February 26, 2021
As PR professionals, we are constantly working to get our clients in the conversation – from securing press opportunities and speaking slots to announcing new product launches and strategizing social media programs. The goal of all of this, of course, is to get in front of decision-makers that will be moved enough to take out their wallets – but it’s challenging to directly link PR results to sales, or even to leads. Every once in a while, I get a call or email from someone that read an article about a health IT client and wants to discuss purchasing their technology, but it’s a rare (yet oddly satisfying) occurrence.
That said, just because we can’t say “30 PR hits equal three new business leads” does not mean that PR doesn’t have immense value in driving leads and ultimately shortening the sales cycle. Here are three ways to use PR to support your lead generation initiatives:
- Align big picture messaging
In order for PR to be “worth its salt” it must tie into broader marketing and sales goals. For example, if a company is slated to launch a new product, the PR efforts leading up to (and extending beyond) the launch date should establish the market needs the new solution will solve. If a company wants to enter a new vertical or geographic territory, PR can lay a solid foundation by building up the company’s profile to increase recognition and credibility, priming the market and bringing in more leads.
In some ways, PR can act as a teaser trailer that whets the market’s appetite for what the company is offering. Closely syncing all PR efforts — from media and analyst relations to speaking and award strategies, social media, news, and more – with bigger picture plans and goals is an important and powerful way to help generate interest and leads.
- Support SEO
Media placements can boost SEO results so when potential buyers start searching online, your company comes in at the top of the list. To accomplish this, first do everything possible to load media placements with SEO keywords. This is most doable with a bylined article: get clear on priority SEO key words and ensure they are used strategically in the piece. Be sure your SEO terms don’t come off as self-promotional or “marketing speak” as that style of writing typically goes against publication guidelines and will most likely be removed in editorial reviews.
SEO also gets a bump any time an article or page links back to the company’s website. If working with a reporter, be sure to share the website for potential inclusion; if writing a byline, link back to the site as much as appropriate. Bonus points: The more domain authority a website has, the more impact it will have on SEO – so strategize media placements in outlets with big clout to pack the most punch and help customers find your company amid the online search noise.
- Highlight customer successes
Most people know when someone’s trying to sell them something – whether it’s a telemarketer, an advertisement or social media – and are often extra skeptical about whatever the “seller” says. On the other hand, third-party validation holds immense power in demonstrating the value of a product or business. Customers often have especially compelling testimonials about their real-world experiences working with a company or using a piece of technology.
Case studies are phenomenal PR tools that package up and elevate success stories and highlight key results and metrics that potential buyers want to replicate at their organizations. Whether the case study gets featured on a company’s website, in a media outlet, or is presented at an industry conference, validation from real users goes a long way in generating buzz, increasing credibility, and attracting sales leads. When leveraged strategically, customers can be big brand champions and key components of marketing and sales initiatives.
If you’re looking to use PR to generate more sales leads, write me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s dig into your sales and marketing goals and see how we can boost your efforts by weaving PR into the mix. And don’t forget to follow Aria Marketing on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.