Just a few years ago, businesses were skeptical about Software as a Service (SaaS). They associated it with security risks, but a lot has changed in the course of time. According to research by Intuit, approximately 85% of small businesses are willing to invest in SaaS.
Changes in technology have influenced this change. The reliance on digital and mobile devices will see many businesses adopt SaaS solutions. The prediction is that by 2020, 25% of organizations will run their core systems on SaaS.
You don’t want to be left behind as businesses become more adoptive of SaaS solutions. This definitive guide will show you how to grow your SaaS business using SaaS marketing strategies.
Keep on reading to learn more!
What is SaaS Marketing?
SaaS is a concept that refers to Software as a Service. It allows users to connect and use cloud-based apps on the internet. More explicitly, businesses hire an application so that the users can connect from different locations.
The internet is a requirement for the successful connection by the users. If your business provides software as a service, you need strategies for marketing. SaaS marketing refers to the approach you use to get the SaaS to your clients.
There are several strategies that you can use to get the highest level of returns possible.
The difference between SaaS businesses and product-based businesses is that there’s no tangible product to offer. Convincing a user to buy a software tool is more tasking than persuading them to buy a computer.
Marketing a digital product should be no different from promoting a physical one, but it is. A physical product depends on a single sale to generate revenue. Most SaaS solutions, however, depend on ongoing subscriptions to generate more revenue.
Many SaaS products follow a specific three-step process
- Acquisition of new users
Many businesses mostly focus on the acquisition step. This would be a massive mistake to SaaS-based firms.
Price Intelligently analyzed the impact of improvements in each of the three stages. They found that 1% improvements created more effect at the monetization and retention stages. Acquiring new clients is essential, but not as monetizing and retention.
Any SaaS marketing strategy you adopt should take into account the three steps for more effectiveness.
Getting Started with SaaS Marketing Strategy
If you don’t have a strategy for earning and retaining customers, you’ve come to the right place. Here are five steps that’ll lead you in the right direction. You can be sure that they take into account the three stages of online marketing into account.
1. Create Appealing Content for Your Audience
Content marketing is one of the approaches that most businesses use to attract new users. You want to provide your target audience with the information they want to read. You should know what your potential clients search for online.
Depending on the search engine results, you can tailor your content through SEO to suit what they’re searching. Strive to optimize your content so that the searches convert into leads. You can experiment with various content formats to determine the one that works best.
You should do more than just publish posts every few weeks. Remember that you compete with many SaaS businesses. If you want to remain relevant, you must put in extra effort in SaaS marketing.
To make money at the monetization stage, communicate to your clients using case studies. It’s easier to convince them if they can see the impact of the SaaS solutions. You can identify customers from your user base who are willing to be case study subjects.
Get some background information about their business. Combine it with data related to the SaaS success, and you might have winning content.
Remember that you can also use content for retention. Have a tutorial section where you encourage users to invest in video. After your clients have bought your Saas Products, they need help with getting the most out of it.
2. Create a Value Proposition
If your content has no value proposition, you’re doing something wrong. You need a clear explanation of what problem your solution solves, and who should buy it. The statement also convinces the reader why they should buy from you.
Without it, there’s a pillar missing from the foundation of your marketing efforts. Sending out email campaigns or buying ad words, without a value proposition, don’t have any impact. Much of your SaaS marketing budget will be going to waste.
One tip in creating a value proposition is that it should have a long shelf-life. This means that you can’t keep changing it every few months. Your clients will lose track of your business message, and you’ll definitely lose them.
However, a value proposition is not cast on stone. As the market trends change over time, you should adjust the message you put forth. New market trends make mainstream buyers displace adventurous buyers.
New competitors will also come into the market, changing the expectations of buyers. A feature that was once a strong selling point may no longer be novel.
Keep in touch with your customers to know when the value proposition needs to change Talk to them on a regular basis. Find out why they’re buying, who is making the decision, and why they are buying your solution.
A few open-ended conversations done monthly or quarterly will provide a lot of information. Pick the crucial bits that will point you towards the need to change your value proposition.
3. Provide Product Trials
Product trails are crucial in lead generation in SaaS marketing. Customers want to test products first before they can commit their money in purchases. The trials work effectively if your target market is tech-savvy and wants to experience the product.
One advantage of product trials is that they continue to generate leads with little market investment.
However, you should ensure that users have a positive experience in the product trial phase. Consider providing support in case the product has some degree of complexity of use. Your audience should be able to make one-to-one calls or participate in group webinars.
