It’s not unusual for SaaS companies to come to us with questions about developing a marketing strategy. Marketing outreach can be very tricky in a marketplace that’s over-saturated with SaaS products and services — which is why a lot of people use inbound marketing strategies to flip the script and attract prospect who will reach out to them instead.
One of the most common questions that we get right off the bat is: “How do I implement inbound marketing as a SaaS company?”
First off, this is much harder to answer without more context around who you are, what your role is, what your business is like, and how far along you are in your inbound marketing journey. Besides, Inbound marketing in SaaS organizations requires a deep understanding of your client base and buyer personas.
Here’s a light overview of the main inbound marketing principles and how to start implementing them:
For any organization, the website is gateway to lead generation. This is especially true for SaaS, since customers will associate the user-interface of your website immediately with user-interface of your products. If your website sucks, they’ll suspect your products might too. Make sure your website is clean, aesthetically-pleasing, on-brand, easy to use, and isn’t slow or buggy. Your website is like your organization’s personality. And you can only make a good first impression once. Turns out that 39% of customers who had a bad experience on your website won’t return for another two years. You’ll also want to conduct a full SEO optimization of your site, complete with keyword optimization and backlinks from respectable sites.
This is so important. You need a content producer(s) to be able to generate original content with meaningful insights, analysis, or additional information that people will find interesting or helpful. By providing valuable content, you inspire readers to engage with your organization. Vary your content! Man cannot live on blogposts alone. Try infographics, videos, how-to guides, interactive multimedia pieces, word clouds, quizzes, and more.
SaaS is a different beast than most organizations, who will need to focus on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. While you should probably maintain these accounts, you should focus more of your efforts on LinkedIn, Reddit, GitHub, Spiceworks, TechDiscussion, or similar forum-based sites. Answering questions, discussing technology trends, and engaging with end-users will draw more attention to your organization than a tweet lost to the Twittersphere. Don’t push your products or services too much. You need to be perceived as an expert, not a salesperson.
You should probably invest in marketing automation (MA). Inbound marketing works better when it’s supported by data, metrics, and concrete information about buyer demographics, behaviors, and experiences. It’s unbelievably difficult to gather, store, or leverage any of this for your marketing programs unless you are using some kind of MA to capture it. SaaS businesses can really benefit from MA because it helps you determine which leads are a better fit for your software before you even sell to them.
I want to state again that every business is different. Internal processes vary. So this list may not be exactly what you’ll need to kick-start an inbound marketing program. And it’s by no means exhaustive. But it’s a start! If you have any further questions, feel free to reach out to us and chat about your marketing goals.
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