Of all the tools in a marketer’s arsenal, public relations can be one of the most effective for generating leads. Unlike advertising, PR is “earned,” and therefore, more credible. Being interviewed and vetted by a reporter, then included in an article, simply is more believable than a paid ad.
Using PR as a lead generation tool also makes good business sense because it’s cost-effective.
Here are some ways to generate leads using PR:
- Target your efforts. Just as you develop a list of prospects for direct marketing, be very targeted with your PR efforts. Position your PR efforts as narrowly as possible towards the publications that this audience reads.
- Use peer pressure. Articles that feature how companies have benefitted from working with your company or using your product will influence others with similar needs.
- Offer free advice. Develop white papers, thought leadership briefs and articles that give away good advice about the topics with which prospects struggle. This will position your company and executives as thought leaders and experts.
- Be findable. Search optimize news releases and articles so prospects can easily find your company. Use keywords that prospects are using to search for solutions. Develop special URLs for research, infographics and white papers.
- Seek speaking opportunities. Look for venues to discuss industry issues and impart advice that helps attendees work smarter. These events often are covered by industry reporters and add to your reputation as an expert.
Finally, be consistent. Using PR for lead generation is a cumulative process. It takes time to establish yourself as an expert and to build up a portfolio of articles and speaking engagements.