Leveraging Digital PR For A B2B Business

by Gillian Ingram Figaro Digital

In our post ‘How Do You Choose the Right Influencers for Your Brand’ on the Figaro Digital blog, we discussed the rise in popularity of digital PR and influencer marketing.

Budgets in this area of marketing are beginning to increase. In fact, Statista claims 59 per cent of marketers are planning on increasing their influencer marketing budgets. Why? Well, people trust recommendations and often make purchases as a result- including those in the B2B sector.

While digital PR might appear to lend itself to a consumer-facing brand, it doesn’t mean that it’s not also a fruitful strategy for B2B businesses. Figaro Digital spoke to some of our industry expert partners for their thoughts on this important topic.

Finding The Right Audience

“Digital PR can apply to any service offering or industry – it all comes down to who the target audience are.” Says David Schulhof, Digital Marketing Director, Red Hot Penny. “Most sectors have industry publications, online resources and blogs that can be targeted for Digital PR opportunities.

“Online Newspapers such as Telegraph and The Times Online are great for B2B focused coverage. Interviews and industry insight pieces with senior figures, entrepreneurs and business owners are great ways to ascertain PR coverage in a B2B market.”

Specialised Language

“Digital PR in the B2B sphere is different than it is for consumer facing businesses. This is because of the specialist need to fully understand the B2B company’s industry.” Says Emily Dunlop, Head of Digital PR, Reckless. “We believe that to effectively publicise how a B2B company’s product or service(s) solve business challenges, we must have a thorough understanding of the company market.

“This, in return, gives us the ability to speak the “language”, in terms of expressions and technology specifications in order to gain visibility and understanding within the right publications and online channels. We endeavour to find out where exactly the target audience go to online to educate and gain insight, which publications they read and what information hubs they subscribe to. It’s from this stage that we can then create campaign concepts and opportunities to gain coverage and media placements.”

Cross-Team Challenges

Often, the purchase journey for the B2B customer is longer and more complex than that of a ‘regular’ consumer. Reviews, feedback and the option to compare products and prices are vital to ensuring that a lead has the best possible chance of converting. Sourcing, sign off and communicating with stakeholders make the purchaser’s job far more complicated than it might otherwise be, and so brands much make sure that they are consolidating their efforts to streamline and synchronise that journey. So how can B2B marketers ensure links from good PR coverage? And how can they collaborate PR and SEO teams to acknowledge more pain and pressure points for the customer?

“The best results come when the PR team has SEO training and understands what is required. Getting links is not enough and can have a negative impact if it seems unnatural. The best approach is only applying links in coverage where it feels natural to link users from the publication to the specific site.” Says Schulhof. “Variation is also key. Having all links going to the homepage is not ideal; they should be varied to relevant landing pages. Links cannot be guaranteed unless they are paid for, but in most cases having a strong relationship with the editors and an honest conversation about the projected value to users will result in a link. If an editor makes it a non-followed link don’t worry, it’s good to show a mixture of link types – referral traffic is just as important as SEO links when looking at digital PR strategy.”

In a niche market, making sure that your brand speaks with the right voice is more important than ever, and with a talented PR team on board, B2B brands can make sure that they have resonance within the wider market. By making sure that Digital PR is considered across the mix, marketers can ensure an optimised and united front as they face out into the digital ether.

The Figaro Digital B2B Spotlight Roundtable takes place on 13 April. To find out more, click here.

Continue the conversation online at @Figaro_Digital.