SaaS is short for software as a service. This term is the same as saying how the products get distributed to their users.
SaaS products are software served to you as a service. You don’t just download them on your pc or server but can use the software product’s services via the internet.
It is very rare to have not come across a SaaS product in our life. Probably you have just used one, but we have all come across many SaaS products.
Yeah, not just one but more than once.
Let me give you a sweet example to refresh your confused heads. How do you keep your files and folders at your sides all the time across all your devices? Well, I don’t know about you but I use Dropbox. Yes, Dropbox is one fine example of a SaaS product.
Now we get what SaaS is. But SaaS marketing? Why is it such a huge deal?
SaaS marketing is simply promoting your SaaS-based products to have potential clients who eventually bring you money.
Now you might be thinking, this is only marketing. “I can influence anyone to do anything.” Yeah, that’s all fine and great but do you know SaaS marketing?
Like what? How and why is it different?
You already know it, but if you need me to put it right out there, I will put it right out there.
SaaS marketing is not like your basic eCommerce marketing, where the customers buy the products and woohoo you are done. There is no impending mandatory after-sales service.
But with SaaS, that’s the main deal. With SaaS products, there is a need to provide continuous support for the product. In case anything goes wrong, or your customer needs some customizations, you must be there 24/7 to get things oriented.
The better this connection, the more chances you will retain the customer. So intended disclosure, but it should be no surprise that you might lose your clients any time of the year and any time of the day. And the main culprit for this is definitely – your services. But more in this later.
On top of that, do you know how much time it takes to make a client start using your SaaS products in the first place? On average 6 months to start the deal and maybe more. You have to grind and work for every meeting and presentation until you convince your customer that they need your product.
So, SaaS marketing is far from being easy and far from being homogenous with other types of marketing.
Strategies for Marketing a Saas product?
Now that I have presented you with the problem, I would like to show some strategies to SaaS marketing. These are methods that worked for many and will work for you too.
Keep in mind, the methods given below don’t follow a certain chronology. When you go about your marketing strategy, you can cherry-pick them as you like best.
So, what are those strategies that you should have in your arsenal? Let’s list them –
1. Identify ideal consumers
Well, this is the first step to any marketing and the same goes for SaaS marketing, fortunately. Too often we are not concerned about who we are selling to, that we are targeting the wrong audiences, which makes everything go bullocks. Finding our targeted customers can help us.
Firstly, we can find out WHERE the heck your target audiences are in the first place. Secondly, you can ensure that your marketing actually goes after them.
Here comes the part where you question laying out a great inbound foundation – your SEO and targeting with content marketing. You must find what your audience is searching for from search engines. You must find out the keywords that will rank you on the top of search engines. In this way, users of the internet will find your pages first and this will increase the chances of you having more traffic on your websites.
Remember, this might not bring in revenue right from the beginning but will start giving you dividends soon. The earlier you start worrying about this the better.
2. The product is the best part of your marketing.
Remember, your product itself is an embodiment of marketing. If your product does not work, is outdated, or gives no sense of intuitiveness, you will be more likely to fail in the first step.
When your product provides a great user experience, gets things done, and hopefully gives quick solutions to tasks, there is no way you will fail to be great.
Customers would take your product no matter what. More and more people would dive in and want to use your product. Your product’s name gets distributed all over through word of mouth. And this is all you could ever want.
3. Free tools and content for knowledge and learning
Many great SaaS marketing has blogs, ebooks, videos, and websites that provide free tools and learning contents about topics that are of great value to a great number of audiences.
How does this help?
This is the first step to pull in your first raw audience, visitors, and info hunters into your websites and channels. This basically something that provides value to visitors and builds up the audience for you.
However, there is a catch here. Does any content make your website rich with leads?
Straight answer – NO!
You need to provide a solution that dives in to solve their everyday problems. You have to target those problems that hunt your audiences( problems that even your audience can not identify).
Let’s come to the man to man talk here. If you want to be successful at SaaS marketing, you HAVE to sit down and find those scary problems that your general target audiences face. Without giving them something that takes them by storm and intuitively helps them out, it is not possible to create content that we call lead magnets.
4. Offer free trial
Now tell me something, we all like to try whatever we buy to pre-check everything from the start and see if it conforms to our needs. In this way, SaaS marketing is the same as any other.
You would see many of the software as service products provide a free trial period of 14/15 days or a month. Some SaaS products even provide 6 months, 1 or 2 years free offer, or even a lifetime free package for their users.
Why do companies do that? The only reason is they want potential users to stop hesitating and start using their products.
But there are other tweaks with this. Through these methods, you are also building up your email database.
So, definitely, consider having at least a trial version of your SaaS product.
5. Add CTA (call to action)
CTAs or call to actions marketing such as opt-ins and landing pages and page builders are some great ways to build up your email list. You must go out and fearlessly start collecting those email addresses.
