Inbound Marketing for Saas
Table of Contents
SaaS, or Software-as-a-Service, has proven to be one of the best computing solutions ever created. The SaaS market has continued to enjoy a robust growth throughout the years. SaaS’ market share is expected to reach $623 billion by the year 2023, at a compound annual growth rate of 18% according to Finances Online.
SaaS has helped companies attract and retain customers while boosting service. Many SaaS applications are now put to use in different industries that have improved the marketing, sales and customer experiences as a whole.
But even in the midst of all that growth rate and the increase in market share, many companies are still having a hard time advertising their SaaS products.
Granted, developing a software, a platform, or an application that is reliable, bug-free, and not prone to crashes is not an easy task. Getting traction for a SaaS product in terms of gaining new customers and maintaining loyalty for later versions is even more difficult.
In the Digital era, competition between tech companies is ever increasing. Gaining exposure is key. Creating a great product without it is an exercise in futility. Businesses should focus on both components in order to remain competitive in the market.
Developing a sound and successful Software-as-a-Service marketing strategy consists in finding the right balance between having a good tech product and advertising it to consumers. One of the answers lies in Inbound Marketing.
LetsMarket.it is a SaaS Marketing Consulting that provides SaaS inbound marketing services, and focuses on utilizing inbound marketing solutions for your SaaS product to drive better results.
What is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing is an outreach strategy that utilizes pull marketing forms, such as content marketing, blogs, events, SEO, social media platforms etc. to generate brand awareness and enhance engagement with prospects and existing customers.
Inbound marketing is thus based on attracting prospects in an organic way. It accompanies them throughout the marketing funnel, from the time they first come to contact with a company, up until they become paying customers.
Inbound Marketing has taken the marketing industry by storm. Businesses are increasingly getting on board with that Marketing concept since it is boosting their sales and revenues.
If your business specializes in creating SaaS products and services, you are probably aware that competition is getting increasingly intense. In order for your company to stand out amongst the pack, it needs to adopt a comprehensive and thorough SaaS inbound marketing strategy.
How does SaaS Inbound Marketing work?
Incorporating an inbound marketing approach to your business’ SaaS product will go a long way in addressing the challenges that your target audience will face before they make a purchasing decision.
SaaS Inbound Marketing relies on three key elements: Having a great and functioning product, providing a proactive and engaging customer experience, and Lead Generation.
This involves guiding prospects through a SaaS marketing funnel that will guide prospects through several stages
Here are some of the steps that your SaaS business can take in order for your business to set itself apart from the competition through an Inbound Marketing Methodology.
Step 1: Increase Web Traffic, Social Media Followers, and some proper Networking
Creating Buyer Personas and Posting Blogs
Developing an adequate SaaS Inbound Marketing campaign means increasing the amount of traffic to your business’ website and social media pages.
This involves the creation and development of buyer personas.
Buyer personas are generated through interviewing both prospects and existing customers to gather data and information about people who buy SaaS products and services. Data can range from demographics, age categories, and most importantly, their pain points and problems in terms of making a purchasing decision.
Once your business has a thorough understanding of the consumers’ pain points, the first step in adopting SaaS Inbound Marketing lies in publishing blog posts.
These pain points are what these buyer personas type into Google every day, in order to seek answers for their pain points.
Simply put, kickstarting a SaaS Inbound Marketing approach lies publishing blog posts, creating content and optimizing them for search engines.
By doing so, your business’ content will be perceived as the answer to the problems and challenges. Blogging at the very least once per week will generate enough traffic towards your business’ website over time.
Social Media Promotion
Publishing blog and content creation alone are not enough, since it takes some time for Search engines to index and optimize them.
The first step in Inbound Marketing does not end here.
They also need to be promoted on social media platforms.
This involves sharing your business’ content on networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and even Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok.
In terms of SaaS Inbound Marketing, the networks your business will choose to post actively on depends on your buyer personas and which platforms they use the most.
Working and collaborating with other experts in the industry your business operates in is a valuable asset in terms of creating content.
Partnering up with said experts via running shared webinars, blog posts, promoting each other’s content to your contact database via email, will undoubtedly boost your SaaS Inbound Marketing efforts.
SaaS Inbound Marketing supplemented with Paid Ads
While this option might prove to be a costly one, kickstarting your SaaS Inbound Marketing campaign alongside paid ads will drive much-needed traffic towards your business’ website.
There are several ways to employ that strategy:
Having your business’ content re-published to other websites that are constantly visited by your prospects is also a great networking solution.
Syndicating your content will go a long way to improve the quality of SaaS Inbound Marketing.
