If you want to jump start your sales, then PR is a good starting point – here are four reasons why:
- Part of the buying journey
Increasingly, customers whether in the B2B or B2C industry, start their purchasing journey online. In fact, according to a report by Accenture 94% of B2B buyers report that they’ve conducted some sort of online research before buying, with the vast majority having done at least half their research first on a product online.
It’s no surprise then that most customers will pretty much know what they want to buy before they get in touch. Buyers will read media articles, blogs, social media posts, review videos, utilise case studies, conduct conversations online, source the opinion of professionals or peers etc.
It’s during this time companies want to make themselves aware through authentic PR and communications that build brand recognition and reputation as the experts in their field, and elicit the trust of their customers as the ‘go to’ experts and trusted supplier.
This is because the ongoing interaction with the prospect has been ‘earned’ through authentic and genuine sharing of content that’s of value to your customer which, in turn builds trust and credibility in your brand.
Compare, for example, “Did you see our banner ad promoting our new product ?” versus “Did you read our CEO interviewed in The Times last week discussing how we’re working to help companies like yours?” Which one would you take notice of and find more valuable?
Don’t sell your product, sell a story. Capture the customer’s interest, draw them into the sales funnel, and use ongoing PR to nurture that relationship – do this and you’ll be front of mind at all times.
2. Enhances credibility
Cast back to recent websites you’ve visited. Imagine those you’ve seen with rows of logos displayed, from the FT, BBC, Wall Street Journal, industry award wins, and 5 star ratings, videos and podcasts – all sharing expert insight and advice that’s meaningful to the customer.
Now compare against a website with none of these things. Which one is more credible in the eyes of your prospect?
PR can instantly enhance your organisation’s credibility and, once that’s gained, it’s much harder for competitors to muscle in.
3. Elicits trust
An organisation that is quiet on the news front, has no company updates on its website, no evidence of being featured or quoted in the press, no sharing of blogs, videos or content reports, is infrequently posting on social media – this all paints a very different picture to a competitor that’s regularly communicating and engaging with its customers.
A company that appears as a regular guest on a podcast, is quoted on major news platforms, showcases awards it has won or events it’s attending, or shares news on its latest products – that’s a much more reassuring portrayal to a prospect that your company is thriving and leading the way.
It displays innovation and expertise which suggests quality and leadership.
A brand that is associated with these things elicits trust and in the minds of the prospect, minimises some of the risk of a purchase, while familiarity in a brand brings reassurance and comfort, which people are often willing to pay more for.
4. Helps open doors
As mentioned above, positive brand awareness and familiarity has been shown to make the difference between your company being chosen over the competition. That’s the power of consistent public relations, which keeps your brand top of mind above the competition. If the prospect recognises your company brand and has recently read about it from a credible source or news platform, that’s a much warmer lead for your sales team than having to cold call a customer from an unknown organisation.
Better still, use PR to drive customer action. Ensure your PR communications and campaigns drive action with backlinks to a dedicated landing page or combined with content marketing such as a whitepaper, infographic, survey results all funnelling customers back to a lead-generation form. Great PR captures customers’ attention and pulls them into the ‘funnel,’ and then continuously nurtures and grows those relationships so when they’re ready to buy, your company is the obvious choice.