Modern. In demand. Cutthroat. It’s the world of SaaS and your company is living in it.
Marketing a SaaS company is no walk in the park. Demand is high, but so is the threat of competitors.
A Deloitte survey of CIOs revealed that 93% are adopting or considering cloud software for their firms. If you want a piece of the market, you need a SaaS marketing strategy that converts into leads and sales.
Read on for six non-boring ways to put your company on the map and (more importantly) on the computers of consumers everywhere.
1. Take advantage of social media
We won’t bore you with the broad, tired statements about using social media to connect, build relationships, and boost brand awareness. Specificity is a friend to action, so let’s get down to the nuts and bolts.
Anyone with a smartphone and a spare 5 minutes can see just how crowded the social media space is for software companies.
So why is it a good idea to incorporate this into a SaaS marketing strategy? The answer is a skilled marketer’s favorite four-letter word —data.
Thanks to built-in social media metrics, you can gain insights into what customers and potential users want out of your product. Browse the comments section to see what consumers like or dislike and then tweak. Grammarly took customer feedback on social profiles to heart and then made changes to their software.
This knowledge is invaluable because it allows you to inform your marketing plan and product development based on relevant data rather than instinct or outdated information.
Here’s how to get the most information out of your social media marketing efforts:
Take advantage of data analytics tools
Whether you prefer a certain social media analytics tool or are content using the built-in tools provided by social networks, data analytics is the cornerstone of an effective digital marketing plan. Let’s look at Instagram where 200 million users visit at least one business profile every day. Instagram Insights breaks down performance of individual posts including impressions, reach, and the number of followers gained.
Use data to increase social media engagement
As you learn your audience’s activity habits, examine their comments, and discover the posts that resonate with them, you can work to increase engagement on your profiles.
If analytics reveals that a large part of your audience is located on the East Coast, you can shift your posting schedule to align with their peak times of activity. If posts featuring testimonials fall flat, but tips and tricks frequently receive comments and shares, you can invest more time and resources into this style of post.
Videos and posts about productivity perform well for Trello, a task management SaaS company. So the brand routinely integrates this type of post into their feeds.
Little tweaks like the ones mentioned above help you move closer to what your customers want to see. As engagement levels rise, you’ll have access to more facts and figures about your audience that can inform your strategy.
Gather data beyond your social media profiles
To get a full picture of brand sentiment, you need to monitor mentions of your brand across multiple social media platforms. Monitoring mentions allows you to:
- Have a clear picture of brand perception
- Gauge how effective your marketing strategy is (more mentions is generally a positive sign)
- Address any customer complaints or reply to happy customers
- Scout out potential influencers to represent your brand
Tools like TweetDeck allow you to view mentions in real-time so you can join in on conversations about your brand. There are also platforms that provide access to mentions from many platforms all in one place. Social searcher is a free tool that’s great for small companies looking to track mentions.
Enjoyed these social media tips? There’s more where that came from. Here are 6 ways you can reach customers on social media.
2. Set your SaaS Company up for SEO Success
Your software solves problems.
People around the world are experiencing the very problems your software is built to remedy.
These people turn to search engines to find potential solutions.
But is your company on the first page of results to greet these hopeful searchers? If you’re not committed to an SEO strategy, the answer is no.
The stiff competition among SaaS companies means that ranking at the top is no walk in the park. That’s why when it comes to marketing ideas for software companies, creating a plan for SEO success is a must.
Implement these practices to build a solid SEO foundation:
Uncover your target keywords
So you want to get to the top of search engine result pages (SERPs)? You’ll need to target a specific keyword in each piece of content that you create. Start by determining what keywords are valuable to your company. Valuable keywords generate leads and sales for your SaaS company.
Say your software is a customer service platform. Using a tool like Ahrefs Keyword Explorer, uncover information on estimated monthly search volume (how many people search each month) and difficulty level of keywords (how many links the competition has built to their content).
The target keyword “how to handle customer complaints” has a relatively high difficulty level.
The term “automating customer service” has a lower monthly search volume. But the keyword difficulty is much lower.
Try to find keywords with high search volume but low difficulty. As you create quality content around your area of expertise and attract links from other websites, your domain rating will increase and you will be in a position to compete for the more difficult keywords.
Create a company blog to house content
Companies that utilize content marketing see a nearly 6x higher conversion rate than those who do not. It’s no wonder top SaaS players like Hubspot, Zendesk, and AdEspresso pour resources into building their blogs.
Through content marketing, a SaaS company can boost visibility in search engines and add value. A company blog is a great place to house this valuable content.
Each piece of content should target a unique keyword that falls under the list of SaaS blog topics in your niche. By targeting one keyword at a time you can go more in-depth in each article, adding more value and increasing chances of it ranking in the search results.
Zendesk covers customer service and customer experience topics extensively in its blog, which the company refers to as The Library. This is a prime example of user-focused SaaS content marketing.
Uncover On-page Issues
Don’t let technical issues put a wrench in your SEO strategy. Google Search Console is a powerful, multifaceted tool. One noteworthy feature is its ability to alert you to issues on your site.
Once you connect your website to Google Search Console, you can learn what specific issues your site is facing. And Google will typically offer resources to walk you through solving the issue at hand. Ensuring great user experience is the central tenant of SEO. So make sure you spend time fixing issues that threaten this.
3. Use SaaS directories for more mentions and exposure
By 2022, 86% of companies are projected to use SaaS apps for a large portion of business activities.
The rising demand for B2B SaaS products is great news. The increasing number of players in the space is not. It means that marketing ideas for software companies need to reach farther than before.
There are multiple ways to get your company name out there. One avenue to pursue is SaaS directories.
