Category: SaaS Branding

audio-branding
SaaS Branding

Should You Be Using Audio Branding

Finding an effective way to create and build a desirable brand image is critical if you want to enjoy a high level of success in your field. Your brand is how your customers recognize your products or services in the marketplace, and it also affects how they feel about your company emotionally. You may think that branding is largely accomplished through text and visual messages, and you may also think that you are taking every step possible to develop a desirable brand image. However, audio branding is a critical component to consider as well, and you must effectively use this element to enjoy maximum results.

What Is Audio Branding?

Just as your customers can formulate a brand image for your company based on the graphics that you use in marketing pieces, the same holds true for sound. Perhaps the most common type of audio branding is a jingle or even a catchphrase, but there are other types of audio branding that can also be used effectively. Audio branding is a broad term that encompasses the use of all sounds to develop your brand image.

Everything from brand music to podcasts and other audio platforms can be used to further develop and refine your brand. Because music and sounds often appeal to people on an emotional level, this can be a highly cost-effective way to build your brand image or to redefine it on your own terms.

How to Define Your Brand

Before you can effectively determine how to use audio branding to achieve desired results, you must first determine what your brand stands for. Some companies, unfortunately, let their brand image develop without intentional planning or thought, but you have complete control over steering the development of your brand image.

Using audio branding is one of the more effective ways to accomplish this. Remember that your target audience usually is not paying full attention to your marketing messages, and they often are distracted by various things. Audio branding helps you to get your message heard even when your target audience is only partially engaged.

Consider what your brand currently stands for and what you want it to stand for. Think about strategic ways to use sound to build on emotions or to stand out from the crowd. It may be helpful for you to learn more about how your competition is using audio branding before you decide how to act.

Consider what your competition is doing successfully and what areas they are lacking in. Remember that everything from a pop song or a unique rhythm to an animal sound, nature sounds and more can be used effectively to brand your company’s image.

Are You Already Using Audio Branding?

Some companies view the audio in their marketing messages as a background or filler noise.

However, turn down the volume on the background sounds in your commercials or other pieces, and determine if the effect on the audience is the same. Chances are that the audio in your marketing or advertising pieces helps to define the message, creates an emotional pull or achieves other results. If this is the case, you are already using audio branding without knowing it.

However, the most effective audio branding does not happen by chance. Instead, it is well-planned and thoughtfully implemented. Your sounds should be recognizable and should create the ideal emotional impact. They should differentiate your company and help your marketing to get the recognition it deserves. Ideally, your customers will be able to hear your audio elements in the distance and will immediately relate your company to the sounds they are hearing.

The Many Benefits of Audio Branding

Before you spend time, money and energy promoting audio branding in your marketing efforts, you need to be aware of what the many benefits of audio branding are. Just as visual elements define and differentiate your brand, the same holds true for audio elements. Audio elements may be instantly recognizable, and they may even be catchy or difficult to forget.

Sounds can be elaborate and complex, but you can also use very simple and basic sounds that convey instant meaning in some way. Furthermore, sounds can be trademarked, which enables your company to obtain usage rights to the sound and prevents others from copying your efforts.

While many people view the sound in an ad as relatively unimportant or as filler that simply creates a more polished finished project, the reality is that audio sounds in your marketing material are critical for branding purposes. Spend time analyzing how you have used audio branding thus far and what the effects have been.

Now that you are aware of how important audio branding is for building your brand image, you can determine if and how you need to make changes to your use of sound to more strategically benefit from it.


About the author:
Eric Gordon is an independent business development and marketing specialist for SMEs. He loves sharing his insights and experience to assist business owners in growing their revenues. You can find Eric on Twitter @ericdavidgordon

SaaS Branding

Quality Customer Service Will Make You Stand Out

The most effective way to get ahead of your competition is to set up high-quality customer service. The success of your business relies on the relationship with the customers. By building great customer relations policy, you’ll manage to edge your prices above the competitors. Your customers will feel good when they visit your website or store, and they’ll keep coming back. Take a look at guidelines below, and start working on your new improved customer service.

