There is no denying that SaaS businesses seem to have taken over our lifestyles and the global business landscape. There is an app for almost everything, from ordering your daily milk to tracking machine efficiency at your factory. Technavio predicts the global SaaS market to be worth a whopping $60.36 billion between 2019 to 2023, registering a 9% CAGR within the 4-year period.
SaaS (software as a service) companies have a unique business model. There is no “one-size-fits-all” formula that can be applied, yet one needs to stand out. How to do that? Saas businesses need to play special attention to their inbound marketing strategies if they want to grow, beat the competition, and establish themselves for long-term success in the overly competitive field.
53% of marketers say that inbound marketing techniques generate higher ROI compared to traditional outbound marketing methods (State of Marketing 2018-HubSpot Report). Inbound marketing seems to be a lucrative model to follow. With SaaS companies, where the product is difficult to explain and has high levels of customisation, inbound marketing is a “must-have” over a “nice-to-have.”
Inbound marketing, in the simplest terms, is all about pulling your audience “in” using compelling content. The focus is on providing value, at each stage of the buyer’s cycle, building relationships, establishing trust, and eventually convert the audience into an actual customer.
One of the key reasons inbound marketing is more suited for SaaS models is it requires convincing the customer to integrate their software or product into their lives daily. Now, that differs from convincing someone to make a one-off purchase, isn’t it? A majority of SaaS products involve a lifestyle change or change inhabit, which is something harder to sell.
SaaS products, typically, have a shorter sales cycle, are highly customisable, and constantly evolving. With inbound marketing, you can effectively address the buyer’s needs at every stage of the funnel. This, in turn, establishes trust, which is ever-so-important in today’s data overload scenario. When you are constantly providing credible information at every touchpoint, don’t you establish your brand as an authority?
Inbound marketing also has a lower customer acquisition cost than traditional “push” or outbound marketing methodologies. Last, inbound marketing is great for increased lead generation. The targeted content works wonders in generating the right leads.
These distinctive attributes make inbound marketing and SaaS a match made in heaven.
But which inbound marketing strategies are best suited for SaaS companies? Continue reading to find out which inbound strategies you should implement right now!
The first thing with SaaS marketing is to know your customer. This is critical because you want to drive the right traffic to your website. According to Invesp, effective buyer personas can result in more than a 230% increase in conversions. You need to find out as much as you can about your ideal buyer. Create complete buyer personas by interviewing existing clients to identify demographics, uncover pain points, develop a buyer’s cycle, and understand why exactly they bought your software.
We accept that content is the most important part of inbound marketing, but simply have thousands of blogs can still generate poor conversion rates. Here are some ways to ensure your content strategy is on track to generate maximum benefits.
From helping you identify relevant topics, to optimising your content so it lands on top of SERPs, keyword research is the key to relevant and valuable content.
Sometimes, even the best content can be dry. Integrate some smart content delivery tactics like infographics, animation, how-to guides, and demo to increase engagement and break the routine.
Write concise meta descriptions, ensure your subheadings have keywords and include both internal and external links in your content! These small details make a huge difference.
As important as content is, it will do you no good if you are not promoting the content through relevant channels. When we think of social media, we often jump to Facebook or Twitter, which are effective, but for SaaS companies, it makes sense to broaden the spectrum. LinkedIn, with its professional groups, ad platform, and 600+ million members, most of whom are decision-makers are excellent for SaaS businesses. SaaS brands can also engage in some non-traditional channels such as Reddit, CNet Forums, TechDiscussions, and SpiceWorks community. Post frequently (without spamming), reply to queries, and highlight different forms of content to see the best returns. Remember to choose your social media channel based on your buyers (again why creating buyer personas is vital).
A study by The Deep End states that for every $1 a company invests in email marketing, they see $44 return (Woah!). Email marketing is not about sending mass-blanket emails to generic lists. For SaaS companies, email marketing has to be personalised, optimised, and relevant. Here are some specific tips to follow to ensure your email marketing efforts generate significant returns.
Create catchy and relevant subject lines that have a sense of urgency to strike the right first impression. Avoid using overdone words like “free”, “offer”, and “most”.
Did you know that 75% of users will delete an email if it is not optimised for mobile? Don’t make that mistake and make sure your every aspect of your email (image, CTA, font) works for different viewing screens from the beginning.
Don’t you jump with joy when you see an email using your name? Personalise emails using names or specific recommendations based on a visitor’s behavior and see your email open and click-through rates improve.
Connect your emails and landing pages. They should have similar headlines, content, and text. Why? Because you can then gently guide your customer forward in the sales funnel without being outright pushy.
When an influencer, industry expert, or reputable site publicises your content, your brand reaches its followers (which in most cases is quite massive). Collaborating with the right influencers provides an opportunity to create those valuable backlinks. The secret to having a successful influencer collab is to find the right partner for your industry niche. Inbound marketing is to get discovered by the right target market, don’t be shy about reaching out to influencers and expanding your reach exponentially.
Supplement your inbound marketing efforts with paid ads on Google, LinkedIn, or Facebook (all depending on your consumer base). Organic growth and results often take time, and it could be months before you see the desired results. Paid ads, when executed well, are a quick way of generating results. However, they can often get expensive if you don’t have a set budget.
Inbound marketing is not just about attracting visitors, it is also about nurturing and converting leads. For SaaS companies, continue to nurture leads by sending informative guides and white papers, or through offering free demos. Nurturing leads and moving them towards premium content serves two purposes, establishes you as an authority and keeps you on the top of their minds.
The highlighted inbound marketing techniques will allow you to position your SaaS company effectively towards today’s savvy and knowledgeable audience. Inbound marketing is about knowing your audience and the more you know, the more successful will your strategy be. Inbound marketing, being more affordable and delivering better returns than traditional outbound marketing methodologies is perfect for the rapidly growing field of SaaS firms.
Is your SaaS firm using one of our top inbound marketing strategies? We would love to hear about what inbound marketing strategies worked for you in the comments below!