Amy Shaw, Digital PR Manager, Curated Digital outlines how to implement an effective digital B2B PR strategy...
When it comes to b2b PR, often coverage is gained through press releases, industry news and product launches. Whilst this is all important and should by no means be forgotten, when it comes to the digital aspect of things you have a bit more freedom to expand your horizons.
So what is the difference between Digital and Traditional b2b PR?
Essentially, Digital PR looks after the online reputation of your brand. Yes, it incorporates coverage and brand awareness, but it can also track sales, increase engagement, drive leads and increase your online visibility. One of the biggest differences is that Digital PR is much easier to measure and ultimately more valuable for a client.
How do I implement a Digital b2b PR strategy?
When you are looking at implementing a Digital PR strategy, you need to think about the best ways to position the brand as the authority within the space. You want the website to be the expert within their field and to be trusted both by the search engines and the end users. To achieve this within your Digital b2b PR strategy there are four main phases you need to take into consideration: goals, audience, content and measuring results.
This may sound obvious; however, a lot of companies fall down by not defining their goals at the start. Digital b2b PR can provide a lot of value to a brand and can increase the following: website traffic, sales, brand awareness, online visibility, SEO value, engagement and social following. As great as this sounds, I would recommend only focussing on one or two of those goals per campaign and not to try and increase everything at once. For example, if you are pushing a new product then perhaps you should focus on website traffic and sales, or if you are looking to become the expert in your field then you should focus on online visibility and brand awareness.
This may seem simple, but don’t skip this step. Ensure that you know exactly who your audience is and more importantly, what are they searching for? What are their media habits? Audience research should be a thorough and detailed process where no stone is left unturned. Start by figuring out who your core audience is and try and get as narrow as possible. For example, do you target SMEs in general or senior decision makers within a specific industry? Have a look at what your competitors are doing, how are they driving people to their website and what type of content are they giving to their users? Determining your core audience should be your priority, from this information you can create your media lists and start your prospecting.
The next thing to take into consideration is what are you offering to your target audience that is different from your competitors. Why will your audience engage with you and how are you adding value to them? Evaluate your USP and brand message to ensure that it tells a new audience exactly why you are important and reinforces that message to those who are already engaged with your brand. Like b2c PR, over-branded content doesn’t do very well in the b2b world. So, stop and have a think about what you are looking to achieve with your content - are you offering your audience industry insight that they wouldn’t otherwise have access to or is it simply a deal on your latest product? Find out what your audience is looking for and what type of content they are engaging with to help inform your decision.
Whereas traditional b2b PR can sometimes be hard to measure, Digital b2b PR can be measured and easily reported on. This ties into the goals which you have chosen to focus on for each specific campaign. Whilst the old school measuring tactics are important, such as calibre of publication, readership and target audience, digital allows you to be a lot more specific. Here are some ways you can measure and evaluate your Digital PR process:
Track who visited your website and made a conversion through relevant and convertible backlinks
Measure your social engagement
Set up specific goals through Google Analytics and track your progress
Evaluate your SEO before and after the campaign
Check how the trustworthiness of your website has changed through your Domain Authority and PageRank
Follow these four steps when implementing your digital b2b PR strategy and you should be on the way to ensuring that your brand becomes the expert and authority within the space, that your online visibility increases and that your audience engages with your brand.
The B2B PR Blog is a resource for both PR professionals and people working in B2B industries on how to devise and implement successful B2B PR campaigns. The blog is managed by B2B PR specialist Heather Baker, founder TopLine Comms, an inbound marketing, B2B content marketing agency and proud HubSpot partner agency and takes contribution from anyone sensible in the industry with something intelligent to say. Follow Heather on Twitter @TopLineFounder or contact the B2B PR Blog editorial team via email on [email protected].
Keen on targeting the PR community? Learn about sponsorship opportunities here.