Many startup marketing professionals and founders wonder if PR is still relevant. After all, doesn’t social media occupy center stage, data analytics point out undiscovered opportunities and AI take the guesswork — and even much of the labor — out of selling to end buyers?
Rest assured, PR is holding its own among the cacophony of competing technologies and metric-driven decision making. If anything, PR has gained greater traction in the digital marketing stack.
Here’s why your tech startup needs PR as part of its marketing and communications strategy.
Reach and buyer influence
PR has the ability to impact startups like never before. Favorable 3rd party media coverage for a tech startup still revs up the passions of end buyers and motivates them to seek you out like no other source of information can. As long as humans are involved in any aspect of the buyer’s journey, whether it involves one person or a committee of technology professionals, there is still a strong emotional element to every decision made.
Bottom-line: You can’t strip out emotion from the purchasing process. More importantly, PR ensures that your ideal customers with purchase intentions gain the product insight and social validation they need to feel comfortable about buying.
To carve out space for your startup in today’s digital-first landscape, it’s crucial to have a strong SEO strategy. And a lesser known way to strengthen SEO is through media coverage. A tech PR agency can help increase website traffic by landing media coverage in tech media with high domain authority, which ultimately builds a solid backlink strategy. This ability to build out high value links that the Google algorithm prioritizes gives PR more influence over SEO outcomes than many of the common tricks (link directories, tier 3 blogs, sketchy pay-to-play media outlets, etc.) employed by many SEO firms.
Translation? Put PR at the center of your SEO strategy!
Thought leadership initiatives are another key component to startup PR. In order for a startup to build credibility, it pays for startup founders and key stakeholders to share their take on industry trends and submit contributed articles to industry publications and mainstream media like the Forbes Technology Council.
What’s not always well understood, however, is how powerful thought leadership is for a startup’s SEO initiative. Media coverage is essential to a successful backlinking strategy. A contributed article to a high domain authority publication can increase referral website traffic, not just through the published article on the website, but anywhere else the outlet shares it like social media or an email newsletter.
Startup leaders and their marketing team must approach thought leadership with intention and dedication if they hope to implement a successful thought leadership strategy for their company.
PR is measurable
Because media coverage has such a powerful impact on SEO, PR can also be as measurable as your other digital marketing efforts. One concrete way to measure PR results is to analyze website traffic. When measuring website analytics for a PR campaign, take a look at the Referral sources in Google Analytics and make note of any traffic spikes when media coverage occurs. This should be done in addition to tracking anything that was created specifically for a campaign like unique landing pages and UTM codes.
Want to learn more about why your tech startup needs PR? Download Swyft’s Tech Startup PR Guide for deeper insight into how PR can help increase brand awareness, drive website traffic, boost SEO, and win market share against the competition.