A Guide to more Affordable Powerful SaaS Marketing

Software as a Service (SaaS) has opened a prolific source of online revenue that’s made most other online business models seem pale in comparison.

It’s the golden child of the software industry and endless new businesses and startups are being built on this cloud-based system.  However, too many of these SaaS startups neglect organic marketing and may not achieve the results desired.

They on the basic UVP of service array, anytime anywhere, and scalability without cost. Everyone has the standard offer, so it’s not really a winning value proposition. UVP’s have to be unique, compelling, significant and presented in a way that makes customers blind to alternatives.  Your product has to be the only one customers want.

SaaS Marketing Needs Strategy, Talent and Resources

Small business SaaS companies need a smart marketing strategy to thrive and grow. I believe you can do this well by hiring and orchestrating your own team of versatile talent. Hire the essential people including content creator, marketer content strategist, social media PR promoter, and Advanced SEO pro.   Advanced SEO may generate the most benefit, but it’s all part of a a needed SaaS marketing mix.

I hope you’ll find all of these ideas below fascinating and successful. It might even revive your enthusiasm for your SaaS business. Let’s get the must-haves first, and then head onto the nice-to-haves later.

Everything Built on Strategy (and Free, Owned Assets)

The point I want to make is that marketing is expensive, and finding a more affordable solution/team is a wise choice. Keep in mind too, that a SaaS marketer must possess expertise in your industry or is willing to commit to building that expertise.

In the end, it’s the expertise in product/audience/industry and in communicating value that’s being purchased. That expertise will be reflected in your social posts, blogs, marketing pages, emails, and other communications.  This creative skill is rare especially when they have a passion for your industry.

Building your strategy with a versatile staff willing to learn new tools and using free resources, you’re able to get great results and spend your budget well.

Google, Microsoft, Netflix, Amazon’s massive monopoly success is due to SaaS services and SaaS marketing. Apple, Tesla, Linkedin, and Facebook also see SaaS subscriptions as primary sources of future revenue. And the customer data generated from SaaS subscriptions is the icing on the trillion-dollar cake.

Online subscriptions are in everything online from Netflix to funnel analytics tools, and photo sites to AI marketing software, to wine of the month clubs, all providing continuous revenue streams for tremendous long term value.

SaaS marketing is a type of marketing that specifically helps build awareness and promote software as a service products. SaaS marketing helps to bring a product to a market, position a product, and build awareness around a SaaS organization — skale.so.

5 Keys to High Profit, Affordable SaaS Marketing

  1. significant value proposition: your value offer makes your software the most compelling and makes customers forget about the competition
  2. compelling content excellence: credible, emotionally moving, authoritative presentation of your product’s relevance to the customer.
  3. free marketing channels as a foundation: earned and owned websites and content pieces that keep on generating traffic and leads forever (for lowest cost per lead acquisition CAC).
  4. paid media as the accelerator: capturing further reach to all other users you can’t reach and boosting your visibility to those you have reached (remarketing)
  5. insightful funnel analytics solution: with user engagement and sales data integrated, you have deep insight into what’s working and how effective your campaigns are, so you don’t waste time or money

Software as a Service Needs Strong Marketing Strategy

SaaS marketing is a special niche, and there are many SaaS marketing software providers that can automate, extend, and integrate your campaigns. You may need several solutions for the complete solution (e.g., Stitch for analytics, and Hubspot for campaign management).

Gimmicks and software doesn’t do it. It’s the creativity and strategy of using collateral to present your value proposition persuasively to a very targeted audience, and building reliable channels to reach them (SEO, Facebook, email, text sms, YouTube, Linkedin, Instagram, etc.).

If you believed that you need a huge PPC/social ad budget and the latest AI marketing software to survive, it’s not true. The strategy as you’ll discover is a powerful impactful value offer, creative engaging content powered by active sales promotion, including paid media as a thin layer on top of your foundation of high-quality free, organic marketing assets.

Free traffic and leads are excellent, but you must support your effort intelligently.

SaaS Marketing Goals:

  1. win new customers and increase impact and engagement (build reach and draw traffic)
  2. present value proposition as irresistible (the only solution for them)
  3. increase free trials and book demo leads (activate buyer impulse and intent)
  4. listen to customers to reduce churn and improve satisfaction (maintain communications and reinforce perception of value)
  5. grow upselling opportunities (to more pricey packages)
  6. build brand preference to make competitors evaporate (build loyalty)
  7. personalize offers to unique audience segments
  8. run promotions, test content and messaging, and track KPIs
  9. analyze performance and make recommendations
  10. be dedicated and build valuable expertise in client’s business for ongoing value

You Need the Best UVP and Selling Promotion Possible

The old comment about how competitive it is out there has to be said. It doesn’t mean you need to compete in hand to hand battle. It’s more effective to present your offer as the most valuable and compelling to prospects. It’s the best way to get rid of competitors so customers only see you.