Step 2: Qualified Lead Generation
Once your business has driven enough traffic to both the website and social media accounts, the next objective is to convert those visitors into qualified leads. This is the next crucial step as far as a SaaS Inbound Marketing campaign goes.
A qualified lead is any individual who has shown an interest in what a company has to offer based marketing efforts. In the grand scheme of SaaS Inbound Marketing, these prospects are most likely to become paying customers, since they are genuinely interested in the software itself.
SaaS Inbound Marketing simply cannot bear positive results without lead generation.
For example, Dropbox, one of the world’s leading SaaS service providers for file hosting, include a Sign-Up form at the very top of their landing page. The Sign-Up form is a marketing effort in and of itself.
Another way to generate qualified leads is to produce premium content that your buyer personas will be willing to read or download, in exchange for their contact information.
Anyone who downloads that content will be information qualified. They are indicating that they are interested in the SaaS product offered by your business.
But this does not mean that they want to buy the software yet, or that they have clearly identified a pain point that this software would solve for them.
Once a clear SaaS Inbound Marketing strategy for generating qualified leads is established, the next step lies in nurturing those leads.
Step 3: Lead Nurturing
The next step in the SaaS Inbound Marketing funnel is nurturing leads until they are marketing qualified leads.
A marketing qualified lead is a lead who has accomplished two steps:
One important step towards converting standard leads into marketing qualified ones can lie in the implementation of an email marketing campaign in which more content is provided.
The main goal of this form of content is to further educate the prospects, and drive them towards premium content. If they actually opt for accessing the latter, they can be labeled as marketing qualified, since they fit your business’ ideal lead criteria.
One key thing to remember during that
Inbound Marketing step, is to convince without disrupting. In other words, your business should send them helpful content through targeted emails that will further educate them, and give them the option to learn more about your software WITHOUT forcing them to do so.
As far as Inbound Marketing is concerned, leads that are marketing qualified are not only interested in learning about your business’ products and/or services, but are also eager to try out a demo of your software.
Step 4: Conversion
Once a lead can be called as a marketing-qualified one, the SaaS Inbound Marketing campaign should turn its attention towards giving prospects as much information as they need to be confident that your business’ software is a good solution to their problem and addresses their pain points.
This involves implementing the freemium business model as a component of SaaS Inbound Marketing, through providing a free trial of the software for a limited timeframe. The timeframe can range anywhere between 15 and 30 days, depending on the complexity of the software, and the value that prospects can extract from it during that period.
Further content can also be created at this level of SaaS Inbound Marketing. It should mainly focus on what a lead can expect to gain from a demo of the software.
At this point your Business should consistently promote the free trial offer throughout the official website, social media pages and email campaigns.
During the SaaS Inbound Marketing process, this is where the conversion occurs!
If your business wants the SaaS inbound marketing to concretely bear results, it’s the one action your leads must complete which indicates that they are buying into your SaaS business philosophy.
Once your business has converted marketing qualified leads into a sale qualified one by beginning their trial period, the most crucial step of SaaS inbound marketing is underway: closing the deal and the lead becomes a paying customer.
Step 5: Closing the Deal
The ultimate goal of a SaaS Inbound Marketing campaign is to generate new paying customers, which entails increasing revenues and profit margins. This is where your business’ sales team must actively participate during that process.
Human contact is key in terms of sealing the deal during the SaaS Inbound Marketing process, whether the software is low-priced or not.
During the free trial, leads will be trying the software out and will likely seek assistance to get the most of it.
They will also come up with objections as they test out the product. In order to address those objections, your business can implement an automated email marketing strategy.
Its goal is to find out how sales qualified are interacting with the software, and to alert sales and customer service team when customers do or don’t perform key actions.
This is why during that stage of SaaS Inbound Marketing, analytics should also come into play.
Consistent engagement with prospects at this stage is extremely crucial in order to close the deal and convert them into customers.
In conclusion, adopting SaaS Inbound Marketing for your company is a long-term process, but will ultimately yield a higher ROI than standard SaaS marketing strategies.
SaaS Inbound Marketing will position your business as an authority of expertise in the market segment(s) it operates in.
SaaS Inbound Marketing is primarily focused on the golden word: CONTENT.
As Bill Gates correctly predicted in an op-ed published in 1996 titled: “Content is King”, that content-centric marketing is bound to generate more money, using the Internet as a primary medium.
SaaS inbound marketing allows your business to improve branding, gain exposure, achieve a bigger marketing reach, and increase leads that are geared towards conversion.
Long story short, SaaS Inbound Marketing is a winning strategy for both your software and your business as a whole.