Rethinking B2B Earned Media Strategies
Over the past decade, social media channels have grown in popularity and are now used by everyone from individuals to small businesses to large global corporations to get their messages out. Though it took a little longer for B2B organizations to adopt social media strategies, many have and continue to look for ways to implement social and content strategies in marketing and communications efforts.
We recommend that our clients take advantage of social channels and content creation strategies as they are another effective tool to reach audiences. However, with all of the focus on social and digital efforts, organizations can lose sight of earned media, which also is still a great tool, especially for B2B companies. I suggest that organizations implement a multi-pronged approach using both traditional and earned media strategies, but leveraging created content in all channels. This approach could require you to rethink your current earned media strategy, which may not be a bad thing.
The media landscape has changed and the way businesses make decisions also has changed. Decision-makers are doing their own research to identify potential providers and vendors and organizations need to stand out among competitors. The only way to do that is by creating content that pushes the envelope on issues that are important to your audiences. You need to provide a unique point of view and approach to get noticed. Rather than drafting news releases touting your new product offerings or bylined articles about how your products help users do their jobs more efficiently, put your stake in the ground on topics surrounding more global issues and truly demonstrate your expertise.
Many B2B companies ask how they can get national media coverage. Creating content on issues that go broader than your product or service offerings will gain national media interest. B2B businesses touch so many issues – energy, water, food safety, aging infrastructure and cybersecurity, to name a few – and if you have a unique point-of-view or engaging and compelling commentary about these issues or other hot topics, media will listen.
You may also want to dabble in other types of content such as video or infographics. These can be great ways to tell your story in a different manner. These are not only great for social efforts but traditional media are also using these to make their stories more engaging as well as in their social channels.
In the same vein, trade media also like to receive guest columns and articles on more global issues and how your organization can help readers solve complex problems and navigate change. Again, these should be thought leader pieces with a unique point-of-view and are not focused on products or services. People like working with smart people. When you demonstrate your expertise, prospects will want to work with you.
The days of issuing news releases on new product offerings or pieces sharing about how your products can help a prospect are gone. Prospects are smarter and more resourceful and like to do business with organizations they trust. To build trust you have to demonstrate thought leadership on issues that resonate with your audiences and showcase your expertise, which means rethinking your earned media strategy.
Are you ready to rethink your earned media strategy? Tunheim will help.
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