What is B2B in PR?
In a nutshell, business-to-business (B2B) PR is a specialism within PR that helps organisations sell their products and services to other organisations, not members of the general public.
Like business-to-consumer (B2C) PR, the primary purpose is to boost visibility, raise awareness and increase credibility for a particular product or service.
These combine to help share a positive message and make those all-important connections – which we hope to convert into paying customers.
Let’s dive into what B2B involves and how best to use it.
Why does your tech company need PR now?
Right now, every business is fighting for a share of the attention. Each minute, new companies are popping up and vying for their slice of the action.
That’s why PR is important. Especially for a tech company. Right, this second.
In March 2021, the ONS revealed that in the UK, on average, a new tech business was launched every half an hour.
If we consider how much innovation and evolution has happened in the past 12 months since that report, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the average had become shorter.
That’s why PR for a tech company is significant.
To cut through the noise and make an impact within the fast-paced tech industry, it’s key to get the right messaging out to the most essential stakeholders in the field.
Whilst on the surface, PR might just be media relations or communications (read more on the difference between PR and communications), it is, in fact, much more complex than that.
Don’t worry; we’re here to break down the intricacies, so you don’t have to.
What does a tech-focused PR company do?
Blogging is important.
A chief reason every company needs a blog is to increase its visibility. Put simply, the more blog content you create, the more opportunities you’ll have to show up in search engines and drive organic traffic to your website. Blogs provide the perfect platform to strengthen your SEO strategy.
Technology companies should be doing precisely the same.
White papers might be an essential part of your messaging.
If you have enough to say on a particular subject with enough evidence to back it up and present it formally and comprehensively.
Detailed stats and research could be extracted from the white paper, which can be transformed into the news for the press.
For tech companies, they are a handy resource that helps to explain a particular topic in-depth.
And whilst they might take a long time to go from ideation to completion, they are worth their weight in gold when it comes to valuable content.
Infographics are a vital asset for any business’ arsenal, not least for tech companies.
For the modern-day consumer, even if they operate within the B2B space, infographics offer a different perspective to the content.
They can help the audience digest information better and gain a clearer understanding of a topic.
It might include results from a recent survey or advice for a particular audience (or something else entirely), but it’s a good asset whatever it is.
Presenting something in a visually-compelling way helps attract attention.
Of course, these can also be used in conjunction with public relations to help increase the chances of gaining media coverage.
Now, we’re moving on to the bread and butter of B2B tech PR. Well, every form of PR really – news releases.
We’ve mentioned it briefly in this blog already but sharing news stories with the press is a way to increase visibility and boost credibility.
This news, typically in the form of a press release, could be recent technology innovation, an update on the company’s journey, a new addition to the team or, like mentioned above, some insights from an infographic or white paper.
Whatever it is, it’s important to be speaking to the broader public, more specifically the right audiences, that supports any existing marketing strategies and business goals.
These press releases can be expertly filled with key messages (be careful not to make it a sales pitch) to help align the brand in the eyes of the reader.
Press interviews and events
Off the back of this pitching, the press might be interested in getting spokespeople and thought leaders to be part of interviews and events.
Not only will press interviews count as media coverage, but it also helps bring content to audiences in a different – interactive – way.
Videos add a lot more value than written content, and you’ll even be able to share this online yourself.
They are typically a more accessible and more natural way of talking about any services, the business success (and any challenges if appropriate) without the risk of coming across as too salesy.
As for events, they are a great way of gaining exposure – hopefully now as we move away from virtual events – as they bring you in direct contact with potential customers.
Usually, these include panels, networking groups, fireside chats and an opportunity to showcase any technologies with those who share the same passion.
Being present and becoming an active member of the industry can help create your well-earned place in the market.
A quick chat with someone, whether it’s press, a fellow member of the tech space or a potential customer, can be a lead generation activity, add value or even perhaps secure investment.
The possibilities are endless. So get yourself out into the world and create your legacy.
