Public relations and marketing strategies often go hand-in-hand, but they are not always one-size-fits-all and many of the ones easily researched are geared towards business-to-consumer companies. So how can a business-to-business company successfully build the right PR and marketing strategy? By using established techniques and adapting them to fit your target audience and business plan.
Technology is leading to a rise in ecommerce transactions and the software solutions needed to successfully run and market these shops. However, this does not mean the B2B industry has to lag behind the rest of the economy as more companies are turning to the internet for supplies and materials as well. You can find B2B ecommerce platforms designed to help you build your online presence with PR and marketing tools as well as data trackers and easy-to-use dashboards. These platforms can help you design and maintain social media accounts and marketing campaigns while optimizing your processes.
Clearly define your goals
The best PR strategies for businesses of any size have clearly defined goals. For those just establishing a digital presence, these goals can include publishing and marketing a website or unifying messaging on different platforms. You can have conversion goals for your pay-per-click campaigns and goals for establishing your company as an industry leader throughout your network of contacts.
Know your target audience
Defining your target audience is a crucial step for your marketing and PR campaigns as this can tell you where to find them, as well as what products and services they need. It can also tell you whether your goals and platform are designed to reach those most likely to convert traffic to purchases. Refine your definition of an ideal customer as needed to better plan your strategy and see more returns. Engaging with customers on various platforms is a good way to generate interest as well as gather information on where your target should be.
Once you know your target audience, it is important to understand why they need your products and services and define why your company is the best fit. This can help you generate content like ads and blog posts that will resonate with your audience and generate more interest in your products. Misunderstanding the context around customer purchases can, for instance, lead your strategy to focus on cost when your customers actually need products that are easy to use.
Review stages for quality
During each stage of your strategy, you will want to track metrics such as website traffic, conversions and advertisement performance and then review these metrics before moving on to the next stage. This can tell you where your customers are more likely to find you—on professional networking sites or from ads placed on industry-related blogs, and let you shift resources accordingly. The right PR platform will have easy to find metrics and reports through your dashboard and some will even offer the option of analyzing these for you.
Optimizing your strategies is much like optimizing your operations or website for search engines—just because it works right now, does not mean that it will work in the future. Keep track of your metrics and on the development of new tools and techniques to find ways to further optimize PR and marketing. The better you optimize your strategy, the better you can keep track of your audience and not get lost in the noise of ecommerce.
A successful PR strategy for B2B companies includes important and growing areas such as ecommerce and networking sites. It also considers who your target audience is and the context around their purchases. Starting with clearly defined goals and a detailed picture of your ideal customer can help you determine when to push forward with your next campaign stage and when to re-evaluate and refine the next stage. Successful strategies allow for ongoing metric tracking and review as well as continued optimization of the tools and techniques used.