3 Examples of How to Use Customer Stories to Secure Media Coverage

At BLASTmedia, we constantly ideate ways to capture media coverage for our clients, such as thought leadership, leveraging a data report or reactive opportunities. One of the tried-and-true and most effective ways to secure valuable media coverage is leveraging a results-driven SaaS customer story. SaaS customer stories add another layer to a media relations strategy by offering real-world examples of the pain points our clients’ technologies solve for their customers.

Here are three examples of how to use SaaS customer stories to secure media coverage: 

Case study

We all remember case studies from our time in school. In those cases, they often pertained to an experiment with a defined hypothesis, methodology for research, data and findings followed by results. Creating a case study about a SaaS customer story often follows a similar format. Many will first identify a problem, explore any previous attempts to solve the issue, outline the choice to work with a specific company or solution and finally share the results (which are ideally demonstrated through hard numbers like hours saved, budget reduced, etc.). 

A great example is Bloomreach’s case study with customer Sur La Table on how the retailer uses Bloomreach’s GenAI to optimize e-commerce operations. Our team’s pitching efforts resulted in a standout piece of coverage in Chain Store Age, “EXCLUSIVE: Sur La Table boosts e-commerce results with generative AI.” 

Success story 

Showcasing a client’s success is the whole point of leveraging customer stories. While a case study uses a more scholarly format, a simple success story will offer the problem and then clearly outline how the product or organization proved to be the solution. Success stories will often include quotes from both the customer and the client’s spokesperson providing greater validation that the solution is effective. 

These stories often have bolder headlines as well, such as “How Stop & Shop is using AI, not cookies, to target customers” or “The tech that boosted a Tennessee credit union’s consumer loans.”

Trend awareness 

In the technology industry, various trends stay at the forefront of conversation while new ones appear seemingly daily. Some that come to mind right away are artificial intelligence, blockchain and the end of third-party cookies. While these conversations can often seem convoluted and broad, leveraging a SaaS customer is a great way to break through the noise. 

Headlines with this tactic often sound something like, “ESG data collection: Beginning steps and best practices.” In this example, our client, Optera, used their customer, Zayo Group, to highlight the benefits of working with outside experts to help navigate ESG data collection. Rather than just offering the same old insights on sustainability trends, this story digs into concrete results and real-world examples of how a quality data capture program can impact sustainability initiatives.

Whether it be a case study or a simple success story, using SaaS customer stories is an effective tactic to generate valuable media coverage and positive press.

Breaking into new verticals: Using trade media to reach new sales targets

One of the most underutilized B2B relationships is with your industry’s leading trade publication. According to a 2018 Mequoda Magazine Consumer Study, 42.4% of U.S. adults read at least one digital magazine per month — a 15% increase in three years. This goes to show trade pubs are much more than the monthly magazine they produce. 

Gone are the days where a trade publication’s reach is confined to the pages of their magazine. For many B2B SaaS industries, trade pubs and, more specifically, their websites, are the pulse of the industry. They are the first place your potential customers will look for current news and trends and can help you successfully fill your sales funnel.  

Many digital publications are hungry for fresh, relevant content. With shrinking editorial staffs, these outlets want high-quality contributions from a variety of authoritative sources. 

Here are three ways SaaS companies are using trade media to reach new SaaS customers in the market:

Support Lead Generation Efforts

Trade publications provide an opportunity to uncover new prospects and provide lead intelligence. But in today’s online publications, authors and companies are in a much more unique position. The conversations and content that orbit trade publications are constructed by people both looking for help and offering solutions. This goes to show the soft-sell approach can work wonders and move prospects along the sales funnel quicker.

Expand Your Reach

For companies looking to target new industries, trade media provides an opportunity to showcase industry expertise prospects can trust. When SaaS companies create a new offering or target new verticals, trade coverage can give them credibility. For example, if a company’s software has previously been built to support marketing teams but has new functionality for sales and customer support, earning coverage in those new verticals to raise awareness among the new buyer persona is a huge boost. Software sales reps can then use educational content and thought leadership coverage found in third-party media to refresh prospect email cadences to reach target buyers. 