Plus, one tip! You must have those user interaction experiences happening from your own website. Use WordPress or a dedicated webpage developer and host it yourself with good hosting service.
This will be helpful. Then you will be able to control the things your users see and the things they don’t. You are the boss. Don’t just go to another forum or website to do your CTAs.
6. Live chat and chatbots
The days of emailing and trying to contact service providers are going outdated. It is now important to live both live chats and chatbots. This way you can be quick to answer your customers, give solutions instantly.
Getting emails and responding to emails, on the other hand, may take days and potentially be the reason your customers might get upset with your feedback.
7. Video marketing
Well, this is something we are all aware of. And being part of the 21st-century generation, there is no question that video marketing is the best form of marketing today.
Through video marketing, you cannot only explain how useful or how easy your product is to use but also generate more trust and authentication than just writing about something. Video content explicitly shows what you mean, and these are like live presentations. Without any other info, from those video contents, potential users will decide whether or not they are going in for your product. Very powerful indeed!
Yes, content writing about your product will never depreciate. But with additional video content, you will reach those places where your competitors still need to plan their landing.
8. Co-marketing and joint Webinars
Connecting with other brands, marketing, and taking part in webinars illustrates the zeal of your own brand. This will cause a different audience to notice your own brand and probably give recognition to it.
This will also include amazing partnerships that will lead to great symbiotic relationships between different companies. Moreover, this might also be great for existing customers as they will be able to reap the benefits of both brands.
9. Guest Blogging
This is almost the same concept as before but adds the same idea to blogging. This may be for all video, audio, or written blogs.
You can start writing for other bloggers and serving up content for their blog websites. These will expose you again to a different group of audience. In the end, this will help you increase your website traffic. Also, big search engines take factors such as backlinks and publishing high-quality content into consideration and boost your SEO rankings.
10. Talk to Influencers (even small scale Influencers)
This is a great thing to consider. One of my favorite sides is that influencers can easily provide you the good, great and bad things about your product. Maybe you can give them access to your product for a month or maybe more. If they like it, then they are definitely going to make some noise about it. I don’t know how many times I only started using something because some influencers in youtube showcased the great things about a product.
This is a great way to increase your product users. Moreover, even if they diss your product, you can find out where you went wrong and quickly renovate your product.
11. Take time to digest competitor comparison pages
This is quite like the previous one. When you compare your product versus the product or products your competitor or competitors provide you have a better understanding. Ok but an understanding of what?
Well, a few things. You get to know what are the absolute necessities for a good product. You also get to know what makes customers really unhappy about a given product. Finally, you get to know in which area you can provide expertise to take the lead in the market.
This could be customer service, a new innovative feature that solves a problem, or providing a great variety of customizations or features.
12. Answer and promote in question and answer platforms
One more technique is to go to different question and answer platforms such as quora and take the time to answer questions related to relevant products. Maybe when you have given a great answer to the question, you can sneak in your own personal website article or blog post at the end.
13. Focus on customer service and customer satisfaction
This, I believe to be a big issue. Let me put this like. Imagine your product is mediocre but your service is out of the world. What do you think? Will this stack up?
It might! I have seen many customers keep up with crappy products because their customer service is ready to do anything for them.
This becomes the key difference between people giving up on your SaaS product.
Therefore, it is important to always be there, listen intently to what your customers say, don’t make them repeat, get solutions to their problems instantly and always be ready to customize and change for the needs of your customers.
These are the few ways you get high customer satisfaction. This might sound really simple, but don’t forget this will be the key to your SaaS product surviving till the end.
Ingredients to market a SaaS business?
Now we have seen most of the strategies, it’s time to discover the engineered resources or ingredients for our SaaS marketing strategies.
Well, this basically boils down to three things. Time, mentality, and tools. Time to invest in tools and strategies.The perfect strong but a dynamic mindset to handle difficult and challenging situations and tools give shape to the strategies I mentioned previously.
When talking about tools, we have to consider how to harness the tech side of you. These tools are basically software that makes you perform different marketing tasks effectively and efficiently.
Now, let’s look at some of the tools that we must consider for our SaaS marketing.
A CMS – is a content management system in full. They basically do two things. One manages the creation of digital content. And secondly, manage the modification of digital content. The content management can be targeted towards both enterprise and web.
Two good examples of content management systems are WordPress and Drupal. WordPress is much more flexible in its use, and WordPress makes about ⅓ of digital content.
A blog platform – I think you should have a blogging platform built-in and host within your own website rather than going to external platforms to do so. Remember, this was part of the strategies we talked about earlier in CTAs. The same applies to blogs.
You can also start blogging on other platforms on the side rail. Some platforms could be – Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or Wix.
