How does my startup or business find a way into the press like the major brands do? Every tech startup or early stage tech company thinks that a hit on TechCrunch for their launch is like the holy grail. The Pony Group’s founder, Scott Poniewaz, would agree, as his first company CampusDibs saw incredible traction after Techcrunch wrote about his daily deal site on launch day back in 2010. There are several reasons why press and media coverage like TechCrunch, Forbes, Entrepreneur, or other publications can lead to success. As an integral part of any company’s growth strategy and marketing funnel, here are a few reasons why press is valuable to a startup and businesses of all sizes and how to get press using the tools below:
Press For Startups Drives User Growth
When you get press coverage on a site that receives high volumes of traffic, you are going to receive some of that traffic through the links included in the article. This can also obviously happen with television. In fact, Rackspace has a great blog about Shark Tank entrepreneurs and what is called “The Shark Tank Effect” when high volumes of traffic hit your site. Aside from that direct traffic, you will also see a boom in organic traffic by people Googling and finding your site that way. This is why it is incredibly important to have a well-designed website that not only looks great, but also is optimized for conversions. When visitors reach your site, you want to guide them through the page and lead them to the actions you want them to take. You must decide, whether that is an email capture, a purchase, or to sign up for a service. If you know you have a big press hit in the near future, be sure to have others take your site for a test drive to ensure that your site does not have any broken sections (like your checkout process), and is optimized to perform for heavy traffic loads. Through careful planning and site design, you can capitalize on a news or blog article and turn that into users and ultimately revenues.
News Media Builds Credibility
Think back to the last time you were researching a new brand and noticed that they have been featured in specific trade publications, on popular blogs, or in leading news media sources. It likely gave you an extra vote of confidence and trust in the site you were visiting. For businesses, when you receive press attention, especially in a positive light through great reviews, or by showing thought-leadership, you’re elevating your brand to another level that drives your credibility score higher among consumers.
Media Articles Harvest Investments
Depending on your business, you may one day be looking for investments. Being able to point to a Techcrunch article, or feature interview that showed up in a top publication can serve as a badge of honor for you and your company. Not only does it show credibility, but it also shows that the press has cared enough about your product for their readership to know about it. When you go to pitch investors, being able to point to a handful of major press mentions and articles within larger publications can help boost your street cred in the board room and elevate your chances of earning an investment. Of course, it won’t guarantee it, but just like how a consumer looks for market fit, press is another factor along with your user numbers, revenues and other KPI’s that an angel investor or VC might use to evaluate your business. If you are looking for investors, an article in a major publication can help bring the investors knocking on your door.
Get Your Press Machine Rolling With These Tools
As you have seen above, the value of getting press is an exceptional one that sometimes can provide you brand value, result in sales and revenue, or lead to a future investor. That said, the days of hiring an expensive PR firm, or freelancer at the cost of thousands of dollars isn’t in every business’s budget, nor is it always necessary. Today, there are a variety of options and sources that are great for early stage companies, startups, and small businesses that have a bit of time, and not even necessarily any money to put toward their PR efforts. Here are a few of our favorite PR tools for getting press that we recommend:
Publicize Zero provides access to an extensive free list of tech reporters along with a suite of do-it-yourself PR tools that allow anyone to dig in, build a press kit, and reach out to garner your first articles. They also have educational tools in their free version, then if you have even a small budget, they have several levels of affordable packages available to take over your PR for you. Conrad Egusa and his team have solved a longtime pain point for businesses of all sizes by bringing PR services and solutions to the masses. Are you looking for a free list of tech reporter contact information like names and emails? Here is a list to get you started.
Looking to boost your SEO and backlinks and get a bit of PR along the way? Pressfarm touts itself as a growth hacker’s tool for finding journalists to write about your startup. Low cost and starting at just $18/month, they have packages for a variety of company sizes and PR purposes.
HARO (Help A Reporter Out)
How to get press with no budget, no worries! Help A Reporter Out, which was founded by Peter Shankman and now owned by Cision, is an email list that goes out several times a day across a variety of topics from finance to healthcare to technology and travel. This list is comprised of articles that reporters are actively working on and looking for sources to speak to. If you’re a fit, you submit your pitch, or reasons why you’d be a great source for the reporter, and if you’re a fit, they’ll set up interviews. Depending on your business, it can also be a great way to find expert sources for your own blog posts, or even generate topics for new content in your newsletters. Signing up as a source for the daily digests they send out is totally free and just make sure you reply promptly to ensure greater success. They don’t even charge you to submit your pitch!
While the other tools will help you reach and catch some of the big fish, Ninja Outreach gives you the opportunity to find influencers, bloggers, and others that may be interested in your products, services, or business. Using this tool, you can search and build lists based on factors like website traffic, social media followings, and a number of other factors, then actually set up a campaign to email out and pitch them. This can also work both ways, if you’re a content creator, such as a podcaster, you can find influential guests that may be interested in interviewing on your show. It is a low monthly cost, but one that can have very high returns.
Influence & Co
If you have a bit of a budget (we’re talking in the thousands of dollars), or are a business that really relies on thought leadership to elevate your brand, then Influence & Co is an incredible option. Utilizing a very talented pool of writers and their network with leading publications like Entrepreneur, Forbes, and others, they have the ability to work with businesses to build executive influence and thought leadership, or develop your own blog content on your behalf. They develop and get your articles placed in the places you want to be. Of course, the cost isn’t low, but for many brands and executives, they can be an invaluable resource.
Start Getting Your Own Press As A Startup Or Business
It is time to spread your brand’s wings and take off using these PR tools and advice. Now that we’ve answered the question of how to get press for your business, getting started can be the hardest part. With a little guidance, you’ll quickly be on your way. As part of The Pony Group‘s services, we can also help you build your PR and content strategy, whether you’re just getting started, or are ready to hire someone to manage your PR for you.
Get in touch here. We also have a suite of other preferred tools available on our Marketing Tools & Resources page.