Product trials are a reliable indicator of the intention to purchase. Investing their time to learn your product means they are likely to buy. Track such clients very closely.
Strive to strike a balance between showing them the value of your product and overwhelming them. Do this in a cost-effective and light-touch manner.
Success with product trial doesn’t mark the end of the road. You have just won half the battle. The other half is getting your audience to purchase and activate your SaaS solution.
It’s more than sending emails to remind the users when the free version will expire. Create a strategy to encourage users to move to the activated version. Track the actions that a user hasn’t taken up with the trial product.
The aim is to make them become familiar with the entire product while it’s still free. At the end of the trial period, they’ll know what they’ll gain by becoming paid subscribers.
4. Work on Your Pricing Strategy
If you prefer the traditional sales model, pricing may not be a marketing strategy to you. In SaaS marketing, pricing goes hand in hand with the sales model.
Converting trial version users into paid subscribers is a huge part of SaaS marketing. Pricing has a very significant role to play.
Using a pricing model can help you establish a steady flow of revenue. Your success depends on how well you can generate ongoing subscriptions. Getting clients to sign up on an annual subscription basis is the best-case scenario.
It’s advisable to do a few experiments with the pricing strategy. This will help you establish the best way to present the agreements to the audience. The time you invest in the trials will be worth the effort if the subscriptions pay off.
5. Use Referral Marketing
Referrals happen to be effective lead generation strategies. They are typically low cost and tend to close relatively quickly. Unfortunately, many businesses lack a referral program despite knowing its importance.
Think critically about the approach you will use in the referral program. If you do not incentivize, you might get no referrals. If you incentivize too heavily, you might end up with low-value referrals. Begin by testing what works for your SaaS business and work with that.
Before you focus on optimizing the referral program, you need first to launch it. You can create a landing page on your website where people make referrals. Alternatively, you can use software that powers the program from start to finish.
Explain to your audience what makes a good referral. It could be the industry, the size of the company, or the job title of the referral. Remember to be clear about the incentives you’ll give.
The marketing team can make it easy by drafting the referral template to use. It’s most important is to make it easy for the sales rep to ask for referrals.
6. Use Social Media
You’d be surprised to know how many hours potential clients spend on social media. If you already have a presence there, make it stronger. Ensure that you’re visible in all the channels where buyers are likely to see you.
Social media allows you to target ads to your target audience. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are very effective as lead generation platforms for local marketing. You can also use valuable content on these platforms to attract visitors.
7. Use Co-marketing Strategies
Have you thought of collaborating with other SaaS businesses to run a co-marketing campaign? You can team up with a company that completes your product. More broadly, consider one that shares a similar approach to business and marketing.
Co-marketing is when two businesses come together to enhance their promotional efforts. Both companies have the responsibility of promoting a piece of content. The results of the promotion are shared between the two companies.
Co-marketing campaigns, if well implemented, can deliver more leads, awareness, and buzz with much less effort.
There are no fixed rules about co-marketing. Generally, the idea is to create a piece of content as a team. For example, they could come up with an e-book, or published research findings.
Another idea is to host a webinar. Each of the companies brings their contribution to the table. It creates an opportunity for the companies to leverage each other’s following.
There’s potential for each business to reach a different audience.
Depending on the alignment of the companies, co-marketing can be very useful. There should be an understanding of the expectations at the beginning to avoid conflict. When deciding on co-marketing, the purpose of the partnership must be similar for both parties.
It can be a challenge to work with a partner whose needs are different. Goals might crash if your partner wants to increase sales while you want to optimize our site. It’ll be hard to find a project that can meet both requirements.
Co-marketing is a cost-effective approach to generating leads. You can also demonstrate your leadership through what you contribute to content creation. Examples of companies that have effectively co-marketed are HubSpot and LinkedIn.
SaaS Marketing – Take Away
SaaS marketing does not have to be complicated. The concept may sound foreign, but the actual process is something you can do with ease.
Factors like acquisition and lead generation cost matter, but they mean nothing without a great product. A unique product will make the process of acquisition, monetization, and retention easy and doable.
Great content will play a great role in generating leads, but not without great customer support. You can also optimize your content to increase its chances of popping up among the top searches.
Your SaaS marketing strategy will get better with product trials. Buyers want to know what they’re getting before they buy. Add a good pricing strategy, and you’ll be on your way to getting paid subscribers.
Do not forget social media and referrals. What you post on social media can break or make your business. If you do all these right, you’ll see your SaaS business grow.
Do you have any nagging question? We’re here to help you; just contact us.