Compared to just a couple of years ago, the world of B2B public relations has changed significantly. An ever increasing number of decision makers, such as business owners and operations managers don’t even bother to take sales calls anymore.
They prefer to do their own research ahead of time, then get in touch with the companies that they’re interested in doing business with on their own terms.
When they first get in touch with a rep, this is when they begin the negotiation process. While you may think that those who don’t take sales calls are rare, this just isn’t the truth anymore. Close to 60 percent of businesses choose B2B vendors by using this process.
This means that if you’re in the B2B sector, you will need to make a few changes to your PR strategy if you want to experience continued success. Here are some of the most important best practices to keep in mind:
Segment Your Audience
B2B sales isn’t like selling to the masses. You will need to carefully tailor your message to your audience, so that they find it relevant and easy to understand. Find out exactly who they are, so that you can craft a message that will resonate with them and that keeps in mind what they consider when making a purchasing decision.
Depending on your industry and company size, you may send custom messages to each prospect or segment them into categories you find relevant, like by industry or size of business.
Measure More Than Numbers
Many marketers use a variety of metrics, such as automatic tracking of how many of their messages are opened, which links are clicked, at what time, how long the user spends on the page and so on. Even though such metrics do have their uses, they aren’t the only thing to keep in mind when it comes to B2B marketing and public relations.
Be sure to follow up with your recipients to obtain data that can’t always be reduced to numbers. Ask them questions like “was this information helpful?” or “is there something that still isn’t clear about our products after you read it?”.
This will provide you with valuable guidance on what you can do to improve your messages in the future.
Ensure Your Online Presence Has Useful Content
Now that over 60 percent of owners and managers do their own research rather than waiting on sales calls, you need to ensure that your main website, product-specific minisites, social media pages, online press releases or any other type of content you put our has something useful to offer them.
What this should be specifically depends on your industry. In general, it should show exactly what your product or service does, how it works, how it can be beneficial to users, whether it’s aimed at a specific type of business and how it’s different from competitors. If applicable, you can include technical specifications and pricing or billing information.
Don’t forget to make your contact information prominent. If your content is just a vague overview of what you offer, while your competitors put out captivating presentations of their company’s product line, there’s a high chance that you will lose clients.