A well-planned SaaS PR strategy can pay rich dividends. It will boost brand awareness, and can attract and retain potential customers.
But, due to the unique nature of the business, SaaS companies can’t use a cookie-cutter approach when it comes to PR!
While that may work elsewhere, it doesn’t fly here.
In this article, we’ll look at 12 SaaS PR strategies, 6 benefits of implementing a SaaS PR strategy, how to measure your PR ROI, and 3 common SaaS PR mistakes to avoid.
This Article Contains:
- 12 SaaS PR Strategies to Increase Brand Awareness & Drive Business Growth
- 6 Benefits of Implementing a PR Strategy
- How to Measure Your PR ROI
- 3 SaaS PR Mistakes to Avoid!
Let’s dive in.
12 SaaS PR Strategies to Increase Brand Awareness & Drive Business Growth
For best results, it’s best to combine traditional PR with digital marketing tactics.
Let’s take a look at the most effective SaaS PR strategies to see how this works.
1. Host or Attend Webinars and Other Speaking Opportunities
Hosting or attending webinars can be a fantastic PR activity with the opportunity to improve your thought leadership. In fact, the average webinar generates between 500 to 1,000 leads. Webinars are also great for connecting with potential SaaS clients or partners and nurturing relationships.
Try these tips to make the most of your webinar:
- Provide insights your competitors would be less willing to share.
- Ensure your webinars are as up-to-date and relevant to the target audience as possible. This will increase their chances of re-watching and sharing it with their network.
- Take the time to follow up with your attendees.
- Consider being a webinar moderator. This will help you build strong connections with the speakers (who would be industry experts). Moreover, webinars can be recorded and watched later. This can help your international PR efforts and ensures you get continued exposure.
2. Be a Guest on a Podcast
Podcasting is an excellent SaaS marketing and PR tactic to position your SaaS brand in front of potential leads while promoting your products and services. In fact, 68% of people are more willing to consider a product after hearing about it on a podcast.
To start with, be a guest on a podcast with an established listener base – like the Official Saastr Podcast, The Growth Hub Podcast, and The SaaS Podcast.
Consider the host’s audience and the type of content they discuss. Then share what their audience would find interesting.
3. Launch Your Own Podcast
Having your own podcast can be a valuable addition to your SaaS PR campaign.
To start with, ask yourself these questions to decide on the type of content you want to focus on:
- What are some misconceptions about your industry?
- What unique perspectives can you offer about your SaaS solution?
- Are there any experts or influencers you would like to interview?
4. Respond to Media Queries
Make it a point to answer media queries. Journalists often reach out for insights or opinions from industry experts. Responding to them promptly will secure you a spot in their article while establishing your thought leadership.
But where do you start?
HARO (Help a Reporter Out), for instance, is a popular platform connecting journalists with sources. When signing up with a media relations platform like HARO, you’ll get daily emails with a list of journalists and their queries. If you match their requirements, shoot them a quick email. You might secure a mention in a top publication.
5. Continuously Pitch to Media and Influencers
Pitching to bloggers and journalists can be a valuable SaaS marketing and PR activity helping to secure additional coverage.
Good publications to target include TechCrunch, Fast Company, Forbes, Wall Street Journal, and Mashable. Coverage in any of these can give you instant publicity and may even drive product signups.
Send press releases regularly to build media relations. PR Newswire is a good one to consider. You could highlight milestones in your product development, such as a major update or the launch of a new feature. Other potential topics include organizational changes, hiring of new senior management team members, webinars, or customer success stories.
Also, consider influencer marketing. 93% of marketers have used influencer marketing, with 80% finding it effective.
6. Consider Strategic Awards Programs
Apply for awards that align with your business strategy and highlight your organization’s performance.
An industry award for “great company culture” or “achieving growth milestones” can attract potential partnerships. An “Entrepreneur of the Year” or a “Director of the Year” award can also substantially impact brand perception.
And, if you get your business featured in a list of “top SaaS businesses,” you can leverage this to build credibility among prospective customers and employees.
7. Build Analyst Relations
Analyst relations refers to building a rapport with analysts who work for research and consulting firms. This effective PR strategy can be time-consuming, but will be worth the time invested.
Analysts have access to financial data and statistics and may be willing to share reports on market trends or industry insights. Since SaaS is such a fast-growing industry, few people will know the SaaS industry better than analysts. Their knowledge can be invaluable for you to stay ahead of competitors.
They may also hold sway over technology buyers and could recommend your product to those making the final purchasing decision.
8. Sponsor Events
There are several benefits to sponsoring industry events, including:
- Attracting leads: You could generate numerous potential leads, including qualified leads.
- Content creation: Keynote speeches and panel discussions from events you’ve hosted can be a valuable source of content. You can repurpose them into videos or other content for your YouTube channel, social media, podcast, ebook, or series of blog posts.
- Maintain client relationships: These in-person interactions allow you to address any concerns prospective customers have. You can also demonstrate how to use your product better. This could be a key factor in reducing your churn rate.
