As a SaaS company owner, there is no such thing as too much improvement. With your competition launching new products or releasing new features for their existing products, you constantly have to be at the top of your game. Your marketing strategies should also be constantly evolving to keep up with market demand and audience tastes.
By working on your marketing strategies, you increase the number of new customers and reduce customer churn. With that in mind, here are eight SaaS marketing strategies that you can implement.
1. Content Marketing
Marketing SaaS products varies a lot from marketing consumer products. First, SaaS customers tend to do a lot of research before deciding to make a purchase. Second, the buyer journey often takes longer. Content marketing will help your brand position itself as a credible source of information, convince your target audience to give your products a try, and improve your website’s performance in search engine rankings.
Your audience consumes content through a variety of methods, such as blogs, videos, and emails. To ensure that your content helps maintain your authority in your niche, you need to ensure that the content you produce is of high quality. Using a grammar check tool will help you avoid errors that erode your credibility and increase your articles’ readability.
Content marketing goes beyond posting just a few articles on your blog. You also need to create a link-building strategy that will get your content on high-authority websites and increase organic traffic to your own site. Creating different types of content will also increase your brand’s visibility across different demographics. Younger audiences, for example, prefer videos, while those aged 55 or older prefer receiving emails:
To create effective content, you need to know the questions your customers are likely to ask as they search for solutions for their problems. Addressing these concerns will help you raise your search engine profile as well as convince potential customers that your solutions are based on solid research.
Other forms of content that help generate leads include white papers, case studies, and ebooks. You can use those types of free content as lead magnets on your landing pages, allowing you to grow your email list rapidly. You can also use an email tracking tool to get insights into the performance of your campaigns.
Collaborations between brands are nothing new. One type of inter-company collaboration, co-marketing, involves multiple brands getting together to create a product or set of products that carry the names of all brands involved. While co-marketing is pretty common among businesses that offer consumer goods, SaaS businesses are also starting to realize the benefits of this strategy.
Co-marketing campaigns usually involve two brands that operate in different niches. For example, CRM company HubSpot and professional network LinkedIn collaborated on a book about social selling:
Your business doesn’t have to be as large as HubSpot to engage in co-marketing campaigns. You may start doing it on a smaller scale by finding a small business that shares your corporate values or offers products that add value to yours. Once you find that business, you can start creating content together. You may publish a common blog, feature their content on your social media platforms, or mention them in your videos whenever you feel it’s appropriate.
Co-marketing helps you increase your reach rapidly and exposes your brand to new audiences, especially those outside your industry. Collaborating with the right type of partner will allow you to maximize your gains, amplify your message, and generate more leads.
3. Referrals and affiliate marketing
A good reputation is the best currency your brand can ever possess, and every time one of your satisfied customers recommend your product to others, they are sending potential revenue your way. It’s just right to reward your most loyal customers for promoting your brand to their contacts through a referral program.
In a referral program, you offer rewards to customers who bring in more new customers. These rewards range from cash gifts to discounts on future purchases. You may also give them free products, such as extra storage or a few months’ worth of subscription to your product.
Affiliate marketing runs on the same principle as referral marketing, which is to reward people or websites that help bring in new customers. However, affiliate campaigns almost always give your partners a cut of each sale that you identify as coming from their websites. Most affiliate marketing campaigns include either a code or a special product page that automatically sends a commission to your affiliate partners.
Through referral and affiliate marketing, you recognize your most loyal customers and encourage them to keep being advocates for your brand.
4. Free trials
SaaS companies are known for offering free trials to potential customers. While this may seem like a total loss for your brand, the cost of offering a month’s worth of free access to your solutions is a lot lower than the cost of losing a potential customer to a competing brand.
There are a few reasons free trials are popular marketing strategies in the SaaS space:
- They allow potential users to experience your solution for themselves before making a purchase decision.
- Free trials are easier to convert into paid accounts.
- They also present an excellent opportunity to collect user feedback that can help you improve your product.
Because your business follows a SaaS business model, giving your leads a free limited-time subscription won’t involve a lot of work or expense. Sometimes, it’s as easy as locating the user in your database and adding a few more months to their trial periods.
