Marketers and sales teams are all too familiar with the sales funnel – no matter how it may vary from business to business, it’s how prospective customers first learn about, dig deeper into and, ultimately, build a relationship with your brand.
Earned media, or media placements a brand earns through proactive outreach, is a critical component of a healthy, thriving marketing and sales funnel. It creates additional touch points for prospective customers, helps them learn more about your product or service and demonstrates industry thought leadership, especially important for B2B brands.
Throughout the funnel, sales teams should be leveraging earned media in their conversations, gauging what publications target audiences are reading and engaging with. PR teams can then incorporate sales teams’ findings into their outreach strategies, securing earned media in high-value publications read by your prospective customers.
Earned media supports all stages of the marketing funnel:
Top of the Funnel
A well-placed byline in a key industry publication or coverage of a recent product launch are great earned media pieces to incorporate in early stage lead generation.
These pieces drive awareness and interest in your brand’s product or service and can spark initial curiosity that drives customers deeper into the funnel.
Middle of the Funnel
Articles that clearly demonstrate your brand’s capabilities against others in the market are the focus of mid-funnel earned media efforts.
Differentiation is key at this stage in lead generation. Media mentions in product roundups, or prominent endorsements of the product or service, are valuable tools for sales teams to use.
Bottom of the Funnel
At this point, prospects are likely in conversations with the sales team, gathering final information before they make a decision.
Earned media’s role at this point in lead generation is to help close the deal. Your strategy should focus on illustrating the business value of working with your brand, such as in client success stories/case studies and positive product reviews.