Since SaaS businesses have a distinct business model designed to boost user adoption, you need to build a SaaS PR strategy that aligns with this business model. While you may provide products and services that other people need, you can’t just sit back and rely on the products to sell themselves. In order to generate maximum success, you need a SaaS PR plan that can keep potential and current clients informed of news, updates, and more.
What is SaaS?
A Software as a Service (SaaS) business is any business that delivers business services through an online tool of some kind. Instead of installing and maintaining software, you simply use the Internet to access it. This eliminates the need for complicated software and device maintenance. Web-based software, on-demand software, and hosted software are all alternative terms used to describe SaaS applications. SaaS apps are hosted on the servers of a SaaS provider. The service provider is in charge of the application’s security, availability, and performance.
Characteristics of a SaaS
To better understand how the SaaS model works, think of a bank that respects each customer’s privacy while offering dependable and secure services on a large scale. Customers of the bank can utilize the same financial processes and technology without fear of unauthorized access to their personal information.
1) Multitenant architecture
Multitenant architecture is one in which all users and apps share a single, centrally maintained infrastructure and codebase. Since all SaaS vendor clients share the same infrastructure and code base, vendors may innovate more quickly and save on the development work that would otherwise be spent supporting several versions of old code.
2) Easy customization
A standard SaaS application offers users the capacity to readily change programs to meet their business operations without compromising the shared infrastructure. These customizations are unique to each firm or user due to how the SaaS is built, and they are constantly retained across upgrades. As a result, SaaS providers can improve their products more frequently, with less risk to their customers and a reduced adoption cost.
3) Better access
A SaaS solution also offers improved data access from any networked device, improved privilege management, and data usage monitoring. This ensures that everyone sees the same information at the same time.
4) Connections to the consumer web
The web interface of common SaaS programs will be familiar to anyone who has used Amazon.com or My Yahoo! Customizing the features of a SaaS is as easy as pointing and clicking. This eliminates the week- or month-long wait that comes with updating traditional corporate software.
5) Continuous improvement
Companies are currently developing SaaS integration platforms (or SIPs) to build more SaaS apps. According to consulting firm Saugatuck Technology, the “third wave” in software adoption occurs when SaaS advances beyond standalone program capabilities to become a platform for mission-critical applications.
PR in SaaS Marketplace
If you’re launching a SaaS in a crowded and competitive market, public relations can help you stand out by enhancing your profile and awareness. Simply put, public relations (or PR) is how organizations, businesses, and people connect with the general public and the media. Since it complements other marketing efforts, you should include public relations in your overall marketing strategy. Good PR efforts will enhance the reputation of your company and its products and provide exposure that you will not have to pay for directly, as opposed to advertising. Journalists embrace PR coverage since it is independent. Moreover, journalists will cover your brand based on the merits of your news, opinion, and expertise.
Not long ago, simply talking about your new and interesting SaaS and what it did was enough to pique a journalist’s interest. However, by the end of 2022, this industry is expected to be valued at more than US$ 331.2 billion. To stand out in the SaaS industry, it’s no longer enough to talk about your technology; you now need to be able to demonstrate the features and benefits that you offer. In order to effectively cut through the clutter, you must concentrate on the true benefits of your product to users and explain why prospective buyers should choose you.
Problems with current SaaS PR pitches
The novelty of SaaS technology made it noteworthy a few years ago, but cloud technology is now more common. As mentioned previously, Software-as-a-Service service solutions allow consumers to lease functionality and use hosted software via web clients. Unfortunately, many SaaS PR presentations continue to emphasize product features or benefits. Want to get a reporter to yawn? Then send them a SaaS PR pitch touting these obvious advantages:
- Reduces implementation time
- Reduces IT acquisition expenses
- Cuts down on IT maintenance expenditure
- Offers the ability to purchase a subset of a SaaS provider’s full capability and later upgrade to additional modules
- Provides access to new technology, features, and upgrades more quickly
In addition to sending journalists stories that are not newsworthy, SaaS businesses also make the following PR mistakes:
1) Hiring a PR firm with no SaaS experience
Remember that hiring a dedicated public relations firm or agency is merely the first step. If you don’t know whether the PR agency that you’re hiring has worked with SaaS companies before, you might as well write a blank check to them and wave goodbye to your money. Before you hand over your hard-earned cash:
- Inquire if the PR firm has media relationships in the outlets that you want to appear in.
- Inquire about the PR metrics they’ll track and how they’ll grade their PR hits.
- Ask them to share success stories.
Keep in mind that not every public relations firm is capable of obtaining high-quality coverage, so you may need to choose the PR firm you work with based on your goals and capabilities.
Pressfarm is a PR agency that has a proven track record of helping startups and established companies create memorable content to capture attention in the media as well as among their target audience. Their PR experts and writers work with companies to help them understand what it takes to stand out in their niche and create quality content that makes heads turn. With a professional press release, some compelling feature articles, and a creative media kit from Pressfarm, your brand can make a splash in your industry.
