By Ronelle Bester, owner of Red Ribbon Communications
With the economy in a state of unprecedented instability, businesses are increasingly looking to see real and measurable results from their marketing efforts. In light of this growing trend, lead generation has become a key focal point for B2B enterprises anxious to understand the actual impact of their spend.
Yet whilst lead generation is an exercise measured with relative ease from a quantitative perspective, its ability to drive business results is largely dependent on the quality of the audience created. As such, enterprises are being forced to look beyond the simple facts and figures, and employ a more holistic marketing approach to support their initiatives.
PR – a discipline once notorious for its inability to generate tangible results – is fast becoming a key strategic element in the quest for quality leads, offering reputational leverage and all-important credibility that differentiates businesses from their competitors.
Here are three key reasons why you should consider supplementing your lead generation campaign with PR:
In the world of social networking, reviews are critical to a company’s success, with peer recommendations increasingly demonstrating significant impact on bottom line. The B2B world is no different, except that instead of investigating sites like TripAdvisor prior to making travel decisions, potential leads look to case studies and client testimonials.
This is where PR comes into play, creating content for case studies, testimonials, thought leadership pieces and blog content, which can act as key differentiating factors in B2B decision making. As travellers are likelier to choose a highly rated resort for their next holiday, business executives are more willing leave those all-important funds in the hands of a company able to demonstrate a solid and reputable track record.
Familiarity Breeds Consent
Regularity is critical when it comes to establishing a business as a desirable supplier or partner, with studies suggesting that it takes at least seven encounters with a brand to establish real recall. For lead generation campaigns to really work, familiarity forms a critical element of success, which is where the creation of regular content in a variety of channels can prove invaluable.
Ultimately, potential partners and clients are likelier to accept a meeting request from the business they’ve heard of or seen somewhere.
No News Is Bad News
For a business to remain relevant in an ever-shifting business environment, it’s important to demonstrate expertise and foresight in the field. By publishing regular thought leadership content – both on owned platforms like blogs and via media outlets – businesses are able to critically differentiate themselves from the competition.
By taking to social media platforms like LinkedIn, and self-publishing blogs, articles and eBooks, businesses can establish thought leadership within the industry, creating recognisable personas and spokespeople with whom customers and partners can relate. Dated blogs and empty social feeds are the enemy of any lead generation campaign, as they suggest an inability to move with the times – something unlikely to inspire confidence in a generation defined by innovation.
Additionally, businesses that choose not to share relevant news regarding their accomplishments and accolades are wasting golden opportunities to cement their reputations. By incorporating elements of PR into marketing strategies, companies can ensure that they generate high-impact, quality leads.