The market is today growing equally well among small and larger businesses. A couple of years back, larger companies were slow to adopt SaaS because they typically have large investments in on-premise software, lots of resistance from the IT department, greater need for security, and greater need for integration with in-house applications.
SaaS companies need to drive up sales before their operational capital runs out. With a good marketing plan, and assuming favorable market factors, you can reach the Rapid Growth stage quickly. At this stage, you need to grab your market quickly to dominate it, capture new customers and hold onto them as long as possible. Content marketing can help you get more leads, enhance brand awareness, reduce churn, and lower your customer acquisition cost (CAC). However, this is easier said than done.
An in-depth understanding of content marketing strategies and correct implementation is crucial to positive lead generation. Below are 10 major things you should know about content marketing for SaaS:
1. Content should be about the user benefits
We may be tempted to show people how awesome our products are. Yes, you may have the right product. In fact, the best service in the market. However, users don’t really care about how good your product is. What they care is how they will benefit from it.
The benefits can be solving their problems in a better way or helping them accomplish something faster, cheaper or more efficiently than the solution they are currently using. Focus most of your content on the benefits that consumers will get rather than the features or your product.
2. Blogging is crucial
Customers for the SaaS model are found online. They know how to use the computer and are searching for solutions that will improve their lives. How do you reach these potential users without a large budget? Through blogging.
Don’t just blog about any or everything related to your product. No. Blog about the major things that your target customers want to know. Are users seeking information on features, benefits, integration with other apps or other topics? Check relevant online forums to get ideas on what prospects want to know about your product/service and blog about them. Check what 34 SaaS marketers think about content marketing here.
3. Product demos/presentations sell
Don’t hide the product demos…it makes customers suspicious. Why don’t you want people to see how your product works? If you don’t have a demo, put decent in-depth guides or have a Knowledge Base section on your website. Videos are also important in showcasing your product.
By the time customers are signing up for a trial or buying a package, they should have an idea on how to do various things with your product.
4. Use email to track intent/engagement
For prospects that register for free trial or paid accounts, don’t just send them emails because they expect. You should have an end-goal in mind when sending emails. In particular, find out if the prospects have started using your app and whether they have any problems. Use the emails to gauge how responsive your prospects are. A cold email list can lead to higher percentage or churn, which you don’t want.
5. Social media outreach is a must
Having a social media presence is a must. On the least, have a presence on Facebook and Twitter. Depending on your service, you may also wish to have a presence on LinkedIn.
Use social media networks for outreach activities. Connecting with various relevant industry influencers can help you build your brand faster and get new leads. A mention by an influencer about your Product on Twitter can add you a new stream of prospects.
6. Branding is more than a beautiful website
Branding is more than just having a beautiful logo or marketing materials. More than that, it is a holistic view of how you want prospects and other parties involved in your company in one way or the other to view you. It is what you hold dear and the elements that guide you in your business.
Your content and interaction with prospects should reflect your brand. Use social media networks to educate prospects about what they care about in your industry. This will help to improve your brand awareness.
7. Happy Clients Build your Revenues
Your current happy clients are the best marketing tool you have online. Prospects trust clients that are using your product and are more inclined to sign up when they hear positive results. Use your blog to highlight success stories of your clients.
Keep your current clients happy. A “thank you for the great service” tweet from a client can land you new leads. Closing sales with these new leads will be easy since they are already qualified and trust you thanks to the positive message they saw from one of your clients.
— Krish | ChargeBee (@cbkrish) October 11, 2013
8. Segment Buyer Personas
All prospects are not the same. Some are ready to buy while some are still at the exploration stage. You need to know which prospects to target with different types of content. Provide quality information on your website and generate leads to enter your sales funnel. Segment the leads based on the actions they take on your website.
By implementing segmentation, you will be able to target leads with more relevant content, and move them down the sales funnel to conversion. Creating content that resonates well with the different buyer segments helps you to stay relevant to the prospects.
9. Test, Test, Test
You can never test enough. You need to test your content to see whether it is resonating well with your audience. Check the number of comments, leads or inquiries generated by any content you share on the web.
Your content should have a call to action or intent to make your readers take a particular action. What would you like users to do? Would you like them to share the content, subscribe to your newsletter, take a free trial or take another action?
10. Customer Support is Everything (Period!)
In the end, if your customer support is wanting, you are bound to fail. Great customer service is the hallmark of any successful product. Use content marketing to supplement your customer care efforts. You can use Twitter and Facebook to offer support to non-technical problems that your users may have or handle pre-sales queries. Customer service can help you win or lose customers.
Content marketing involves more than just creating content for the sake of it. The marketing must be approached in a planned and targeted manner. This is what will build your brand. Have you seen the content posted at Buffer Blog? That is the type of content we are talking about.