Saas Marketing Strategy Basics
SaaS companies we work with typically use a few basic technologies to drive business. Their website or digital marketing platform. A marketing/email platform like Hubspot, Pardot, or Marketo. A CRM and almost everyone uses Salesforce or sometimes even Hubspot but these are the main payers in the market. There are a lot of connections between these platforms so making sure they are set up right is huge.
Making sure you have the right marketing technology in place should be common sense. You should have a professional-looking and mobile-friendly website that showcases your business. In most cases, this will probably be the first impression of your business that a potential customer gets about your brand. Don’t forget reporting – we tend to use Google analytics and google search console for watching the traffic on the website.
Spend the time needed to make sure all of your technologies are set up properly. We see with a lot of our clients that they struggle to make sure everything works well together and the data is reliable. QA and lead flow testing is our absolute first step when working with our clients. We want to make sure all information flows to the right place and attribution has been QA’d. Doing this work ahead of time will help you nurture your leads and find what resonates with your demographic for future decisions.
Because sales CRM’s like Salesforce have their internal naming and processes of moving leads down your pipeline to opportunities and into new customers. Set time aside to document how the sales process is working. You typically will need to align that to your marketing CRM like Hubspot, Pardot, or Marketo.
Does Everything Work Right?
Third make sure your information lines up from your website or marketing pages through to your marketing CRM, if you are using one, and into your sales CRM. We usually build a marketing matrix that lines up website leads, to marketing CRM lead life cycles, to sales stages, and get buy-off from everyone in charge of those departments.
Example Hubspot to Salesforce lifecycle Matrix
Free Trials and Demos
If you are in the SaaS world free trials are always good lead generators. Mind you they will come with a higher concentration of tire kickers but they are a good way to get people in to try your service. These types of trials are usually good when paired up with follow-up emails and webinars on how to use the service. We have also worked with clients that follow up after a set of days with a personal call from a sales rep for an online walk-through and terms discussion.
Schedule a Demo
We see in the higher-end SaaS companies with more detailed platforms that a longer discussion must be made and a full sales person driven demo is the successful method. These processes are usually paired with email nurture campaigns. Some companies also use remarketing campaigns to drive the product branding home after they have the lead engaged.
Short Term Free Trial
Adjusting your free trial should be geared around your demographic’s decision timeline. Some simple services don’t take a lot of time to get buy-in and can be followed up after a quick short-term free trial. Again using nurture tracks and quick follow-up helps close a high rate of deals.
Longer-Term Free Trial
With a more detailed service or longer decision timeline, longer-term free trials may work better with your platform. This can be paired with a longer nurture campaign through email, remarketing, and personal follow-up. Having these marketing practices in place helps move the needle on your conversion rates
Content marketing is one of the most important ways of gaining traction in the search engines. The basic idea is to establish authority through publishing your industry-specific information. This can be done through white papers, case studies, and blogging.
In the B2B space, white papers are a great way to gain traction and establish authority. Let the world know that you are an authority and know your business. Not only are these great content pieces they can be used in social media marketing programs to gain engagement with your business.
Show the world where you have been successful with a great case study. Case studies show potential clients or customers how you can help their business be successful.
Blog writing is key to search engine optimization. Blog posts allow you to tell the search engines that you are relevant and an authority in your space. We always suggest making a list of keywords you want to target for your business and base your blog content around those goals. Let your traffic goals drive your content as a basic rule to what your blog content should look like.
SEO – Search Engine optimization
Search Engine Optimization in a nutshell is and always has been great content. Develop great content and engage your visitors google and other search engines watch engagement and content to rank your website. With great content, you will organically grow your backlink also helping you move up the ranks in search results
SEO Vs SEM
Search engine optimization (S.E.O.) vs search engine marketing (S.E.M.) is simply put as paid vs organic. We always ask our clients if your boss eliminates your PPC budget would you still be driving leads to your business. Don’t fall into the pitfall of always paying for traffic search engine marketing should always be combined with organic long-term efforts.
The Long Term SEO Investment
Ranking in search engines does not happen overnight and should be a long-term play. We use results from PPC to create a long-term content strategy. Find keywords that work for your business and develop a plan to get that traffic organically. Invest and test rapidly through PPC once you have something that sticks and creates quality leads then focus on being the organic authority on that subject.
SEO is Competitive
It’s not over once you get to the front page of search engines. Now all your competitors have you in their sites and will be going after your rank. Once you get to the front of the line you must work to stay there or your competitors will take your spot because they want your leads just plain and simple.
Social Media Marketing
Welcome to the cocktail party. This is how we approach social media marketing. You want to be the person at the party that is worth talking to. This is where you need to evaluate the level of talking you want to do, finding the right amount of content to syndicate is key here. Don’t be the person you wish you never started a conversation with. Make your content worth engaging in and unless you are in politics or religion, just like the rules at a cocktail party, we suggest staying away from those subjects.
Approach social media marketing paid ads with a goal. Build a following that you can talk to for free in the future. Social media paid marketing is a good way to gain exposure and get leads engaged with your company. We have seen great success with gated content downloads and webinar engagement.
Building an Organic Following
If you are not constantly building an organic following your missing something. If you are posting content and no one is following you maybe it’s time to rethink your content. If you are new to building your social following maybe it’s time to build a paid strategy to get those followers. Remember if your content sucks no amount of money or energy will help you. Create great content, social media can be a noisy place, you have to stand out.
Content for Social Media
Content content content. Take the time to make great content people will notice. If you need graphics, use a good designer, people can tell the difference. If you need something written, use a professional copywriter if you can, they are better storytellers than you most of the time. And if you want it to look good on all devices on your website make sure you have a developer who knows what he/she is doing, not your nephew who built a website once.
Email Lead Nurturing
If you are in the B2B space most of the time a person’s first engagement with your company is during their research mission. When someone signs up to get a piece of content from you they are probably not ready for sales calls yet. We typically develop nurture campaigns in places like Hubspot, Pardot, and Marketo to nurture leads and get them ready for a sales call. Build simple emails with a clear call to action to engage in content and always include a link for the lead to schedule a demo or engage with sales. Warm them up so sales can knock them out of the park.