Over the past five years, VC firms have invested $31.5 billion across 3,308 deals for Silicon Valley tech startups. The innovation being financed is astounding, but, as any startup knows, getting noticed can be difficult.
There’s a lot of noise in the market and, to get noticed by prospects and venture capitalists alike, a PR strategy is crucial. But where do you get started? And how do you reach out and spread the word when you’re on a budget?
Here are five tactics to get the ball rolling!
1. Article Comments
Commenting on other blogs and online articles is a great way to not only start building relationships with influencers in your space, but to also get noticed yourself! However, comments need to go beyond something like, “Great article!”
Offer some specific feedback or additional insight relating back to the piece, otherwise it can be seen as spammy or less credible when the goal is to display industry knowledge and start a conversation. This strategy also offers a chance to share information about your startup with a link to your site, but very succinctly without too many marketing or buzz words – a comment shouldn’t be an advertisement, it should be part of a helpful forum for discussion.
2. Company Listings
There are several startup listings like Killer Startups where you can submit your company to be displayed, which helps increase visibility. Beyond self-submitted listings, there are media outlets and influencers dedicated to the startup realm that hold more credibility and have more widespread exposure. Jeff Vance, for instance, frequently writes ‘startups to watch’ columns for various industries like Big Data and Mobile, which PR agencies help you tap into through established relationships and effective pitching techniques.
3. Social Profiles
Establishing social profiles on relevant networks like Twitter and LinkedIn where you’ll be most likely to reach your audience is important, because social channels can help give your startup an authentic voice and show the people behind the brand. Social networks also give you an additional outlet to share your progress and industry expertise while establishing connections and providing another touch point for customers, prospects and influencers. The key here though is to maintain consistent updates and engagement – it’s not enough to just have a profile without using it.
The startup scene is full of great opportunities to show off your brand, with a lot of local city meet-ups, workshops and networking events, as well as more established conferences. Things like Tech Cocktail can be great to get noticed, but even attending bigger events where you can rub elbows with industry hotshots can be beneficial to get your name out there. There are also a lot of social networks and media outlets that create specific hashtags or coverage around events that you can latch onto to benefit from the association and generate more awareness.
A blog promotes SEO, establishes thought leadership, provides a platform for engagement and education and communicates your vision. That’s not all – blogs can become cornerstones for lead generation, too. Recent research shows that 62 percent of consumers want to see content that’s been directly created by a brand, and they’ll look at the blog as the place to find that content. This is why a blog can be such a powerful channel building relationships and nurturing leads.
Better yet, blogs provide an additional resource, beyond your website, to link back to from the tactics above, including your article comments, company listings and social profiles.