Running a software-as-a-service (SaaS) campaign involves taking numerous actions across a range of media outlets to raise awareness around your product. A successful PR campaign can create the required buzz, leading to more inquiries and sales.
SaaS firms operate in a B2B space, selling cloud solutions, product management software, and many other business solutions. Being heavily occupied in development and refinements, they seldom set aside time for marketing and PR activities.
Therefore, it is best to have PR professionals handle campaigns that target specific buyers. Getting media attention through PR helps unlock content marketing success at a later stage.
But PR is challenging. It requires steady effort and a straightforward and well-planned process. If you want to drive a successful PR campaign in 2003, start with the following.
Let’s get started.
Begin with a holistic PR strategy
Although maintaining positive relationships with the media is crucial, it’s important to go beyond that when crafting a comprehensive PR plan. It’s normal practice to incorporate analyst relations, an awards program, and a speaking schedule to help leaders promote their businesses.
Such an approach involves creating a PR proposition. This is instrumental in connecting with the right media people who provide access to top platforms. Ideally, this proposition should be on business letterhead to leave a lasting impression while providing a brief introduction to your business. Consider checking out some letterhead templates and implement best practices when creating one. This should serve as a positive headstart for your PR campaign.
As part of a cohesive PR campaign, create speaking engagements to reach target audiences and establish credibility as an industry leader. Speaking engagements involve positioning key SaaS personnel at a local entrepreneur networking event or as a keynote speaker at a large conference like SaaStr. Try offering an excellent opportunity to impart knowledge to an attentive audience and connect with businesses that can become future clients.
Involve multiple campaigns to establish key business personnel (CEOs, CXOs, marketing leaders) as industry experts. Set up your business as a go-to resource for your target audience. Spend some time and energy getting speaking engagements, hosting webinars, circulating thought leadership articles, and more as a part of a PR campaign to raise your brand’s profile.
Set PR objectives
Your PR campaign can result in multiple outcomes. You can aim to:
- Create awareness
- Drive content consumption
- Establish thought leadership
- Update target audience with latest ongoings
- Optimize brand storytelling
- Refreshing the current brand’s look and feel
- Foray into new markets, etc.
Therefore, start planning your PR campaign by establishing concrete objectives and a reasonable deadline.
You can drive a successful PR campaign if you know your goals and plan the necessary steps. Once you know what you want, narrow down your target demographic and choose the best channels to reach them.
If you’re serious about boosting the efficiency of your PR campaigns, you can try the S.M.A.R.T approach. S.M.A.R.T stands for:
- S = Specific
- M = Measurable
- A = Actionable
- R = Realistic
- T = Time-based
Do’s and don’ts for setting up SMART PR objectives
Once you have set up the PR strategy and its relevant objectives, it is time to identify your audience. Knowing who you’re connecting to is essential since it helps determine whether the target audience is broad or narrow.
Dwell into the in-depth demographic research to classify your audience into specific buyer personas. This will help you launch a more focused campaign, ensuring successful outcomes.
From a public relations standpoint, the more personas you create, the more targeted the messages will be. You’ll need to identify the following to discover who is your ideal client and how you’ll find them.
- Demographics like location, age, marital status, gender, education, etc.
- Psychographics like personal interests, hobbies, likes/dislikes, etc.
- Buying habits
- Key issues and pain points
- Sources of information and influences
Defining your target audience with personas for a PR campaign would ensure that a maximum number of people respond or react to your message.
For example, if you want to reach a certain demographic of young professionals, your campaign should focus on their needs and interests. This keeps the campaign stay relevant amongst your target group and reaches a newer set of audiences for future campaigns.
A PR plan may fall flat without a calendar to follow. Keeping it in place helps the team to plan activities, track deliverables, and maximize output. The calendar should define the most crucial milestones of a PR campaign, along with the timeline.
Create a solid PR calendar that compliments your PR strategy—for instance, schedule blog posts, leverage the brochure maker to send out timely deliverables, or schedule interviews to promote your business.
Consider specific actions and note them in your calendar, like, following up with a journalist or scheduling a meeting with a specific group at work. If needed, go for schedule management software to achieve this. You can use this simple template to create a PR calendar.
You can only gauge your PR effort’s success or failure if you can track the campaign’s development. Many B2B SaaS businesses launch campaigns with nebulous or undefined objectives like increasing sales, widening reach, etc., without attributing a number. Since there are no definitive, planned outcomes, tracking gets difficult.
Therefore, having a PR goal helps track campaign progress and check whether it delivered desired results. For instance, you can measure share of voice, run a sentiment analysis study, do traffic analysis, and much more.
Once you have chosen a specific goal, measure your campaign’s success and failure throughout your campaign. This way, you can refine your activities on the go.
A well-executed PR campaign requires time, effort, and commitment. But the payoff might change your SaaS business if you follow the tips mentioned above to strategize PR campaigns.
When initiating a public relations campaign, prioritize your business’ reputation and plan a meaningful communication strategy that adds value to the audience. While every SaaS business is different, you can start framing a PR campaign that fulfills your business goals.