Be available all the time

In order to build great relations with your customer base, it is crucial to be accessible. If you don’t have enough time for that, make sure to hire a customer support representative and they’ll be available for all questions your clients may have. Feel free to extend your accessibility. Your contact form should be available across different channels.

Start from social media, website, and email. Most of the communication will be done online, but don’t forget to provide people with your phone as well since some of them will prefer that way of communication.  As you increase channels of communication, make sure you increase the number of employees, so they can take care of everything in a timely manner.

Be quick in responding

People like to get the answer in a timely manner. Try to remember how contacting some companies can get frustrating. You really don’t need unsatisfied customers, so go ahead and make specific business policy. For instance, determine the timeframe of 24 hours, and instruct your workers to stick to it. That means that every call or email must be returned within a day. Don’t forget to make that information public, so your customers can see it. With that type of transparency, your clients will feel respected and will wait for their service.

customer-support

Concentrate on your customers

Your client base is that one thing that keeps wheels turning. Your business will grow just in case you have great customer service.

Because of that, open your ears widely and listen what they have to say. Sometimes, you will hear something you don’t want to hear but listen through all of it since there might be a thing or two you can learn. Avoid defending yourself and your company, but learn from the customer’s feedback. Their opinion counts and you should try to adapt to their needs in order to grow.

Improve weak points

Every company has its own weaknesses and so does yours. Put some effort into resolving the most common issues your clients pointed out. If there are more than 5 people who reported the same issue, you should slow down and try to take care of it. Set high standards for your firm and your staff. That way, everybody will know their job and get it done accordingly. In addition, try to be as much transparent as you can toward your customer base. Meet the needs of your clients even when they are wrong. You want them happy at the end of the day, and you want your revenue to increase. It’s a win-win situation.

Think about the big picture

Your business isn’t just your product or service, it’s much more. People like to spend money at the places they feel comfortable and happy. Because of that, you should improve the whole experience around your business. Your office will be busy during the day, and people in line should be entertained in some way. You may set up a little library, install a TV or even hire a photo booth as an additional way for your clients/customers to kill some time while waiting. Your customers will be happy with that kind of treatment and will be eager to continue doing business with you.

Educate your employees

The chain is strong as its weakest link. In order to make the strong and sustainable system, it is crucial to make some rules. Once you start hiring new employees, you should invest some time into their education. Present them with company policy and insist on sticking to it.

Of course, be flexible and modify it when needed. If you want to build great customer service, all of you must think as one. It is bad for the business if you answer the same question differently than one of your employees. This issue can be resolved with prepared templates which can be modified in certain situations.

Final thoughts

Making a big and successful company isn’t easy and it takes a lot of effort and time. As an entrepreneur, you should be aware of all challenges you may stumble upon and give your best to resolve them quickly. As much as it is important to have high sales and healthy revenue, you shouldn’t forget that most important people are your customers, so take care of their needs all the time.


This post was written by Ian Pearson. Aside from primary area of interest and expertise in business consulting, Ian could be tagged also as a passionate sports fan, nature and photography enthusiast, always trying to keep up to date with tech innovations and development.

SaaS Branding

5 Tips for Building Web Presence on a Limited Budget

In today’s competitive online environment, building a powerful presence on the web is a critical step in achieving your business goals. In order to enhance your brand and increase visibility online, you must ensure that you are noticed and ranked highly by search engines. Regardless of how much you have to spend, the following tips can help you get started and begin driving the right traffic to your website.

