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Pitch perfect: 3 ways PR adds extra value to your integrated B2B campaign 

Have you heard of the ‘rule of 7’? It’s a principle which states that customers need to be exposed to 7 pieces of marketing collateral before they’re ready to convert.

The story goes that this ‘rule’ was coined in the 1930s when Hollywood’s biggest movie execs commissioned research which discovered that potential theatregoers were more likely to take action once they’d heard or seen an advertising message seven times.

Now, regardless of whether there’s any truth behind this number – even the most tried and tested marketing strategies aren’t an exact science – it’s true that your chances of conversion are more likely to increase if you nurture your audience across multiple touch points. And this is perhaps even more true for B2B marketing, where sales processes are typically slower and more considered than the fast-paced world of B2C sales. In fact, research shows that today, 47% of people said they spend more time researching B2B purchases than they did in the past and 55% rely more on content to research their purchasing decisions.1  

When it comes to B2B marketing, PR can be an invaluable tool for supporting your objectives and reaching these research-savvy audiences. Over a third of B2B buyers rate industry trade media and news publications as the most valuable content format when they’re researching a potential purchase.So, is adding PR to your marketing mix a no brainer? We’d say so – here’s 3 ways PR can add extra value to your integrated B2B marketing campaign.  

Step up your searchability 

First thing’s first – to succeed, you’ve got to be easy to find. In fact, over 1/3 of B2B buyers listed discoverability as one of the most important factors in their buying journey.2 Integrating your PR and SEO strategies can have significant value if you’re looking to reach the right people, at the right time. 

At its most basic level, PR can raise awareness of your brand or product. It can also help you appear more frequently in organic searches. By focusing on securing high value editorial coverage from well-respected third parties and topically relevant, high authority domains (think newspapers, magazines, industry resources, and other authoritative sources), users looking for information on topics linked to your offering are more likely to come across your brand and solutions. But PR and SEO working together can do so much more than just raise awareness. Link building as part of an integrated PR and SEO strategy can even help drive website traffic – and these visitors can then be nurtured further down the sales pipeline. For example, if you’re looking to generate potential leads, people who have visited your website can then be re-targeted through advertising offering high value gated content. And if they’ve already read an article about your expertise and visited your website, chances are they’ll be more likely to convert. 

Repurpose for reach

We all know repetition is key to memorisation. Therefore, to keep your brand front-of-mind, good content should never be a one shot. PR is an excellent tool for amplifying your existing content strategy, giving your message the most exposure possible. Plus, it helps your message reach audiences beyond those who already know you – such as those who’ve visited your website or follow your brand on social media. 

Repurposing press releases for your website is one of the quickest and easiest ways to cross-pollinate your PR content, and it means that your audience can easily find relevant and timely information about your latest developments. But you shouldn’t just stop there. Integrating your content and PR strategies not only ensures your messaging is aligned across all channels and touchpoints, it’s also a highly cost-effective way of creating thought leadership. 

For example, most companies have expert insights or educational information on their specialist subject matters that they can share with their audience. The trick to creating thought leadership is making these insights work as hard as possible. This entails not just using insights across owned channels such as blogs, website and social media, but also repurposing them for editorial. Pitching knowledgeable content isn’t just a sure-fire way of grabbing journalists’ attention – it also helps position your brand as leaders in your industry to a much wider audience. 

Extend your expertise 

Jean-Louis Gassée, former executive at Apple, once said “advertising is saying you’re good. PR is getting someone else to say you’re good”. But the question we ask is: why not do both?  

Paid channels, such as trade media advertising, PPC and paid social campaigns, are an effective way of creating high visibility opportunities to promote your company’s expertise. But while these tactics build exposure, action comes from building trust. Including PR in your integrated campaign is an invaluable tool for reinforcing every message you put out about your brand’s reputation, capabilities and expertise. It does this by providing an implicit third-party validation – an incredibly powerful tool for any B2B marketer. In fact, one study suggests that earned media is 90% more effective in influencing and engaging audiences compared to paid media.3 The same study also found that 67% agree that an endorsement from an unbiased expert makes them more likely to consider purchasing a product or service.4 So, combining PR with trade media advertising is one way to simultaneously build trust and exposure across the same channels, maximising opportunities to influence not just what people think about your brand, but also what they do. 

Looking for ways to seamlessly integrate PR into your B2B marketing mix? Speak to our expert team to find out how PR can make an impact for you – or download our B2B PR marketing guide here

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