Media training will give you a good foundation when embarking on your journey with the media. This might be appearing on podcasts, speaking to a journalist for an article, or even a broadcast interview.
Regardless of the activity, it’s essential to have an awareness of what you can achieve from this exchange.
This level of training would be more beneficial coming from a PR firm, as PR professionals are well-versed in the media, knowing what they demand precisely, and can inform you of how to make the most of your time.
PR firms can also help to increase confidence and help you get a deep understanding of what makes the media really tick.
You might think that you’re an expert in speaking, but when presented with an interview, it’s expected that people freeze, and all strategy is out of the window.
You can really make the most of these opportunities with a bit of practice.
Does it differ by the marketplace?
The short answer is yes.
Just like how every brand of a consumer audience is different from the rest.
But it’s good to understand the specific nuances everyday throughout the different marketplaces so that tailored technology PR campaigns can help alleviate a brand message.
Fintech dominates a considerable part of the technology space right now, with more and more organisations are stepping into the spotlight every day.
We think it’s because today’s consumers are getting increasingly more interested in their personal finances, and companies are getting involved with this trend.
Most fintech – perhaps all of the technology companies that are launched nowadays – operate within the Tech For Good category and therefore have a specific message to share.
For this, it’s vital to have a specific public relations strategy that focuses on B2B tech PR, which helps create a huge impact.
Perhaps the most significant element that differs is the audience. Therefore the tone of voice and approach will need to be adapted to appeal to them specifically.
You can utilise various tools to help find the right balance – one of them might be instructing a PR agency – but equally, it needs to have complete business continuity with internal communications.
Edutech is another topic of companies that are appearing on our radars.
Whilst education in the past might have been considered ‘traditional’, it’s certainly making up for it now.
It might have been the pandemic that has initiated a kick-start for edutech organisations, but it’s on an upward trajectory that will continue in the future.
The internet has helped accelerate access to education worldwide, helping bring meaningful learning, data and research to those who need it.
Combining this with digital transformation has helped it form its very own subtopic within tech.
This is probably one of the elements of today’s technology companies that are relatively unknown.
HealthTech is the broader term that covers any technology or offering within the consumer care, medical care, or broader healthcare system that has been enabled or revolutionised by modern computing and/or engineering.
That being said, it’s one that a large majority of us will come across in our lives, with healthcare being a necessity – either for ourselves, a spouse or a family member.
Like other sectors, the health industry has too had to have its own technology transformation.
And, similar to the other two we mentioned, it needs its own specific public relations and content marketing with a strong technology PR focus.
Where does B2B PR fit in versus B2C PR?
As we mentioned initially, B2B technology PR is similar to B2C and has the same approach. The only difference is it’s targeted towards a different audience, with other goals.
Whilst B2C is appealing to the end-user consumer, highlighting the benefits of a particular product/service, B2B PR activity helps get on the radar of influential people who will help the organisation be successful.
The two disciplines shouldn’t be an either/or situation for any business. They need to be used in tandem, with their own tailored strategies to appeal to the appropriate markets.
What should you expect from your B2B Public Relations company?
First, it’s worth sourcing a PR agency with a focus and understanding on technology PR and who can evidence past successful PR campaigns.
You should look for a public relations agency with a passion for B2B technology PR, maybe with a track record in working with scale-ups and a dedicated team who demonstrates success.
They also need to know the right people within the industry who can create and deliver engaging campaigns for your customers. That could include the press, investors and any other influential individuals.
Why is it worth outsourcing your PR?
Just like we say in this blog, we outline the purpose of PR campaigns that can support any other existing marketing strategy.
We’re going to be biased, but we believe it’s beneficial to outsource to others who can commit dedicated time to get the results rather than trying to juggle everything yourself.
Especially if you’re a small business, public relations is usually at the bottom of the list.
By outsourcing, activity can be happening in the background, and you can feel safe knowing that you’ll see the results.
Hopefully, you can see the benefits of B2B technology PR and understand how it can support other marketing strategies to raise brand awareness and deliver targeted messages to existing and prospective clients.