A good PR strategy can increase the brand awareness and credibility of your startup. However, if you are a B2B startup and new to the world of PR, you might quickly realize that there are big differences in how B2B startups get press.
As a B2B startup, you will need to focus more on industry publications and other places where key business decision-makers are spending their time. For example, if you are selling cloud storage software to legal firms, then you will need to find those publications that IT managers in that industry are reading.
There are many tried and tested tactics to get press as a B2B startup. Here are a few to help you get started:
Focus on thought leadership
There will be times when you won’t have anything “newsworthy” to share. Positioning yourself as a thought leader can be a great way to get and keep your startup in the media. A consistent presence in the right trade or industry publications – whether by writing guest posts or just offering quotes – is one of the best ways to position yourself as a thought leader.
Keep in mind that if you are writing an opinion piece or guest post, you’ll need a bit of patience after submitting it to an editor. Larger publications have very strict editorial guidelines and lengthy article queues. Therefore, it may be weeks before you hear back from them. On the other hand, smaller, industry-specific trade publications are more likely to accept one-off articles from outside contributors. Typically, they have smaller teams of in-house writers and are more open to sharing advice or opinions from industry experts.
Even if they have a smaller audience, writing for trade publications can still pay off big for your startup. It’s an opportunity for you to speak directly to your target audience. You can go more in-depth, sharing your expertise about specific industry trends. You can also get into more technical details because readers will already understand your industry.
Go beyond the traditional media
There are so many ways people find and consume content these days – from articles on social media and podcasts to email newsletters and videos.
Instead of focusing all of your efforts on pitching ‘traditional’ media outlets, think about where else your target audience is spending their time. For example, a podcast interview or mention in an email newsletter with thousands of followers in your industry could result in much more attention for your startup than a mention on a general tech news site that publishes dozens of news articles each day.
Share more than press releases
Content such as studies, whitepapers, and ebooks with fresh insights or data about your industry don’t have to live only on your website. They can also be valuable assets for PR.
You can offer this new content to industry publications in advance of publishing on your company website, along with a short pitch (a few sentences) on why you think this topic is so relevant for your industry right now. Make sure to include a direct link to the content (ex: PDF) rather than directing them to a landing page where they need to complete a form to view it.
If a journalist finds it useful, they may share it or use it as a source in a relevant story, with a nice mention of your company. This is a great way to showcase your expertise and continuously build credibility during slower periods.
Always provide value
You don’t need to be a PR pro to secure ongoing media coverage for your B2B startup. By focusing your pitching efforts on media outlets important to your industry, you can increase your chances of securing coverage and getting in front of a relevant audience. Just make sure your pitch communicates that you’ve done your research: you understand the publication’s audience, what that journalist typically writes about, and that you are genuinely trying to provide something of value to their readers.