Many online businesses struggle with appearing on search engine results for their niche, especially if it is crowded with multiple competitors or dominated by one or two large businesses. Search engine optimization (SEO) will help your business stand out and attract organic traffic to your site.
Most people associate SEO with keywords. However, keyword usage is just one factor that Google and other search engines use to find and rank websites. The Google algorithm is too complex for a detailed discussion on this space, but it all comes down to how easily Google finds and indexes your content and how relevant your content is to your audience.
For example, building backlinks from high-authority sites to yours will allow you to benefit from potential click-throughs. It also lets your website benefit indirectly from your guest sites’ domain authority score. You also need to do on-page SEO on your content. This involves adding internal backlinks within your domain to allow Google to crawl through your site and index it efficiently.
Source: Matthew Woodward
The easier you make it for Google to look for your content, the easier it becomes for people to find it. Performing SEO on your web pages and content will not just improve your search engine ranking but also drive traffic back to your site, increasing your potential revenue.
6. Improve your PPC campaign
Aside from SEO, you may also use Google ads to push your content to the top of the search results. Most ads follow a pay-per-click campaign; that is, you only pay for the ad when a user clicks on it. Running a well-planned PPC campaign will allow you to maximize your ads’ visibility and increase the chances of users clicking through to your site.
To make the most out of PPC ads, you need to target a good mix of short and long-tail keywords. Short keywords are often high-volume and high-competition, which means the cost per click is higher. Long-tail keywords, on the other hand, tend to have lower search volumes and high click-through rates, which lowers the cost per click. You need to use both types of keywords to maximize the number of people your ads reach.
Aside from creating a list of keywords that you can use to reach Google users, you can also use a list of negative keywords or keywords that you don’t want to rank for. These are often keywords that appear heavily in your niche but refer to a product or service that you don’t offer. For example, if your business involves just selling houses in a specific area, you don’t want to appear in Google searches for property rentals.
7. Tap into review sites
The growth of your SaaS company will not just depend on your marketing efforts, but also on your customers’ perception of your brand and products. Consumers tend to research their options before making a purchase, and online reviews play a major role in influencing purchase decisions.
Most users browse through review sites such as G2 or Capterra to find out what current and previous customers think of your products and services. If you are not encouraging your customers to post reviews on these sites, you need to start now. Positive reviews go a long way in convincing your leads to give your products a try as they are seen as more credible than branded content.
Aside from getting your customers to post positive reviews, responding to both positive and negative reviews will allow you to engage your customer base. Acknowledging and replying to negative reviews, in particular, shows that you value all types of feedback and are serious about putting out the best product available.
8. Easy registration process
Marketing doesn’t end when a user visits your site. Unless they’ve successfully completed the sales or registration process, you haven’t gained a new customer yet. In the SaaS industry, many customers complain that complicated registration processes have turned them away from otherwise promising products.
The longer your registration process is, the more chances you give your customers to back out of the transaction or abandon their shopping carts. However, many brands tend to ask too many questions that don’t seem related to the product itself. Reducing the number of questions to just a few important ones will help streamline the process and increase conversions.
You may also use the Google and Facebook APIs to simplify the user experience. Because your leads’ Google and Facebook profiles already have their personal and demographic information, your website can import that data instead of requiring new users to fill out registration forms. Better yet, you may also use QR codes to reduce the number of keystrokes, especially if you’re dealing with mobile device users.
SaaS marketing is a bit different from other types of marketing. Your potential customers are less prone to impulse purchases. They will take their time looking for the best option and are not hesitant about doing research about your products. Your SaaS marketing strategies should adapt to this type of behavior and gently nudge them into making a purchase.
Content marketing, SEO, and PPC, for example, help drive customer awareness of your brand, especially in competitive niches. Free trials, on the other hand, give potential customers a glimpse of what they can expect from your product and a positive experience will help convince them to switch over to the paid version.
You may also use review sites, referrals, and affiliate marketing to boost your promotional campaigns and expand your audience. Finally, a quick and convenient registration process will remove the last barrier to entry for new customers.
By constantly seeking and analyzing customer feedback, testing new combinations of content, and streamlining your processes, you set up your SaaS business for greater success ahead.