It’s never been easier to create software to support specific businesses. As of March 2020., there are almost 4.6 billion Internet users worldwide, which justifies the rapid development in infrastructure that results in a high access rate to the Internet. Furtherly, everyone can easily reach valuable information and use newly acquired knowledge to develop specialized software that aims to solve particular problems.
SaaS, or shortly, software as a service, experienced rapid growth in the last decade. In 2008, the whole market share was about $5.5 billion, while in 2019 a SaaS market enjoyed a whopping $141 billion in a market share.
Since the entry barriers are quite low, and competition is extremely tough, apart from offering an effective and creative software that justifies its price, it’s never been more critical to differentiate from competitors. There are multiple ways to differentiate your service, but implementing SaaS marketing strategies can support and speed up your business growth.
Key Benefits of Investing in SaaS Marketing Strategies
Before deciding to invest resources into a long-term marketing campaign, it’s crucial to understand the goals and potential ROI the campaign can bring. Every market, service, or product is unique in its marketing approach, so is SaaS marketing. SaaS stands for software-as-a-service and it is a cloud-based software that efficiently solves a specific problem. It’s critical to focus your marketing campaign on explaining how your product solves that problem for your target audience.
Customers don’t invest in the one-time product but in a relationship that possibly results in a long-term collaboration. It’s essential to have that in mind while thinking of your SaaS marketing strategy.
To understand what is the most effective marketing strategy for your business model, you should first understand the benefits of investing in an efficient marketing strategy:
- Increasing brand awareness – According to ChiefMartec, in 2018, there were around 7,000 SaaS solutions, which gives an idea about the competitiveness in a given market. You have to think about the ways to present your software solution in front of the right audience. Being consistent in your marketing efforts can help you in building your brand awareness, which is one of the critical aspects of establishing your brand in a specific niche.
- Generating qualified leads – Selecting a proper marketing strategy helps in generating qualified leads for your software solution. It’s crucial that you’re aggressive, but smart when it comes to lead generation. In the SaaS industry, 35% of customer retention is considered above average, and since you’re selling subscriptions, it’s essential to generate as many leads as possible. Focusing on creating a consistent targeted content can help in growing and keeping your retention rate above average.
- Developing long-lasting relationships – Lasting relationships separate successful SaaS businesses from the rest. Since subscriptions determine the financial results of a company, it’s important to mention that investing in a consistent marketing strategy can result in long-term relationships. Consistently bring more value to your customers through high-quality content, adequate support, or creative membership programs.
Now that you know the key benefits of investing in the SaaS marketing strategy, it’s time to share six proven strategies that will speed up your business growth.
- Free trials
- Content Marketing
- Review Sites
- PPC Campaigns
- Affiliate Marketing
Keep reading to learn more about each of these strategies.
#1- Offer a Free Trial
Offering a free trial became an industry standard. It’s hard to find a software solution without trying a limited set of features for a limited time. Since the SaaS industry heavily focuses on providing value through a variety of features, it comes handy to provide a ‘test drive’ for interested customers. Competition is rough, and speaking with the sales department is outdated, so the most effective solution is giving away a free trial of the software.
It’s important to mention that a free trial should offer a wide range of features for a long enough period so potential customers will have time to understand the features and value your solution can bring to their business.
For example, Mangools is a powerful SEO tool that supports in creating effective on-page and off-page SEO strategies. Mangools offer a free trial where users can try all of their features (limited use) for ten days. The initial period is long enough, and it will give users a clear picture of tools’ features and ways it can grow their business.
#2- Focus on Content Marketing
Content marketing is one of the key strategies the SaaS companies use for growth. There are many reasons to implement a content marketing strategy, such as building an authority in the niche, generating organic leads, or solving someone’s problem. Did you know there are over 40,000 Google searches per a single second? People are searching for the information, and having a proper content marketing strategy can grow your business results in the long run.
First of all, conduct detailed keyword research to understand what content customers are searching for and the competition for each keyword. Next, create high-quality content based on the user intent, so you can be sure to attract the right audience and provide helpful solutions.
