Digital marketing for SaaS companies
It’s amazing how far cloud computing has come in such a short time. Today, you can get just about any type of Software as a Service (SaaS) product on a subscription basis, without having to buy and maintain any bulky hardware. This is an advantage because it decreases the sales cycle. However, it still presents a challenge since you have a shorter time period to convince your leads to choose your product.
In general, for most SaaS companies to be profitable, they must rely on a large-scale user base in order to reach this goal. However, when a potential customer is in need of a certain SaaS product, they will conduct online research, read online reviews, speak with their colleagues and network, and try several different free-trial or demonstration of products to help their decision.
No matter if your SaaS company focuses on ERP, accounting, HRM, communications, project management, CRM or web hosting solutions; marketing your SaaS company depends heavily on how well you are providing valuable information. Valuable information that is not only about your product but also about your industry in general and your target audience’s interests.
How SaaS companies benefit from digital marketing
An effective digital marketing strategy is a great way to provide as much information and reassurance in the shortest possible time to guide your target audience through the sales funnel. Once your target audience is in your funnel, this will provide your SaaS company with the data needed to find out what challenges your target audience is facing and features of your product that your users actually care about. This information will allow you to make the appropriate changes needed to earn and retain more customers.
You first need to grow your user base. Since your SaaS marketing needs are more similar to a B2C company, it is important that you produce campaigns that are engaging, customer-focused and data-driven – which a digital marketing strategy can deliver.
Here are a few results that your company will obtain:
- Raising brand awareness
- Building a strong reputation
- Attracting quality traffic to your website
- Converting leads to customers
- Retaining customers for the long-term
5 digital marketing strategies for SaaS companies
1. Content marketing
It’s important for your SaaS company to educate the customer about how your software works and what the benefits are to them. Through content marketing, you can help educate, attract and convert your target audience even on a strict marketing budget. Since your target audience is looking for a quality solution, having informative content is a great way to attract and guide them through the customer journey so that they can choose the right solution.
In the long-term, content marketing is generally more affordable and valuable than advertising, it builds your credibility and reputation as a legitimate brand, and it is an effective way to increase customer retention.
2. Email marketing
Since SaaS products have a short sales cycle where the potential lead may not interact with your sales team, email marketing plays a vital role in nurturing leads through the sales funnel. These campaigns involve a process of education and awareness so that you can build a relationship with potential leads by delivering content that shows them who you are, how you can add value to them and why they should choose to use your product.
Email marketing is also a cost-effective channel to retain your existing customers with your brand instead of them deciding to go to another vendor once their subscription is about to expire. According to Gartner, most of the revenue from a SaaS company comes from their existing customers, which makes customer retention crucial for your growth. Based on the information in your CRM about the features your customers are using and other demographics, you can easily segment them so that you can create personalized communication in order to maintain their satisfaction, maximize the value from your product and upsell where possible.
3. Search engine optimization (SEO)
SEO is the tactic of optimizing your website in order to increase the quantity and quality of web traffic being received through organic “free” search engine results. Since 70% of clicks on search engines goes to organic traffic, ranking at the top of search engine result pages (SERPs) should be at the top of your marketing priorities. The investment in an SEO strategy works hand in hand with your content marketing strategy, because if your content isn’t ranking high on SERPs, this means that your target audience is being referred to your competitor.
If you are looking to grow your brand awareness and drive a lot of quality traffic to your website; an SEO strategy is a great way to get you there.
4. Search engine marketing (SEM) & Retargeting
Advertisement has become more prominent in search results, which makes SEM platforms such as Google Ads, Bing Ads and Yahoo Search Ads, a great customer acquisition platform for your SaaS company. By using a pay-per-click bid strategy, you can deliver qualified leads to your website, and increase or reduce your ad budget based on your goals. If you don’t want to miss out on a portion of potential leads, then you must consider investing in SEM.
Whether your conversion goal is to get your lead to receive a free-trial, book a demo or make a purchase, the likelihood of your visitors taking this action is low. Since less than 2% of your web traffic converts on their first visit, with the help of retargeting ads, you can dramatically increase conversions by re-engaging the 98% of web traffic who left your website to take action with your brand.
You can read all types of articles, attend conferences and be advised by top consultants, but for your SaaS company to grow, you need to utilize analytics on a consistent basis. Analytics will help you to reveal areas of opportunity to improve the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns, and better engage and retain customers. By being able to track your digital marketing campaigns, you end up saving time and money by not wasting it on tactics that don’t work and optimizing the ones that do work in order to deliver a better ROI. Every business is different which makes it important for you to test out what campaigns work for your specific goals.