SaaS or Software as a Service market has matured tremendously. Current projections show an estimated growth of up to 20.1% or $46.3 billion by the end of 2017. This is both good and bad news for SaaS startups and growing ventures as they will face fierce competition for a piece of the market share. Growing and maintaining a company in these conditions may be hard, but it’s certainly not impossible. That said, here are five effective online marketing strategies you can use to grow your SaaS business.
1. Offer free products
Giving away free samples and promo material is perfectly normal when you’re working with physical merchandise. However, giving the full product away is not. On the other hand, giving free products and services away is one of the staples of SaaS marketing. Whether it’s a free trial, freemium products, trial-to-paid, trial with or without credit card information, these free and trial models are widely used as a SaaS marketing strategy in order to improve customer acquisition, as well as customer onboarding.
2. Provide your customers with top-notch user experience
One of the major downfalls of most SaaS marketing campaigns is passing overly complicated software and excessive website designs as innovative solutions. This leads to subpar user experience and requires additional customer support in order to help your customers make sense of what is what. People require tools that make their lives easier, not more difficult, so make sure you provide them with straightforward ways of finding the information they need, purchasing and using your services and getting the necessary help in case they need it.
3. Focus more on SEO efforts
There are numerous methods for lead generation; however, search engines still prevail as the number one source of new leads. That’s why more and more companies are implementing SEO as a part of their SaaS marketing strategies. This involves creating unique, and more importantly, relevant content for your users. Using keywords is an excellent way of attracting the right traffic, just make sure you use both short and long-tailed keywords and avoid overusing them in your content. This could not only lead to your website getting downranked, but even completely removed from the search results.
4. Work on getting third-party reviews
Over 70% of customers look at reviews before they make a purchase. What most marketers fail to realize these days is that even a bad review is better than having no reviews at all. Customers are more likely to forget or overlook a couple of bad reviews than forgetting that no one has reviewed a specific product or a service. Take advantage of this fact by engaging review editorials with value proposition and software metrics and specification. Alternatively, you can invest in paid reviews to increase your lead generation efforts; however, these can never hold the same weight as an unsolicited user review.
5. Reinforce your brand’s trustworthiness
Lead generation would not be possible without user trust, which is particularly important for startups and small businesses. Work on acquiring trust marks from various authoritative bodies such as Verified Quality Seal and display them prominently on your website. Trust is one of the key factors in SaaS marketing and B2B companies have to guarantee a certain degree of quality to their customers. One of the best ways of accomplishing this is to use a SaaS agreement template to regulate the provision of your software, safeguard your customers’ data and guarantee that your customers will be provided with the necessary support services, if and when required.
SaaS marketing is really not that complicated. By realizing you are not the one selling the product, but rather the product is the one selling itself, you can focus more on developing a superior product and providing customers with adequate support. Great products and services are at the heart of a proper SaaS marketing strategy and once you have that covered, generating and securing leads and customers become second nature. Although we haven’t covered it in the strategies, analytics are vital for all types of marketing, so make sure to analyze your customers’ behavior and use that information to further improve your services and provide the customers with a top-notch user experience.