The evolution of cloud services has changed enterprise IT dramatically. Today there is a growing shift to move enterprise applications to the cloud and SaaS, PaaS, IaaS are becoming the more preferred way to go for CIOs. We are also seeing a phenomenon called stealth IT or consumerization of IT growing rapidly.
This has also led to a shift in marketing or lead generation strategies of SaaS vendors from an Interruptive Outbound Marketing to a more sophisticated (and often cost effective) method known as Inbound marketing.
Hubspot, a SaaS based marketing automation leader says about inbound marketing :
Inbound marketing focuses on earning trust using educational content that draws customers toward your website where they can learn more about what you sell on their own terms.
Now the question arises, what strategies should SaaS startups adopt in order to generate this traffic to their website.
In Order to make it easier for startup founders, we have listed down a few steps.
Step 1 : Identify your audience or user persona
Following parameters should be kept in mind while you figure out your target audience:
- Target segment demographic
- Social platforms they are active on
- Type of articles that catch their attention
This could be hypothetical but the more you talk to people from the target group/segment the more refined you will get.
Step 2 : Define goals and call-to-action
Define your objectives, which will help you hone in on actions that you want your target audience to take. Then create an effective, well thought of and beautiful Landing page — there are several tools like Unbounce, Optimizely that you can use. You could do A/B testing using multiple landing pages for the same campaign.On the landing page, you want your prospect to perform an activity and create demand of your product:
- Forms — Where your prospect will share details with you, to show interest in your SaaS products
- Call to action — Finally prospect shows interest by clicking call to action button like download, register, signup, etc.
Step 3 : Content
- Value added – tools, tips, knowledge base
- Product benefits story
- Shared experience or testimony
- Inspirational messages
- Blog post
4. Content Distribution
Content distribution is as important as creating high quality content.Here are few steps that can help in effective content distribution:
- Add your content to your website – be it in blog or web page.
- Give a link to recent content on your homepage.
- Optimize your post for SEO – find relevant keywords specific to that content. Use tags to define your works properly.
- Distribute it within your network.
- Add Newsletter / Email Campaign to your database.
- Tag employees on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.
- Tell them to share and contribute.
- Use YouTube channel and Slideshare presentation.
Distribute outside your network:
- Hacker News
- Growth Hackers
- Product Hunt
- Other influential social network relevant to your business.
Step 5 : Analyse your content
Analyse the content that you post on social media using analytics tools. It helps you to fine-tune constantly.What you should analyse :
- What campaigns or content drove visitors to your website.
- The domains that referred your site’s traffic.
- The keywords people searched in order to find your site.
- How many visits you got with a particular campaign.
- Whether the people on your site are new or returning visitors.
- Location data.
- Bounce rates.
- Time duration visitors spend in various sections / pages of your website.
These were some basic steps a SaaS founder can take to start inbound marketing activities. There’s so much more that it can’t be covered in a single blog post. Therefore we are conducting a webinar and an in-person workshop shortly.