At Walker Sands, we work with our clients to raise awareness, establish credibility and generate new business. We’re increasingly finding ways to work with our clients’ sales teams, both directly and indirectly, to support customer acquisition and conversion.
So how does public relations support sales efforts? Here’s a quick rundown:
At the top of the funnel, PR creates awareness, excitement and demand. It puts the company/product on the map as one of X possible choices. Organic searches may return vendor websites, but they also display articles with media and analysts talking about these vendors. Over the long-term, PR is also effective in building high-value backlinks from media websites, boosting referral, organic and direct traffic to the website over time.
Working in concert with marketing, PR can also play a big role in lead gen for B2B companies. Most commonly it is centered around a valuable piece of content: an original research report, a webinar or a whitepaper with deep analysis. PR can create buzz and drive eyeballs to that content, which may be gated behind a contact form.
Throughout the middle of the funnel, PR is a source of credible collateral. PR creates content that speaks to key benefits of the product or service, highlights customer work and sometimes includes endorsements/validation from media and other credible third parties. Marketing and sales can use bylined articles, case studies and feature articles in sales kits during the consideration phase: at meetings, at trade shows and conferences, and via emails, webinars and other marketing initiatives.
PR at this phase is all about credibility and showcasing the company (and its people) as the smartest ones in the room.
At the bottom of the funnel the buyer is looking for cues to validate the decision he/she is about to make. PR provides those signals in the form of testimonials and case studies in the media, as well as solid coverage that showcases the strength of the business (e.g. appointment of new executives, launch of new products/solutions, expansion to new geographies). Further, a strong media presence conveys a company that people are paying attention to.
Post-close, a strong PR program that continues to create buzz helps reinforce the decision. Who doesn’t want to work with the influential leader in the space?
For more information on our lead gen PR activities, head over to the Walker Sands website.