Optimize For Your Audience

For many small businesses, investing in online advertising targeted directly at your preferred demographic is the most efficient way to increase revenue. Having a unique selling proposition is one of the most tried and true concepts in the marketing industry. It applies to online as well as conventional advertising. Make it clear that you are offering something that your competition cannot match!

audience

Having the correct key performance indicators is an important element of your tactical plan. Create a series of KPIs that is simple, easy to understand and directly related to an increase in your company’s bottom line. Pay attention to metrics that are performing especially well. For example, cost per conversion is often one of the most dynamic metrics for a growing business. Once you have identified the root causes of your most successful KPIs, you’ll be able to focus your energy more efficiently on enhancing your company’s performance.

Create a Budget for SEM

Paid search engine marketing methods are an essential component of your online marketing strategy. Following a budget for SEM allows you to take control over the keywords that will drive traffic. Depending on how much you decide to spend, your SEM budget can also dictate where your business appears within the search results.

One of the biggest advantages of SEM is that it allows you to determine the precise amount of money you are willing to spend. You can set your budget according to how much you wish to spend each day or for each click. You can even make a down payment that serves as credit, or you can use a prepaid credit card to pay as you go.

Start by researching the SEM programs offered by major search engines such as Yahoo, Google and Bing. They all provide SEM plans that are effective and easy to use. Next, write competitive ad copy that stands out from the crowd. Emphasize your strengths. Stress concepts such as free shipping, complimentary design services or unsurpassed inventory.

Gain the Right SEO Traffic

The best organic web traffic is free of charge, and you can achieve it through search engine optimization tactics. Begin by writing guest blogs for reliable sites that will direct blog readers back to your primary web presence. Existing sites in categories related to your niche are frequently looking for guest bloggers to lend them their expertise.

Your goal should be to establish yourself as an authority in your field. Once you have achieved that goal, demand for your guest blog posts will rise. To start, aim for publishing one guest blog post each month. As you pick up momentum, you will be able to leverage your extra traffic into new customers.

Create Fresh, Original Content

Keeping an eye on the latest big news items, reacting quickly, and writing insightful commentary can go a long way in gaining favorable spots on search engine results pages. Remember that Google’s algorithm favors fresh, original content.

tech-blogs

That means if you are among the first to post a clever reaction to a hot topic, you can attract a lot of extra web traffic. If your post inspires viral sharing and natural linking, you will benefit even more. According to industry experts, new traffic and engagement are two of the most significant factors that signal freshness to search engine algorithms.

Focus on Fast Mobile Speeds

According to Google, more than half of all search queries worldwide now originate from mobile devices. As a result, sites that load quickly on mobile devices and are easy to read on mobile devices are rewarded in search results. If your site loads slowly or is not mobile-friendly, you can be sure that your search results are not performing optimally. Update your site ASAP so it works efficiently on mobile devices.

Building a strong web presence won’t happen overnight – it takes time to cultivate, much like a flower garden or treasured bonsai. And the best part is you can gain the traffic your company needs to thrive on a budget big or small.  By using the right tools, a little creativity and a balanced approach, you can establish yourself online without breaking the bank.


Beth Kotz is a contributing writer to Credit.com. She specializes in covering financial advice for female entrepreneurs, college students and recent graduates. She earned a BA in Communications and Media from DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois, where she continues to live and work.

Social Media Impacts Your Company's Brand
SaaS Branding

How To Grow Your List – Successful People Resource Page

Did you know that your email marketing database degrades by about 22.5% every year

Naturally, your contacts’ email addresses are changing for they move to another email, change companies or, ouch, opt-out of your email communication.

As a business owner, it’s your job to make sure you’re constantly adding fresh contacts to your list.

Why?

This is extremely important if you want to keep your numbers moving up.

We’ve been out there hunting for the perfect advice for you to grow your list. Check out this advice and implement for growing your email list faster:

Michelle Rae Anderson, Managing Director at NordicSpotlight.com:

We use an Add This overlay on our website when visitors click away to subscribe, but our biggest success for attracting new subscribers to our list (which has an 41.5% open rate) is sharing the link to our latest newsletter with our social channels whenever we publish another email, along with a short recap of what the newsletter includes (usually the latest music from the Nordic countries, available music festival ticket and travel packages, Northern European travel news, news podcast episodes, content to look forward to, our most popular blog posts since the last email, etc.). This let’s new followers on Twitter, Facebook, etc. know that the newsletter exists, and also attempts to persuade everyone who’s not on the list yet know what kind of goodness they can get sent directly to their inbox should they decide to opt in.

