Over the past 10 years, B2B technology companies have increasingly adopted an inbound marketing approach, the process of digitally guiding potential customers to your company.
By definition, it’s easy to infer that inbound marketing is driven by owned content and paid ads. And while that’s a true assumption, earned media acts as an accelerant in the inbound process. So if you’ve historically siloed your tech PR firm from your inbound team - this post is for you.
Off-site SEO and Domain Authority
71% of B2B consumers start their buying process with online search. For this reason, you probably already have SEO baked into your inbound marketing strategy, but are you accounting for earned media’s ability to boost keyword rankings and your site’s domain authority?
If a high-value publication includes a backlink to your website in an article, search engines automatically assume that the media outlet has confirmed your site’s trustworthiness and domain authority, thus helping your site rank higher. Gaining these backlinks is not easy though. That’s where a multi-pronged PR strategy comes in.
A steady drumbeat of keyword-rich industry headlines and backlinks will increase your SEO, ultimately driving higher volumes of referral traffic to your site.
Qualified Website Referrals
In 2019, Alloy compiled the tech PR industry’s first set of data about the impact of media relations on the sales cycle. This research proved that the most qualified website traffic often comes from news outlets.
In fact, earned media coverage vastly outperforms paid search in website engagement, with a 45% higher goal completion rate. Even press releases generate a 12% higher goal completion rate than any other website traffic source.
Down-Funnel Conversions & Sales Enablement
While media relations can have a tremendous benefit on the top of your funnel, its impact doesn’t stop there.
According to HubSpot, 62% of B2B buyers say they make a purchase decision based solely on digital content, and that content includes - yep, you guessed it - media placements, press releases, and press articles syndicated on thought leaders’ social channels.
In fact, this year Alloy surveyed CIOs and CTOs, finding that their #2 most preferred method for searching for and purchasing new SaaS products was media articles. Moreover, our aforementioned 2019 survey of IT sales leaders found that 93% of sales representatives report regularly using media coverage in communications with prospects. Simply put, press is a critical component of nurturing prospects through the latter phases of their buyer journey to complete the inbound process.
We’ve established that media relations is critical to a successful inbound marketing strategy, but your executives will still likely say “prove it.” The first step is selecting a data-driven tech PR agency that has strong measurement capabilities. Ask to see redacted sample reports in the agency search process, and inquire if they solely rely on PR measurement software (like Trendkite) or whether they go deeper to connect the dots between press hits, Google Analytics, marketing automation software, and top-line results
From there, ensure the agency’s reporting is capable of detailing qualified leads that come from PR efforts, the cost to acquire those leads, and the lifetime value of those customers. For example, did that feature story result in a spike in website traffic from visitors that then requested a demo?
Six years ago, Alloy was the first tech PR firm to integrate inbound marketing and lead generation into our core capabilities and proprietary analytics reports. Learn more about how to align public relations with quantifiable sales and marketing goals by downloading our whitepaper, Inbound Marketing: The Missing Link in ROI-Driven PR.