It’s tough being a SaaS marketer.
Not only are there numerous SaaS products flooding the market on any given day, but the very nature of a SaaS product is that it’s constantly changing. There’s a reason why SaaS marketers occasionally cringe when they hear about the updates on the next product roadmap. It means that the marketing roadmap has to change too…
Create a community with your content
You need to forget the “content is king” trope as too often content is created simply for the sake of it. It doesn’t take into account the needs of the people and businesses who could be ideal customers; all it does is push out information no one is reading or watching.
The moment you start thinking of content as a service you can provide to your community, you’re onto a winning ticket – and a winning content marketing strategy.
In fact, if ever there was an industry in pole position to make content marketing it’s own, it has to be the SaaS industry.
Think of Moz .
Moz provides software tools for SEO professionals. The brand’s content provides information on how to use its various products but it extends far beyond that.
Rand Fishkin’s (Moz co-founder and former CEO) Whiteboard Fridays provides education and training on the basic foundations of SEO for people who may not be professional SEOs but need to know something about search to ensure the success (or survival) of their organisations. Moz also provides a Learn SEO section on their website where information and helpful tactics are shared for every SEO proficiency level.
Not only does this content create a community of people with varying degrees of interest in SEO, who will think of Moz when they have a need for a SEO SaaS tool, it also does a brilliant branding job for the company. Countless people (and we’re willing to bet, customers) came to Moz through Whiteboard Fridays.
Though SaaS stands for Software as a Service, too many SaaS brands think of their product as…well, a product.
This is a problem as customers believe they’re buying a service. You need to get into that mindset to effectively market to potential customers, and then keep them happy once you have them.
Ensure that your marketing strategy encompasses each team in the business to provide a service to the customer. Every team, product, marketing, sale, customer success, helpdesk, needs to view their remit through the lens of service provider.
One of the best ways to do this is by speaking to your customers.
This seems such a basic suggestion that it borders on the silly. However, many SaaS brands believe that sending out a survey is communicating with their customers and this doesn’t go far enough.
Hosting focus groups, communicating with customers in more far-flung areas via webinars, encouraging feedback from your customers and responding to it goes a long way to creating the service ethos that customers want.
Of course you’re going to measure the success of your marketing strategy by how many new customers you are bringing through the doors.
However, there are other metrics you need to keep a very close eye on to truly understand how your marketing activities are performing.
● Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) – MRR is the lifeblood of a SaaS company and is calculated by the number of current customers multiplied by the average revenue per customer
● Lifetime Value (LTV) – the average amount of revenue for each customer each month multiplied by the lifetime (in months) of a customer
● Churn rate – how many customers are you losing per month? This metric will tell you quickly whether you are providing the service your customers want
Closer to the top of the channel, you need to focus on:
● Cost Per Lead (CPL) – how much does it cost to deliver a new lead?
● Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) – how much does it cost to acquire a new customer?
● Conversion rate – how many visitors to your website does it take to provide a lead?
We’re all familiar with the Pareto Principle which states that 80% of your revenue will come from 20% of your customers.
This is never more true than in the SaaS industry and it is why your marketing activities shouldn’t end once a lead has converted to a customer.
For this reason, customer success teams (previously known as retention marketing) are critical to the success of a SaaS business.
As your SaaS business grows retaining existing customers will become as important a part of your marketing campaigns as customer acquisition.
Customer success activities usually start with information gathering to assess how best the customer can be helped during the onboarding process. This HubSpot article goes into more detail about customer success strategies.
Going back to those (sometimes dreaded) product roadmaps, SaaS products are shape shifters. As customer feedback and further refinement takes place, new features will be added and some underperforming features will be disabled.
As such, your marketing activities need to change too.
The key to getting this right is sticking close to your customers, investing in your community and building a service provider mentality in all arms of the business.
Success will follow!
Author: Lorraine Fretwell
Lorraine has partnered with some of the biggest names in the UK & Ireland, delivering key talent for the most challenging roles. She has built and developed large teams in several agencies and has a proven track record at finding the unfindable when presented with the quirkiest of job briefs.