In the end, the main aim is to start blogging as soon as possible and get your content writings ready.
Google analytics and SEO – This is something important to note. This is how you understand what the web users are searching for, which keywords they use 70% to 90% of the time. This way, every content you deliver is targeted towards solving those search queries and are on top of everything.
Also, this helps in search engine optimizations. This means search engines such as Google rank your website at the top of their search results because of the keywords within your content or URL. However, many, many other factors need to be considered for better SEO ranking.
Email Marketing – Email marketing is the best way to connect to your consumers, or I better say prospects, which just means potential customers. You will need an intuitive email marketing tool.
Some examples of great email marketing tools are – Aweber, Convertkit, Drip, and so on.
Landing page builders – Landing pages are the best ways for hunting down some email addresses. You can push your CTAs here, as I mentioned before. The neat thing about WordPress is that it has some of the great landing page builder plugins available. There are both free and premium versions to select from.
There are some great SaaS solutions for landing pages too. You can also check them out.
CRM– this is a Customer relationship management system. The main aim of the tool is to connect with prospects and convert prospects into conversions. The tool manages the different ways you can connect with your consumers and give them the best experience.
Plain social media and Social Advertisements – even though I have, in essence, already mentioned this. But I thought I should give it more focus.
Staying active in social media such as Facebook, youtube, and Instagram can be really handy. You may be uploading some really great content there. These might create your first 1,000, 10,000, or even more followers. Some of them might become your very own customers.
Social media adverts are also a great way to display products that concern your area. In this way, you can send them your ads. The best part is they will not complain as ads are a part of free social media platforms.
Remarketing in SaaS marketing
This might seem to be a weird topic. How does anyone remarket a marketing strategy? Well, it’s something like magic and it’s like a method to optimize your conversions.
Remarketing is the customized serving of targeted ads or content to people who have already interacted with your website content at least once. As I have said, this targeted content can be specific landing pages, customized ads, or any customized content.
Remarketing methods work best when you are doing them together with inbound and outbound marketing. Inbound marketing is, basically, marketing for products and services through content writing, social media marketing, and SEO. Outbound marketing is the traditional marketing methods such as through ads and promotions.
Now we know what I mean by remarketing, let’s connect two terms to remarketing to get a better understanding.
This conveys the same meaning to remarketing except the word explicitly says what it means. Retargeting means again to target those potential consumers who have previously come and interacted with your website. This eventually converts more prospects to happy customers than if retargeting is not done.
This is what any smart SaaS marketer will do.
You are thinking, why email marketing again? Well, I had left out one great detail for this part of the article.
Email marketing is also one of the tools to retarget both potential and purchasing customers. Using email marketing, you can provide follow up emails very easily. Additionally, we can target customized emails for those who have purchased a certain product. There are no repeat emails. This becomes a method for further future purchases.
SaaS marketing success metrics
So, yeah, we stepped on the pedal and invested our time and money in marketing. Is that all we should do?
No way! Now we have to come to the part where we face the truth and build up a system to check whether our hard work is paying off. This is why I represent the 4 most important metrics that you must measure to know for sure if your marketing strategy is working.
Number of visitors
Well, this is basically marks of the first area of your analysis. Your marketing strategy will first bring you visitors, which will obviously be the largest number. This number will obviously be larger than the remaining ones.
So what to measure here? Lets list:
- The number of visitors your campaign attracted.
- The traffic on your website.
- The click-through rates.
- The number of views of your video marketing.
- Cost per visitor or clicks
Number of leads
- This will be the second-highest value. What to measure here?
- Number of emails obtained
- Monthly and annual subscription
- The conversion rate from prospects to leads
- The conversion rate from leads to actionable leads leading to presentations, meetings or demos.
- Cost per lead or actionable lead.
Number of customers
- Conversion rate from leads/ actionable leads to customers
- (At one point) rate of loss of customers
- Cost per customer accession or acquisition.
This explains all by itself.
- The number of sales.
- Cost per unit sold or service provided.
Conclusion: Polish your SaaS marketing strategy
So, there you go. The secret formula for SaaS marketing is at your service.
But before I wrap up everything, there is one more little tweak into the SaaS marketing strategy. As I said before, SaaS is not the usual cup of tea that you make and drink it up. It’s more like wine. You need to brew it slowly and it takes time, a lot of ingredients, and effort to cook it up.
My best advice, I promise this will be helpful, is that you try most of the things that I shared with you and find your sweet spots. Find your own best formulae for SaaS marketing. But remember, it will take some time to get your head around everything and for things to settle to their right places.
It is also advisable to connect to experts and take their help. There is no shame in that.
Finally, let’s wrap it up.
SaaS marketing will be the only key ingredient to your future sustainable success to your container of trustworthy leads. It will be the only solution to scalability for your SaaS company.