Unless you’re in a select set of industries — retail, we see you — the holiday season may seem like a non-event when it comes to B2B marketing. Sure, you can send fruit baskets or clever greeting cards, but what does the holiday season mean for B2B SaaS marketing?
It can feel natural to backburner a lot of B2B marketing efforts going into the fourth quarter. Schedules are packed, people are off work and attention shifts to planning for the year ahead. Despite all that busyness, there’s still business to be done and deals to close. Fruit boxes aren’t going to get you there, but good PR coverage — the kind that you can share with prospects at any point in the sales funnel — might.
Here are a few ways our agency approaches generating media coverage during the holiday season:
Consumer brands have holiday gift guides; we have predictions. Predictions for the upcoming year are an integral part of editorial calendars — especially for trade media outlets. Conducting story mining sessions, crafting quotes and deriving story ideas to pitch media contacts, is one way B2B SaaS brands can generate media coverage around the holiday season. It’s an approach we’ve seen work for SaaS brands year after year and across industries.
A few years ago, CloudPassage, a creator of the world’s leading agile security platform, engaged BLASTmedia to help establish the company’s credibility among key industry verticals and position CloudPassage as a thought leader in the security space.
During the onboarding period, BLASTmedia scheduled a full story-mining session with the CTO of CloudPassage to dive deeper into the most noteworthy security trends of the year. Knowing we’d identified topics that could gain traction with the media, we centered one of our very first campaigns on predictions for the new year.
Using the commentary from the session, BLASTmedia drafted a list of predictions and an accompanying byline on behalf of the CTO. From there, BLASTmedia made outreach to top-tier media who covered IT predictions the previous year, as well as editors who tackle trends in IT, cloud computing, IoT and financial services. The team also pitched the bylined article to contributed content gatekeepers to introduce them to CloudPassage and its executives.
As a result, predictions from CloudPassage were included in articles from target media, including Dark Reading, Network World, CSO, FinTech Innovation and TechBeacon. TechRepublic also interviewed the company’s CTO about his predictions and subsequently wrote three articles based on the information shared. More so, the campaign allowed BLASTmedia to lay the foundation for CloudPassage’s CTO as an industry thought leader. We went on to secure additional opportunities for the CTO with key media, including editors from BuzzFeed, TechCrunch, CRN and SecurityWeek.
Other examples of past predictions coverage include:
- Contributed content in IT Toolbox (trade), “Cybersecurity in 2025: 4 Trends That Will Change the Face of Security”
- Quote in a destinationCRM (trade) article listing predictions, “What’s in Store for CRM in 2021?”
- Contributed content featured in HubSpot (top-tier): Marketing Trends to Watch in 2021, According to 21 Experts
- Quote in a Entrepreneur (top-tier) article listing predictions, “9 Proven Sales Tips for 2021”
Each holiday season brings new trends and challenges. For many SaaS brands the unpredictability of the holiday season can present opportunities to secure media coverage by offering expert commentary around emerging trends.
In 2020, those trends included supply chain issues — inventory imbalance, city-wide gridlock and the holiday peak season collectively causing delayed shipments. BLASTmedia worked with Coyote Logistics, a leading global 3PL combining a centralized marketplace with freight and supply chain solutions to share insights on how the industry was shaping up for the holiday season with several supply chain trade and national business publications.
- Coyote Logistics’ Head of Europe, Jaap Bruining, shared with Supply Chain Digital how each portion of the supply chain was forced to rely on data analytics to gain visibility and better mitigate anticipated disruption, including heightened online orders and how suppliers needed to be prepared to think on their feet and “proactively develop relationships with alternative manufacturers, allowing [them] to shift operations more quickly in response to disruption.”
- Chief Network Solutions Officer, Nick Shroeger commented on how companies were experiencing inventory imbalance in a story for Supply Chain Brain.
- In a piece for Chicago Business, Shoreger proposed that to relieve traffic congestion, an alliance would need to be formed among the larger trucking companies. He touched on the transparency the alliance would need to possess, stating that “companies won’t change unless they believe it will create value for them.” Value aside, an alliance would take years of cooperation and collaboration, leaving drivers stuck this holiday season.
End of Year Momentum
The fourth quarter is a popular time for announcements — everything from funding and acquisition news to new hires and new product offerings. However, not every SaaS brand will have one significant milestone to announce during the fourth quarter. That’s where momentum announcements come into play.
A momentum announcement is exactly what it sounds like: An announcement showcasing the strength of an organization, how the organization has grown and how it is positioned to grow in the future. Momentum announcements are a good PR tactic for SaaS brands to consider during the holiday season because they can act as a year-end recap, tying together more minor accomplishments into one larger narrative. Momentum announcements can also be a helpful way to generate conversation around your brand during a critical time to close business — year-end.
What goes into a momentum announcement? It depends on where the company has seen growth and what it hopes to accomplish. A few elements to consider include:
- Headcount growth
- Increase in revenue
- New customers added
- Notable new hires
For those who have built an awards program, recent accolades also make for great content in a momentum release. Many popular awards are announced during the holiday season, including:
- Deloitte Technology Fast 500
- Forbes 30 Under 30
Including awards alongside other company benchmarks can help build a narrative about the company’s momentum.
While it might be tempting as a B2B SaaS brand to pause PR efforts going into the holidays, the fourth quarter presents many opportunities to secure media coverage. SaaS PR strategies — including developing and pitching predictions, commenting on seasonal trends and issuing a momentum announcement — have the potential not only to keep a steady stream of coverage flowing through the end of the calendar year but also set your brand up for success in the new year.