The article was initially published in Codica blog.
Startups spend quite a lot of time and money creating quality SaaS products. And it is a pity when it remains unnoticed or underestimated by users.
But what to do to make your cloud product popular and successful?
Digital marketing is a reliable way to promote your SaaS startup. We thoroughly analyzed SaaS marketing strategies directed at lead generation and lead nurturing. So, in this article, you will find out methods that help you successfully market your SaaS.
Specifics of the SaaS market
The cloud solutions market is only growing. Statista projects that the SaaS market will grow at an annual growth rate of 9.80%.
So, building a SaaS startup seems like a profitable idea. Still, you should keep in mind some nuances concerning the cloud business.
In contrast to other fields, SaaS marketing aims to establish long-term relationships with users. So, your marketing approach should be based on the exclusive functions that your solution comprises. Furthermore, your SaaS marketing strategy should consider new markets and groups you want to reach.
5 key steps to bear in mind when creating a SaaS strategy
Now, let’s consider the top steps to take for your SaaS startup to succeed.
1. Use knowledge of the target group
A buyer persona is a representation of a typical user that may purchase your SaaS. Such a research-based profile shows a buyer’s background and personal traits. Here is an example of a buyer persona.
Making a buyer persona is a stage that usually comes at product discovery.
Thanks to the discovery outcomes, you can develop useful content for your target group, optimize your platform and personalize the ads and emails.
2. Monitor your competitors
Analyze what your competitors are doing. Thus, you can get insights into enhancing your SaaS marketing strategy.
The following practices will assist you in finding out more about your competition:
- Study their content on blogs, websites, and socials;
- Learn from case studies of other businesses and how they succeeded;
- Review the materials on your field trends;
- See how your competitors appear in public.
3. Create USP
USP, or unique selling proposition, is a distinctive method or feature that differentiates you from similar products. USP will help you find the focus of your marketing strategy.
The basic USP elements that need to be highlighted in your SaaS marketing strategy are the following:
Highlighting your product’s value. Your users must be sure that the product is helpful for them.
Delicate offer.The manner of presenting your USP should be soft and delightful.
Avant-garde solution. Implementing a new feature that other solutions don’t offer attracts your potential audience.
4. Develop an effective customer journey
SaaS customer journey differs from other industries. The cycles of building awareness and trust in your solution take more effort and time. Customers need to evaluate the features, support, and price you provide.
Below are possible touchpoints that a user may pass using your cloud solution.
After the company has tried your solution, you can suggest to them flexible plans and features that suit their needs.
5. Build the sales funnel
The sales funnel is a multi-stage process of making your leads aware of your solution. The sales funnel is based on the AIDA principle. It stands for the following:
Awareness is the step when an individual first discovers your project. Then, a potential customer will show interest in your startup and compare your solution with others. So, you lead your potential buyer to become a customer and then a user of your solution.
There is also a flywheel. Unlike the sales funnel, it reflects how your existing users recommend your solution to people they know.
SaaS marketing strategies to generate leads
Let’s see which methods you can use to generate leads.
Using social media
Our experience shows that social media are a powerful tool for SaaS marketing. Below we share working social media methods.
- Prioritize the social media platforms that your customers use most;
- Use social media ads;
- Create engaging content;
- Partner with influencers in your field.
When developing a SaaS marketing strategy, consider the content types you can deliver to your users.
Content types for SaaS marketing strategy
There are 4 best content types you can use to promote your SaaS project.
In your comparison posts, you can highlight your solution's exclusive features or benefits compared to existing products.
Surely, your comparison posts should show your professionalism and be neutral about your competitors.
Making demo videos assists in highlighting your product’s features. Firstly, introduce basic information relevant to the viewers that don't know about your solution. After that, you can add more specific information to your video.
To promote your startup, you can develop case studies highlighting the functions you added to your solution. Case studies show the value you bring to customers and your expertise.
For example, at the beginning of their case study, Asana, a work management platform, presents how Autodesk benefited from using Asana’s solution.
Webinars are a perfect content marketing approach to promote your SaaS.
For example, ConvertKit combined their webinar strategy with an affiliate program to bring more customers. This strategy resulted in $625 thousand of monthly recurring revenue.
Useful content tactics
Making content for the promotion of your startup involves tactics that will help you differentiate from your competitors. The main methods are the following:
- Developing a content moat,
- Repurposing your content.
