The SaaS industry can be a difficult environment. For emerging and growing SaaS companies, the challenge is to effectively scale your business, to acquire new customers, to retain those customers over the long term and sell more services to them on an ongoing basis.
To achieve this, you need to reach the people that are the right fit for your business. You need to show them why you are the best organisation to fulfil their needs; why you are a better choice than your competitors.
However, conventional sales and marketing tactics simply don't have the power they once did. Today, prospective buyers carry out their own research about a company online before they even consider talking to a sales person.
Put simply: power has shifted from the seller to the buyer. So, you need to find a new way to attract the best people to your organisation and to keep those people buying your SaaS products over time.
Creating quality content can help you to form connections and build business relationships with your target audience. From blog posts to eBooks, website copy to emails, informative and valuable content can help SaaS companies to reach the right people, in the right way, at the right time.
According to InsightSquared, the fastest growing SaaS companies have a Quick Ratio of 3.9 (the higher the figure the better) – that is to say, they are acquiring new business and expanding current business at a higher rate than they are losing business through churn.
The right content will draw people, who are the right fit, to your business; people who will benefit from investing in your products over the long term. Well-crafted content can inform, educate, build trust and, ultimately, prove why you are better than your competitors; why you are the best choice - both now and in the future.
However, you also need a strategy to direct your efforts into highly measurable outcomes. You need a proven methodology that provides meaning and structure to your endeavours and helps you to achieve your goals. That methodology is "inbound".
Both SaaS and inbound marketing require an initial investment that pays off by degrees. An inbound approach to sales and marketing focuses on creating relevant, excellent content that pulls people to your company, attracting traffic that you can convert to leads and close to sales over time.
Creating content allows you to gradually build up trust and develop relationships with your target audience. It allows prospective buyers to self-educate and learn about your organisation, before engaging directly in conversation. When they do speak to a sales person, they expect to obtain further information, which is not available online.
Your inbound strategy requires a starting point, from which you can measure your future progress more accurately – and specific, measurable and attainable goals. These goals determine the methods you implement to achieve these outcomes.
To create content that captures the attention of the right people, you need to define your buyer personas – semi-fictional representations of your target audience based on interests, fears, aspirations and their buyer's journey, where they spend time online, and much more.
You need to focus on what’s truly important to your customers, rather than simply listing the features of your services. There's a huge amount of content online – in providing true value, you can demonstrate the knowledge and expertise that will attract prospects to your firm.
And you also need to adapt your content to reflect, for example, where prospects are in the buyer’s journey and what device they are using to consume your content. Ultimately, data-driven content placement will enhance a prospect's experience of connecting with you.
Once you have defined your inbound strategy, you can establish the correct sales and marketing tactics and how you can best utilise these to meet the needs of your target audience and achieve your goals.
Find out more about how inbound marketing could benefit your company by reading our eBook on inbound marketing for SaaS, or, if you are ready, dig deeper into the process of developing an inbound strategy for your business with a free inbound consultation.