New Year, New Strategy
As 2019 comes to a close and a new decade arrives, now is the perfect time to revisit your marketing strategy for the year ahead. If you’ve been wondering how to market a SaaS platform, especially one you’ve already been promoting for some time, we’ve got you covered.
We understand that it can be difficult to take a step back when you’re busy managing multiple teams, managing funding, and keeping operations running smoothly. But if you’re unsatisfied with the amount of growth you’ve experienced throughout 2019 (or that you haven’t experienced), or you just want to take things to the next level, this is for you.
In this post, we’ll explore several ways you can take advantage of the latest and greatest marketing methods as well as more foundational, innate recommendations that touch on core aspects of your business and how customers want to be reached. Let’s get started.
Recommendations for How to Market a SaaS Platform
Be Where Your Customers Are
One of the best ways to reach customers is to redirect some of your assets and focus away from costly, time-consuming outbound marketing efforts (like ads, email blasts, etc.) toward inbound marketing. Inbound marketing is a different approach that seeks to educate, convert, and delight your contacts. Whereas outbound marketing pushes messages to people, inbound marketing pulls visitors and prospects to your business by strategically placing you where your audience is looking for answers to their questions.
Examples include search engine optimization efforts for your website, writing ongoing blog content that’s based on a keyword strategy so you show up in search results, opted-in email marketing to nurture prospects while they consider their options, and more. By showing up in search engine results, targeting your audience on social media platforms, and providing helpful email content, you can educate your audience and position yourself as a thought leader. This increases your image in prospects’ minds and helps them to trust you more. Ultimately, the prospect will turn to you when the time comes to purchase.
Educate and Delight Your Prospects
We’ve already touched on this above, but it’s worth exploring further when you’re considering how to market a SaaS company. This is because of a simple truth: when people have a problem, they will look for a solution. Today, that search occurs heavily online. Through the use of inbound marketing, you can better educate and delight your prospects to help overcome their objections and break down any potential barriers to closing the deal.
In addition to blogging and search engine optimization, the use of informative eBooks and in-depth white papers are worthwhile efforts that help attract visitors looking for solutions and convert them into prospects. These larger content assets should explore problems, benefits, case studies, and other details more in-depth. And because of that, people are more likely to convert on forms in order to receive them. Once they convert, be sure to utilize personalized emails to nurture those prospects. Offer to answer questions, set up a private demo, and so on.
Nurturing isn’t just meant for prospect alone. The thinking behind nurturing is that you’re maintaining consistent communication with the goal of being informative and helpful. Once a prospect becomes a paying subscriber, the goal of nurturing turns from educating for the purpose of closing a sale to educating for the purpose of delight. The prospect has already paid to become a subscriber — don’t let their experience end with that payment.
For many owners and marketing leaders thinking about how to market a Saas company through nurturing, this begins with onboarding. SaaS subscribers aren’t always sure where they should begin with their new platform. Through an onboarding workflow, you can provide helpful information to get them up and running sooner. This has the long-term benefit of increasing the likelihood that the customer will stay subscribed and log in frequently because they’ll be better prepared and confident in using the platform.
Another great nurturing strategy is the Closed/Lost workflow. You may or may not be familiar with the term Closed/Lost, but the thinking is that you nurture a lead that came close to being a paying subscriber, but for whatever reason did not close. To some, it may seem like these leads are gone forever, but thanks to the Closed/Lost workflow, this is far from true.
Sometimes people just aren’t ready. Sometimes they need to experience a different solution first to understand the advantages of your platform. But with a well-executed Closed/Lost workflow, you’ll be able to maintain communication with these lost opportunities and eventually win them back to your solution. Even if takes one to two years, the effort will be worth it (and with an automated solution running the workflow for you, it’s entirely hands-off).
Video and Demo Enhancement
Our final two recommendations for how to market a SaaS company in 2020 are closely related. First up is video. Video has been growing in popularity as a marketing tactic for decades, but platform limitations always made it difficult to share video en masse. However, new solutions like Wistia and others have made it easier than ever for you to create, store, and share videos in your marketing efforts. From emailing updates from company leaders and developers to capturing case studies on camera, video presents a compelling opportunity for prospects to consume your content without as much time investment as reading a blog or white paper.
And last but not least is demo enhancement. Imagine it: The prospect has signed up and requested a demo, it’s been scheduled, and you’re both on the conference line with your desktop showing. You work through the demo, the prospect thanks you for your time, and that’s it. You never hear back despite repeated follow-ups. What happened? This is where the playbook approach from our last post will be useful. Salespeople should record each demo and review them with sales leaders to identify areas where the wrong approach may have been taken, objections weren’t overcome, and questions weren’t answered thoroughly. Doing this will help salespeople refine their demo and win more subscribers.
Get a Head Start on Marketing Your SaaS Company
Just as 2020 presents an opportunity for you to learn new ways on how to market a SaaS company, it is also an opportunity to explore new solutions to make those marketing efforts more extensive, faster, and more productive for your organization. These tactics and others can be accelerated for better and faster results with venture debt financing.
Rather than take out a bank loan, which would be difficult to do considering that many SaaS companies lack assets, venture debt financing follows a similar structure but provides much more flexibility to help you achieve your goals. For example, you can borrow portions of the loan amount so you have only what you need now and pay interest only on that amount. There is no payoff penalty, and you gain a true partnership — much like equity financing. And, venture debt financing can often be received much faster than other funding solutions.
If you’d like to start 2020 off stronger and better than ever, consider how you can supplement your marketing and sales budget through venture debt financing. Fill out the form below to talk with one of our investment team members.