By submitting your brand to the right media outlets and startup directories, Pressfarm can boost your online presence, ensuring you rank in relevant search results. With a custom media list as well as a database of 1 million+ bloggers, journalists, and influencers, you can connect with the best storytellers and thought leaders in your niche. One of Pressfarm’s affordable PR packages could be exactly what you need to take your brand to the next level.
2) Not having a realistic, measurable strategy
If you truly want to benefit from your PR efforts, then you must create a precise, measurable, and realistic PR strategy. Regardless of whether you employ a specialist PR agency or go it alone, you must integrate these PR efforts into your overall business strategy. Public relations efforts that are closely linked to your marketing initiatives are referred to as integrated PR. Your integrated PR strategy should focus on what you aim to accomplish with your media coverage.
If your marketing and PR staff will be handling all of your PR operations, having an integrated PR plan is even more crucial. You will waste both time and resources if you don’t explicitly state, monitor, and measure everything. Remember, you can put as much money into a PR campaign as you want, but if you don’t know what results you want or when you want them, that PR activity won’t help you. Now more than ever, SaaS PR presentations must include a fresh approach and innovative techniques for increasing the awareness of cloud-based solutions to clients.
Tips for more effective SaaS PR
1) Know your product
Since not all SaaS services are created equal, your SaaS PR strategy will vary depending on the type of SaaS software that you’re promoting. This means that you should be familiar with the various SaaS products (for example, SaaS CRM solutions, SaaS financial solutions, SaaS productivity solutions, and so on) and adjust your strategy accordingly.
2) Focus on customer adoption and impact
The transition to a cloud-based technological environment is a source of anxiety for many potential SaaS consumers. Instead of focusing on benefits, effective SaaS PR needs to address customer concerns related to adoption and impact. Most buyers already know what your product can achieve for them; now it’s time to demonstrate how easy switching will be.
3) Tie pitches into larger news stories
There’s nothing wrong with using SaaS messaging to “newsjack” larger PR stories. Some of the most effective SaaS PR pitches succeed because they refer to other noteworthy topics or trends. By doing so, you can link cloud technology to events taking place elsewhere in the IT industry. An easy way to craft a relatable news story is by weaving your story into a debate about an everyday occurrence in a captivating way. The goal is to make a connection between your story and what’s trending right now. This content marketing technique is known as newsjacking, and it’s a great way to make your media pitch more relevant and appealing.
It’s also a compelling way to do SaaS marketing. Let’s assume that a new tech story has gone viral on Twitter. In this case, linking the press release announcement from your cloud technology firm to this news story is a smart strategy for gaining traction.
Why is this strategy so successful?
Journalists thrive on breaking news stories. They want their stories to be about what is happening right now. Getting your story to coincide with breaking news is a simple hack that can increase the likelihood of your SaaS company being featured in the media.
4) Pitch customer survey results
Surveys are a fantastic way to get input from consumers, but they can also be helpful for SaaS public relations. Reporters prefer getting real-world facts from your customers rather than hearing what your marketing department has to say about your SaaS solution. Consider conducting a customer survey to present the data to reporters at specific media outlets. As the owner of a SaaS company, you have access to a wealth of data.
What journalists love about this
Journalists adore data, whether it’s data you discovered while developing your product or user statistics that you identified once you released your product to the market. You can utilize this information to forecast industry trends or share significant market insights gleaned from your company’s customers. It’s easier for your media contact to create a narrative around the figures if you incorporate analytics in your pitch.
Journalists love data-driven stories so they’re more likely to pick a story like this up. While crafting your pitches, you should take advantage of the statistics that your firm has access to. You must make sure that this information is useful and relevant to a large number of people. Keep in mind that visuals are processed significantly faster than text, so if you have complex statistics it can be helpful to convert them into a visual format. For example, using infographics or graphs to illustrate these statistics might be more effective than just presenting the raw data.
Journalists receive hundreds of pitches at a go, and they usually have little time to review them. Graphs can be a straightforward tool to use if you want to make figures understandable to a PR reporter. By simplifying complex data, you can make your story more appealing to a journalist, thus increasing the chances of the story getting picked up. The data for the graphs does not have to be your own. As long as it comes from credible sources, it will make your pitch stand out.
5) Use a story that has worked before
Some SaaS companies don’t realize it, but getting media attention doesn’t require you to create anything genuinely new and unusual. You can easily use a narrative that has succeeded in the past. Simply rework the story to make it more relevant to your company. To make this story more relevant to your needs:
- Choose an idea that has already proven to be successful
- Find ways to personalize it
Public relations for SaaS companies differ from traditional public relations. For one thing, this sector develops at breakneck speed and there’s always more industry jargon to learn than there is in most other industries. As a result, as a SaaS business owner, you must engage a top-tier PR firm. More importantly, this firm must understand what it takes to perform SaaS PR and it must have a proven track record to back up that claim.