Ahrefs is such a great example that showcases a high-quality content marketing strategy. Over the years, they’ve created an insightful blog that helps users with link building, on-page SEO, and other vital aspects of SEO. Through their blog, Ahrefs set themselves as a thought leader in the niche that generates a massive amount of organic leads.
Source: Ahrefs Blog
#3- SEO For Generating Organic Leads
Optimizing your valuable content for targeted keywords ensures the right people land on your blog posts. It’s essential to conduct detailed competition research before picking the keywords as some keywords are easier to rank for than others. That can be crucial in the beginnings, especially if you don’t have many resources, and you’re looking for ‘quick’ organic results.
It’s crucial to understand that, in some niches, the keyword and user-intent optimized content won’t bring desired results. There are more than a hundred factors that determine the ranking of your content in Google Search Engine, such as the number of links, website speed, traffic and user engagement, social metrics, etc.
Over time, the competition became tougher, so companies started to use interactive content such as videos, infographics, photos, and presentations. It all slows down a website speed, which is one of the key ranking factors. Before starting a project, it’s crucial to invest in a reliable and fast hosting that can support the traffic and content on your website. Performances at Siteground satisfy even the most demanding SaaS companies, so it may be a good start if you’re looking for a bullet speed service at any time.
#4- Establish Connections With SaaS Review Sites
Finding the right review website for your business can be a challenge, but once you score a collaboration with an authority review site, you can expect to reap the severe benefits. If you’ve ever bought something online, either a product or a service, then you’ve probably read dozens of reviews and user opinions before purchasing. According to BuildThis.io, 63% of customers are more likely to buy from sites that have user reviews. People tend to read user’s experiences and opinions before making a final decision as they believe other users more than companies themselves.
Being reviewed on an authority website in your niche doesn’t only increase the exposure but also helps in generating qualified leads, ranking higher for a given keyword, and improving overall trust in your solution.
TechRadar is the authority website that reviews products and services in the technology niche. It makes sense for Ahrefs to get featured in TechRadar since their audiences overlap, and there is a considerable possibility Ahrefs will enjoy a quality referral traffic that might convert.
#5- Invest In Focused PPC Campaign
PPC is a prevalent SaaS marketing strategy for a few simple reasons – it’s scalable, flexible, and brings targeted traffic to your website. The high scalability and flexibility make PPC a desirable marketing strategy for just established companies. As with everything, there is a catch. Creating and managing a high profitable PPC campaign requires experience and skills, and since the niches differ, you will need to experiment a lot. PPC asks for a lot of testing, tweaking, optimizing, and learning, so be armed with patience.
Before swimming in PPC waters and spending budget without results, make sure to understand how to set up and manage a PPC campaign properly.
More importantly, ads optimized for specific keywords show up before organic searches, and there is a huge potential for attracting targeted users. Just keep in mind it requires a trial-and-error approach to display your ads for high-competitive keywords such as ‘link building tools.’
Source: Google Search Engine
#6- Create an Affiliate & Referral Network
Make your current customers work for you by creating an affiliate or referral network. Does referring a friend or a colleague in exchange for extra storage or an additional two weeks sound like a fair trade? Referral networks are modern word-of-mouth, which is one of the most effective marketing strategies. In the end, would you believe your best friend who recommends a particular product or service?
For instance, Dropbox has a viral referral program that offers an extra 16GB of storage for each person you refer.
On the other hand, the affiliate program is similar to a referral program, but ‘referrals’ get a cut for each sale, download, subscription, etc. AWeber offers one of the most prominent affiliate programs in the SaaS industry, with up to 30% commissions.
Pick the Effective SaaS Marketing Strategy and Generate Targeted Leads
It’s important to understand that each business is different. There is not a ‘one-fits-all’ SaaS marketing strategy, and you should pick the one that works for you and supports your business model. The competition is fierce, so start investing in the marketing strategy from the beginning, and always test, measure, and optimize. Using the right marketing strategy will increase your brand awareness, generate more targeted leads, and create long-lasting relationships which ultimately, speed up your business growth and revenue.