Attracting media attention is challenging, even for established companies. There are thousands of startups worldwide, especially in the SaaS and tech industries. Unless you’re launching a startup that will disrupt reality as we know it, you’ll have to work hard to get your startup noticed.
No one knows you exist. You have few, if any, customer success stories. So getting eyes on your organic social media posts is almost impossible unless you begin marketing before you launch.
So, how do you get your startup noticed?
- Make PR and marketing a key pillar in your business model
- Identify your target audience
- Refine your messaging
- Leverage social media
- Utilize email marketing
PR and marketing are as critical as product development, design, and finance. Media coverage not only helps you grow your business, but you’ll also attract investors’ attention. When you first launch, maintaining a healthy cash flow is one of your primary challenges. Nevertheless, getting your startup noticed is essential for growth.
Keep It Simple
Journalists have many stories to cover, especially in the tech space. But, the entire B2B, B2C, and D2C startup markets are on fire, regardless of today’s economic uncertainties. So, journalists are busy. Therefore, keep your story simple to capture media attention for your startup.
- Why did you found your startup?
- What is your startup doing?
- How will it deliver a product or service that will disrupt what’s already in the world?
- What will your startup’s products or services do to help people in a way they’ve never been before?
Tell your story in a way that anyone with almost no experience or independent knowledge would be able to understand what it is that you are saying.
You may have a vision that you want to save the world, but that’s not going to help you get the attention you need, so keep it realistic. You have long-term plans, of course, but for now, focus on your short-term goals.
Don’t Make Up A Story To Get A Story
Make sure that the news you want to share with the media is genuinely news. It could hurt future media coverage of your startup if you merely take advantage of some other news story and turn it around to make it about you.
Authenticity and trust are essential in building a good relationship with the media. Promote positive and exciting milestones, such as funding rounds, facility openings, staffing, and product launches.
Know Your Audience
Do your homework to know to who you’re pitching your story to. And don’t forget that the journalist also has an audience. Therefore, before pitching, make sure you understand both audiences—your prospective customers and the journalist’s readers or listeners.
Before pitching your story, reach out to the journalist and arrange a casual conversation in person or a virtual environment. Find out
- the journalist’s experience in the industry
- what they’ve written previously
- how they approach a story
- what excites or drives them
- what they need from you to make their job easier.
Remember that journalists are interested in good stories but also want a popular by-line. So by doing your homework, you’ll make the journalist’s job much easier, optimizing the likelihood that you’ll get your startup noticed by a larger audience.
It Takes Patience To Get Your Startup Noticed
Building awareness of your new tool, software, product, podcast, or whatever it may be takes time. You’ve been formulating the idea for your startup for a while. Still, you can’t expect spontaneous awareness and demand for your products or services just because you’ve launched.
PR (and marketing) for your startup is a marathon, not a sprint. You can’t build your reputation overnight, but you can destroy it within a few minutes. Likewise, it takes time to build mutual trust and respect, so be patient.
Be Honest And Straightforward
Being dishonest with the media is one sure way to bury any attention to your startup. Unfortunately, it’s a small club, and word-of-mouth marketing works among the press too. Correct all mistakes right away. If you don’t have an answer, say so and promise to provide one as quickly as possible.
You need a compelling message and a determination to engage with journalists to ensure your startup gets noticed. It may require a few pitches before a journalist agrees to cover your story. Use the intervening time to optimize your relationship with journalists covering your industry.
Marketing To Get Your Startup Noticed
Identify Your Target Audience
Understanding your target audience is critical to developing a successful marketing strategy. As a startup, you have limited financial resources. Therefore, you want to optimize your marketing strategy to produce the best ROI possible. Failing to create buyer personas to understand your target audience better will waste time and money.
There are many tools that you can utilize that will help you develop customer personas. We’ve discussed them in previous articles and the importance of looking at demographics and psychographics.
Understanding your target audience enables you to tell your startup’s story in a way that engages attention and builds trust and demand for your products or services.
Create Engaging Content
Content is still king, and you can’t skip content marketing even as a startup with a limited budget.
But not just any content.
You might think the best way to get your startup noticed is to push out lots of content and hope someone sees it. But if it’s not high-quality, helpful content, you won’t attract the attention you need to help your startup grow.
In the beginning, you’ll want to concentrate on compelling website copy, authoritative blog articles, thought leadership pieces, and videos. However, to get your startup noticed, you’ll primarily want to create content assets that tell your story. Like the press, you’ll want to provide your target audience with practical information about your startup’s vision, mission, and goals. Don’t be afraid to get personal and transparent.
Once you understand your target audience, you’ll know which types of content they like and where they want to engage with those types of content.
Leverage Social Media
No company can overlook the power of social media to create brand awareness and demand. In addition, specific demographics, such as Gen Z, turn to social media for news, skipping mainstream news channels.
The role of social media in helping you get your startup noticed cannot be overstated. And the best way to jumpstart the process is to develop your personal brand before you launch your startup. Here are a few things you can do:
- Create or boost your LinkedIn profile. Publish daily posts and engage with users in your industry.
- Seek out opportunities to be a guest on podcasts.
- Become a presenter at industry conferences.
- Submit guest articles to industry media.
Once you’ve launched and you’ve identified your audience, select two social media channels and begin posting engaging helpful content.
If you’re a tech startup, you’ll want to focus on LinkedIn and Twitter. However, if you have the capacity, you might also want to participate in Slack channels relevant to tech growth and marketing.
A LinkedIn profile and company page are a must for any startup, regardless of your niche. However, depending on your target audience, you might want to focus more on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, or TikTok.
And our list wouldn’t be complete without talking about YouTube shorts. Google executives admit younger generations are conducting searches on social media, especially YouTube and TikTok.
The bottom line is to stick to two social channels until you’ve scaled enough to dedicate full-time staff to social media marketing.
Utilize Email Marketing
Press coverage depends on journalist interest and the hot topics of the day. If it’s a slow news day or week, you’re more likely to get your interview or press release published.
Algorithms and platform changes limit your social media marketing.
Your email list is the one piece of digital real estate that belongs to you and that you control. You have direct access to your customers. Therefore, you’ll want to start building an email list and creating effective email campaigns as soon as possible.
How do you get your startup noticed?
- Start before you launch.
- Put PR and marketing on par with product development, design, and finance in your business model.
- Identify your target audience.
- Tell your story.
- Optimize your messaging.
- Leverage the power of social media marketing.
- Prioritize your content distribution channels.
- Build your email list and create email campaigns.
- Commit to the marathon.
Implement the strategies discussed above, and you’ll attract attention to your startup.
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