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7 Pieces of Advice for Marketing Your SaaS Business

By: David Smith

 

Advice for Marketing Your SaaS Business

As an entrepreneur, we’ve all been there…

You have a brand-new business that you are just waiting to start booming…

But, you cannot figure out just how to market your business.

As a new business owner, marketing is one of the biggest challenges you will face. You might bring skills and knowledge to the table in regard to your product or service, but that does not mean you are a savvy marketer.

Following Microsoft’s 2016 purchase of LinkedIn, the business world saw a major spark in the interest of SaaS (software as a service) businesses.

SaaS businesses license software on a subscription basis and offer central hosting:

For example, SQL server from Red9 is a software product with the primary function of storing and retrieving data as is requested by other various software applications.

So, before you get into a frenzy trying to develop an effective marketing strategy…

We have just the down-low for you:

Start with a solution your target customer needs.

This is marketing 101 regardless of your industry: It all starts with the customer.

What problem does your customer have that your SaaS software solves? What does it enable them to do more effectively?

You could spend the majority of your efforts on conversion-rate optimization, but if the offer isn’t right, none of that will make a difference at all. Start by ensuring that you have a software people not only want but need.

First things first, ask yourself: “How well do I actually know my customer?”

Use content to generate leads.

Organic traffic tends to drive the most traffic for the majority of SaaS companies – by targeting the right keywords, you can achieve high-ranking SEO (search engine optimization) results.

However, you also need to keep in mind other avenues of generating leads: emails, eBooks, and webinars. Start by mapping out the customer journey, then use blog posts and podcasts to determine what pain or top-funnel problems you can solve.

Offer an incentive or referral program.

Who doesn’t like a reward? I know I do – whether it is monetary or just products of some sort. Free is free, right?

People don’t refer products and services to their friends and family without a good reason too.

In the beginning of Dropbox, the company was most-known for giving away free storage for service referrals. This simple move helped Dropbox spread like wildfire.

A key aspect of marketing is word-of-mouth – you can simply coerce your existing audience into bringing in members, and you don’t have to do any of the work.

Offer customers a free trial.

One of the most common and most effective SaaS marketing strategies is offering a free trial. Once people get a taste of what the app entails, they become hooked or even dependent and are much more inclined to purchase the software.

You might choose to offer a full free trial – good for an allotted amount of time – or just limit the functionality available until the software is purchased.

Either way – you are grabbing their attention and intriguing them.

Create a waiting list.

People like anticipation – the excitement of waiting for something to be released can be almost addicting. At the beginning of your SaaS business, create a waiting list for your product to get people excited.

Leverage “powered by…” tags.

Humans are curious creatures – if they see a survey app that says, “powered by…” they typically are curious as to who that company is, leading them to click on the tag.

As more people see your service in use, more people become curious, go to check you out, and then start using your solution.

Engage with major social media sites.

Sites such as Reddit have the potential to generate major traffic for your SaaS business. The Reddit community is focused on subreddits which put your message in one place, targeting a specific audience.

While the site does have some strong guidelines, it can help you get feedback and a large audience.

Plus, like with other social media outlets, there is always the chance your post could go viral.

Final Thoughts

One of the biggest benefits to having a SaaS business is that it will basically market itself. However, you can continuously drive news leads using paid advertising and content marketing.

Start with your customers in mind – as long as they find value in your offering, they will recommend it to friends, family, and colleagues. The viral effect created by their referrals and recommendations can generate a lot of business for you.

But ultimately, like with any business, stay up-to-date with innovations and current market trends.

Published: September 1, 2017
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David Smith

David Smith is a blogger and world traveler, with experience in China’s manufacturing industry, as well as content marketing manager in his hometown of Los Angeles, California. When not staring into a computer screen, David is an avid badminton player and photographer of natural landscapes. Follow him on LinkedIn.

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