Success starts from the beginning. It’s the foundation of what follows.

It’s not about being unique. It’s about being the best for them. This means hitting on the pain points precisely and moving them with the right promise.

The success of your marketing will pivot on the power of your value offer. Your analytics solution will tell you what your weakness is and what’s really generating results. Learning those real, actual, pressing pain points and responding to them expertly is the key task in SaaS marketing.

Investing in a good analytics solution such as Stitch Data as a single source of truth, helps to give you powerful insights into your lead pipeline success. There are other AI marketing software that might work too, however, they are expensive, more geared to enterprise businesses.

Common Benefits Not Good Enough

Unlimited scalability at zero cost is common now. It’s offered by all and isn’t really so compelling. I’m sure you have additional features and benefits in your product that help to differentiate your SaaS offer. Establishing customer pain points, identifying key benefits, and then presenting the solution in your crafted content is what establishes your brand as the one they can’t do without — erasing their awareness of competitors.

Think about the real customer benefits that matter:  enlightenment, surprise, recognition, confidence, joy, comfort, excitement, clarity and self-respect.  Those emotions are what customers want to experience.

Choosing the Best, Most Cost Effective Channels as Your Foundation

Some channels may have massive impact, if you have the content brand and messaging to use them. Advanced SEO, content and social media are very affordable and can deliver immense traffic, but they’re not enough to power up sales results.

  • Google SEO
  • Google Ads and remarketing
  • Google AdSense network advertising
  • YouTube videos and advertising
  • Facebook, Linkedin Social ads
  • Influencer marketing
  • email
  • industry portal advertising

Master these channels for reach, engagement and loyalty, and you’re going to do well. If your value proposition sucks, these channels will let you know.

Your foundation layer is low-cost, evergreen, and you can update it as needed. The promotional layers designed well can feed the bottom of your funnel so you’re not wasting money.  Since Google delivers the most traffic, SEO should be your top priority. Persistent Google visibility maintains contact with prospects giving you access anytime to present updated value offers to your audience and keep them aware of your brand (top of mind). And remarketing becomes more powerful when you offer a good quantity of useful, high-quality content and have it visible on free search engine listings at the same time.

Timing is important.

Websites You Need

While most SaaS companies build a single website and blog as a catch-all resource, businesses may be finding better results via multiple microsites. The advantage of them is more focused content and messaging suited to each customer segment.

On a general blog, the messaging gets noisy and confusing much like pouring water into your coffee or wine.  How does that taste?

The microsites also build their own content clusters, audience and authority on specific topics. When these sites link to your main website, you may generate more ranking power on Google. Google likes content focus and often punishes overreach. Microsites are more work but likely worth the effort if you’re an ambitious company that wants to stay in business and grow.

The engagement factor for each audience segment is increased. It’s something you could consider.

Excellent Content is Your SaaS Conversion Funnel

Excellent content requires good research on the market, customers’ pain points, and the kind of content customers want.

SaaS companies like to believe marketing is baked into their product, but until the audience knows about their brand and considers it the most significant one available, a claim of product superiority/relevance may not fly with the target audience.

Most SaaS products offer the same benefits which means the product won’t sell itself.  It is true that your business development can create a powerful sales and resales funnel just related to direct selling. And the customer insight is excellent with that.  Yet adding or improving features won’t really help much. You need a bigger boost than that. Customers are human, emotional, and have preferences. This is where the real SaaS marketing success resides.

SaaS software marketers must create the sizzle and sell it. We can market your software cost-effectively with free organic channels, using great reading and visual content, along with supporting, timely ppc advertising, remarketing, and paid social boosts. That’s efficient!

Marketing determines value in the customers’ eyes, since customers are constantly besieged with competitor’s offers and persuasive messaging. They can ruin your carefully crafted brand positioning and benefits.  Standing out and establishing an irresistible brand is mandatory to generate continuous sales. Sales/subscriptions are more difficult than ever to keep.

Competitors are ready to eat your lunch. Getting that edge is the right goal.

Property Management SaaS Software Market

My client ManageCasa competes in the property management SaaS sector serving landlords, Realtors and Investors. I’ve delivered 2 million visitors to their site, with highly desirable visibility via major event content. That’s just SEO.

Persistent brand visibility on Linkedin to a focused group of property management professionals is the highest quality leads possible. These are decision-makers who have a lengthy buying cycle and resistance to switching software. And MC competes against market-leading Buildium and Appfolio who enjoy massive funding as public companies. The challenge is substantial. Building visibility on Google and Linkedin are a continuous challenge and building powerful, branded content is the next step.