Sandeep Singh, Co-founder & CMO at InfiSecure:

Apart from having a great navigation, user experience and prominent opt-in form, the best way to grow lead list is to publish high-quality blog content and provide an insightful resource for visitors to download according to the buyer persona. Building and distributing such content assets builds thought leadership for a brand in the longer run and also gives an opportunity to nurture such leads to become potential prospects. This high-quality content and downloadable resource need to be regularly amplified via social media, online contests, and paid promotions.

Dana Baardsen, Founder of Agile Trend Media on her blog strategy for DynaPro Direct:

Growing a brand’s blog is fun, and if it’s not, you’re not doing it right. It’s crucial to be savvy with SEO, feature catchy (not click-baity) headlines, and provide serviceable and accurate information regularly — but it’s even more important to ditch your personal itch to micromanage every piece of content. Here’s why: By allocating energy to public relations and opening up your site to editorial collaborations, you’ll feed new energy into an otherwise one-sided stream of content. What happens when you schedule collaborative blog content regularly? An increase in engagement, views, shares, likes, sales, and fun!

5 Steps to Successful Digital Marketing for Tech Companies
SaaS Branding

5 Steps to Successful Digital Marketing for Tech Companies

When I first approached Dean Ara, I was amazed by his know-how and skill levels in the product marketing area. He is the Principal and co-founder of Total Product Marketing. With 17 years of technology marketing experience, he’s run channel marketing programs, go-to-market positioning, and product launches, and managed the online reputation and identity for dozens of clients. That all said, we had to get his guest post on Altitude Branding – and here he is, without further ado:

——————————–

Looking for a better, more effective way to market your products and services in the cloud, hosting, and tech space without having to spend a bundle or resort to expensive marketing solutions? With the increasing number of startups jumping into the arena, it’s hard to stand out above the scrabble of climbing all over one another to get those customers you just have to have.

The marketing of tech products and services isn’t like the marketing of motor oil. There you just pick the viscosity grade you want and a brand name you’re familiar with. It’s different when you’re doing digital marketing for tech companies. People who need you might be familiar with your company name or brand or, they might not.

Your prospects are considering a pretty hefty investment and will do a ton of research before they even approach you. And how do most of us do our research today? We “Google it.”

Will your prospects find you? 

They will if you try this well-planned, five-step digital marketing plan for tech companies — a winning MSP marketing plan that matches your products and services with client needs and educates them in the process.

Give it a try and move ahead of your competitors.

Step 1: Evaluate Where You Are

“If you do not know where you come from, then you don’t know where you are, and if you don’t know where you are, then you don’t know where you’re going. And if you don’t know where you’re going, you’re probably going wrong.” — Sir Terence David John Pratchett, English author

As Pratchett noted, it’s hard to figure out where you’re going if you don’t know where you are. So, start your digital marketing plan for tech companies by evaluating where you are now.

What’s Your Value Proposition?

First, figure out what product or service you’re selling and what differentiates your company from others selling the same things. Turn this into your value proposition — that concise statement that explains what benefit you offer for which business(es) and how you do it better than anyone else. Put another way; your value proposition pinpoints and solves the problem your target buyer is experiencing and describes what sets you apart from your competitors.

Then look at how you currently go about marketing your wares.

Are You Using Enough Marketing Channels?

Digital marketing is a multi-channel activity. It’s not enough to put up a website and expect people to find it. You’ve got to discover where your prospects are likely to be and also be there so they can find you.

More than 75% of B2B use three or more channels when conducting their research, according to Blue Nile research, with 80% leveraging online search and company websites.

