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Why B2B PR ain't boring anymore!

Digital PR is big business at the moment. Whilst consumers have been stuck at home due to the ongoing pandemic, companies have been vying for their attention online with increasingly inventive PR campaigns.

Burger King, for example, went viral by asking customers to “Order from McDonald’s” and Uber caused a storm by thanking people for not riding with them. Whilst B2C campaigns such as these often push creative boundaries, B2B campaigns are still stigmatised as being boring, corporate and restrictive.

B2B sales cycles tend to be long and complex processes, therefore, B2B PR often focuses on building trust with buyers through the use of jargon and statistics, overlooking the need for creativity and innovation.

That being said, B2B buyers are people first and so emotion and sentiment will always play a part in their sales decisions. In fact, a study conducted by WHM shows that 81% of B2B buyers believe they’d make better buying decisions if B2B marketing was more engaging.

So, here are a few PR tactics that will help to create more exciting B2B PR campaigns:

1. Jump on current trends

TrustRadius research shows that B2B buyers are getting younger. 60% of all B2B tech buyers are millennials, so they’ll no doubt know what the latest Netflix and TikTok crazes are. Tapping into these trends and aligning them with your brand will help to catch and keep(!) their attention.

For example, Salesforce created a blog post entitled “Sales vs. Marketing: The Original Game of Thrones”. The post features information on how lessons from Game of Thrones can be utilised to create synergy between marketing and sales departments. Originally posted in 2013, the blog post still continues to generate social shares and backlinks today.

2. Influencer marketing

The same research shows that user reviews are one of the top three most trusted and influential information sources for B2B buyers. Following this, introducing influencer marketing into your B2B PR strategy makes logical sense.

Typically thought of as a B2C marketing tactic, influencer marketing can be highly beneficial for B2B businesses too. A leading business figure reviewing or speaking about your product will help to generate buyer trust and allows for creative collaborations too.

3. Create emotion

The vast majority of buying decisions are led by emotion; something that’s often overlooked in B2B PR. Many campaigns simply focus on product features and services. However, inciting humour, joy, or even shock through a campaign will instantly make it more memorable.

For example, Hectare Agritech created Tudder (Tinder for cows) as a way of promoting their SellMyLivestock trading platform. The campaign was aimed at farming businesses, with over 42,000 UK farms signing up to the platform, but also gained a lot of coverage from mainstream media outlets due the innovation and humour involved.

4. Newsjacking

Newsjacking involves leveraging a trending news story to elevate a brand’s message. By commenting on live news, a brand then positions themselves as a leading authority on the subject. B2B newsjacking tends to be easier for finance and tech companies as these markets are constantly changing, meaning there’s always a story to comment on.

Being creative and looking at the news from a different angle can also bring about opportunities for other industries. For example, if the roads are dangerous due to bad weather, this would be a perfect opportunity for commentary from a haulage company. As long as there’s some correlation between the news story and a brand, newsjacking in any industry is possible and can be a quick way to spread brand awareness and generate backlinks.

The bottom line is that B2B PR can be boring, but it doesn’t have to be. Corporate press releases do help to spread brand awareness and generate backlinks, but creative B2B campaigns will generally have a longer lasting effect on buyers and will generate intriguing stories that position brands as leaders within their fields.

Written by Leah Wood, content and digital PR lead at digital marketing agency Blue Digital

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