If you are a SaaS business reading this, here is a question.
What is your brand reputation like?
Yay, or meh?
If ‘Yay’, you can always do better, and if ‘Meh’, it’s just a matter of time before you start doing better.
How? Two words: digital PR.
Keep reading to gather these three key takeaways:
- Digital PR helps you edge past competition.
- A robust PR strategy helps improve your brand image significantly.
- As an example, the video conferencing giant — Zoom — has a robust PR plan in place.
Now, let’s dive in.
What is the Significance of Digital PR in SaaS Marketing?
For SaaS, it’s all about reaching and converting leads to loyal clients.
Global SaaS service sales figures were at $156 billion in 2020. We expect them to breach the $300 billion mark by the end of 2026, according to data released by Statista.
And while branding and marketing are essential for justifying the forecasted figures, PR is the glue that keeps everything together.
But there is a catch. With SaaS, it is an open sea of competition out there. This is where Digital PR comes in handy.
Unlike what most people consider it to be — a digital PR plan — can have a direct business impact. If done right, here are the broader aspects that a SaaS company can target using the PR strategy:
- Generating new leads;
- Knowing the competitive landscape;
- Growing brand awareness;
- Having a direct business impact;
- Omnichannel engagement via intelligent repurposing;
- Customer retention via trust-building;
But not every digital PR strategy works for SaaS. You do need a robust plan that can evolve, adapt, and respond — on time, every time.
Why is a robust PR plan important for SaaS companies?
SaaS is a different ball game altogether. Staying ahead of the competitors, having a strategy for every launch event, managing crises, etc. The requirements and the corresponding possibilities to succeed are endless.
Hence, if in SaaS, you need a seasoned, flexible strategy independent of other organizational blockers.
In case you are into specifics, here are the why’s to consider:
Getting the Right Message Out
In a world where tech products and services are in plenty, the million-dollar question is: how exactly does your brand help? The right digital PR plan helps you be vocal about the primary user-specific goal of the company — including the USP. Once again, direct business impact.
Building Long-Lasting Relationships
SaaS firms prefer relying on tech partners to reach a larger user base. Plus, there are influencers and product ambassadors who associate themselves with its commercial and social aspects.
A good digital PR strategy helps form these long-term relationships by sending out the right motivation through compelling dialogues. Once formed, entrust PR to streamline these relationships — taking the company to places in terms of visibility.
Gauging the Competition
SaaS is often about insights and data. As a firm with a unique product, you might have deets about what your competition is up to — in terms of market share, exposure, new initiatives, and all that.
Your robust digital PR strategy can help you edge past peers by using the insights and working closely with the product team to improve the SaaS.
One such example would be Spotify’s “Unwrapped” program, allowing users to track their listening habits. An idea most competitors wouldn’t have thought of at the time.
Enhancing the Exposure
For making giant strides in SaaS, your PR-led content must be unique, quasi-promotional, and relevant even to the non-SaaS verticals.
Here is how it works: as a SaaS firm PR team, it would make sense to work with the market research team to focus on users who aren’t aware of the tech but need the SaaS to improve their organizational processes. A robust PR plan involves proactively locating that audience and pitching unique (non-invasive) content to them. The content should not overwhelm but assist.
Handling Tech- and Human-Led Crisis
You cannot expect organizational proceedings to be all hunky dory at all times. A robust PR plan considers the tech issues, if any, and keeps sending out regular updates to appease the concerned user base.
An actionable PR plan helps douse flames in case of product or even human-led problems. One example would be Zoom’s PR team handling the infamous Zoombombing issue.
Organically Improving Consumer Trust
Let’s dial back a bit to understand this point better. During the Zoombombing incident, Zoom CEO (Eric S.Yuan) — came out and apologized to everyone affected by the issue. Well, this is how the PR team builds trust.
A robust PR strategy can increase the impact of thought leadership by using the social media handles of founders and CEOs to connect with the users. And nothing generates more trust than the head honchos having an open line of communication with the product users.
Indirectly Enhancing Lead Generation Chances
Ever heard of the term “newsjacking”? Well, it’s a standard PR exercise to stay relevant to the trends. However, robust PR teams can go highly creative with this approach, helping the brand stand out and garner additional views.
Remember the time when Hootsuite — an SMM platform — leveraged the popularity of Game of Thrones — to come up with a video marketing idea. The idea here is to be a part of the social media chatter, often by creating listening lists to understand trends and keywords better.
You just saw that all of this requires going the extra mile, something only a robust PR strategy would do.
SaaS is most certainly about tech. Yet, there is a human angle to it, which a good PR team can project. Some of the most followed PR-led approaches include using leadership comms to comment on a thoughtful topic, exploring the non-profit aspects of the company’s presence, like a tree planting initiative or something similar, and highlighting the company culture by posting candid employee interactions on social media, and more.
The idea behind it is to make the company and the SaaS — more relatable than ever. Believe it or not, empathy is a great way to improve customer retention rates.
Attracting New Investors
Unless your company is revenue-led/bootstrapped, you might want to grab investors’ attention. But what if 100 more SaaS firms are trying to connect with that one investor? The robust PR plan helps you get noticed, primarily with intelligent content related to new upgrades/milestones, innovative newsjacking pieces, human-centric narratives, and more.
Targeting the Right People
Let’s come to the product now. You may have a great SaaS product with unique features. Yet, a content team (in sync with the product) can only do so much to push out the highlights. It comes down to the PR to identify the right people (brands) by following up on the interactions, social media chatter, and other outbound resources.
A robust digital PR does all the heavy lifting for a SaaS business. From ideating clever content pieces to ensuring that the firms ride the trends without letting go of the trust, every digital PR team in 2022 should be able to make direct business impacts. There was a time when PR was just about highlighting the brand presence. Today, it encompasses everything — from trust building to handling crises to generating leads.
Examples of Robust PR Strategies in Place
Now that we have mentioned how a robust PR strategy can help SaaS brands go above and beyond, here are some real-world examples. These companies have been using robust digital PR strategies for a while now and to great effect.
Salesforce — a leading CRM-focused SaaS brand — has been quite vocal about its achievements. Salesforce’s robust PR team highlighted the 73,000-employee addition narrative, especially during the period when IT lay-offs were going through the roof.
Yes, Zoom’s year-on-year revenue dipped 8%. Still, Zoom’s proactive PR team has been highlighting its 5x revenue growth from 2018 to 2020 — to show resilience.
Touted as one of the pandemic darlings, Zoom’s PR is also known for dousing the exploit-specific fire that arose during the covid-era. And that makes their PR team good at crisis management and attracting new partners.
And that’s a wrap for this post. A robust PR strategy helps SaaS brands scale to newer heights.
As a company, if you do not have one in place, it might just be the time to look around and build one. And finally, effective digital PR of the modern era isn’t just about paid promotions. It’s about driving omnichannel engagement where the PR team works closely with the content, marketing, product, leadership, HR, and other associated teams.
The featured image is taken from Freepik
Pratik Dholakiya is the Founder of PRmention.com.