In my previous post, I discussed “it’s not what your product does, but how it makes your customer succeed.” Making your customer the hero is job one. B2B customer relations and public relations (PR) go hand in hand and give you the tools to make your customer the hero. How many times have you asked a family member, friend, or colleague to tell you the name of the company that was so helpful on that latest project? Your friend raved about the service and the next thing you know, you’re calling the company to sign up. Here are four B2B public relations strategies targeting customers that are easy to add to your marketing plan.
- Communicate frequently with your customers. While multiple touch-points for prospects are important, make sure you’re keeping the line of communication open with your current and past customers as well.We could spend an entire blog or two on various marketing strategies to reach your customer, however, as a PR practitioner, remember toshare press releases and media hits with your customers via email blasts, your website and social media. Let them know what is going on in the world of your company. It’s okay to brag a little, especially to the people who have helped you get where you are.
- Customer service is going social. This one is becoming more and more apparent as customers are increasingly using social media to interact with companies. Implementing strategies for each social media platform will help your company set the right tone. Keep in mind the points from a recent Forbes article, “The Ignored Side of Social Media: Customer Service” which discusses the rising expectations people have when utilizing a company’s social media channels for customer service issues. When implementing a social media strategy targeting customer service complaints, remember to be courteous, to direct people where you’d like them to go if 140 characters won’t get the point across, use proper spelling and grammar, and be as timely as possible.
- Case Studies and Contributed Articles. Barbara Longley MacGregor recently outlined how to strike content gold with your customer case studies. From a public relations standpoint, these case studies are perfect fodder to bring to an editor as a real-world example. Depending on your case study, research a targeted editor and pitch your case study. Some publications may even allow a contributed article written by the appropriate executive. Who doesn’t love to see their name in print!
- LinkedIn Groups. If your customers love your product, they’ll love getting in on the ground floor to collaborate on the next version of your solution. Creating an online forum or User Group for customers to discuss and troubleshoot is easy through LinkedIn Groups. This creates an open place for people to strategize and make your solution even stronger.
We’re always thinking of fun ways to incorporate customers at Markit Strategies. Do you have a strategy that has worked for you?