OVERVIEW

As more technology leaders create cloud computing services, Velostrata looked to differentiate their accelerated enterprise cloud migration and mobility offerings by positioning the company as a key migration and mobility partner for multiple cloud platforms — including as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Partner (GCP) and Microsoft Azure. In doing so, the brand also sought to increase awareness among potential customers, partners and investors.

CHALLENGE

Prior to engaging BLASTmedia, Velostrata had a relatively limited share of voice within the industry. With the company’s previous PR agency, Velostrata saw a low volume of media coverage and relied largely on expensive paid content placements and event sponsorships for visibility. Without the third-party validation generated by securing editorial coverage and award opportunities, Velostrata lacked the necessary credibility and brand awareness to attract prospects and other potential stakeholders.

STRATEGY

With the goal of increasing targeted visibility and building credibility in mind, BLASTmedia employed a number of PR strategies — including media relations, thought leadership, content creation, award opportunities, speaking opportunities and analyst relations. This approach allowed for BLASTmedia to create a steady cadence of media coverage and continuously build awareness of the brand over the course of the first six months. Tactics included:

  • Leveraging original data as proof point for enterprises’ need for a migration and mobility solution to address potential customer issues to garner coverage, as well as secure press meetings at AWS re:Invent
  • Conducting story mining sessions with key executives and researched industry trends to build original messaging around key topics in the cloud space — including leveraging existing content, as well as developing original content and quotes
  • Pitching commentary from thought leaders about trending industry topics, issues and best practices — including 2018 predictions for the industry — to build spokesperson credibility and industry share of voice
  • Identifying channel and product awards that would bolster both Velostrata executives and the product, and developed award submissions to build visibility with potential channel partners
  • Securing briefings with target analyst firms — including Gartner, IDC, 451 Group, ESG and more — to provide details around regular platform advancements, with the goal of inclusion in industry reports and gain of insights on the market as a whole

These early tactics and campaigns helped to build the foundation for two key partnership announcements: A channel partnership with RISC Networks and a cloud partnership with Google Cloud Platform.

RISC Networks Channel Partnership

In the months leading up to the RISC Networks channel partnership announcement, BLASTmedia advised Velostrata on how to leverage the partnership to increase visibility of both the new channel partnership and their partnerships as a whole. BLASTmedia leveraged Velostrata’s strategy on partner programs — specifically referencing RISC Networks as a strategic partner — to secure interviews for key thought leaders at the company. From there, BLASTmedia made outreach surrounding the larger partnership announcement, targeting channel publications, including Channel Partners Online, Channelnomics, Channel Vision, Channel Eye and The VARGuy.

Google Cloud Platform Partnership

Knowing the new cloud partnership with Google Cloud Platform was a key addition to the company’s two existing cloud integrations (Azure & AWS), BLASTmedia implemented a four-point outreach strategy that included both media contact and analysts:

1. Thought leadership
Prior to the announcement, BLASTmedia seeded thought leadership commentary — in the form of contributed content and quote inclusions — around multi-cloud strategy, supporting the idea that migration partners should be able to migrate between multiple cloud providers. This set the stage for Velostrata’s new cloud partner addition.

2. Pre-briefing
Weeks before the announcement, BLASTmedia made outreach to analysts — including both those who were familiar with Velostrata and those new to the brand — to offer up pre-briefings with Velostrata spokespeople. The team also leveraged existing relationships with CRN, Velostrata’s top media target, to secure an exclusive pre-briefing with the channel publication.

For each briefing, BLASTmedia provided the Velostrata spokesperson with background information on the outlet/analyst firm and contact, past interactions with the outlet/analyst firm, recent stories and perspectives on the cloud market, any existing coverage of competitors, and insight into potential areas of focus, and talking points for the conversation. These briefing documents helped set the stage for a productive conversation tailored to the specific audience.

3. Embargoed outreach
In addition to conversations with media, BLASTmedia shared the Google Cloud Platform partnership press release with media under embargo prior to the announcement. This pre-pitch strategy allowed members of the media time to develop stories ahead of the announcement, as well as request interviews with key spokespeople about the partnership.

4. Post-announcement outreach
To encourage additional coverage of the announcement, BLASTmedia also made outreach to key media contact after the announcement ran. This post-announcement outreach included report data that helped to further emphasize the value the partnership presented to customers.

CAMPAIGN RESULTS

Velostrata was acquired by Google following the Google Cloud Platform partnership announcement that drove more than 150 sessions on Velostrata.com in the days surrounding the announcement.

Press coverage surrounding partnership announcements also contributed to spikes in website traffic — during the days surrounding the RISC partnership, the website saw a 93.75% increase in referral traffic; during the days surrounding the Google Cloud Platform partnership announcement, the website saw a 538% increase in referral traffic. Over the course of the engagement as a whole, website referral traffic increased by 185%.

Within six months, BLASTmedia garnered over 60 pieces of media coverage — compared to less than 20 media mentions over the course of the four months prior. Key pieces of media coverage included No Jitter, Channel Partners, CMSWire, SiliconAngle, Datamation, DZone, Channel Futures, VMblog and SDxCentral — all of which were top 50 traffic drivers to Velostrata.com at some point during that 6-month period. Through consistent, quality media coverage, Velostrata’s industry share of voice among competitors increased by over 10% in a mere six months and help prime the company for acquisition.