Even if you’ve managed to create the most innovative SaaS Business Model around, who’s going to be interested in its capabilities if no one’s aware of it?
For a SaaS business to be successful, it must approach and educate its potential clients.
It must let those prospects know how your particular Software as a Service works, and what its advantages are.
SaaS Marketing; Defining Your Audience
First, what does SaaS stand for?
Software as a Service: a SaaS business grants clients the ability to connect and use their cloud-based SaaS applications over the Internet.
So who are those clients?
What extra abilities are they seeking?
What’s unique about your particular SaaS applications?
And how do you go about reaching these prospective clients?
Within a prospect company, there are probably a number of decision makers you need to persuade.
Each may be seeking a different benefit.
Each will be situated in a different part of the funnel of conversion.
Each may have to be approached through different types of marketing.
SaaS Marketing; the Strategy
SaaS products are not impulse buys.
They can take time to sell.
So take the time to carefully set out all the marketing activity you intend to undertake, explaining why each area is essential.
Think, too, of a clear yet memorable description of your Unique Selling Point (USP), along with a suitable call to action.
SaaS Marketing: Search Engine Optimisation
When your prospects are looking on the internet for solutions to their challenges, what are the keywords they tend to use?
You need to discover these before you start building your website.
Keywords should appear in the title, description, and H1 headings, as well as in the first paragraph of copy.
Sitemaps, AMP pages, correct canonical tags, proper schema markup, easy navigation, and pages designed to serve a client’s needs will all ensure higher search engine rankings.
SaaS Marketing: PPC & Advertising
Does anyone need telling Pay Per Click (PPC) is costly?
High competition keywords are the most expensive. So, when you’ve finally conducted your keyword search, did you come across lower competition keywords that are more specific to your offering?
Running adverts on the Display Network or on Gmail ensures you’re reaching prospects whom your competitors are already targeting.
Sponsored posts on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn are also easily targeted, and are ideal for directing people to your website.
SaaS Marketing: Website Optimisation
Your website is your shop window: it must draw people in.
Prospects will visit your website many times before they’re persuaded to become a client.
Ensure your website is easy to use. Guide your readers through your website.
You don’t need to tell them everything online. Stripping back to fundamentals can generate better results than providing an overwhelming number of options.
Don’t have them waiting. Make sure your site loads in under two seconds irrespective of the device they’re using.
Provide them with materials such as White Papers, infographics, e-books, slideshares, and videos that they’ll find useful.
If some of this is gated content, your prospects will provide you with useful information about themselves which can be used to build a database.
Now you can send them regular emails or interesting blogposts.
SaaS Marketing: Emails, Blogs & Newsletters
Emails should keep your prospects both informed and intrigued.
(A client is still a prospect: contracts and subscriptions will need to be renewed; there are opportunities to upsell and cross-sell.)
It’s one of the most ROI-friendly marketing strategies around.
Blog posts can be even more informative and useful. A monthly newsletter can be a convenient round-up of previous blogs, along with case studies and testimonials.
They can also be used to drive free trial offers.
SaaS Marketing: Free Trials
If it’s free, why not give it a try?
Whether it’s a 30-day free trial, or a free yet limited version, they give prospects a chance to see for themselves just how invaluable your Software as a Service is.
Naturally, you shouldn’t offer every feature of your solution.
They must subscribe to access the full solution.
SaaS Marketing: Client Retention
Retention is more cost-effective than acquisition.
Ensure your clients feel like they’re part of a mutually advantageous community.
Keep them up to speed with any enhancements of your solution.
Use tutorials and FAQ to enable them to get the most from your offerings.
You can make them understand their importance to you by involving them in improving your offering and service.
Ask them for regular feedback. Embrace complaints as an opportunity to right what’s wrong with your solution.
You can’t get any better advice than that received from your clients.
Existing clients should find your Software as a Service so all-encompassing that they don’t bother looking at what your rivals are offering.
SaaS Marketing: Upsell & Cross-sell
Cross-selling and upselling will not only lead to an increase in revenue but, when correctly administered, will also ensure client satisfaction and retention.
Selling add-on products along with the main product is called cross-selling.
Persuading a client to move up to a more advanced and expensive offering is upselling.
Of course, as your clients behave differently at different points in time, it’s not easy to cross-sell and upsell using an overall strategy.
It’s far better to carefully target your prospects, utilising the knowledge you’ve gained through your relationship with them.
SaaS Marketing: the Influencer’s Influence
A highly satisfied client can be your most important marketing asset.
Recommendations from a user of your solutions is more likely to be believed than anyone else.
You can leverage this satisfaction by promoting testimonials and case studies. An impressed client might even be persuaded to showcase the advantages of your Software as a Service on their own websites and social media.
Loyal clients can also drive revenue for SaaS business through Influencer Marketing.
For a commission, they refer other, potential clients.
You might also wish to consider an affiliate programme.
This provides a constant flow of leads. And you pay only after you’ve closed a sale.
As affiliates only receive regular payment as long as the referred clients signup with or remain with your SaaS business, this motivates them to generate extra business.
SaaS Marketing and the future of the SaaS Business Model
SaaS marketing differs in a number of ways from other forms of marketing.
However, by following the right strategies, you can ensure your SaaS business model is a success.
Would you like to know more?
You can discover how to expand your business at the SaaS Academy.
Then explore incentives designed to reward SaaS engagements and how to extend your business reach with IBM SaaS solutions.