The Wonderful World of Outsourcing

For many cities and states, SaaS opens up a world of business opportunity. You can run any business virtually, from anywhere. That and reduced business costs/taxes have made new startups move to cities in Florida, North Carolina, Texas, and other low tax states.

These are the best cities to live in and work in today.

The growth of the Miami, Orlando, Tampa, Austin, Dallas, and Charlotte markets are no doubt being boosted by SaaS software.

However, if you manage a Florida SaaS startup and are assembling a marketing team, you’ll be looking for hard working talent who have worked in SaaS marketing providing cost-effective and lasting value (Evergreen content, impactful-engaging content, masterful SEO, social media engagement, and ppc management).

eScribe SaaS Meeting Software

eScribe is a cloud-based meeting management solution designed to enhance transparency, efficiency and improve citizen engagement for local governments, special districts, and school boards. I worked with them to increase visibility and reach to their most desired target audience. It’s now one of the most preferred cloud-based meeting solutions for public school boards across North America.

Selling Subscriptions

Selling subscriptions is a talent and hopefully, your sales strategist is well-versed in your industry and a master of building compelling offers and converting warm leads. If not, we can always learn with great analytics tools!

Subscriptions are a promise of more affordable value delivered over a longer time period. Turning one-time subscribers into long-term or yearly subscribers is the goal. SaaS marketers look to improve the value proposition, making it not only the most significant available, but to make it irresistible via marketing content – marketing and landing pages, blogs, ads, videos, graphics, etc. So you’re not really selling subscriptions — your selling value.

Fortunately, SaaS marketers are masters of magnification!

What’s Marketing for SaaS Companies Really About?  For you, growing SaaS software subscriptions is about extending customer relationships, repeat sales, revenue growth, and creating upselling opportunities.

Digital marketing delivers a powerful, consistent and omnipresent message to your audience for reach, impact, engagement and creating customer decisions.

SaaS marketers create content to promote the client’s service to:

  • create impact and messaging
  • inform and educate the customer — unique value proposition
  • encourage engagement and minimize churn
  • establish relevance and significance (preference)
  • add sales promotion to win the audience’s micromoment decisions to beat competitor’s offerings (free trials, discounts)
    ⦁ encourage users to promote the product
  • create campaigns for each digital marketing channel
  • measure channel specific metrics

Top SaaS Marketing Metrics

To assess your digital marketing performance, your sales team will establish key metrics:

  1. User activations (number of users who reached the activation point divided by the number of users who signed up x 100)
  2. Customer Acquisition Cost (sum of all your sales and marketing expenses over a given period divided by the number of customers acquired in the same time period)
  3. Signup to paid conversion rate (percentage of trial users that became paid customers after their free trial).
  4. Churn rate (% customers that leave within a month or year)
  5. Customer retention ( (total customers – new customers)/starting customersx100) )
  6. Annual contract value (value of all accepted contracts for one year)
  7. Net Promoter Score (NPS which customer loyalty, contentment, and advocacy)
  8. Funnel Metrics (conversions from each stage of your lead funnel, including the top)
  9. Number of active trials
  10. Lead velocity rate(growth of qualified leads and efficiency of pipeline)

SaaS Marketing Can be Done from Anywhere

The cost of business is frightening so outsourcing digital marketing to a Canadian service provider creates even more savings. The money you save can be spent on vital initiatives that improve your value proposition and power up your selling message to a much bigger audience.

Marketing has to be efficient too. Spending your marketing budget on salaries leaves you little to actually achieve your marketing objectives such as needed software and content creation assets. This fits with a cost-optimization priority.

Hiring a Canadian Marketing Pro:

Outsourcing to talented Canadian SaaS marketer has some critically important benefits:

  • keeps your salary costs very low
  • allows you more funds for PPC and Social advertising
  • allows you to deploy more tools to create better content including graphics, video
  • helps you build more websites, social pages, and resources
  • gives you more funds to spend on PR and outreach
  • keeps your content strategy focused without noise and waste

Further, outsourcing marketing to a multitalented Canadian provider allows you to learn inexpensively so that you can then hire the additional resources/specialist talent you need.

Build your team of SEO/Content Strategist, social media promoters, videographer, graphic designer, linkbuilders and PR people, analysts, and more yourself. Obviously, one trick ponies won’t work. The more versatility the skillset, the better.

Hire an SEO/Content Strategist who can provide in-depth digital marketing audits and expose the full dimension of your challenge and opportunity. That’s added value and shows you’ll be getting more of that when he’s working for you.

It’s a brand new starting point, where you’ll refine your knowledge and learn specifically what assets, software and channels you should develop specifically for your unique SaaS business.

Zero waste, lower costs with a more patient approach, to generate massive reach and engagement. And you’re always in control.

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