Let’s be honest: everyone wants to be at the very top of their industry—and the top of the search engine results page (SERP).
This post will show you why B2B PR is vital in helping you achieve that. This is assuming, of course, that you’ve taken care of the other critical parts of being at the top of your industry: offering a product or service that people need, making it high-quality, underpromising and overdelivering, etc.
Let’s get started.
Fact: Getting to spot #1 will take time.
The most important thing to know going in is that you will not become number one in your industry overnight—probably not within six months, either.
This also means that you won’t see full ROI right away, and you’ll need to be prepared for that (and also prepare your C-suite for that).
Forrester’s latest research has shown that it takes a customer an average of 21 interactions with a brand before buying. That means they need to see your ads, read your name, hear a colleague mention you, listen to your CEO speak, see more ads…you get the picture.
Your job is to build your reputation and get your name out there as much as possible so that when a potential customer needs what you’re selling, your brand is the one that immediately comes to mind.
B2B public relations is a highly effective investment: both short- and long-term.
B2B PR is one of the best investments you can make into pushing your brand to the top of your industry.
Why? Because PR is how you get people talking about you. It’s how they begin associating whatever it is you do with your brand.
This matters because famous brands grow faster than non-famous ones. That’s just a fact.
Take Salesforce. It controlled 19.8% of the global CRM market in 2020 and has been the market leader for seven straight years.
The company’s four closest competitors, SAP, Oracle, Microsoft, and Adobe, held a combined market share of only 17.8% in that same period. So it’s unlikely that any one of them, or even the four together, will outpace Salesforce any time soon.
How do you get started with B2B PR?
Whether you build your own in-house PR team or decide to outsource from a PR agency, the first step in creating any successful B2B PR campaign is to know your audience.
Using your buyer personas, your PR team will develop a list of outlets to pitch. From there, they’ll create a few different angles that will make your brand’s story the most attractive for different audiences.
There could be popular bloggers who only run interviews with CEOs, or industry publications that want news on the latest innovations. However, by angling your pitch to each writer and/or outlet, you stand a much better chance of not only getting your pitch picked up but also developing a long-term relationship with them. And that’s essential if you want to create any kind of sustainable success with B2B PR.
Consistency is key.
If you want your B2B PR to be effective, you’ve got to be consistent.
Even the most impressive feature in a leading publication will fade out of people’s minds in time (especially now, when most outlets are looking to publish as high a volume as possible, at as frequent a pace that they can).
This means it’s not enough to run event-specific PR campaigns—when your company is acquired, or you launch a new product, or you expand into a new region or country, for example.
Ongoing PR is necessary too. However, these kinds of public relations efforts don’t have to be tied to specific developments or company news—instead, they’re focused more on building your brand and reputation.
That could look like:
- An interview with your CEO about industry trends for the coming year
- A quote in a feature about a current event in the news
- A spot on a panel at a virtual event
The best way to do this is to develop “evergreen,” or timeless pitches and storylines to pull from regularly, along with your more specific and timely ones. These evergreen stories can help push your brand toward frontrunner status in your industry by keeping your name in the public eye, thereby making you top of mind for your customers.
How does this affect your place in the Google search results?
This is the essential question.
Here’s how it works.
The more press hits you get, and the more times your brand is mentioned (and backlinked) on high-quality, authoritative websites, the better your Google results will be.
However, along with working toward getting excellent PR coverage and increasing the amount of valuable content that mentions your brand, you’ve also got to work in SEO best practices to keep pushing your brand toward the top of Google’s search results.
That means including relevant keywords, making sure your meta descriptions are relevant and focused, and including alt-tags on your images and relevant web pages.
Now, because PR is earned media, not owned—in other words, you don’t control it—you can’t control how the outlet handles SEO.
What you can do is create your content around the PR coverage you receive and ensure that you do so using SEO best practices.
Perhaps you’d write a blog post mentioning your recent coverage, including your target keywords and linking to the coverage. You’d ensure your meta description was clear and included your most important keywords.
You could mention it in an Instagram story or LinkedIn live stream, including relevant keywords in your title and adding the link in your description.
And this kind of amplification works in two ways: for one, it improves your overall SEO. For another, it can lead to additional PR coverage and visibility. After all, the more well-known your brand becomes, the more coverage you’ll get.
Becoming a top B2B brand in your industry requires long-term investments in PR. Ready to get started? Get in touch with our team of public relations experts!