Building a Brand Presence: Trade Coverage

Trade media is often overlooked: lower domain authority scores and fewer unique monthly visitors don’t excite brands as much as seeing their name in lights in top-tier publications. Trade publications tend to get a bad rap, but they can be beneficial in helping a brand establish its identity and reach its target audience. 

So, what are some reasons why brands need to take trade coverage?

Reach readers with messages they understand

While top-tier publications such as Forbes and Wall Street Journal reach millions of people and should be a part of your larger PR strategy, with trade publications, brands know exactly who they are speaking to and can use messaging readers understand. For example, say your target audience is in-house counsel; TechCrunch shouldn’t be your target publication since TechCrunch’s usual readers are unlikely to consume it. Publications like TechCrunch target executive leaders at SaaS companies, which casts a wider net and may not speak to a specific industry compared to a legal publication such as National Law Review. From a trade publication perspective, they are providing their readers with messaging and information that best pertains to them and in turn, creates loyal readers.

Build credibility before approaching top-tier publications

Trade media can help build a brand presence and lay a foundation before targeting top-tier publications. National publications are looking to cover large companies and industry-shattering news. Placing a story in a national publication can take weeks if not months — if ever achieved at all. Trade publications often respond to media requests faster and are more likely to accept contributed content, publish features and share company news. If your company is not well-known, coverage in trade publications helps build and amplify your brand presence. That way, when you begin targeting top-tier publications, a reporter searching for your company name will see an influx of trade coverage –– helping to increase your credibility. 

Utilize thought leaders as a source

One of the main reasons a company invests in a PR agency is to help establish and build a company thought leader’s brand and presence. The SaaS market plays to a variety of industries and within those industries, there are multiple leaders with different expertise and experiences. Getting thought leaders into industry-specific trade publications can boost your company’s reputation and increase brand awareness. In addition, utilizing thought leaders in trade publications can show top-tier reporters they are a viable source for a potential story. 

To learn more about building a brand presence and why trade media should be on the top of your PR agency’s priority list, check out our blog post 3 Reasons Trade Media Matters in B2B SaaS.

3 Ways Employees Can Extend the Life of Media Coverage

Earned media coverage is highly sought after, though it is not always easily obtained. In today’s world, the media cycle is constantly churning at an unbelievable rate, giving many articles relevance for only a short period of time. However, your employees have the potential to be some of your company’s biggest advocates, extending the life of your media coverage far beyond what you could do alone.

When a company is featured, quoted or has a contributed article run in the press, employees should feel a sense of pride and excitement. As you work to foster this excitement, there are a few ways you can encourage your employees to leverage the exposure quickly and effectively. Check out some tips on how you can get the most out of your earned media coverage with the help of your employees:

Encourage employees to share on social media

Companies often make the mistake of overlooking one of their most effective marketing assets: their employees. Encouraging employees to promote media coverage on their social media accounts can broaden the reach of the message and increase brand awareness. 

To do this, it is essential to make it easy for employees to find and share the content. Try including it in the weekly company newsletter, sharing it on the intranet or use existing communication channels like Slack or Microsoft Teams –– to make sure you are reaching all employees. This can also include an example post that makes it easy for employees to copy-and-paste.

Promote the use of coverage as sales collateral

Earned media coverage can also be used in sales conversations. When a member of your sales team is speaking with a potential customer, they can use the coverage as a way to show brand credibility through third-party validation. 

For potential new customers or warm leads, they have already shown interest in your company. When looking for a solution or product, many turn to leading publications in their industries for the latest news and trends. By seeing insight from your thought leaders or the announcement of a new feature, it can solidify your credibility and provide the validation needed to help get them over the finish line to purchase your product.

Publish articles on LinkedIn

LinkedIn’s publishing platform allows members to share articles specified to their expertise or interest — just like your thought leaders are doing with media already. Encouraging those thought leaders to share their bylined articles on LinkedIn to extend the life of your coverage by giving it more legs as a new post. Just be sure to credit and link to the original article at either the beginning or end of the piece! 

Companies that are not leveraging their employee networks risk their media coverage being a one-and-done deal. If used properly, you can get additional value from media coverage all while increasing brand awareness and extending your reach through your employee network. If you want to learn more about how to maximize your media coverage, download our ebook, “A Short Guide to Maximizing Your Media Coverage.”

3 Reasons To Build Customer References to Complement Your PR Program

Your customers are your biggest asset. After all, the whole reason your business exists is because of them. Who better to vouch for your platform publicly?

Sure, you’re probably doing just fine without customers quoted in the media. But do you know the true cost of not having customer references for your PR program?

Advantages that references can bring to your business

Below is a list of advantages that building customers references can bring to your business.

  1. Adding third-party validation for media

Every SaaS PR program’s success revolves around getting your story in front of the right media. Especially for national outlets focused on large-scale trends and business impact angles, having third-party validation from customer references to corroborate your story adds that extra layer of impact. Just like we all learned about writing narratives in 9th grade English class: show, don’t tell.

  1. Creating sales enablement content for your business

Reporters aren’t the only ones who can benefit from visibility into a real-life application of your product — your prospects can, too. Just like having customers who will take reference calls for you or provide a quote for your website, customer-focused coverage can act as an easily-referencable asset to move prospects down your funnel. Whether it’s referencing a story in initial outreach to a prospect in a similar industry or following up on a great conversation with an article, having customer-focused coverage to share can add brand credibility and validate your value.

  1. Building free promotion for your customer

Last but definitely not least, tapping customers for your PR program also builds their brand. As they talk about the ways they’ve used your tech to improve processes, it’ll increase their standing as a tech innovator and problem-solver in their space. Not to mention, serving as a reliable source will solidify their relationships with reporters for possible future stories.

If you’re saying, “This all sounds great, but I don’t even know where to start,” we’ve got you covered. Check out our guide on how to build customer references to complement your PR program!

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Media Fragmentation: How to Earn Brand Credibility

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