B2B companies that create content or research reports to drive awareness of their brand, products or services, or even traffic and leads, need to remember social media and their own websites in the mix. A press release in not enough. I always try to link studies back to their original sources, and I would rather link to the company’s website than a press release on another site. This happened with a recent study about the Fortune 500 and their promotion of their social media profiles on their websites (read Forbes articles here).
I wanted to link to the study on the company’s website or blog (or even news page), but it is nowhere to be found. This could just be a delay in timing and it will be up in the site in day or two, but if the goal is to make prospects aware of you, this is a missed opportunity. If the goal is to create inbound links to increase SEO (search engine optimization) through both search and social media, this is another missed opportunity. And the people quoted in the Forbes article are the head of sales and the director of marketing. These are two people who should know about the importance of using social media to increase the amount of sharing and link love of the report. Only one of them is quoted in the press release, so there were interviews conducted with the Forbes reporter.
And from a social media perspective, they are sharing links to the articles published by others. It would be better to also share links to the article on their own site.
What could they do differently to improve the sharing of this report?
1. Post the press release to their news page There is a press release that was sent to the media and it is published on Business Wire. At the same time this was released, the PR team needs to work with the web team to get this on the web site. This may be an oversight, as there are other recent releases on the site, but this is a major report and it is more important than product and partner releases. Again, this is super easy and might be done by the time you read this, but you should not ignore the easy stuff. If you can’t do anything else, this content needs to be on your site for people to link back to.
2. Create a downloadable report with the survey results These days a press release about a report that is not supported by an actual report doesn’t make sense. People want to see the report. They don’t just want to read the numbers, but they want to see the numbers in charts and graphs. A report of this type can be used for lead generation to get contact information for prospects. Also include share buttons on the download page, thank you page and in the report itself.
3. Write a blog post summarizing the report This is great content and the easiest way to share it is by writing a blog post. It should link to both the report itself and the hosted press release, creating some internal links within your site. The blog post should take a different angle on the research. Make it friendlier and less formal and focus on a couple of the big results. If the connection to your products or services is not clear, you can do that in the blog post.
4. Share blog post and report on social media profiles As stated above, the company shared other coverage of their report. This is a great thing to do, but it doesn’t drive traffic back to your site, it doesn’t create links to your site, and it doesn’t give you opportunity to discover who among those interested in the report are prospects for your business. Share your content in different ways on all your social profiles.
5. Email customers and prospects a link to report At the same time this research is released to the press, posted to the company website and blog, and shared via social profiles, it should be shared by email with the company’s customers and prospects. Customers are not always paying attention to what you are posting and sharing, so email can help you connect with them more directly. And prospects are looking for valuable information from you, and a report fits the bill pretty nicely.
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