B2B PR constantly changes and evolves from year to year -- so it’s no surprise that on the brink of 2017 we find ourselves faced with new B2B PR trends that will shape our content and strategies for the upcoming year.
A lot happened in 2016 in and out of the B2B PR sector. From the ever-constant flow of new content, to social media changes and developments -- even considering the tense political race and resulting changes. These PR tactics and trends are a great recipe to create stellar content, generate more B2B leads, and succeed in your B2B PR campaigns. So what are some up and coming B2B PR trends for 2017?
The Biggest B2B PR Trends That You Won’t Want to Miss
1. Influencer Marketing Evolves
This outgrowth from social media doesn’t surprise us -- after all, other people’s opinions matter and are a powerful PR tactic you want to employ.
Until now we’ve seen only the early stages of influencer marketing as a B2B PR trend and this trend is bound to mature. It will be even more important for companies to do their homework, and find the right influencers -- whether it’s bloggers, vloggers, or social media powerhouses.
If you want to find influencers that fit your industry, check out Buzzsumo, which allows you to filter through influencers by location, reach, engagement, and authority. In addition, Traackr is another great software platform that helps you to plan, implement, and measure influencer marketing.
Recommended Reading: Why The Best B2B PR Campaigns Use Influencer Marketing
2. Measurement Grows in Importance
It’s no longer enough to simply get a pretty media placement, or measure impressions. Companies need to see the impact of PR on their business -- otherwise why bother with it?
Don't be mesmerized by the alphabet soup of analytics such as ROI, KPI and CTR. Determine what is key for your business. The growth of technology has given PR a leg up in the measurement realm, allowing us to prove our worth -- showing numbers for reach, engagement, leads and ROI.
Analytics programs have become more customizable through the years -- allowing you to pinoint what you need to measure.
3. Contributor Articles Grow in Prevalence
The reporter ranks will continue to shrink, leaving behind fewer and fewer reporters to pitch to. While that makes pitching tougher, it opens up more opportunities for contributed articles.
Our agency spends roughly half its time pitching, placing, and ghostwriting byline articles. With a byline article, you can craft a story your way -- not as a reporter or editor sees it. Plus you get the visibility and credibility chops associated with a published article.
When you do pitch an article to reporters, know that they will may be more selective in the articles they publish. Because of the propagation of fake news stories over the past year, many news outlets are on high alert, and under a lot of pressure to verify all details. They may even require you to provide third party research to back up your statements.
4. Earned, Owned, Social, and Paid Media Will Grow In Importance
The importance of all four of these main channels will only continue to grow throughout 2017. Concentrate your attention equally on each of these content areas throughout the coming year. They can be used individually, or in conjunction with each other.
For instance, earned media can be a great way to gauge your content’s value before investing further effort into it. Send out several forms of content to understand what resonates with your audience -- and more importantly, what content is worth investing more for paid media.
Paid media can be used to link back to your owned media, and generate more B2B leads. For instance, you could link a sponsored post on social media to a landing page for your recent ebook or white paper.
5. Video Rises in the Ranks
We live in an increasingly visual world, where the use of video marketing has become more imperative than ever. With the push of a few buttons on several social networks, live video has become incredibly easy to implement.
If you have not yet made this part of your social strategy, 2017 will be the year to do it.
Recommended Reading: How to Liven Up Your B2B Social Media with Facebook Live
SEO and PR departments have maintained a respectful distance over the years -- but that gap is due to be bridged in the coming year. Expect to see SEO and PR folks working more closely together, and even overlapping roles. Why is this? Well, let’s consider how these two departments function to see how they overlap.
On one hand, you need high-quality B2B content that inspires confidence and builds brand awareness (enter PR). On the other hand, you need to get as many eyes on that content as possible, especially from organic search results (enter SEO). If you join these two departments, you inevitably create a stronger team.
For instance, PR can be used to optimize links in earned coverage such as press releases or non-paid stories, aiding SEO. PR can also use SEO knowledge to share owned content and ensure that it is amplified properly with SEO.
Recommended Reading: 5 Easy SEO Tips Guaranteed to Boost Your B2B PR
7. More Emphasis on Trade Publications
Many B2B companies have one goal in mind for their PR: to be featured in a high profile business publication. While such recognition of course can be helpful, don't forget the importannce of trade publications. Trade publications, unlike a general business publication, can be extremely targeted. True, they may lack some of the cachet of major business media but you are sure to reach professionals in your industry.
Because of the Internet's bounty, many trade publications can offer additional features that reinvigorate trade publications, including blogs, forums, and downloadable content.
For example, MediaPost.com is an integrated publishing and content company that is responsible for several media outlets and industry-specific newsletters and blogs. Its online media includes industry events, awards, research briefs, and white papers.
Information Week is another media outlet that caters to specific niches of the business technology community -- including security, data management, and infrastructure. This niche publication includes some awesome additional online features, like live events, white papers, reports, videos, and slide shows.
Recommended Reading: How to Land Media Coverage for Your B2B
A Few Points To Keep In Mind...
- Use influencer marketing to establish your brand's credibility
- Leverage video in your digital marketing to boost its effectiveness
- Merge your SEO and PR departments to get the most out of your content
- Don't underestimate the power of being mentioned in trade publications