What can PR do for B2B companies?
It’s clear what PR can do for drunken celebs and other miscreants. But can it impact sales cycles, business development, and ultimately, the bottom line?
Well, first let’s ask – why do drunken celebs need PR? Isn’t it to tell their side of the story…
That’s what PR can do for B2B companies – tell their stories, transform their products, services, features, benefits and visions into creative thought leadership content, and make companies visible to industry media and decision-makers.
That sounds pretty exciting, doesn’t it? B2B doesn’t mean Boring to Boring, it means Business to Business.
In 2013, CMO Council conducted a survey on B2B content:
Those aren’t your salespeople making annoying cold calls. Those are decision-makers gladly sharing valuable content that came from you or your competitors. In a 2012 study, CEB found that a customer does 57% of the legwork on a typical purchase decision before they even talk to a supplier.
The old model of solution selling, where salespeople try to educate the customer and answer a problem, doesn’t work in a marketplace where customers can easily do their own research, and are choosing partners based on whitepapers, trend reports, blogs and other B2B content.
ThinkInk strives to position our B2B clients as thought leaders in their industries. But thought leadership doesn’t just mean writing a whitepaper and sending out a press release. The shelf life for content is short-lived. One study by InboundWriter found that website content has a 10-20% chance of being successful.
To get results, B2B content has to be part of a larger visibility strategy to attract ongoing interest from industry media, influencers and decision-makers. That means weighing in on industry news, becoming a resource and speaking with reporters for their stories, repurposing written content for live presentations and just being a consistent producer of smart and thought-inducing ideas.
Thought leadership is now essential to the sales cycle. This whitepaper by Oracle Eloqua discusses why B2B companies need to understand content consumption and other digital buying behavior, because a customer is more likely to download a whitepaper or read a blog long before talking to a salesperson.
Creating and promoting content is an investment of time, talent and resources. As a PR agency that works with businesses selling to other businesses, we strive to return that investment in the form of new business leads and bottom-line support in addition to all the content and media opportunities we create.
In other words, we’re not in the business of drunken celebs.
What are your company’s B2B marketing and visibility needs? How does your company link PR to sales and business development efforts? Leave a comment with the ThinkInk community below or visit our website to learn more about what we can do for you!