9. Publish Data-Backed Reports and Stories Relevant to Current Events
Publishing data-backed original content, is sure to catch the attention of journalists and potential customers.
The best part?
As a SaaS provider, you’re sitting on a mountain of data you can use.
It could be data acquired while doing customer research or developing your product. Analyze this, and present it in an insightful report, for instance. Consider adding graphs and charts to your reports so readers can visually compare multiple data sets.
This would be super useful for several stakeholders in your industry, including journalists.
Besides, Google considers original content a sign of credibility, helping your site rank higher in the SERPs.
Guest posts are another way to go about it. When writing guest posts, carefully consider how to pitch to a journalist. Generally, SaaS businesses highlight only their service attributes and features. This can make it uninteresting and challenging to differentiate your pitch from all the others.
Instead, position your company as exciting without using jargon that’ll weigh your content down.
A good way to do this is to market your brand using a viral news story. This is a PR tactic called newsjacking.
A great example is the advert that exercise-bike company Peloton released in December 2019, which was widely criticized as enforcing dated gender norms and opposing body positivity.
Within 36 hours of the original advert airing, actor Ryan Reynolds released an advert for his gin brand, Aviation Gin, that was written and shot as a sequel to Peloton’s advert. Aviation Gin’s advert went viral almost immediately, racking up over 7.5 million views on YouTube.
10. Use Past Successes to Create Case Studies
Generating data-backed original content every time can be a Herculean task for a content marketing team.
Fortunately, case studies are a great alternative! They provide the opportunity to show your product in action while highlighting results that appeal to your target audience.
Case studies are also effective in building credibility and trust. People are more likely to be interested in your product if they see how it’s helped similar businesses. In fact, 92% of customers are more likely to purchase after they read positive customer reviews.
How do you go about this?
First, look for existing SaaS clients who are happy with your product. Identify the challenges they faced and clearly define the benefits your product provides.
Ask for an interview or a testimonial from them. Be sure to get details like how long they’ve been using your product and the pain points your product has helped them overcome.
11. Leverage SEO & Social Media for PR Programs
While PR and SEO are different practices, they can complement each other. Employing a holistic SEO strategy can significantly boost your SaaS PR campaign.
The results paid off for Cloudera, a data management system. They derived 77% of their traffic from organic searches in 2021.
Moreover, a reputable media outlet is more likely to include a backlink to your case study or original content. Link building can help your content seem more trustworthy and authoritative to search engines.
Now, if you want to leverage SEO along with your PR efforts, you will need an outstanding team to achieve good results.
A smart thing to do would be to outsource it to an agency with SaaS expertise. This would be much more effective and affordable than managing it in-house. For instance, Startup Voyager is a leading SEO and content marketing agency that can help a SaaS startup scale its organic traffic easily.
12. Use Email Marketing to Amplify PR Efforts
Email marketing is an effective weapon in the SaaS PR arsenal. In fact, email marketing has an average ROI of around $42 for every $1 spent. It’s also ideal for making frequent, personalized contact with customers.
A few topics that can be covered in your SaaS email newsletters are:
- Announcing a new feature
- Offering product demos
- New content notifiers, such as a webinar or a new blog post
However, SaaS email marketing is a little more complicated than with other businesses. Here are a few tips to improve your email marketing:
- Schedule your emails on different days of the week: This will ensure you don’t send the same prospect multiple emails on the same day.
- Use a mix of email types: You don’t want to send the same kind of email continuously. Keep things interesting by sending a combination of thought-provoking and promotional emails.
- Personalize your emails: Personalization significantly improves open, click-through, and conversion rates. As much as 79% of consumers engage with marketing messages only if they’re personalized.
6 Benefits of Implementing a SaaS PR Strategy
There are many invaluable benefits to running a systematic SaaS PR campaign.
1. PR Increases Brand Awareness
Good PR can help you gain media coverage and improve your brand reputation. However, your reach will likely be limited, especially if it’s a SaaS startup. On the other hand, getting your press release in a major publication can boost its reach multifold!
2. PR Offers Social Proof
Gaining coverage from a reputed media outlet can improve your business’s credibility. It’s a type of social proof called credibility by association.
Building social proof can also help streamline the buyer’s journey. For example, if a potential customer is in the consideration stage of the buyer’s journey, seeing positive reviews from other customers can influence their decision to buy.
Similarly, if they’re in the decision stage, social proof can offer the final push they need to purchase.
Additionally, social proof helps build credibility. Positive customer reviews and testimonials can demonstrate the value of your product while building trust with a potential customer. On average, a one-star increase on Yelp results in a 5-9% increase in revenue, with just one negative review potentially costing you 30 customers.
3. PR Informs the Market About Company Updates
Your press releases will keep your customers updated about important developments in the company. You could turn any of these events into a press release to create excitement among potential customers:
- Product launch
- Feature updates
- Leadership changes
- Awards or recognition your company receives
4. PR Is Reusable
You can repurpose a successful piece of PR on your social media, marketing website, blog, and more. One good PR hit can be altered into many forms that can validate your company for months.
