With the ever changing and evolving technology and market, working in the SaaS (not mother in law!) or Software as a Service Industry is an exciting one that will keep you on your toes often. And it’s not just software that is developing but the methods of marketing these technological solutions to the audience are growing too. Companies that don’t adapt soon are going to miss the train in the shuffle and end up in a deep ditch of their making and coming out of these trenches isn’t any cakewalk and definitely not for everyone. So it’s best for all concerned if you join the “growing” bandwagon sooner rather than later.
You need to build the launch of your product and ensure success too for the launched product. And to achieve that “you need to be where the people are”. We’ll explain more:
Earlier the launching of a SaaS product was a three ring circus! They were typically led by PR campaigns which were run through traditional media and the marketers relied heavily on a limited number of outlets, conventional press releases and a few journalists on their speed dial to enlist their help in garnering the required attention. But all that is in the past, now the “tired” PR stunt has been overtaken by an entirely new kind of network called – the influencer network (more on that later). One of the best ways to bypass the PR game and realign yourself with the modern times is getting on a site called “Product Hunt”. Product Hunt bills is a place where product-loving enthusiasts and geeks share and talk about the latest mobile apps, websites, hardware projects, and tech creations. And the best part of all, it’s a great place for companies to launch influencer-driven lead generation campaigns because it’s used by such an influential group of people. All the early adopters or those influential people you want talking about your product are there.
So the influencer network is a group of influential people (influencers) who are more likely to have a bigger online following. They might be journalists, bloggers, or just generally influential, but get them interested in your product — even for free just to play around and strut your stuff off a little bit — will be able to give you a huge boost.”
So Product Hunt is one such place, and in addition to being the place where all the cool kids hang out, it also provides an efficient and effective way for them to share their favourite finds directly to other people’s inboxes. Each time a new product is posted; Product Hunt automatically generates an email that gets delivered to everyone who follows the publisher of the post.
Next comes the question of “How?” Simple again! You need to find those Influencers!
The first thing you need now is an Influencer who will post for you about your product. And it has to be someone with big online following and post actively, especially in the SaaS/Product Hunt crowd, but even if you don’t have that kind of an influencer on your team, you still can use this strategy. So here you’ll see that Product Hunt is actually what traditional press used to be and instead of trying to find a reporter, you’ve got to find your influencer. A tip: When you’re looking for an influencer don’t ignore the ones who posted about your competition. It won’t do you any good to connect with someone who’s influential, but not actively posting on the platform so dig through a small circle of people posting on Product Hunt and find people who are a good fit.
Nailing your Outreach
While you may not be pitching to traditional journalists anymore, you’ll still need to have an outreach that can hook your influencers. To start off you could start by launching something that the people care about. Get ready with a story and focus on presentation details like setting up a comprehensive and engaging landing page to share with your target influencer and traditional journalists. Now you might feel that with a platform like Product Hunt, old-school PR can be kicked to the Kerb, but not just yet, it still has a role to play. You might want to advertise about the upcoming launch and email a few media houses about the same.
This is basically a story or sales spiel, just a bit less boring. You should provide the influencer with as much context as possible without coming off as overly promotional, this helps them say nice things about your product and how it interests them.
Send an Email to your list of contacts
The one drawback of a platform like Product Hunt is that it does not allow people to send direct Product Hunt URLs via email. So write a nice email, share your blog, in general just tell them about the launch and ask them to head to Product Hunt and throw you an upvote.
Keep everyone informed and involved in the launch of the product. This strategy will help you increase engagement. Your aim should be to ensure that every person in your company chimes in and answers questions on the Product Hunt thread.
Come back full circle to Traditional media
Well we didn’t say you won’t need this at all, just that you can limit it. Traditional PR offers you valuable social proof that will help generate interest and land interviews. Your data from Product Hunt (upvotes and posts from the influencers) will come in handy when you email someone from the Press about your product’s launch. You just have to integrate them nicely for better results.
Basically it’s all about promoting your launch in a place where the audience is already on the lookout for the latest, and greatest finds by tuning in to hear from influencers they respect and follow. Combine that platform with a great “hookable” story, get your team engaged in the conversation, and smartly integrate it with your email and traditional PR tactics, and there is nothing that could stop you from nail it!