Just like palm pilots and car phones, directories did not die in the 90s. They upgraded to a more modern and sleek version of their former selves. With thousands of software options available, many consumers turn to SaaS directories for a one-stop-shop to examine options.
The directories provide information, including:
- Name and purpose of the software
- Founding date
- Customer support offerings
- Trial options
Capterra is a popular SaaS directory that gets an impressive amount of organic search traffic each month.
When a website links to your site, you earn what is called a backlink. The more backlinks a website has, the more authoritative it appears to search engines. Since directory listings mention your company and link to your website, they allow you to accumulate backlinks across the internet and increase your visibility.
Have two minutes? Then you have time to read the guide to backlinking for beginners. We kept it short and sweet.
Another benefit of directory listings is the ability to generate qualified leads. Users who are researching and comparing products in a directory are farther down the funnel than someone who stumbles onto your Twitter page.
Here is a listing in Capterra for INTUENDI, a demand planning software system. It includes details about the system and even links to the free trial page for quick and easy access.
SaaS directories have different requirements for companies that wish to be listed. For example, Capterra and G2 have free options available. But Pandia does require payment in exchange for a listing.
All in all, incorporating directories into your SaaS marketing strategy is a low effort way to expand your reach.
4. Hyper-target consumers in your niche on forums
Next on the list of software marketing ideas is a way to align marketing efforts with user intent.
Allow us to explain.
People utilize forums like Quora to get answers to questions they are struggling with. Even people who do not set out to visit Quora may end up there since the website has answers to so many questions that people type into search engines. On each question, users vote up the best answers. These top answers and the users who wrote them get the most visibility.
To take advantage of this system, develop a profile on Quora and answer questions relevant to your business niche. Consider the question below about user feedback tools.
There are 58 answers to this question and roughly 100 people following it. The best answer is not incredibly detailed and it was written in 2014. If your SaaS company offered a feature for collecting feedback, this is an opportunity to write a specific response that fully addresses the question.
Determining what questions to answer can be tricky. First, stick to a specific niche that is relevant to your company. That way the people who see your answers are more likely to be future customers. Second, look for answers that have a high amount of followers and a low amount of answers. A question with a ratio of 7:1 followers to answers is a great one to aim for. Growth marketer Josh Fetcher utilizes this unique approach to increase company visibility. He said in a podcast on the topic:
“The amount of traffic that it’s driven, it’s just been insane, to be honest. I just never seen anything like it and it’s open game right now.”
This Quora strategy is one of the lesser-known software marketing ideas, so there is more room to experiment with the platform to see what works.
5. Invest in Customer Experience (CX)
Investing in customer experience might not seem like a marketing strategy, but it absolutely is.
86% of consumers would pay more for a brand that provides great customer experience. Customer experience ranked higher than price and product in the same study. In other words, customer experience plays a large role in attracting new customers (and keeping current ones).
Hubspot understands the power of great CX. They have a Twitter account dedicated to troubleshooting issues that users run into. The response is overwhelmingly positive even from people who start off in a frustrated state.
The service is so outstanding that people voluntarily act as brand ambassadors, singing the praises of Hubspot on their personal social media accounts.
This is one of many Tweets that echo the similar delight and surprise customers experienced with the Hubspot support team.
It’s clear from the service hours that Hubspot is shelling out big bucks for their customer support team. But there are ways to excel in customer service that don’t require such constant attention.
Here are a couple of ideas:
Install a live chat box to address concerns
Allow customers to get their concerns resolved in an easy to use live chatbox. Instead of waiting on hold or for an email, they can connect quickly to a live representative who will walk them through issues. Intercom implements its own chatbox on the company website.
If you don’t have the resources for a live team, you can utilize automated chatbots that can assist customers with customized responses. Bots are much more sophisticated than they used to be, so they can answer complex questions to make customers feel like they are being taken care of.
Create a Resource Center
What if your customers found the answers to questions without ever needing to contact customer support? This would save time and make them feel more comfortable navigating the platform. Enter the resource center.
Some companies call it a help desk or FAQ page. Whatever name you bestow on it, this area of your website should hold informational posts and or videos about the most common issues that pop up when using the software. Canva is a great SaaS website example when it comes to providing user-friendly assistance. Canva breaks its help center down into simple categories marking the stages of a user journey.
Building this out will take time and a lot of front end effort. But based on the number of customer headaches it will prevent, it is a great marketing idea for software companies to put into practice.
6. Implement a Referral Program
Certain SaaS companies have experienced wild success with the help of a well-incentivized referral program.
Cloud storage software Dropbox is arguably the most notable case of referral program stardom. The company was able to double its user base every 3 months between 2008-2010.
The massive growth was due in part to the way Dropbox structured its referral program, adding the referral landing page at the end of the sign-up process and ensuring that both parties received a reward for their efforts.
While the success of Dropbox is admirable, it’s crucial to consider how a referral program would suit your business model. You can’t simply copy-paste a successful referral program from one business to another. This is not a one size fits all endeavor.
To create a referral program that benefits your business, consider what your customers want, and make the incentive very clear. In the case of Dropbox, people are signing up for storage, so the company offers free gigs of storage. Match consumer desires or needs with the incentive you offer so that people feel the pull to utilize the referral program.
Disrupt boring SaaS marketing with a plan that stands out
There you have it. Six marketing ideas for software companies looking to attract new users. Managing all the different components of a successful strategy can be challenging. To propel results forward without sacrificing time spent in other areas of your business, consider bringing on a SaaS SEO agency.
At Markitors, connecting small to medium-sized businesses with customers is our driving mission. Our team of content writers, technical SEO experts, and strategists have executed successful marketing plans for multiple companies in the SaaS space. We take the time to understand your company and the competitive landscape you’re facing. Whether you are looking for a full strategy or help in a few specific areas, we’re here to move you forward.