The signs of a tech slowdown are all over the news. Crunchbase reported that global VC funding fell 53% year-over-year in Q3 and 33% quarter-over-quarter. That’s a massive drop eerily reminiscent of the dot-com bust.
In another article from Crunchbase, tech layoffs reached 45,000 as of October 2022. That’s a small number considering the total overall labor force, which by some estimates is well over 12 million in the U.S. alone.
Still, considering that the tech industry was adding jobs like crazy up until six months ago, the negative trends we are seeing in the news today beg the question:
What does a tech slowdown mean for your tech startup PR strategy?
Our answer? Absolutely nothing.
Okay, that’s not entirely true. Some things can (and should) change, especially when the economy suddenly turns for the worse.
The key is not to hit the panic button. Just because tech funding is down and some tech companies that over hired during the pandemic are cutting staff doesn’t mean it’s time to cut your PR activities.
If anything, now is the perfect time to stand out among a crowded field of competitors and position yourself as the go-to brand during any market – Bull or Bear. Whether you work with an outside PR agency or have an internal PR resource, it’s a great time to get creative, guerilla, and scrappy.
As the old adage goes: fortune favors the bold, not the quitters and the runners.
Keep these things in mind as you look to keep your tech PR strategy agile and effective in the face of a market slowdown:
Be a contrarian:
When the going gets tough, smart tech startups invest in PR. That’s because PR is one of the only marketing investments that builds its value over time. The more you keep pursuing PR and score valuable media coverage, the more you stay top-of-mind among your target audience.
A solid PR strategy also helps to grow your startup’s search engine rankings over time by providing backlinks from articles in reputable industry news outlets. (For more information on how PR helps your startup’s SEO strategy, read Swift’s article on the topic here.)
Keep the pedal to the metal with your media outreach. The rewards will accelerate over time.
Obtaining beneficial media coverage from industry publications shows that you are continuing to innovate and grow despite negative economic headwinds. It’s a form of objective validation and will help you appear the be a more attractive option for companies seeking a long-term technology solution for their business efficiency needs.
While you may want to review your PR strategy from a cost perspective, stay focused on value. If you’re investing in a high-dollar agency that has delivered mediocre results, it may be time to search for smaller agencies specializing in B2B tech PR that are more nimble and competitively priced. You may find the results as good – sometimes better – than many large agencies, as they’re often staffed by senior PR pros.
For insight on how to gain the most value for your investment in a PR agency, check out our PR Agency Value Matrix below:
Lower client acquisition cost:
Digital marketers pay attention! Did you realize that an effective tech PR strategy can help lower your client acquisition cost over time? That’s because as you receive more media coverage, your reputation increases, and you eventually start ranking higher for keyword searches on Google. The increased brand awareness also makes it far easier for your target customers to recall you by name.
It may not be rocket science, but your PR does act like rocket fuel for your marketing efforts. Check out our previous article on how to lower your client acquisition using PR.
Support your sales funnel:
Related to lowering client acquisition costs, startup marketers and founders can and should find ways to utilize the fruits of their PR labors to help close more business. That’s right: PR can help close sales funnel leads if you know how. Whether the leads are top-of-the-funnel, middle, or bottom, liberally sharing your news coverage with leads, prospects and customers will lend a hand to your sales team as they seek to close more deals.
Check out this infographic for a few of Swyft’s top tips on supporting your sales funnel.
Make PR measurable:
Another way to increase your ROI on PR is to ensure that your PR activities are measurable. Believe it or not, you can track the impact of your PR campaigns over time. For example, say you are launching a new product in the marketplace. When you go live with your press release and start obtaining media coverage, have your digital marketing team begin to look for the inbound traffic generated by your news coverage. You can then start to see the impact of the news coverage and begin measuring PR’s performance relative to other marketing activities.
We’ve written a popular article on how to use Google Analytics to measure the impact of your PR — give it a read.
Questions about PR & marketing for your tech startup?
Contact our industry experts today to learn how partnering with Swyft can help your business succeed.