Three Ways Thought Leadership Coverage Can Align Marketing and Sales

By September 11, 2018Industry Perspective

Congratulations! Your PR team secured stellar coverage with a target media outlet, and the CEO is thrilled his quote was included. But just as the whole team finished patting themselves on the back, someone from sales points out a potentially awkward truth: the product was never mentioned. Was valuable time just wasted on some pointless article that can’t assist the sales funnel?

Thankfully, no effort was wasted. Thought leadership coverage that speaks to a larger trend, rather than directly referencing the brand’s own product, is a valuable asset when it comes to moving prospects from consideration towards purchasing. In other words, not every piece of coverage needs to be product driven — if both marketing and sales understands how to leverage that coverage.

If your team is divided on how to best use PR coverage, here are three ways to develop strategies for thought yield rewards that both marketing and sales can reap.

Align your customer personas and target media

When a PR firm asks, “what’s your dream publication for coverage?” some people immediately think of their own personal interests. While top-tier publications like The New York Times and Forbes often come to mind, there’s great value in trade publications within a niche audience. If your brand has developed their own customer personas, ask what these people might be reading. Sure, the usual suspects might appear again, but you’re bound to find something a bit more targeted if you drill down deeper.

When thought leadership coverage runs on this niche publications, you’re catching the attention of primary leads and decision-makers. This type of coverage can be a blip on someone’s radar and act as a talking point for future sales nurturing.

Plant seeds of knowledge and expertise prior to a larger story

When working in the SaaS world, you’ll quickly find that product launches and updates happen every day. Even though it’s commonplace, brands are still vying for attention in a noisy world.

Securing thought leadership that addresses a larger trend within the industry ahead of an announcement can help your brand stand out from the crowd. Think of this strategy like dropping breadcrumbs to the exact spot you want our new leads to end up, which could be a new product launch. Not only is this helpful in catching the eye of new leads, but it also can impact and assist in retention of current customers.

Feature your coverage in newsletters and ensure your team promotes socially

Your customers (or potential customers) may not be religiously checking the newest articles in Fast Company, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be impressed if you share a link to recent coverage from the outlet. If they’ve already subscribed to your newsletter, make some room for a third-party to talk about how cool you are. Emphasizing both top-tier or trade coverage to your target demographic within a newsletter is a great way to secure the necessary touch points to make a sale, as research shows it takes six to eight.

For extra amplification, remember that media outlets thrive off of clicks. Sure, your company page may have shared the ready-to-use tweet button to post the news, but don’t forget to encourage your employees to be a brand champion and post on their own platforms.

Coverage doesn’t have to be a one-and-done experience.

The news cycles fast, but that doesn’t mean that coverage has to fade from memory quickly. There are plenty of tools and creative ways to refresh messaging in order to meet a new audience, or secure the leads you’ve been nurturing. Contact Lindsey Groepper to learn more about how BLASTmedia can nab that sales win!

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About Jake Doll

As a senior account executive, Jake engages with both media targets and clients daily, ensuring a strategic vision is supported by a tactical, organized approach. Jake has experience leading both media and social campaigns for public and private companies, and has secured coverage with Forbes, Quartz, Barron's, Reuters, The Next Web, Fortune and more. On his off time, he volunteers with Keep Indianapolis Beautiful and the Indianapolis Humane Society.

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