3 Lessons From Product-Led Growth PR Done Right

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Product-led growth or “PLG” is on the rise. If you look around the SaaS world, there are plenty of great examples of PLG companies — Slack, Calendly, Dropbox and Airtable. When you look at the traits of successful PLG companies, you can glean a few lessons for your product-led growth PR strategy

First, a quick refresh on product-led growth. A PLG company is all about individual user adoption turning into paying customers. The focus is on the end user rather than traditional buyers, like a company executive. With that in mind, here are three lessons we can learn from product-led growth PR done right. 

  1. Cater to the end user

A PLG strategy is focused on the end user and this should be reflected in your PR strategy. If it’s the end users telling their bosses which software to buy, you want to ensure you are speaking to them. This should show up in the way press releases are written and the type of coverage you secure. 

Let’s start with press releases. At last year’s Dreamforce, Slack unveiled its latest product innovations. If you do a quick skim of their announcement, you’ll see the messaging is focused on the benefits to the end user. They speak to how “clips” will help teams and how “Slack Connect” will help you collaborate. A press release should zero in on what benefits the end user will get from your new product.

There are a couple types of coverage you can pursue to ensure you are catering to the end user: product-focused coverage and customer stories. If you have a product that creates true value for the everyday human, you want media coverage that highlights it. Dropbox did this with a feature in TechRadar on the release of its password manager. Highlighting customer stories is another way to cater to the end user. By securing coverage of a customer story, you can showcase the value of your product through someone who has personally felt it.

  1. Make life easier

Not only do you want to cater to the end user, but you also want to make life better for them. One way successful PLG companies do this is through thought leadership. Thought leaders from leading PLG companies share their expertise on industry trends and best practices. For example, Calendly’s Chief Product Officer contributed to a Computerworld article on how to hold better, shorter meetings. Dropbox’s CEO shared the lessons he’s learned from leading a “virtual first” workforce with MIT. With their thought leadership efforts, PLG companies associate their name with industry expertise that makes life easier for their target audience. So answer the questions people are asking and help them solve their problems.

  1. Leverage data for virality

A common trait of a PLG company is virality. One path to virality is through media relations. How do you go viral if you’re a SaaS company? Data of course! Leveraging platform data, surveys, or publicly available data for media relations is a great way to drum up some buzz.

Take our client Chorus.ai as an example. When the pandemic hit, they began collecting anonymized data from their platform. We leveraged that data and earned a feature in Insider as well as several other interviews and pieces of contributed content. Surveys are another great approach. Slack has done this really well, conducting a quarterly Future Forum Pulse survey. This has landed them coverage in publications such as Fortune, WIRED, Tech Republic, ZDNet and more. 

Catering your press releases to the end user, putting out helpful thought leadership, or sharing data to go viral are just a few of the lessons we can learn from the PR strategies of successful PLG companies. 

If you want to know how to implement one of these lessons into your PR strategy, contact Lindsey Groepper to see how BLASTmedia can help. 

3 Proven PR Strategies for Product-Led Growth

Among SaaS companies, product-led growth strategies have quickly taken over as the most effective way to scale faster, improve the user experience and increase go-to-market efficiency. Take the likes of Slack, Dropbox or Calendly. These brands rely on their products to build a large bench of active end users, who are then converted into paying customers. With affordability and accessibility on their side, SaaS companies can attract and acquire a wider audience by enabling them to evaluate and adopt the solution on their own. 

Along with a user-centric mindset and scalable distribution model, PR plays an important role in maximizing the PLG playbook. To succeed in the current climate, SaaS companies must rise to meet the demands of their end users. Product-led growth is all about giving users the power. From third-party validation to owned data insights, PR provides another avenue for SaaS companies to expand their reach, engage their audience and influence their buyers. 

Customer Stories

Everyone loves a success story, especially when it gives them an idea of how to improve their own situation. Sharing customer use cases is a great way to showcase how you can significantly improve your audience’s operations. Customers act as third-party validation for your solution. In an era when end users reign supreme, this is critical to growth. 

There’s an opportunity for customers to buy into your PR strategy by participating in your media efforts. For example, Phenom’s customer, Southwest Airlines, was featured in a Wall Street Journal article about their hiring plans during the pandemic, highlighting the essential role Phenom’s TXM platform played in their hiring and recruiting process.  

Thought Leadership 

Today, your audience is doing more research on their own than ever before. They want to know how to solve specific business problems, and thought leadership from your executives educates them by providing actionable insights on how to overcome those obstacles. 