5. PR Can Help in Scaling the Business
Solid PR coverage can also attract the attention of investors and potential acquirers. Keeping in touch with key players and delivering consistent updates can help make your SaaS company more attractive.
Similarly, public relations is also vital in transitioning your business to the public markets. It will help you position your business as being IPO-ready.
6. PR Can Aid with Creating and Marketing a New Brand Category
If your SaaS business is launching a new product category, you might be tempted to allocate a huge budget to marketing activities.
But, public relation efforts can help by focusing the narrative on a new or developing category and assisting prospective customers in understanding your SaaS solution better – in less expensive ways.
For instance, you could share success metrics or comparative data from internal research in a press release, thereby exciting customers about the burning need of the new product category.
Now comes another important aspect:
How to Measure Your SaaS PR ROI
Measuring your SaaS PR ROI doesn’t have to be a lesson in futility.
Tracking the right PR metrics is crucial to ensure your efforts pay off. Here are a few Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) to help track your PR coverage:
1. Social Media Engagement
Keep a close eye on your social media engagement. If you notice steady improvements to your subscriber count, your PR efforts are likely paying off. You’ll also want to keep track of overall engagement and metrics like shares and mentions.
2. Website Traffic
Tracking unique page views and unique visitors can offer valuable insights. Google Analytics is a good place to see this data. Check for increases in referral traffic, organic homepage traffic, and other relevant metrics.
3. Email Engagement
This includes monitoring open rates, unsubscribes, click-through rates, replies, and bounces for email marketing campaigns you send. Analyzing these will tell you whether you need to reassess your email marketing approach.
4. Share of Voice
Share of voice (SoV) measures your market share compared to your competitors. It’s a good indicator of the visibility of your SaaS brand and how much of the conversation you dominate in your industry.
Take this further and analyze how people ‘feel’ about your brand with sentiment analysis. This tracks positive, neutral, and negative reactions to your brand.
Keeping an eye on SoV will show you which brands control the narrative around certain topics, which you can use to tailor your PR approach.
5. Monthly Recurring Revenue
Monthly recurring revenue (MRR) is a key metric in the SaaS industry, representing the monthly subscription income you receive from users. Since many SaaS businesses operate on a monthly subscription basis, it’s an important metric.
Since a PR campaign aims to improve customer retention, increase brand awareness, generate new leads, and drive website traffic, it should ideally lead to increased recurring revenues.
You can also analyze changes in the annual recurring revenue (ARR) compared to the previous years once your PR campaign has run its course.
6. Lead Sourcing
A well-implemented SaaS PR campaign will directly impact leads, but it can be tricky to determine when press coverage triggers sales. A great way to determine whether your PR influences buyers’ decisions is to simply ask how they heard about your company and its offerings.
7. Media Impressions
Calculating the number of media impressions is a good indicator of your PR performance. To calculate your earned impressions, multiply the number of mentions by the total circulation of the publication it featured in.
For example, if Fast Company mentioned your business and it has a circulation of 1 million, you achieved 1 million media impressions.
8. Other Long-Term and Mid-Term Metrics
Since PR aims to improve trust with your customers, the net promoter score (NPS) is a good one to track over the long term. Mid-term metrics like link building improvements, conversion rate, and domain authority should be monitored too.
3 SaaS PR Mistakes to Avoid
Mistakes lead to stressful situations…
But with a heads-up, we can help you avoid some of the more common ones. Here are a few common mistakes that can hurt your public relations:
1. Hiring a PR Firm With No SaaS experience
If you’d prefer to outsource your PR efforts, ensure the PR agency understands how to handle PR activities for your SaaS business.
Ask the PR agency if they have contacts in the publications you want to feature in, which metrics they plan to measure, what milestones they’ll target, and their understanding of the sector in general.
2. Having a Vague or Unrealistic Strategy
Whether you hire a SaaS PR agency or handle it in-house, having a realistic and measurable strategy is paramount to success. You should closely align your PR strategy with your broader marketing efforts.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Is the PR strategy aligned with your target audience?
- What PR metrics will you use to measure its success?
- When would you like to see results from your Saas PR efforts?
3. Limiting Yourself to Traditional Media Only
Traditional PR includes radio, television, and print. While there’s nothing wrong with targeting a traditional media outlet, you may need to spend a lot of time and effort to get media coverage in your SaaS PR campaign.
You should reach out to SaaS blogs and influencers as well. They are often more approachable, more inclined to feature you in a post, and can help you target specific niches within your industry.
Attract & Retain Your Customers Through A Rock-Solid SaaS PR Campaign
As a SaaS provider, you need an effective PR strategy, measurable to build brand value and boost growth.
While you could hire a SaaS PR agency, you can handle it in-house by employing a mix of traditional and digital marketing tactics.
And, if you’d like to leverage the power of SEO to complement your public relation efforts, reach out to Startup Voyager. With our tried and tested organic growth strategies, we can help establish your SaaS company as a thought leader in your industry.