SaaS companies face marketing issues that are very different than those of any other business.
When they make a sale, that’s not the end of it— they have to continue to nurture customers over time to ensure that they stick around for the long term. How can marketers keep customers happy and, most importantly, consistently engaged with the product? Read on for three expert tips for SaaS product marketing.
Tip #1: Pinpoint Your Ideal Customer
Until you’ve determined who your customers are, it’s going to be difficult to market to them. You need to understand the topics and formats that will best speak to your audience, but if you don’t have a good feel for who is included in that audience, you’re dead in the water before you even begin.
Your first step should be to create a buyer persona. What’s a buyer persona? Hubspot defines it as a “semi-fictional, generalized representation of an ideal customer,” and it will help you guide your product development and determine where you should focus your time.
Developing your buyer personas is a three step process.
- Step 1: Delve into your current customer base. Find the most common buyers that purchase your service, and build an identity for each one, including a name, job title, industry information, and their demographic information.
- Step 2: Determine each persona’s needs. What are the problems they’re trying to solve, what information are they seeking, and what do they need from you? What are the trends that most influence their business? What search terms brought them to you? What content did they view on your site?
- Step 3: Create behavior-based profiles of each persona’s online behavior. Where do your personas spend their time when they’re online? Facebook? LinkedIn? Do they read blogs, or do they prefer to ingest their information in an email newsletter format? Do they like to watch videos or would they rather listen to a podcast? Would they prefer to have a meaty e-book or use an interactive tool, like a worksheet or calculator?
Additionally, you should consider how your ideal buyer would prefer to pay for the SaaS product. Many customers prefer to pay via subscription. It’s more convenient, it offers an opportunity to businesses with little ready cash to utilize software they need at a price they can afford, and the automated payments are more environmentally friendly than sending regular paper invoices. For the SaaS business, subscriptions are a reliable source of revenue.
Tip #2: Generate New Leads Through Killer Content
There are a lot of reasons why you should improve your content game. For one thing, great content will improve your search results. Google controls seven out of ten internet searches, and they place a great deal of value on content quality.
If your website’s content is less than stellar, Google’s constantly refined algorithms will bump your rankings down, taking you from the first search page to the fourth. Determine the keywords that will help you rank, and build your content from there.
Extraordinary content will also establish your SaaS company as an expert in your industry. When you’re able to answer a potential customer’s questions with whitepapers, blog posts, or case studies, they’ll start to look to you as their number one source of information. When the time comes for them to make a purchase, your software will be foremost on their mind.
However, you don’t need to limit yourself to written content. Video is estimated to overtake 80% of all web traffic by 2019, and the addition of a video to a marketing email improves click-through rates by 200-300%. It’s important that you are willing to adapt to the format that’s most appealing to your audience. If they are more interested in watching a video than reading a 20 page e-book, you need to start exploring video marketing.
Tip #3: Use Social Media to Target Customers
You need to meet your customers where they are, and nowadays, they’re most likely on social media. Whether you choose to reach out to the two billion active users from all over the globe on Facebook or the 500 million users from more than 200 countries on LinkedIn, you can’t afford to not be on social media. Twitter and YouTube are also prime places to find
Simply posting regularly on the platforms that your customers are most active on isn’t enough. You’ve got to go beyond informing your audience and work toward engaging them. How do you engage potential customers on social media? For one thing, respond to their comments. Whether their remarks are positive or negative, stay upbeat and address the remarks. Strive to delight current customers and attract potential customers.
As you develop a relationship with your customers on social media, entice them to try your products with a free trial preset for a certain period of time—say, two weeks— or implement a referral program with some incentive for current users to share with friends and colleagues. A good e-commerce platform will help you facilitate everything you hope to offer your customers, from discounts to special promotions, ensuring that the process is automated for your convenience.
Selling your SaaS product might feel like an overwhelming challenge, but if you incorporate the tips we’ve outlined in tandem with a full-stack e-commerce solution, your SaaS company with not just survive, but thrive.
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