What channels are you using?

Of the multiple online channels available, which do you use?

  • Website
  • Social media
  • Email
  • Organic search and rankings
  • Paid search (pay-per-click)
  • Display ads
  • Affiliate advertising

You certainly don’t need to use all channels. But remember, the more channels you use to present your content, “the more opportunities you’ll have to drive potential customers to convert.”

Now it’s time to move to step two of our guide on digital marketing for tech companies.

Step 2: Determine Your Goals

It’s quite likely you’re among the many who’ve listed lead generation and increasing sales as their top two goals. But you can’t just snap your fingers and make it happen. You need to plan how you’re going to achieve those goals. And you need to make them measurable.

So, by how much do you want to increase sales and by when? By what percentage do you want to grow your leads and by when? Then you need to figure out how realistic those numbers are and whether you have the time, resources, and budget to make achieving them reasonable.

If you do, then it’s time to turn to digital content marketing. Demand Metric found that:

  • Content marketing generates about three times the leads that traditional marketing does
  • 90% find content they perceive as directed toward them useful
  • 82% of people feel more positive about a company when it provides useful content
  • 70% would rather learn about a company through an article over an ad

However, don’t stop reading and get on to writing just yet. You’ve got to develop your digital marketing plan. Let’s face it. Most people look at reading about cloud hosting or SaaS as less sexy than watching paint dry. So you’ve got to figure out a way to appeal to the customers you want.

Step 3: Define Ideal Customers, Create Buyer Personas

The success of digital marketing for tech companies hinges on understanding your target audience, the people/businesses to whom you want to sell. The more detailed you can be, the better.

Who Are Your Ideal Customers?

You can’t be everything to everyone, and why would you want to, anyway? Imagine all the irritable, unpleasant, late-paying, and rude customers you’d have among the gems that respect you and sing your praises. 

In a perfect world, the ideal customer is one:

  • Who knows he has a problem
  • Has discovered your solution
  • Can afford to pay what you charge
  • Will become a brand advocate and refer others to you

But we don’t live in a perfect world, so you need to add the customer

  • Who can’t yet name the problem for which you have a solution, but who knows something’s a bit off

Understanding the Buyer’s Journey

It’s this last person that typifies the first part of the buyer’s journey — the process people and businesses go through before making a purchase.

Digital marketing for tech companies must absolutely recognize this process in order to appeal to ideal customers and those who could become ideal customers. There are three stages:

  • Awareness or discovery — when pain first sets in and the person wants to eliminate it, but doesn’t yet know how
  • Consideration — where they’ve named the problem and are actively seeking solutions
  • Decision — where they narrow the solutions to one or two and work to justify purchasing it

Creating the Buyer Persona

As HubSpot notes, personas are “fictional, generalized representations of real people” that fit your ideal customer profile. Personas make it easier when it comes time to tailor your content, marketing messaging, and services to the particular needs, attitudes, actions, and concerns of the different categories of people you sell to.

You might only need a couple of personas if you’re very niche or very small; others will need more. Possibilities include:

  • Harried Harry, CEO
  • No-Nonsense Nelson, CFO
  • Geeky Gary, Head of IT
  • Challenged Charlie, Head of IT
  • Searching Sally, Geeky Gary’s admin assistant

In order to create effective personas that can be used by sales and marketing, you need to do some research. There are likely several people/job titles involved in the company’s decision making process and you need to know which each of them are.

Interview your customers, conduct research, and then create the personas that include the following information:

  • Job title
  • Industry
  • Company size
  • Location
  • Age, gender
  • Lifestyle, family info
  • Particularities — makes decisions quickly, likes phone calls, evaluates all options, bottom-line guy, etc.
  • Business or department goals
  • Challenges pain points faced in trying to do their job
  • Typical objections to your product or service
  • How your product or services solves those challenges, overcomes the objections, help them meet their goals

Step 4: Create Content to Address Buyer Personas’ Pain Points

Think back to the buyer’s journey. It starts when there’s a problem that needs a solution. Think from your potential customers’ perspectives. Are they trying to research what causes it, how to solve it, or what options exist? You’ve got to address all that — and your digital marketing for tech tactics will vary in each stage of the journey. Your buyers need information, research, educational content, that inform and guide them along the process to reach the decision stage.

