B2B Tech Communications Success Is More Than Ink In Trades

virtual meeting
Virtual conference. Photo courtesy of Unsplash.

By Brianne Miller

We all learn that 1+1=2 early on. But over the past couple of years, I’ve amended that formula for business-to-business tech client success in communications. If you play your cards right, 1+1=5. How? Let me explain…

Cook once, eat twice.

This might be my favorite saying. I’ve never roasted one chicken – if you’re going to cook one, why not throw another in and have chicken salad the next day and a chicken sandwich the day after that? The same holds true for content creation, which is a cornerstone of any B2B communications plan. Writing a white paper? Use snippets for organic social media posts and copy for PPC ads. Producing an explainer video? Create a spokes-comic character you can use as a chatbot on your website or give them their own Twitter handle. Hosting a webinar? Edit after the fact for a quick 1-minute “best-of” reel for your YouTube channel. Everything you create should have multiple purposes.

Trade Shows aren’t going away, but we can be smarter about participation.

COVID fundamentally upended the trade show industry. Personally, I don’t think the virtual versions replace in-person experiences but being forced to participate in a new way did yield learnings and opportunities. Moving forward, we have to think about bringing the show floor experience to important contacts that don’t attend (for whatever reason, hopefully, not a global pandemic). Did something inspiring/funny/unexpected happen in the booth? Share those moments in a post-show e-blast. A panel or presentation goes exceptionally well? Send the recording to important sales leads with an offer for a personalized zoom Q&A. Lots of swag? How about gifting that with a card that says, “sorry we missed you.”

Trade media relations is a building block – not the end game.

Media relations is an art and not a science. When it works, it’s a Mona Lisa. When it doesn’t, it’s a 5-year old’s drawing of a spaceship – adorable but not necessarily useful.

Let me tell you a story. A while back, a client swore to me that if I could get him a specific hit in a specific trade publication, he’d be hitting all his goals with the attendant buzz. I worked for months to cultivate a relationship with this reporter and establish my client as a thought leader. Eventually, the reporter featured him prominently in the placement of his dreams! Then what happened? Nothing. He got a few notes from old college friends who saw his name. Important lesson learned? You can have the greatest media hit of all time, but if you don’t have supporting programs to move the overall strategy along with it – you’ve missed an opportunity and wasted time. Treat media relations as an important part of your overall plan, not as the plan itself.

Want to learn more?

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