SaaS marketing is not for that light of center. It’s tough. And it is vitally distinctive from just about any other form of marketing that the globe is aware of.
Once you have your application built with the three self-reliant tools built in for your clients, how do you find your clients? First things, first. Initially, your clients will not magically find you. Let me be clear. Your product is great and you have architected a beautiful design, but without some marketing efforts you and your product are just Dust in the Wind (go ahead and listen while you read the rest).
Whether you are bootstrapping the project on your own or have funding from your company, taking the proper steps will save you time, money, and effort when it comes to today’s marketing environment.
Follows These Four Steps to Growing Your SaaS Marketing :
Built-in tools for self-reliance – as mentioned in the previous post, without this relationship between your clients and your application, all other efforts will be more expensive and time-consuming. So even though these tools are not necessarily “marketing” items, they are critical for your word of mouth to ignite.
Build a practical and clean site – your website is critical to your business as a SaaS company, but it is not critical to break the bank on it. Once you have your basic site built with concise copy (with whatever tone you want to set as your company’s voice), a place where someone can self-signup for trial or paid account, and a feedback loop then you are ready to launch.
Other free tools that are available to increase your presence on-line while keeping costs low are Ning (for community-oriented communication), WordPress (amazing how customizable it is today), and Google Analytics (see next step).
Your best friend at this point will be your ability to get your voice out to the places it needs to be. This could be online (Twitter, company blog, discussion boards like on LinkedIn, etc.) or in real life meetups where you (aghast) shake hands with people and develop relationships Offline. You (and other employees) are the company. And people like doing business with people. Getting involved in your community whether it be local or virtual is the absolute best way to drip your name into conversations.
SEO/SEM – Once you have your site up, and you have been able to drive some traffic to the site, start measuring. Optimizing your site to see what has been effective and how you can climb up the search engines with targeted keywords. Once you have some income sprinkling in, start dabbling in paid SEM. Be ruthless on your money going out, though. If a particular search term or ad is not producing revenue there is ZERO reason for you to continue to put money towards it. As more accounts come in the door, add more money to what is showing success.
Spend money on targeted efforts – For the most part, spending money on advertisements outside of SEM should be done after you are cash flow positive. Money spent in this fashion is better served as brand awareness as opposed to lead generation. There are many avenues that have little to no cost involved that will generate more leads for you in the beginning. And without the first three steps covered well, money spent on advertising will more than likely lead to very high abandonment rates when you do garner someone’s attention.
You already know about these four steps, and you are possibly participating in some or all of them today. Have you evaluated the strength of your base lately? Did you start buying advertisements and pay-per-click Google ads prior to honing the copy on your site?
One of the dangers that of putting too much effort into step 3 prior to step 2 is translating your data incorrectly. When you start measuring your sales funnel the abandonment rate could be much higher due to your copy and website flow instead of the effectiveness of the ad. Changing the ad could be counter-productive.