In today’s competitive marketplace your tech startup’s communications strategy needs to tackle marketing and public relations simultaneously. Despite the common notion that PR and marketing are one in the same, the reality is that both are very different in their approach, KPIs and even messaging strategy.
In some cases you might have a tech PR agency work with your internal marketing team, and in others you may have an internal marketing professional take on the PR responsibilities. Regardless of your approach, ensuring a well planned, highly complementary deployment of PR and marketing is crucial to growth.
Try these five ways to integrate your PR and marketing to drive even greater brand awareness, website traffic, customer loyalty and new leads.
Attention spans are shrinking and as a result people are gravitating towards visuals and graphics rather than lengthy copy. B2B tech startups have a particularly difficult task of translating oftentimes confusing, highly technological concepts into digestible press releases, sales pitches, and even social media content. Visual storytelling is a tactic that can help both PR and marketing with this challenge.
PR tactics employed by a tech PR agency include reaching out to journalists, investors, and media outlets to get the word out there about the company. While press releases have the reputation of being text heavy compared to showy marketing materials, that doesn’t have to be the case. According to a research study by Cision, journalists are attracted to multimedia assets included in press releases. In a Muck Rack and Zeno Group survey, 49% of reporters said they would be more likely to pay attention to a press release if it contained an infographic, and 13% said they’d pay more attention to a release that included a video.
A lot of startups have turned to outbound tactics like content marketing during the pandemic to establish themselves as experts in their industry and increase community engagement during this challenging time. Visuals pair well with these marketing efforts. For startups on a slim budget and with limited resources, consider repurposing marketing visuals used on social channels or blogs to send with releases. Need help developing creative visuals? Check out this article on why a tech PR agency in Austin uses Canva or this article on ways to create engaging visuals using Canva.
LinkedIn is great for connecting with other industry leaders, scoping out the competition, and engaging with your target audiences. It’s the “everything” platform that wraps professional and social into one, and hybridizes marketing and PR so that your company can establish connections and boost sales.
For example, many tech startup leaders have recently doubled down on their thought leadership content and are using LinkedIn as a space to share commentary on industry trends and offer solutions.
If you’re a marketing leader at a tech startup and don’t already have a thought leadership strategy in place, you’re not alone. According to a recent survey conducted by SurveyMonkey, 66% of marketers consider thought leadership a top priority, but only 26% consider their current strategy successful.
This is where PR comes in. Whether you have someone on your team dedicated to PR or you work with a tech PR agency in San Francisco, Austin or Denver, they should be well-versed in thought leadership strategy and how to leverage LinkedIn to distribute it.
According to 93% of B2B marketers, LinkedIn is also the most effective site for lead generation, and it is proven to have the highest conversion rate compared to other social platforms.
Ellevest, a startup investment platform for women is a LinkedIn success story. Ellevest used the InMail feature on LinkedIn to send private ad copy messages to the audience they were targeting for sponsored content. Also, remember the “content marketing” we mentioned earlier? Ellevest used LinkedIn for content marketing by broadcasting audience engagement, financial feminism, and money wisdom from their founder Sallie Krawcheck. Using LinkedIn, Ellevest saw a decrease in Cost per Lead and hit record CTRs.
Tech startups, being disruptors and innovators, sometimes shy away from traditional forms of marketing, like email. But email marketing is not dead. In fact, email marketing continues to earn an admirable ROI compared to other digital marketing platforms.
Newsletters are the perfect method of building relationships to improve your startup’s marketing initiatives, whether handled internally or by a tech PR agency. It’s important to keep in mind that newsletters are not promotional materials; they are a repackaging of blog content, website announcements, and thought leadership sent via email.
Newsletters are concise, relevant, keyword-driven, and informational. By approaching newsletters through the lens of both PR and marketing, you can engage with your existing customer base and convert your prospective audience into customers.
Influencers are individuals who have amassed large followings on social media. For startups who are just starting out these individuals may seem out of reach, but there are still ways to work with influencers when you’re working with a lean budget.
Enter: the micro influencer. A micro-influencer is no Kim Kardashian. Micro-influencers have between 1,000 and 100,000 followers and are normally relegated to specific industries rather than the general public. If your tech startup has some money in its budget for paid promotions, research micro-influencers that resonate with your audience and reach out to them for paid advertising.
A successful influencer partnership, however, begins with the marketing team and tech PR agency working together to create a cohesive strategy that includes brand messaging, creative assets, and campaign goals. Influencers, like publicists, are brand builders; they’ve grown their following by building relationships with their audience and becoming a trusted resource.
A good PR team can apply this same mindset to an influencer campaign and work with a marketing team to determine the best messaging that would not only be appropriate for the influencer but also position the startup in the best light.
Blog about it
Blogging may seem a bit outdated, but in a time where quality content marketing is king, publishing industry insights, professional advice, or opinions related to trends on a company blog can actually drive traffic to your website. A blog also legitimizes your company as a thought leader and humanizes your company to further attract leads.
Some of the most well known brands including Toyota, Whole Foods, Apple and Facebook, use blogs to up their SEO game and to broadcast themselves as industry leaders. While tech startups and these larger corporations aren’t necessarily comparable, their blogs are a testament to the value of blogging for both marketing and PR initiatives.
A blog post is only as good as the work put in after you share it. Revisit the previous tips to take your blog postings to the next level–publish the articles on LinkedIn, transfer information from the article into a visual to share on social media and with the press, or include your blog posts in your newsletter.