Spending valuable staff time on social media engagement or fiscal resources on media advertising for branding campaigns is not common in many B2B companies. This is understandable; the ROI on either investment is difficult to track. But management can and should engage in public relations campaigns. The capital and human resource costs of PR campaigns are more conducive to the B2B sales cycle. Even if you have to become your own PR representative, it's possible to build a positive brand in your industry with a consistent media.
More Than Just Press Releases
PR is more than publishing a press release to online outlets. For B2B marketers, public relations involves building relationships with those who publish content to a specific target market. Managers who understand publishers', reporters', filmmakers', and bloggers' needs for content should be positioning their company as the go-to source for up-to-date niche information. Supplying expert content--including articles, forecasts, and statistics--can keep your company's executives on any media outlet's short list of experts.
Education for the Industry's Interest
Beyond providing content and quotes for media, PR managers should also be finding the intersection between their business and their industry's interest, and consider providing educational workshops, both online and off-line, to interested parties. Sponsoring live and recorded events bring companies in contact with industry players who will begin to see your organization as a leading industry expert.
Executives should also consider sponsoring activities within the industry that benefit noble causes and the personal interests of industry personnel. For example: Some companies sponsor scholarship competitions for the children of executives and staff associated with their industry.
It is important that executives find a cause they are passionate about and work to support it, while keeping the benefit limited to those in their niche. This sort of activity is not, and should not be, considered advertising or branding. Nonetheless, it creates a favorable impression among others about your company and its work.
B2B companies can experience the effects of branding without expending significant time and resources that can come with this sort of promotion. A consistent effort in these areas will likely produce positive contacts that would not have occurred otherwise. With careful concern for where their public relations activity will deliver the greatest impact, companies will differentiate themselves both by information they provide and the good that they do.