Today we move on to part 4 of our five-part series on business to business internet marketing. We’ve already covered B2B social media marketing, content marketing, and email marketing, so by now, you should have a good basic understanding of those aspects of B2B online marketing. And next week, in our last installment of this series, we’ll be talking about search engine optimization. But today, we’ll be discussing B2B digital public relations.
So what exactly is digital PR, and how is it different from other online marketing?
Well, it’s not so much that it’s different from other modes of internet marketing. It’s that it uses those modes in different ways than usual.
For example, rather than simply contributing to industry conversations on LinkedIn to establish expertise, as you would in basic social media marketing, digital public relations requires you to jump into any online conversations about your company, taking hold of the reins to ensure that your online reputation remains strong. So digital PR is not a matter of learning a whole new skill set – it’s just a matter of applying your skills differently.
To help you get started, here are four steps to effective B2B digital public relations:
1. Monitor online conversations about your company. Whether it’s on LinkedIn, as in the example above, on an industry forum somewhere, or in someone’s B2B blog, you need to be aware of everything that’s being said about your company online at all times. Google Alerts are a great way to keep tabs on who’s been mentioning you, but you should also keep an eye on industry newsletters and any other areas that might not show up in a Google search. If you don’t know what’s being said about you, how can you either combat the negative PR or take advantage of the positive PR?
2. Take control of those discussions…or start your own. Once you locate those conversations, jump right in. Tell everyone who you are, and either offer to help if there’s negativity, or thank them for the praise if not. Let everyone know you’re available for questions or comments in either case. You can also start your own conversations, either in the same online locations, or in different ones. You might use a new conversation to counter claims made in another one, or to reinforce positive comments that have been made elsewhere.
3. Optimize your content. The next step in an effective digital PR strategy is to optimize all of your content – but with a twist. Yes, you want potential clients to find you in a search engine, but for the purposes of digital PR, you also want journalists and bloggers to be able to find you. Optimize your blog, your press releases – everything you publish online – with keywords that journalists looking for information about your industry would be searching for.
4. Reach out to industry leaders. Finally, find out who the go-to guys are in your industry. Whose blog gets the most traffic? Whose webinars are the most popular? Then reach out to them, asking if they’ll feature your business in a blog post, or let you write a guest blog sometime. With the recognition from these titans in your industry, your company’s credibility will soar.
Be sure to check back next week for the final installment in our series on B2B Internet Marketing!