Whether it’s a quote or a bylined article, thought leadership allows your business to highlight the benefits of technology. For example, in this TechCrunch+ article from Help Lightning’s CEO on what to consider when implementing remote visual assistance into your tech stack, Help Lightning spoke to the specific value their technology offer businesses. 

Data Reports

One of the most valuable things you can give your audience is the gift of industry insight. By analyzing and anonymizing platform data or conducting industry research, you can uncover valuable insights to help your audience understand the current state of their industry and identify opportunities to solve their problems. 

Casted recently released its inaugural The State of the Content Marketer Report, which identifies common pain points and growth opportunities for today’s content marketers. By exposing the biggest barriers stopping your audiences from successfully performing, you are providing them with the information they need to make important changes to their operations.   

Successfully achieving product-led growth is a journey. In the end user era of business, SaaS companies can maximize their PLG playbook by pursuing other avenues to reach their target audiences. Tapping into the power of PR to help drive organizational goals, such as engagement, reach and revenue, will set the best product-led growth strategies apart from the rest.   
If you’re interested in learning more about how PR can impact your SaaS company’s product-led growth, contact Lindsey Groepper to chat about how BLASTmedia can help.  

What Is Product-Led Growth Marketing and What Does It Mean for SaaS PR?

If you’re in the SaaS world, you’ve probably heard the term “product-led growth” or “PLG” thrown around. So, what exactly is product-led growth marketing and what does it mean for SaaS PR?

A quick refresh on PLG…

A term coined by OpenView Partners, product-led growth marketing focuses on the end user (the average Joes of the company) over the traditional buyer (like the company executives). With PLG, a business lets individual user adoption of the platform organically transform into paying customers.

The entire point of PLG is to deliver a user-friendly experience that solves pain points up front before requiring users to invest heavily in the product. PLG is built on three core principles: design for the end user, deliver value before capturing value and invest in the product with go-to-market intent. It’s simple: make a product that quickly proves its worth to free users — so much so that they want to pay to unlock even more value.

Take Calendly for example — chances are you’ve probably used a free version of the platform to help with scheduling. All you had to do was fill out a free signup form. There’s also a chance you loved the ease of scheduling with Calendly so much that you upgraded to a paid version of the tool to unlock additional capabilities, like allowing your entire team to coordinate scheduling through the platform. That’s a PLG strategy working its magic as you organically moved down the funnel into a paying customer.

So, what does a product-led growth PR strategy look like?

While product-led growth marketing isn’t necessarily rocket science, it does take a special focus on PLG’s core principles to create a successful product-led growth PR strategy. At the heart of it, the principles of PLG all tie back to making a product that creates true value for the everyday human — so that’s exactly where your PR strategy should focus.

Because you’re trying to capture the attention of the end users themselves, your PR strategy should prioritize their needs and desires over anything else. Sure, the average employee wants the business they work for to succeed — but more than that, they want to personally succeed at their job (without losing their mind). If you can show how your product helps them do this through your media coverage, you’ve mastered a product-led growth PR strategy.
A few ways to relay this message are through vendor neutral commentary in the form of contributed articles or media interviews, press releases about your product and customer stories.

Vendor neutral commentary

Commentary around your industry itself — whether that be trends or best practices — without explicitly mentioning your product is a great way to initially introduce your focus to prospects. As you delve into best practices that will streamline a part of their job or knowledge gaps that will help them become more informed, they’ll quickly associate your name with industry expertise that makes their life easier.

Press releases

It’s all too easy to focus on the business benefits of your product when you’re selling a B2B solution. But for companies following a PLG strategy, press releases must always zero in on the end user. Again, call out the personal benefits those individual users may experience with your new product update so they can clearly see the value potential.

Customer stories

Last but not least, one of the best ways to show your potential value is through someone who has personally felt it. Leverage those very customer end users to spread your value story far and wide. As they share their personal experiences with the platform, prospects and customers moving through the funnel will visualize the value your solution could provide as they relate to the daily struggles it solved for someone else.

If you’re delving into the world of product-led growth marketing to grow your business, it’s important you don’t overlook a targeted PR strategy. With a refocus on the end user and a little special attention to how you tell your value story, you’ll see prospects realizing the potential of your solution in no time.
Want to know how BLASTmedia can help you determine your product-led growth PR strategy? Contact Lindsey Groepper for more details!