topics)
- Search engines (Tip: Use Google Alert or similar tool to monitor desired topics)
- Newsletters sent by your competitors
- Industry forums
Optimise your content
When issuing brand messages –make sure to include phrases your brand is trying to be visible for. Using keyword phrases is the most effective way to target influencers such as journalists and bloggers searching for your headlines. This way you are making it as easy as possible for your message to be picked up. Also, make sure to maintain consistency in your brand messaging with all your PR tools including:
- Press Releases
- Media kits
- Online Interviews
- Blog Posts
- Online newsrooms
Increase the strength of your digital presence by asking everyone in your organisation to get involved. Ensuring every department has some involvement in your brand’s social media communication will ensure there is a consistent and strong message being communicated from your whole team. Everyone in social media is a publisher of information and so the more people communicating your message the further your message will travel.
Consider Mobile Marketing
This is where technology is heading. Mobile marketing offers a channel to market directly to clients. If done effectively, mobile marketing has been proven to successfully enhance exposure of current and upcoming products, competitions, sales and events. Make sure to use a mode and content which would best suit your brand and your target audience.
Embracing social media does not mean ignoring the more traditional PR strategies. The best way to maximise brand exposure is to combine your social media efforts with traditional PR methods.
Be accessible and pro-active
To maintain interest in your brand you need to offer the media access and insights into your organisation. Make sure there is access to a senior person or company spokesperson at all times for any potential media opportunity. Make sure this person is fully proficient in handling media attention. Be proactive – do not wait for a journalist to contact you. If you have a newsworthy story, contact them first with your pitch. Journalists always like to get good story ideas.
Offer exclusives to trusted media contacts
Make sure to offer a tailored, exclusive story or article to one of your top three media channels when it is appropriate as opposed to mass mailing news to all media outlets. Timing and opportunity is of key importance here. This is often the best way of building good relations with reliable media contacts.
Get third party endorsement
Do not under estimate the power of third party endorsement. Increase the strength of your profile by highlighting any brand endorsements that are available to you. Including positive client associations, case studies or new contract announcements will strengthen your reputation.
Maintain the personal touch with clients and customers.
Don’t lose personal contact with clients and customers. Make sure to maintain at least a semi-annual face-to-face meeting with your top customers even if you’re on email with them every day. This is crucially important in order to maintain good relations with clients and business associates.
Managing your media and public profile is central to ensuring your brands success in the current B2B market. When managing your media presence and issuing content to the media, the key consideration should always be – “is this the right tool, to the right audience, at the right time?”
There are unlimited options to maximise the results of your B2B PR campaign –make sure you look at all options and use the ones which provide the best return for your time and input.
- Integrating Social Media and B2B PR: Combination for success (evokepr.com)
- Be social: Social media and B2B (marketing.yell.com)