In Part One, we looked at B2B PR’s identity crisis caused by the rise of Social Media, free press release distribution and corporate short-termism due to the recession. In fact all is not as bad as it seems, PR is reinventing itself as the creator of online brand discussions and the guardian of content-creation, moving away from commoditised roles such as unquestioning information distribution (a role which even the world’s largest music and print moguls are discovering how to monetise).
If content creation and stewardship are the services required, then Social Media is B2B PR’s best friend. Here are Five reasons Content is more valuable than ever today;
- Sales Teams need stories
Selling on features was always tough. Features without clear benefits are irrelevant in this market. Benefits need narratives. Who cares if your car has traction control – until it saves your family’s life in a blizzard, then, all your friends want it.
- Customers need proof points
Budgets these days do not allow customers to ‘take a punt’ on technology working. Real examples of the success of others, not BS, is what counts. Almost all of Positive Marketing’s new business is won via referrals. Writing up success, is seldom straightforward, as any PR professional knows, often this requires negotiation between two sets of communications professionals. Once approved properly though, this content is tailor-made for Social Media.
- Content requires writing
Writing is, or used to be, a core skill of PR professionals (despite the dyslexic juniors we have all witnessed hiding in large agencies). Online writing requires even more precision and brevity. Once it may have been acceptable for amateurs to ‘knock up’ content for brochures. Online, comparison to the competition is a click away. This requires professional writing.
- Even Microblogs need feeding
Some believe Facebook updates and Tweets are the new newsletters. This is just not true; it is difficult to see how 140 Characters (minus a shortened URL) replaces in-depth explanations of customer proof points, product descriptions or targeted offers. ‘Feeding the best’ of today’s Real Time brand monitoring presents a challenge tailor-made for switched-on PRs.
- You pay for it any way
Search Engine Optimization may attract eyeballs, but what happens when the attached brains land on your page? Satisfying them requires persuasive, compelling content. A Home Run for PR. Why not try reducing your SEO costs by 25% and invest that budget in a great writer? Your SEO will benefit from more sticky content and customers will be more engaged with your brand for longer.
In the concluding blog of ‘Commodity or Gold Dust?’ we will look at how to exploit the new gold rush for content with examples of creative content which work today. If these Five Reasons resonate, positively OR negatively with you, please feel free to leave a comment. If you want to learn more about how Positive Marketing is helping more and more B2B marketing teams to deploy effective Content, email our Chief Goldminer at email@example.com.