Break down the PR, Content and Biz Dev siloes for better ROI
Flagship events like Tech. are great platforms for exhibitors to build business profile and generate the leads that feed the business pipeline for the next quarter and beyond. But to make the most of these events, tech companies need to integrate their PR, content and business development activities.
A lot of noise surrounds big events and as a technology supplier, you need to be able to stand out from the crowd. PR activity can capture the attention of a wide audience by crafting the right stories around your business to get you noticed by the companies and contacts that you want to reach.
But PR is still too often siloed in an organisation which means that the real impact of PR on the business becomes difficult to measure. This is where PR and Business Development should be working hand in hand to deliver better results. Biz dev teams operate at the coalface of finding new clients, generating leads and establishing meaningful business relationships through diligence, know-how and persistence.
It's important to differentiate your offering quickly from the competition so, for example, having media coverage in the right channels and publications will help demonstrate that you are an innovative company. Critically, media coverage also gives your biz dev teams a compelling reason to ring or email a prospect. The coverage becomes a conversation starter and it helps establish a credibility trail with key targets – whether that's potential customers, investors or recruits.
Beyond media coverage, you also need to have a wider content marketing strategy in place that feeds your biz dev teams with more valuable, highly targeted content to engage prospects.
Content can take many forms nowadays – from the familiar blogs and white papers to newer formats like podcasts and video. For a show like Tech. it's a good idea to have a blog with a strong point of view ready to post that reflects one of the big topics at the show, or some bespoke research to attract attention at your stand or as the basis for your presentation. Both of these pieces of content could also find their way into media coverage with PR help.
To be effective, the triumvirate of PR, content and business development should not just be activated sporadically around shows or big events. A robust marketing strategy will have a content calendar planned out across the year to feed a company's PR and business development activity.
To build a basic content calendar, keep in mind these points:
- Identify the key trade shows attended by your target audience – even those you are not attending. Don't assume they are all retail-led. Buyers of IT and tech solutions may well be attending more specialist conferences on Logistics or Cloud storage, for example.
- Layer over with key annual events for your market; these may be tech supplier events such as the annual Adobe Summit or the Google and Facebook developer conferences for example – or meaningful consumer dates like Black Friday or Christmas.
- This research should help you identify a ‘hook' for each calendar month. Then plot a piece of relevant content against each hook – be it a blog, video interview with a senior director, or a podcast discussing the issues. Develop the content and publish/post it in the run-up to the event.
- It's essential to have a distribution plan for content. Posting on your website is no guarantee it will be viewed. LinkedIn is a good platform for both posting and distribution. And database platforms such as Winmo allow you to target specific individuals with content on topics they have already shown an interest in.
- Devise a metric for success for your content – be it a benchmark for white paper downloads, page visits or podcast listens. If you are not seeing results, revise the approach and topics. And, of course, if a piece of content is finding favour then develop more content on the same theme.
At Propeller, we advise tech clients to join-up their PR, content creation and business development plans. By breaking down the siloes and taking an integrated comms approach, biz dev teams will have more fuel to engage with prospects, create meaningful conversations and ultimately convert more leads into new business.
Kieran Kent, Managing Director of Propeller PR and Content
Propeller is a four-star sponsor of Tech and is handling PR for the event