Appearing in the media not only provides a great deal of exposure, it also brings with it credibility. While positive press is something entrepreneurs want, they are often surprised to find how varied and long-lived the benefits are. Here are some of the ways that media coverage drives business for B2Bs.
1. Story comes out, phone rings
This is what most business owners picture when they imagine the value of press coverage generated by a public relations firm. Certain major media placements can change a business overnight. However, many placements you might think would have an immediate impact on the bottom line—a feature in a regional daily paper, a story on a respected business blog, or even a segment on national TV at a low-viewer time of day—sometimes only move the needle slightly, if at all. Fortunately, this is just the beginning of the value a media placement produces.
2. Social media and email marketing get a boost
Nothing looks more impressive to your social media following or email subscribers than posting an article about your company, especially if there’s a recognizable photo of you or your product right there in the link preview. The beauty of this kind of content is that appears spontaneous. You may have hired a PR firm and spent months cultivating a story, but your followers won’t assume that you did. As far as they can tell, you’re just so darn fascinating, the media found you on their own.
3. Increased credibility on your website converts more leads
The single greatest value of press coverage is that it confers trust. Having a robust press page on your website and a press quote or two on your homepage gives confidence to visitors evaluating your business for the first time. When they see press coverage from recognizable outlets, visitors are assured that your brand follows through on what it promises to deliver.
4. Your sales team gains a powerful tool
The challenge of any salesperson is to overcome the obvious vested interest in everything they say. Press coverage gives your sales team an objective voice. By including quotes from your press coverage in sales materials and sending links or copies of articles to prospects, your sales team gains an advantage. It’s no longer just them saying that what you do is great—the media says so too.
5. Get ready for speaking engagements
Business leaders become “experts” by leveraging one platform into another. Once an article about you or your company runs, you can include it in applications to speak at conferences and events. Not only does the coverage convey that you’re an influential player in your space, it also gives gatekeepers to speaking opportunities an authentic taste of what you have to say.
Bonus: More press!
Media coverage has a tendency to snowball. While sending links to existing stories can turn off some outlets, others are happy to grab ideas from elsewhere in the press. For instance, broadcast outlets often do segments based on newspaper, magazine, or online articles. Look for ways to turn one story into another and start the cycle of value over again.