Let’s consider them.
1.Making a content moat
This is a content marketing method when you make content on the terminology in a specific field. If you give answers to the questions on certain terms, your pieces will stand out in the search.
As traffic to your website rises, you will also see growth in backlinks. For instance, if you type “What is DevOps?” the first answer will be from AWS.
Once you make some content, you can adapt it to various SaaS marketing channels. For instance, you can turn a podcast into a piece, and so on.
Search engine optimization (SEO)
The correct SEO strategy generates organic traffic. This is how site visitors will come to know your solution without advertisements. That is why SaaS stratups focus on SEO.
The core aspects to consider for SEO optimization of web solutions are the following:
- What questions do your users ask;
- Challenges and pain points they have;
- Related topics that the target group is interested in.
Keywords reveal the search intent behind them. So, you will know what led your users to select your SaaS.
Also, create quality links and referrals to your landing page or website. Useful links can be built by creating helpful content that people will share on socials. Also, you can partner with well-known web solutions.
By the way, it is advisable to accompany SEO with PPC (pay-per-click) campaigns.
Enhance calls to action (CTA)
CTA is a graphic element in the form of an image, hyperlink, or button that motivates site visitors to take action, for example, buy, download, etc.
A CTA demonstrates to your prospects what they can do to buy and work with your solution.
Emailing is a vital part of SaaS marketing strategy.
Typical emails that SaaS businesses send their audience comprise the following information:
- Announcements of webinars and blog posts;
- Description of a solution and its features;
- Updates on new features;
- Company events and news.
A good example of a useful email is a notification from Squarespace.
A lot of providers offer email templates (MailChimp, Omnisend). With them, you can contact subscribers with push notifications and SMS.
Moreover, it is productive to use AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) emails. These emails comprise interactive elements that do not require users to open a new tab. So, you can add rich experiences, like purchase buttons, carousels, and more.
Partnerships with well-known companies enable expanding audiences.
For instance, a huge partnership program organized by Hubspot brought it $100 million in annual revenue.
SaaS marketing strategies for user engagement
When you have attracted people to use your SaaS product, you should engage them so that they stay with it. This process is called lead nurturing. It means improving customer relationships at every part of the sales funnel.
To make your nurturing program profitable, listen to users' needs and offer them the required information.
You can use some channels to deliver personalized content to your customers. Let’s see what they are.
This program rewards users for sharing information on your SaaS. Users who recommend your solution to friends are referrers. New customers are referees.
Referral is a good way to bring new customers without spending many resources.
Free trial period
A business model with a free period raises the probability that your potential users will convert.
There are a few variants for offering free trials for your SaaS users. They are as follows:
Free trial with/without a credit card (Adobe). Offering free trials with a credit card enables you to save money on prospects that are not likely to convert. At the same time, free trials without a credit card are used to promote SaaS solutions.
Free trial after a demo (Userpilot). This means explaining your product to users. The demo presents the value of your product in a brief time and assists users in better understanding your solution’s features.
Free trial within a freemium model (Hubspot). This means offering free trials with limited or key functionality. After using your product for free, customers can upgrade to a full-featured plan.
Free trial with gamification (ProdPad). This option means including rewards for actions.
Reviews are a vital information source that impacts the users’ decision to buy the solution. As the survey by BrightLocal states, almost half of respondents trust user reviews.
Let’s see approaches to customer reviews that will assist in keeping the users engaged with your product. These practices comprise the following:
- Talk to your customers to understand their needs and thoughts on the SaaS use;
- Collect analytics and usage metrics;
- Verify that the feedback gathering tools are time-proven and scalable;
- Collect in-app usage feedback;
- Ask feedback from a user if they refuse from your solution; Nurture the culture of listening to user feedback in your SaaS firm.
Convenient sign-up process
Make the process of the sign-up simple. Ask people just for critical information before signing up. Individuals are more likely to complete the sign-up process if it is easy for them.
When developing a SaaS marketing strategy, it is very important to work on lead generation and customer acquisition correctly. You can share info on your SaaS over socials and collaborate with content businesses.
When your prospects become your qualified leads, you should assist them in using your product. Attentively listen to user feedback. So, customer support and their reactions to your startup’s features will assist you in growing your SaaS.
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