If a tree falls in the woods and there’s no one to hear, does it make a sound? Who cares! When you are marketing a product or service, the point is to get your message heard. That means establishing a plan for content promotion in your B2B PR strategy. The old days of blasting out a press release to everyone in creation are gone. And as valuable as content marketing can be, few companies can rely solely on an inbound strategy. A good rule of thumb is that for every hour you spent creating content, you’ll need to spend another hour promoting it. Buzzstream’s Paul May describes good promotion as “intelligent, relationship-driven engagement with influential people.” Following is a content promotion checklist to help you get press coverage and reach new prospects:
- Set Goals. The first step is to figure out the end game. Are you trying to introduce a new product to a B2B market? Engage prospects to sign up for a demo? Fend off a competitor? Demonstrate thought leadership? It’s a lot easier to target your efforts when you know what you want to achieve. Plus, you can measure your results to determine which methods work and refine your ongoing content promotion efficiency.
- Develop Content that Delivers: The best way to get ink is to align your news or content with your prospects’ needs. Put yourself in the readers’ place — what would you like to see in order to take the desired action? Don’t just develop a promotional puff piece; today’s B2B customers want educational content that helps them solve a problem. Be that source, and you will start out on the right foot with your prospective customer. And remember to develop multiple versions of each piece tailored for individual outlets, from B2B trade publications to LinkedIn communities.
- Start with What You Know: The best place to start marketing your product or service is in the world where you live. That means publications that you and your customers read, websites that you visit, LinkedIn communities where you are a member, and more. Figure out what types of content that these communities accept, and pitch the editor on developing a custom byline, infographic, or opinion piece. If you can post a piece directly, go to it. Don’t forget your own list — social media scheduling tool Buffer finds that the content it shares to its own email list gets the most traction.
- Branch Out to Likely Audiences: Build your potential audience by finding new, relevant communities. Look everywhere — Twitter, Facebook, Quora — there are any number of worlds where your prospective customer is connecting, sharing, and looking for information. You will certainly do a bunch of this research manually, but there are some tools that can help the process. Check out Socedo for finding new Twitter followers, Buzzstream for prospecting new media outlets, and Buzzsumo for tracking influencers by topic or key word. Think you’ve found everyone? Think again — you’ll be surprised how much time you can spend simply finding the right communities.
- Ask Others to Share: If you have something insightful and helpful, expand your universe by offering it to others to share. Work with partners to create a version that they can use with their communities. Reach out to analysts and other influencers in your community and ask them to point their followers to your content or blog post. You can even ask your customers to share it with their peers. Just be clear that it’s ok for them to say no — you only want them to share if there is something in it for them. And when the tables are turned, offer to share their content as well. You might even want to establish an ongoing content promotion relationship to boost reach for all parties.
You’ve invested the time to create great content — invest in the resources you need to make sure your target audience reads it.