Enhance Your Content Strategy

By reading and actively participating in trade publication content, you should advance your level of knowledge about prospects’ needs and pain points — all the things that keep decision-makers awake at night. You can then brainstorm the best ways to solve those pain points to attract leads, guiding them through your sales funnel. That being said, companies should consider what types of content are needed for various stages of the buyer journey and target accordingly. With proper lead nurturing supported by the right content every step of the way, companies will strengthen the relationship with the prospect, ultimately closing deals and driving revenue.

For more information on why trade media matters in B2B SaaS, please visit https://www.blastmedia.com/

5 Questions to Ask Your SaaS Customers When Creating Success Stories

As a B2B SaaS company, your customers are your biggest champions. No one is better positioned to advocate for your solution than the organizations using it every day. This is why, when it comes to your brand’s media relations efforts, SaaS customer stories need to be a core component of your strategy. 

From full case studies to media interviews and executive quotes, your clients can get involved in various ways — and make a serious impact on your brand’s perception in the marketplace. Not only is their participation valuable to your brand, but your customers will also benefit from the exposure. 

As part of your media relations toolkit, your customers will earn free media coverage to strengthen their brand, position themselves as an innovator by implementing a solution to resolve business challenges and build a presence for a company spokesperson to be an industry resource moving forward. 

Yet, before you can really tell your brand benefit story through a customer’s eyes, you first have to understand their story. Here are five questions you should ask your customer to start on your customer advocacy journey: 

1. What is the focus of your business? 

First and foremost, it’s important to have an idea of the industries in which your customer operates and who they serve. Should your outreach around their success be tailored to practitioners in the HR space? Or is their story better suited for sales and marketing publication readers? Determining which industries best fit your customer’s focus is the foundation of your media relations strategy. 

2. How does your company use our solution? 

It’s incredibly challenging to highlight your customer’s success with your solution without a detailed understanding of how they’re using it. While you probably have a general idea, dive below the surface of the standard use case to uncover the unique points needed to shape the customer’s specific story. 

3. What problem were you trying to address by purchasing our solution? 

I might argue that this question matters the most. Uncovering the roadblocks stopping your customers from achieving their goals before they implemented your solution is the backbone of their success story. Not to mention, this is the part that will really resonate with readers facing similar challenges. 

4. How does our solution help your team or company achieve its objectives?

Every problem calls for a solution. In your customer advocacy campaign, that solution is your product. When sharing your customer success story, providing insight into how it’s helping them achieve their objectives is critical. Further, showing actual ROI validates your claim, so consider following up with:

  • Did you track any KPIs before using our solution?
  • Are there any measurable benefits to using our solution?
  • What metrics are you tracking with our solution?
  • Do you have additional data to support your ROI?

5. What is your overall impression of us as a partner in your success?

To close it out, this question allows you to really drive home some of your value props outside your product’s hard features. What stands out when your customer thinks about you as a partner to their success? Is it your unparalleled customer support? Is it your next-level user experience? By asking your customers to elaborate on the most pertinent aspects of your brand experience and product, your company can shine as a key element to their success.  

These are just a handful of questions you can ask your customers when highlighting their success. If you’re interested in more information on how to promote your customers’ stories as part of your media relations strategy, check out our Building Customer References ebook. 

Developing Ideas for Thought Leadership Content: Four Questions to Ask Your Sales Team

Marketing and sales both want content that compels prospects to act. Yet, according to eMarketer, 90 percent of content developed by the marketing team is never used in selling.

Fortunately, as a marketer, you don’t need to spin your wheels thinking of a new strategy. By utilizing your sales team’s input, you can develop thought leadership content that resonates with media, salespeople on the front lines of customer acquisition and prospects. How can your team create thought leadership content that sales teams want to share with prospects? Start with asking the right questions. Continue reading “Developing Ideas for Thought Leadership Content: Four Questions to Ask Your Sales Team”