When it comes to digital marketing, software as a service operates under a different set of rules. Because your potential customers are most likely researching and buying online, it is imperative that you utilize free trials and demos to attract those prospects. Moreover, making a sale is only the start, you will also need to look into onboarding, growth hacking, churn rates, and a variety of other factors surrounding returns on investment. That is what makes marketing this type of product different from other types of online marketing landscapes.
Selling software as services has become the go-to method of selling or buying software over the recent years. Customers today no longer have the initial objections involving control and security that they once had and are now preferring this new method of purchasing software. As such, the cost of developing and marketing software has decreased thus lowering the barriers to entry. The implication, however, is that products in the software as services market have little to no differentiation. Consequently, attracting prospects to your products has become exponentially harder.
Software as services marketers have largely, and rightly, adopted digital marketing techniques to increase their revenue. Nevertheless, the way marketers are going about it differs, and this is what brings all the difference in terms of success.
This is a guide to the digital marketing strategies that have proven to be most effective at lead generation for software as services companies.
Software as a Service Marketing Strategies
Create a Marketing Strategy that is Specific to Your Software Solution
When looking to attract a buyer, the most important thing to remember is that a prospect’s urge to purchase revolves around your solution being able to solve their problem. Thus, your marketing strategy needs to empathize with their problem using appropriate messages while educating them about your product’s capabilities. Add a clear call to action to this, and you will likely stimulate a response.
Nevertheless, to make the unique benefits of your product resonate with potential customers requires that you understand the unique landscape of the software as services market. Today, the value proposition has changed as the IT department no longer works in isolation when it comes to technology acquisition processes. The decision makers are spread out throughout the company and, therefore, your marketing strategy should convince everyone in the company that your solution is a necessary tool. Your emphasis should be how your product will benefit the entire organization.
As such, the key messages of your marketing strategy need to address more than just technological concerns.
This requires some thought as it involves strategically rethinking the way your company markets its solutions.
Thus, you will have to develop a new strategy or redevelop your legacy plans. This will assist you in assessing your competition, defining your target market, and establishing your position. This might seem like a lot of work, but it is necessary for your value proposition.
2. Regularly Optimize Your Site
Your website is your bread and butter when doing business online as it is the virtual representation of your company. As such, it not only needs to look good but also needs to convert visitors into customers.
It is recommended that you experiment with various techniques that increase the rate of visitor engagement. This could involve offering free trial signups, or booking a demo of the software. Your goal is to have your visitors take some type of action upon coming to your site.
A common misconception is that you need to spend more money in order to get better results from your website. However, this is not always true if you do conversion rate optimization. By doing this, you’ll be able to know what converts most leads, thus helping you fine-tune your strategy and budget so that it is in line with the technique that produces the most success.
Moreover, you could experiment with other aspects such as call to actions and content on each page. Try out different call to actions on different pages to find one that generates the most traction. Try out different content schemes. At times, just laying out the fundamental information could create greater results than overwhelming your visitors with multiple options.
Another site optimization strategy would be to simplify the user journey, i.e., the steps they have to take in order to perform a certain action. Your website needs to offer easy usability.
3. Use Content to Showcase Your Expertise
After optimizing your site layout, your next agenda should be to fine tune your powers of persuasion concerning your solution’s capabilities. Remember, your product most likely shares a lot of features with those of your competitors.
Thus, what you need to do is differentiate yourself from your competitors using any means necessary. The best way of doing this is by establishing yourself as a thought leader in your industry, and this is achieved by creating content that offers solutions to the common problems that your target audience regularly faces.
For example, if you are selling CRM solutions, you could write a guide on how sales managers can use it to increase their sales.
In your bid to become an authority in your field, it is important that you are versatile in your approach. Hence, you not only need to utilize your website’s blog to showcase your content, but also need to utilize social media channels. The benefit of using social media, in particular, is that you are able to soften your messages with a bit of informality. This helps you engage your target audience better as you do not appear to be too self-important. Moreover, it facilitates conversations on things that are important to the target market.
Nevertheless, content creation is not a one-off shot in the dark. It is a key part of your strategy. And thus, you will need to publish content regularly while varying formats to target prospects at various points of the purchasing cycle.
Search Engine Optimization
Also known as SEO, it works hand in glove with content marketing to make your content discoverable on Google, Yahoo, Bing, and other search engines. Nevertheless, search engine optimization exists in two distinct but complementary categories. Search Engine Optimization for SaaS businesses is one of the best ROI generating traffic methods you can create.
This is the aspect of search engine optimization that is within your control. It involves creating content that people will want to read, share, or link to. It also involves other factors such as the keyword strategy, the use of titles and descriptions, internal linking, in addition to page load time and UI. This on-page optimization guide should prove to be a valuable resource.
When most people hear about off-page SEO, they think it is just about link building. However, it entails more than that. While having links throughout your website is beneficial, it is the quality of links that matters the most. A few high-quality links from reputable and authoritative websites will trump multiple links from other sources. Additionally, links from influential social media pages is an indication of a quality site.
Even though inbound marketing can be beneficial in reducing the amount you spend on AdWords, this does not change the fact that millions of people are still clicking on search engine ads every day. Thus, if you are looking to capitalize on these potential leads, it is imperative that you continue investing in PPC.
As such, Pay-per-click remains relevant for several reasons. First off, it drives targeted traffic to your site while being highly scalable. This means that you can increase or reduce the amount you spend based on your business’s needs on a given day. Moreover, it is also inherently predictable in terms of results and costs, making it appealing to CFOs or individuals with conventionally controlled marketing budgets.
The bottom line is that you should experiment with various strategies to determine which one offers you the best ROI. Nonetheless, the fact remains that you will generate a significant amount of quality traffic if you utilize PPC advertising for SaaS.
6. Nurture Your Prospects
SaaS solutions can take a while to sell as they are usually not purchased impulsively. As such, most of your potential clients are likely to visit your site multiple times before they take any action. Moreover, it is also highly likely that they are visiting your competition’s pages as well.
Thus, you need to have engaging content throughout your site to capture and keep their attention. This not only refers to the valuable blog posts we mentioned earlier, but also things such as case studies, videos, white papers, and the latest news in the industry. This type of content demonstrates that you are well-versed in your field.
Nonetheless, you should not rush to sell. Building compelling content takes time. It also takes time to build a regular database of engaged prospects. Upon establishing that database, create an email list and start sending them regular emails with free, valuable information and special offers. Nurture this database as it could be your most valuable asset.
The above are tried and tested Software as a Service digital marketing strategies that software companies can use to facilitate their growth. Nonetheless, you need to implement them appropriately so that you can achieve the best results.
Saasy digital has worked with, taken care of, and performed the marketing function for multiple SaaS companies. We are the digital marketing partner of choice for software companies that need more traffic, leads, and customers to help build their brands. We partner with our clients to deliver a fully integrated online and offline marketing service that accelerates their growth rate. Our experience and resources are invaluable to companies who value marketing but do not have the time, resources, or skills needed to execute these strategies. Contact us and we will be glad to discuss how we can help your business grow.