For lean startups, it’s crucial to understand your numbers — especially when it comes to marketing spend. One of the key marketing metrics to track is customer acquisition cost (CAC). 

According to Hubspot, the tech industry has the highest CAC on average, so it’s important to not only be aware of your spending, but also find ways to lower it.

There are several channels that can be used to generate leads and convert those leads into customers. But if you aren’t using the right ones, your startup could be making costly mistakes and missing out on opportunities to lower your CAC. 

One guaranteed way to lower your CAC is through PR. 

Despite the evolution of digital marketing tools like Google Ads, PR remains a valuable marketing channel for startups at all stages of their growth cycle. Not only does PR increase brand awareness and credibility, but it can also convert your target audience into paying customers in a more cost effective way. 

Here are a few ways that PR lowers your startup customer acquisition cost.

Reach a hyper-targeted audience

One way to cut back on the PPC marketing spend required to convert a new customer is to make sure you’re targeting the right audience. While digital marketing channels like GoogleAds offer tailored audience targeting that allow you to target certain demographics or behaviors, there’s still risk (and costs) involved to test those ads, retarget, and continue spending to convert. This can be especially expensive if you’re a new startup and still trying to figure out your buyer persona, messaging and value proposition. 

Earned media, on the other hand, is hyper targeted. When you pitch your startup to a tech or business publication in your vertical, you’re getting your brand in front of an audience that’s already interested and engaged in what you have to offer. Your target buyer audience is opting in to hear news from that industry, so they’re already one step ahead of someone who’s on the receiving end of an ad. 

With PR, you can reach your target audience with fewer articles than you would ads, which effectively lowers your CAC.  

Boost organic search ranking 

Let’s say your pitch was successful and your startup lands media coverage in TechCrunch or Forbes. Not only does this have a positive impact on your brand — and potentially your sales — in the short-term, but earned media also creates a halo effect. 

Once your startup is mentioned in an article, it has effectively solidified its spot on a reputable website that likely has high domain authority. Evergreen content like this is archived on the website and in Google’s algorithm which helps boost your startup’s organic search over time. It also impacts the longtail keyword relevance of your brand and any keywords related to your industry or offering. 

Boosting your SEO through PR can significantly lower your customer acquisition cost. With digital marketing, you’re forced to constantly spend money on ads to convert customers. But with PR, you spend once — either to hire a tech PR agency or to conduct media outreach in-house — to receive a continuous return over time. 

PR accelerates leads down the sales funnel

Sales efforts are undoubtedly a major contributor to the costs associated with converting leads into customers. But with a solid PR strategy in place, earned media can reduce the costs by accelerating leads down the funnel

At the top of the funnel, media placements create the brand awareness and social validation needed to fuel growth and increase credibility. Once those leads move further down the funnel, sales teams can use media placements and award announcements as part of their ongoing one-on-one prospect engagement. 

Earned media also gets your brand into the buyer’s journey earlier than a digital marketing channel like Google Adwords. Swyft wrote this article that dives deeper into why PR beats GoogleAds at driving early buyer awareness. 

With continued PR efforts, the media coverage you land can help boost your startup’s sales enablement content throughout each stage of the sales funnel, which lowers the CAC over time. 

Cost of PR is measurable

If you think that PR isn’t as measurable as other digital metrics such as ad impressions, think again. There are a few ways to measure PR as it relates to your CAC, one of which is through analyzing website traffic. 

When you run a PR campaign for your startup and secure media coverage, then it’s likely that you will see traffic generated by that content. There’s also a good chance that the outlets you’re featured in will share the article on their social channels and emails, which would also generate traffic. Your startup’s Direct and Organic search results may even see an uptick of traffic as a result of the media coverage. 

If you want to learn more about how to use Google Analytics to measure the impact of PR, we wrote about it in this article.

Also, feel free to download our free Tech Startup PR Guide to help you learn more about how PR can benefit your startup’s sales funnel.

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