With the onset of digital marketing, a plethora of methods have risen on how best to market your products and services some of which are inbound marketing, outbound marketing, content marketing, and SaaS marketing.
SaaS stands for Software as a Service which gives users the ability to connect and use cloud-based apps over the Internet and SaaS marketing is simply the method you use to market this kind of software as services.
SaaS marketing is hard and is a tough job as it requires marketing something that has no physical presence. It is challenging and it is vitally different from every other type of marketing that exists. But it comes with its own set of advantages that is rewarding.
- The ability to give away free stuff
One of the most widely-accepted SaaS marketing strategies is giving away a free product or service which helps in SaaS customer acquisition and onboarding. As long as you have a strategy, giving away your product for free is a great approach for SaaS marketing.
- A remarkably short sales cycle
A B2B sale is infamous for having long sales cycles but SaaS cycles are all about rapid sales. The reason for this quick pace is due to the nature of software itself. As an ever-evolving arena that is constantly changing, and advancing, a sales process that lasts for say, 6 months would witness at least 12 different iterations of the software within that span of time. So the pathway to increased revenue, profit and value is a higher velocity in the sales process.
- Information is the greatest asset
A lot of information regarding software comes from either people who sell SaaS or from SaaS providers as SaaS marketing depends largely on the information. As a B2B SaaS marketer, you are an industry savant, a person who possess and dispenses information. Every SaaS marketing strategy should be about the propagation of information.
- Long term customers
According to a study conducted by Gartner, 80% of all future revenue will come from just 20% of current customers. In the SaaS industry, customer retention is critical more than any other industry.
When it comes down to creating a SaaS marketing strategy, many of the same marketing principles apply. A SaaS marketer needs to be after unique goals and key performance indicators (KPIs) as the goals determine the actions.
The 3 big metrics every SaaS marketer should work to influence:
The reason these 3 metrics are of significance is due to the fact that if pursued together, they become a complete SaaS marketing funnel that will generate long-term results. In a marketing funnel, each KPI fits in the following ways:
1. Discovery Stage:
The continued discovery of the brand is fueled by web traffic
2. Consideration Stage:
The web traffic then get nurtured into qualified leads through email marketing
3. Purchase Stage:
Through sales or self-serve processes, leads get converted into customers and/or trial sign-ups.
As a company that sells software as a service, you need to get started on your SaaS marketing as soon as possible in order to achieve higher conversion rates.
Step 1: Provide buyers with enough information to choose the right platform
So as to guide prospects through the marketing funnel and to seal the deal, content becomes the most important ingredient in your SaaS marketing strategy. SaaS marketing is highly dependent on the dissemination of the right information for the prospect to make the right choice- make the final purchase.
Step 2: Offer free trials
Providing free trial periods is a strategy that is widely used for both starting with a new SaaS customer and for introductory sales. This is a good strategy as long as a strategy is in place to monetize the people the product is given to.
Step 3: Optimize website for conversions
Through the use of Call-To-Actions (CTAs), prospects need to be able to find conversion options anywhere on the website which can direct them from one page to another. Blog posts can link to relevant downloadable content which can be used to enlighten and educate buyers in order to make them ready to buy.
Step 4: Maintain a social media presence
Through a strong social media presence, you can be visible in the channels where the majority of buyers exist; so as to market to them and to build a solid relationship with them. Using valuable content, attract organic visitors and also use targeted ads in order to reach the ideal customer profiles via channels like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.
Step 5: Create a great product
Garrett Moon, the CEO, and Co-Founder of CoSchedule explained that the only SaaS sales strategy that is needed is a great product with a great team behind it, which will ensure that the product sells itself. Having a great product also garners amazing customer support and loyalty.
SaaS marketing is still marketing even though in practice it can come across as very different from what a traditional marketer is used to. But in the end the SaaS marketing strategy success comes down to the most critical factor: does it effectively address all 3 parts of the SaaS sales cycle.
According to the SaaS report, it is predicted that by the year 2020, there will be more than 75000 SaaS companies globally. Through creating and maintain a strong SaaS marketing framework, it is possible to rise to the top.