As every business leader knows, it’s tough to make a sale if a customer has never heard of your business and finds next to nothing about you when they search online. The more technical or expensive your offering is, the more true this becomes.
That’s why, when it comes to generating the interest and brand awareness that helps new customers enter the proverbial sales funnel, PR is worth its weight in gold. While PR can’t guarantee sales, it does start interested parties down the path toward becoming customers. PR is the top level of the sales funnel, bringing potential customers closer to your brand by creating opportunities to become informed and, ultimately, invested.
Using PR to Inform Your Audience
Gone are the days when a customer’s purchase decision was driven solely by information disclosed by a salesperson. Today’s customers are more informed than ever and looking for informational resources — not sales pitches.
As a result, content has become more important than ever when looking to attract customers who are likely researching ahead of a purchase decision. Blog posts, interviews, social media, videos, thought leadership, podcasts, and other assets are essential to sharing your organization’s story and expertise. PR creates new content assets and leverages existing content to create brand awareness and expand your reach - influencing to target potential customers.
Not only does PR have the ability to reach new audiences through targeted media coverage, but PR-driven content has the power to motivate people to seek out additional information. Let’s say an individual is scanning through their most-trusted media outlet when they stumble upon an article featuring your company or unique industry perspective from your leadership. If they travel to your website to learn more, they wouldn’t yet qualify as a lead, but this individual has already found something compelling about your brand is is now aware of what you offer. That makes them a prime candidate to move down the sales funnel with tactics like email collection and remarketing.
Beyond Top of the Funnel
PR doesn’t stop at the top of the funnel, though. PR-driven content has the ability to impact your business throughout the sales process. A thought leadership piece on industry trends can inspire confidence in your organization’s leadership team. Providing a list of best practices during the trial phase of the funnel may help a customer better grasp the benefits of your product, while customer success stories and case studies allow interested parties to see how you’ve solved problems similar to their own. Any of these pieces of content can help lead a potential customer to commit to a full purchase.
Customers Are Doing Their Homework: Make Sure You’re Part of the Assignment
With so many easily-accessible resources available today, very few customers will travel directly from awareness to conversion without doing their homework. A solid PR strategy that takes informative content and disperses it using relevant media outlets — the places potential customers are likely researching ahead of a purchase decision — can help to lead towards the ultimate goal: sales.
Even better: once you’ve made the sale, you have the opportunity to build satisfied customers into brand advocates. Oftentimes, these brand advocates will happily supply testimonials, case studies, and other content to feed your PR efforts. Who knows — their success story may be just the piece to pull your next potential customer into the funnel!
About the Author
Drew Tharp is an Account Executive at BLASTmedia, a national B2B technology PR agency specializing in media relations, content creation and thought leadership.
These articles have been curated by our friends at BLASTmedia, a national PR agency focusing on media relations for B2B technology companies.