How Vendor-Neutral Coverage Can Still Make a Positive Impact

Article in magazine with coffee mug and BLASTmedia branding

The B2B SaaS industry is as mindbogglingly large as it is competitive. But how big is it? ChiefMartec recently shared that there are at least 103,000 marketing technology companies alone. That’s a conservative estimate — and just one vertical!

All of these companies are battling for visibility, but simultaneously, newsrooms nationwide are shrinking.

While every company has a story it can tell, not every angle will fit for media outreach or publication. And, often, businesses aren’t fully considering that brands need a vendor-neutral topic. 

What does that mean, and how can vendor-neutral coverage still positively impact your company?

“This reads like an advertisement.”

First, the easy stuff: vendor-neutral content or coverage means that your byline, quote or interview can’t directly point back to a service or product you offer. 

While both are important, your PR team is not your advertising team. Your PR efforts are toward “earned” coverage to (for example) provide a unique perspective on a timely topic or “how to” tactics on a technical subject. If the publication’s editor says, “This reads like an advertisement,” we’ve missed the mark. Your PR team will help refine your message to ensure we’re adding something new, valuable, bold and maybe even contrarian or divisive to the conversation.

If I can’t talk about my product, what’s the point?

Writing vendor-neutral content doesn’t mean you can’t talk about important challenges or opportunities in your industry, but you can’t be the only solution to the problem. 

Your PR team can help you keep a finger on the industry’s pulse to ensure you’re still in front of your targeted audience and key buyer personas. But they should also help you think bigger: as a SaaS leader, you’ve got plenty of experiences to pull from. What lessons from your entrepreneurial journey stand out? What was your first experience with a boardroom? Are you building a hybrid workplace environment or offering nontraditional employee benefits? These aspects of running a company can be source material for a great story.

By publishing these types of perspectives, you are:

  • Improving your ability to rank in search as both a thought leader and company. Those “about the author” sections often include the prized backlink! 
  • Creating valuable material for social media where the conversation can continue. Pubs love to see their pages get more views and clicks — sharing your work on social can help extend the reach and impact. 
  • Fostering a relationship with editors who may reach out for more commentary opportunities.
  • Building affinity — people want to buy from people! You’re not a walking advertisement; you have years of insights and perspectives to tap into.

Where do we begin?

Getting started on your own can be challenging, especially without a team to help brainstorm ideas. Story-mining sessions are a great way to build out a list of vendor-neutral opportunities: your PR team can help uncover angles that resonate with target audiences and publications. 

Turn to your PR team to uncover these powerful thought leadership angles for impactful media coverage.

Jake Doll

About The Author

Jake Doll

Jake Doll is a VP of PR at BLASTmedia, leading a team that crafts impactful media coverage, content and thought leadership for SaaS brands.

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