by Eleanor Collins
Public relations is undoubtedly one of the most effective weapons in your B2B marketing armoury. If you’re not convinced, have a think about your target market, potential investors, buyers etc. Now ask where they get their information from and how their opinions are constructed. In today’s world much of this information derives from many types of media, i.e. the general press, trade press, TV and radio, as well as online sources such as journals, blogs and social media.
A well executed public relations strategy can be a major driving force behind a business sale - Not sold? Here are the top reasons why PR is important in B2B sales:
Creating Brand Awareness
For most businesses generating awareness is a top priority, one of the key benefits of brand awareness through PR efforts is to reach your desired audience with your vision and key messaging so they have a better understanding of who you are and what your position is within the industry. On top of this, the more frequently you can reach your target audience in a positive way across the media and online the more likely you will front of mind when they are selecting potential businesses to engage.
Credibility within your sector
Whether you’re purchasing software, hardware, or selecting a company for a service, one of the largest influences on a buying decision will be based on who is perceived to be the best in the business. This is where PR comes into play. Establishing your key spokespeople as 'thought leaders' within your chosen sectors through target press and online content will allow you to demonstrate the high level of knowledge and expertise you have, enhancing your credibility within your space.
The self-educating buyer
Today’s digital world has changed the face of consumerism for all buyers, including B2B. In a content-driven world, self-education has become the norm. B2B buyers are hyper-aware of their needs, pain points and options, and therefore will have already been in search for a company that is going to meet all of their requests. In fact, research shows that “57% of the purchase decision is already complete before the customer even calls the supplier.” Hence why, it is essential that all of the information out there ensures your company stands out as the best in the business. This is where aforementioned points tie together, ensuring that your brand image and your knowledge and expertise is being portrayed within the media will help to push you to the top of the shortlists.
The end sale
In B2B sales the price point is usually much higher than in comparison to B2C, as a result the buying process may also be a lot longer. A good public relations strategy will aim to reach your buyers throughout the entire duration of the sales process, allowing you to further promote your key messages and help to push the sale over the line.