— August 18, 2017
There’s no doubt about it – an analyst relations program can be powerful for businesses of all sizes, from startups to established industry players.
Paid analyst relationships can be a great way to expand a company’s presence, through opportunities like co-hosted webinars. Even more importantly, clients can call up “their” analysts every few weeks to discuss what they are seeing in the market, reaping ongoing value for their product roadmaps.
Early-stage companies often lack the resources to support formal, ongoing, paid analyst relationships. But that doesn’t mean they should ignore analyst activity altogether. Insights and opinions from the right industry analysts offer value in many ways, from market awareness to product validation, and this counsel doesn’t have to come with a price tag. You never pay for an analyst’s opinion – just their time. It’s possible to get on analysts’ radar and be included in industry reports without paying a dime.
For companies just getting started, here’s some advice for staying top-of-mind with analysts without putting more resources behind it than you can afford.
Make it personal, and keep it casual: Identify priority firms and encourage your executives to send notes or emails to key industry analysts. To make it personal, equip executives with findings from recent reports they can reference. For example, if your company is in the marketing tech industry, you can point to research showing that artificial intelligence needs to learn the basics before it can transform marketing, and highlight how your product is letting customers market better already with a human approach. A quick note each quarter will keep your company fresh in analysts’ minds, so they remember you when they’re talking to prospects or writing blogs and reports. Plus, they might offer to provide insight on your place in the market and how to continue developing your offerings.
Social sharing and engagement: The first step to social engagement is creating a list of top influencers for your industry and following them on Twitter and LinkedIn. Use a tool like Hootsuite that makes social listening easy, allowing you to see everyone you’re following on a central dashboard. If you see an analyst share a recent report, extend the research to your own network by posting the findings. A simple “like,” “favorite” or “retweet” also shows you’re listening and interested in their research as a whole, not only when it benefits your company.
Join analyst events: Analysts often participate in webinars and in-person events, so make your presence known. If you’re joining a live webinar, let them know you’re looking forward to it by sending a short message or replying to their promotion of the event on social media. Even better, check in with them after the event to give kudos or ask a question. If there is follow-on content from these events, like a blog post or e-book that would benefit your own customers, share it on social media or link back to it on your company’s blog. They’ll see you have spread the wealth, and it won’t go unnoticed.