According to a recent article in Digiday, lots of SaaS companies right now are in “freeze mode” due to a diminished sales pipeline and the lack of opportunities to promote their products in-person.
Carving out a niche against competitors can be a challenge in a normal climate but in the midst of a crisis, like the one we’re facing with COVID-19, getting earned media coverage can seem like an uphill battle.
Have no fear.
Whether you’re a SaaS newcomer or an established player, the variety of earned media tactics you can employ to grow your SaaS company’s exposure are plentiful. Even during times of uncertainty, earned media can still be won after hard work has been done to produce quality owned, shared and paid content.
With this in mind, we’ve given you some useful tips on how to win media coverage for your SaaS company in a crisis.
What’s Earned Media Coverage?
To recap, Earned media coverage is an unpaid mention of your brand, company, or product.
This coverage can be in the form of blog posts, articles, interviews, or product reviews from publications, influencers on social media, or direct traffic to your web age.
Generating an organic buzz can seem like a slow and difficult process, especially when your competitors are fighting for the same audience attention. For example, the COVID-19 pandemic has meant many media outlets have become saturated with a sole focus on COVID-19 developments.
However, when a robust SaaS PR strategy is implemented, SaaS companies not only stand out from the crowd. Digital PR helps SaaS companies show their unique value to their target audience, and build meaningful credibility with industry influencers.
Anyway, let’s look at the tips.
Consider SaaS Specific Publications
One way to increase your probability of receiving media coverage is to diversify your methods of communication.
The key ways that SaaS companies get media coverage is through mentions, quotes, features, and press releases and media can be generally divided into national, local, and trade publications.
While it’s great to get featured on a top tier national publication like TechCrunch or The Next Web, don’t underestimate the impact that local media and trade media can have on attracting a more dedicated audience. In a survey released by Blast Media, the top Saas companies relied on 47.7% of trade media followed by 40.9% of local media coverage because of their ability to target their main buyer audience.
By diversifying your media coverage strategy, you can focus on the markets that will most likely have an impact on your business. Crisis times are particularly challenging because so much of the news cycle is dominated by whatever the main crisis is at the time.
It follows, therefore, that one of the best ways to increase your chances of getting coverage is to increase the avenues through which your message gets out. Don’t just go for the home-run media hits.
Give Back to the Community
One of the best ways to get coverage during a crisis is to extend a helping hand.
Corporate social responsibility is a very effective way to distinguish yourself from the competition in a way that makes your brand look great. During COVID-19, several SaaS companies offered discounted services to offset some of the financial hardship that many are facing.
For example, the virtual event platform Hopin, offered any event organizers who were affected by the virus early, discounted access to the platform while Peak Metrics, a social mention tracker, released a free version of the tool.
Identify where your company can fill a need that other SaaS businesses may have and create a plan of outreach to make sure that the word gets out. These types of initiatives play great on external and your own social media.
Find SaaS Influencers on Social Media
Influencer Marketing is a booming business trend on social media. Companies big and small are opting to use social media profiles with massive followings to endorse their product or service.
For SaaS companies, influencer marketing probably feels like a silly investment. I mean, SaaS isn’t exactly fashionable, nor does it have much of an impact outside the tech industry. Yet, there are avenues for SaaS companies to utilize social media effectively, and gain some significant earned media that adds value to their brand and credibility in the eyes of their stakeholders.
Queue the SaaS micro-influencer. While social media influencers like Kim Kardashian have millions of followers, SaaS micro-influencers have tens of thousands – a drop in the ocean. However, this drop in the ocean is full of followers who closely align with a SaaS business’ target audience, and are much more likely to engage with content posted by a SaaS influencer than some like LeBron James.
Take Adobe, for example. Adobe’s endorsement of tech business podcast The Goal Digger gained roughly 3000 Instagram engagements, funneling a host of new listeners and subscribers to the podcast.
When contemplating your strategy for getting earned media for your SaaS company, consider SaaS micro-influencers as a way of growing your brand awareness for a relatively small investment.
During a crisis, influencer marketing can be a great way to re-engage your target audience’s attention.
Winning media coverage during a crisis may seem like an unwinnable battle but more than anything it takes preparation and strategy.
Don’t be afraid to get creative with your messaging but make sure to stay on brand and consistent.
Internally, utilize the platforms where your buyer audience is most likely to interact and create a SaaS media strategy that engages their needs with the current crisis. Externally, cast a wide net and don’t underestimate how effective smaller publications can be in targeting your audience.