This is probably the No. 1 reason companies come to RGA Public Relations. The product offering may be brand new or it may be one that was once popular but has been forgotten by many in the industry or is completely unknown to new market entrants.
This problem is easy to identify. If your prospects are not requesting information about your product offering or if you are not receiving requests for proposals (RFPs), it means they don’t know you’re out there or don’t consider what you are offering a solution.
Either way, you need to step up your strategic communications game.
You need to approach this problem from every possible direction, including:
Publish valuable educational content like articles, white papers, and videos that highlight the problem your solution addresses. This is the first step because it forces our client to focus on the real problem they are trying to solve and write content that will drive their ideal buyer through their buyer’s journey. The focus of this material is on helping not selling, which is why it sells.
Pitch your solution to reporters at industry publications and general business outlets. In every industry, there are editors, reporters and publications that have earned the trust of the people you want to work with. By building relationships with these influencers, we’ll win a direct path to your buyers. Earned media exposure builds credibility. We suggest at least one and preferably two press releases each month.
Engage target audiences on platforms they use via news updates, insights, and thought leadership content. Everything you do needs to have a social media component to ensure you reach the largest possible audience. You don’t have to spend money to boost every post, but you need a constant stream of information going out through these channels.
Seek opportunities to present at industry conferences, seminars, and trade shows attended by your ideal customers. If you can’t get speaking slots, make them with podcasts and webinars. People do business with people they trust. They can’t trust you if they don’t know you. Getting in front of your audience is the first step in that process.
Host educational webinars highlighting challenges your offering solves. A mix of thought leadership and product capability information attracts interest. Most webinar providers do this wrong, IMO. Just like a good white paper, there is a path you need to go down to get attention, build trust, then sell. Doing it the wrong way is obvious when viewers start dropping out of your webinar.
Connect with industry experts, analysts, and practitioners respected by your target market. In most industries, this is the trade press, but there are podcast producers, bloggers and others that can give you credibility. Leverage voices they already trust.
Have sales representatives personally engage high-potential customers, emphasizing value propositions through consultative discovery discussions. Before they pick up the phone or get on a plane, they need to really understand the prospect’s problem and how your offering alleviates that pain. This means you have to treat your sales team like a target public for your PR efforts and give them the information they need to approach the market as experts.
Get early adopters to actively promote your solution via referrals, reviews, case studies, and references to build organic word-of-mouth. In my mind, this is the important 4th story quadrant (origin stories, stories about what you do, stories about your past successes and stories others tell about your past successes). The problem is it’s hard to get a company to endorse another firm, so you have to approach this problem from a different direction. We can show you how.
Run targeted online and offline ads tailored to your specific buyer personas and positioned around their pain points. PR, content marketing, social media, none of these removes the need to partner with the trade press. It’s an important part of building industry credibility. Just choose your partners wisely.
The key is an omni-channel strategy mixing credibility-building content and personal outreach. You don’t have to do them all, but the more you can do, the fast you’ll see results.
How you put the pieces together depends upon your budget and how much time you have to get the job done. You’ll know when it’s done when your sales team starts getting calls for information about your offering and RFPs start coming in.
We help our clients educate on problems, demonstrate expertise, promote customer success stories, and stay laser-focused on conveying value and relevance to their prospects. We can work on a project basis, a set monthly fee or a true retainer.
Schedule a call with me to learn more.