I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that B2B tech is growing rapidly and creating huge changes within the work place year after year.
VoIP, IoT (internet of things), and AI and Machine Learning are just a few technologies of the B2B tech pie that companies are continually eating up.
The opportunity for growth and profit within this industry means two things:
1. New companies are cropping up all the time
2. The market is becoming increasingly saturated
Therefore, looking into hiring a marketing specialist to build up your brand could give you an edge on your competitors. That being said, with so many PR companies claiming to have all the answers, it’s hard to know who to go with.
Here are the five things you should look for during your hunt for a B2B tech PR firm:
1. Do they have the tools to get you featured in high-authority industry publications?
Whoever you go with, you want to ensure they have established meaningful relationships with influencers in the media. However, this doesn’t mean a friendship with any old journalistic rag. These relationships need to be with well-respected journalists, reporters and bloggers within your industry.
1. You want to reach your target audience
2. Your reputation, not to mention your website’s SEO, could suffer if you’re only featured on low authority sites.
Furthermore, B2B tech is sometimes not considered as interesting as B2C possibly is. Therefore, you want your provider to be highly skilled when it comes to the art of pitching to journalists. Can they find the ‘hook’ that draws publications in? Can they make pitches that are both newsworthy and impactful? These are the questions you need to ask while making your decision.
2. Do they have the digital capabilities required?
We live in a digital age. Yes, we know that is a tired cliche but it’s also true.
With the digital world expanding, it is expected that your chosen provider offers a comprehensive range of PR and digital tools. If not, their credentials are questionable at best.
Here are some of the digital marketing practices you should demand:
1. SEO – Search Engine Optimization is a prerequisite for business success in 2019 (and the future, too!) It’s helpful to have an SEO-expert on hand to help you optimize your site’s content. Furthermore, in house SEO expertise is essential to join the dots between PR and SEO. Taking SEO seriously will make your site more attractive to Google and other search engines’ algorithms, enabling you to shoot up the rankings.
2. Social Media Management – Every man and his dog uses social media and it’s steadily becoming the main destination for news consumption. Therefore, it’s vital that your B2B business finds someone who has a proven track record on social media.
3. High-value content – Both of the two above are redundant without great content underpinning them. You need to ensure that they’re able to offer an extensive variety of high-value content. This could include (but not limited too): blogging, long-form evergreen guides, white papers, and case studies. Ask for examples of previous content success stories and what content strategy they would provide for you.
3. Can they offer multimedia content?
As we briefly touched on, great content is the cornerstone of a winning digital marketing strategy.
However, the different types of content mentioned above are just the tip of ‘digital content’ marketing. Written content is important to educate and inspire your target audience. You’re also looking for someone who can provide your business with multimedia content, too.
87% of marketers use video content in their marketing strategy. And this is before we get into the increasing number of PR agencies getting their clients guest appearances on influential industry podcasts.
To stay ahead of the curve, it’s recommended that whoever you choose can produce ALL categories of content.
4. Do they completely understand your business?
B2B tech PR is slap bang in the middle of two subcategories of PR:
It’s important that they not only have a broad knowledge of all things tech, but they also have a clear grasp on the trends and pressures that encompass the B2B market.
In addition to understanding these industries, do they understand your product? They need to know your company inside out from the product and services you offer to how you it directly benefits the business world.
5. Will they be passionate about your business in the long-term?
This is perhaps nearly as important as being knowledgeable about B2B and tech PR. You need to go with someone who is enthused about your business and are in it for the long-haul.
Of course, everyone is enthusiastic when they’re trying to sign you up as a client. However, the real success stories will come through long-lasting passion. Ask yourself, will those press releases still sparkle and overflow with excitement after 6 months? What about a year? What about 5 years?!
A passion for technology is expected. However, a sustained enthusiasm in your business over the long-term is hard to come across. This point is a hard one to pick up on if you’re in the market for your first PR provider. However, it’s the one you should continue to ask throughout your partnership.
And one final food for thought…
There isn’t just one company on the market – you have options!
It’s paramount you research prospective agencies business culture, values, history and their processes, when deciding whether they’re someone you’d like to work with.
Therefore it’s vital to seek out a B2B tech PR agency with experience and a working knowledge of both of these sub categories and their relationship with PR.