In 2015, Dun & Bradstreet did research that showed 67% of typical B2B buyers find and make purchases digitally, so getting your company information online is extremely important, and that 67% will continue to grow as more and more people use smartphones to access the internet on the go. Once your website and social media presence are established, getting your PR ducks in a row is the next step for keeping in touch with the businesses that want to do business with your company.
Beyond the need to have a strong internet showing and PR campaigns that work with the various platforms, ThinkInk, a B2B PR and communications agency shared a report in 2016 called Understanding Public Relations for B2B Companies: The Basics and Best Practices that Technology Companies and Startups Need to Know, by Vanessa Horwell. In the report, Horwell’s findings show that for B2B PR, both specific knowledge of the industry and contacts with industry experts are needed to get the job done right.
No matter what sector of PR you’re working in, a knowledge of the industry is helpful, but in B2B, it’s vital since this is one company selling products, services, or solutions to another company in the same or an adjacent field of expertise. Knowing how things work in that industry, the jargon, and related issues makes doing the job possible. In B2C businesses, those are not required, just getting good and related stories and telling them in a way that is easily understood to the customer is needed. In fact, industry jargon and technical understanding can get in the way of B2C PR efforts.
When possible the company should look for a PR company with B2B expertise. As Horwell says: “A strategic PR partner can be one of the most valuable assets for any B2B-focused company, especially those in the early stages of the business lifecycle.”
In our tech and social media-saturated world, good PR and publicity are much more than a byproduct of doing business right. Positive PR helps your sales and marketing departments and brings more business through the door when it’s done right. It can change the way people and companies think about what your company offers, help them see why your product is better than the others on the market, increase your SEO results, and more. But publicity that makes your company look good isn’t a fluke or accident; it’s the product of planning and strategy that’s synced with other things going on in your company.
Successful B2B PR uses the industry jargon and complexities to build business. Remember, the customer is a business that also specializes in your field, they love to see the terms that a guy on the street wouldn’t recognize. They like the specific terminology and the technical aspect of their work. Don’t hold back with that approach.
Social media platforms allow businesses to easily converse, use that to your advantage. Build the conversations in the way you can present the strength of your product and understanding. Remember, you’ll be talking to people who’ve already got a vested interest in the topic, so start the discussion deeper into the meat of the topic.
When creating your B2B PR efforts, you should work to build visibility and awareness, show your expertise, share deeper information, generate leads, and win new business.