If you are in the IT and the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS industry), let me tell you, there cannot be a better time than this to grow your business.
The convenience of the subscription model and the maturity of cloud technology has made SaaS companies popular. In 2018 alone, 15 SaaS companies including Dropbox, DocuSign, and Spotify went public; while HubSpot launched HubSpot Ventures in December to invest in companies that build SaaS products.The industry is poised to grow at a CAGR of 21.2% as per the forecast by Business Wire for 2018-2023.
It’s time to claim your spot in this growth story!
If you have been struggling to reach your target audience or unable to show your value proposition to them, then look no further.
We are going to share a few proven strategies that can help you grow your business.
Five Proven Digital Marketing Strategies To Grow Your Business
Before we discuss the strategies, let’s understand that SaaS marketing is way different from marketing for products that are physically present. SaaS products are not in a physical form and thus requires extra efforts to convince the customer about its features and benefits.
In such cases, digital marketing works the best for SaaS companies. One, because it’s easy for you to lead your target audience from one step to another in a seamless manner and second because it is more cost-effective than a conventional marketing strategy.
Let’s now delve deeper into the digital marketing strategies that can help you grow your SaaS company.
#1 - Plan Your Content Strategy
As we mentioned earlier, with absolutely no physical proof of your product, building trust is the first step to engage your prospects. And there is no better way to do it than creating informative content. Let’s take HubSpot as an example. HubSpot develops software for marketing and sales. More importantly, they are known as the thought leaders of inbound marketing. What makes them unique? If you have been following them, you would know it’s their content strategy that makes them what they are today. From ebooks on marketing automation to blogs on content marketing and free courses on inbound marketing and marketing software, HubSpot is a source of rich marketing content. It aims at educating the prospects so they can trust the brand and over the time purchase their products.
As a SaaS company, think of the challenges your prospects face and develop content that they resonate with. You can write blogs, create digestible social media posts, write ebooks, or even conduct webinars. The objective is to establish trust and create an opportunity for you to show the value of your product in solving a problem.
#2 - Strengthen Your SEO Strategy
You may have created the best content assets for your product, but all your efforts will go in vain if the website is not optimized and does not reach the right audience. It’s essential to invest your time and resources in strengthening your website’s SEO. To optimize your website, you must first understand the issues on your website. There are a lot of things involved in SEO beyond using the right keywords such as page speed, mobile optimization etc. It is, therefore, advisable to audit your website so you know the exact issues and can take help from SEO experts to fix it.
#3 - Invest in Paid Digital Ads
SEO and content will definitely help you grow your business in the long run, but if you are looking at generating leads really quick or positioning your brand in a new market in a short duration, then paid digital ads can be a good start. For example, when our client, Turnitin wanted to expand their business in India, we used a combination of Facebook ads, Google Display ads, and remarketing ads to build their online presence. If you are worried about the ROI, here’s the result.
The paid ads helped Turnitin in generating 1800+ Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL) in 4 months, increased their leads by 250%, and reduced their cost per lead (CPL) by 90%.
To avoid wasting money, choose your keywords wisely and create an ad that will resonate with your prospects and nudge them to visit your website.
#4 - Try Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is a great way to generate leads. You can build an affiliate program where for every lead generated, you can pay a certain incentive to the affiliate partner. Growth Robotics, who has created a white label SEO tool has an affiliate program in which they pay 30% of the monthly recurring commission to the partner for every new customer generated through them. A program like this is a win-win situation for you and the partner. It helps you to reach a wider audience and get more leads and earns them incentives for every lead or customer generated. A word of caution - be clear about the terms and conditions to avoid any miscommunication in the future. Ensure that the affiliate partner knows the payment terms and your product really well, before collaborating.
#5 - Build Trust with Free Trials, Discounts, and the Freemium model
All of us love free trials. It gives us the opportunity to try the product before subscribing for it. Most SaaS companies such as Grammarly and Evernote also work on a freemium model wherein they offer the basic services for free and charge a premium fee for advanced features. You can also offer discounts on joining or for referring new customers. The objective is to let your customers try your product without worrying about losing money and then purchase it once they are confident about using it. Wondering if it would work? Well, companies like MailChimp, Grammarly, and Slack have added millions of subscribers thanks to their freemium model and word of mouth marketing.
You can use email marketing in this approach to offer guidance on the best ways to use the product or share links of videos on the tips and tricks of using your product. It will help your customer to get acclimatized with the product and could convert them into long-term customers.
Here’s a snapshot of the email that Grammarly sends its premium members with their usage details, the top 3 mistakes, and the tips to write better.
These are a few ways in which you can strengthen your digital marketing efforts and grow your IT and SaaS business. To get started with your digital marketing strategy for 2020, we have a free guide on buyer persona for you. This will help you to understand your target audience and sharpen your digital marketing strategy.