Public Relations for Business-to-Business clients differs significantly from PR for Business-to-Consumer companies. However, with the explosion of social networking and online resources, both can benefit from new ways of looking at public relations and marketing. Here are top tips for your online presence:
1) Create cool content: This maxim hasn’t changed since the invention of the printing press. While there are millions of websites and other options for relieving the customer pain or problem your product confronts, your company or offering can stand out in a crowd. Not everyone is an awesome editorial writer like Randy Wright at my local newspaper or has the following of Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal. Yet, you likely have important content your prospect seeks on the Internet. Current and relevant are the key words here.
2) Serve Social Sam/Sally: Consumer focused (B2C) companies discover, sooner or later, that online social conversations about their products are happening and that friends believe friends who recommend “stuff.” Getting “likes” on Facebook is a vital endorsement for your brand. Building that community of Twitter followers or Google+ fans is not an option for you. YouTube video strategy can attract new prospects and make your product top of mind. A drip-drip-drip series of moderately successful videos can yield more results over time than a single viral home run video. Contests and free give-aways can build community and keep folks coming back. This re-enforces brainshare. B2B companies find value in video strategy, professional communities like LinkedIn, but may waste time if focused on contests.
3) Battle for Brand: In the days of Pony Express, news crossed the country in days or weeks. Today, it circles the globe in seconds. Companies not watching the brand “farm” find themselves with aging online paths of brand destruction on social media. If left untended for days, these wildfires burn uncontrolled, sometimes into a feeding frenzy any shark would be proud of. If your company doesn’t have time or strategic communications expertise to monitor and respond rapidly, pay someone to. The option “ain’t purty.”
4) Find me, measure me: We search engine optimize (SEO) & measure everything that goes on the Web. Press releases, white papers, case studies, newsletters, website content, blog entries…Well, you get the picture. Start with a Messaging Architecture that executives and your PR/marketing experts agree on. From this framework stems all content. Use this document as the litmus test for anyone creating anything representing your product or service. Then, measure it. Analytics don’t have to be expensive, but disregard at your own peril. Every video, blog entry, tweet, press posting should lead to the sales funnel online and be accountable for it’s success. If a tactic works, by the numbers, then lather-rinse-repeat. If it fails to hit the mark or drive traffic, pivot and try something else.
One of my favorite quotes passed around by successful entrepreneurs like Josh James is to “learn to fail faster.” Not everything works for every company. Get good counsel on proven tactics, but be willing to step out there and try something off the wall…fresh!
5) Become Yoda: I mentioned video and blogging earlier. Some of the most successful bloggers provide industry specific information on a regular basis targeting prospects. This works for B2C or B2B. You likely know a bunch about your offering and the associated industry. Show it off in a regular blog, or video blog. People subscribe to the Yoda in their area of interest every day. Link this back to your online sales funnel. Link everything back to the sales funnel!Share