Marketing tactics to consider during the buyer’s journey include:

Awareness stage — Blogs, eBook, white papers, industry research, checklists
Consideration stage — Comparison guides, videos, infographics, webinars
Decision stage— Case studies, customer testimonials, spec sheets, live demos, free trials

Forty-six percent of businesses surveyed by Blue Nile Research want data and stats to help them during the decision stage. But that “is less about buyers wanting to read dense academic reports and review charts …  than it is about them wanting the marketer to give them the information they need to make an educated purchase decision.”

But, once you create all that content, consider search engine optimization.

Include SEO in Your Content

Search engine optimization isn’t just about the speed at which your web page loads. It’s also about your content — and its relevance to the user’s search query. So you need to really get inside your prospect’s head and deliver exactly what they’re looking for.

Google has turned to artificial intelligence and machine-learning techniques “to help it better understand intent behind the words searchers enter, and to make its results more relevant,” says Marcus Tober, founder and chief technology officer of Searchmetrics. “User signals such as how often certain results are clicked and how long people spend on a page help the search engine get a sense of how well searchers’ questions are answered. That allows it to continually refine and improve relevance” — which it does by changing its search algorithm up to 600 times a year.

Again, it’s clear your content must meet the need of your customer. So, think before you write. What is your prospect going to search for? How would he phrase his Google search? What are they keywords in that search that you can capitalize on?

Then, map your content to those keywords.

This could help your web page rank higher in search results — but more importantly, it can help the potential customers looking for your solutions to find you more easily.

Step 5: Measure Your Success

If you’ve come this far in your digital marketing plan, terrific. But don’t stop yet. 

Now you need to measure how effective it’s been. Why go to all this bother and not know what’s worked and what hasn’t?

So take a look at your content marketing success metrics to discover your most — and least — popular web pages, blog posts and email campaigns. You should aim to measure traffic, engagement, and conversions to help you determine the return on the investment you’ve made.

There are many metrics and tools you can use, but at the least you should measure reach, looking at:

  • Number of unique visitors
  • Time spent on each page
  • Email forwards
  • Conversion rate — the number of people who completed your call to action
  • Social shares
  • Click-through-rates

You can go further and breakdown what you look at depending on your focus:

  • Lead generation — use click-throughs, conversions, time to conversion, leads generated per offer, landing page new contacts
  • Brand awareness — website traffic, blog post visits, social shares and follows, document and video views

Conclusion

The four top challenges businesses faced with their digital marketing plan identified by the 2016 B2B Content Marketing Trends report are:

  • Producing engaging content
  • Measuring content effectiveness
  • Producing content consistently
  • Measuring the ROI of the content marketing program

No wonder. Digital marketing isn’t easy. But at the same time, those four challenges are essential ingredients of successful digital marketing for tech companies. So, if you need a hand — or a complete plan — the experts at Total Product Marketing can help. We can assess where you are, learn where you want to go, devise a plan to get you there, and give you the tools to evaluate your success. Give us a call at 855-646-8662.

SaaS Branding

5 Steps to Content Marketing Success for SaaS Companies

Content marketing helps you cut through the noise on the internet by providing relevant and useful information to your clients and to the public at large. It’s a great way to build relationships with your customers. Done right, it will set your company up as an expert in the field, meaning customers will come to you when they need a software solution.

A successful content marketing campaign takes planning and effort, but the results can be well worth the investment. This simple five-step guide will put your SaaS business on the path to content marketing success.

Step 1: Research

step 1. research

Don’t just crank out content and throw it online. Before you write a single word, you should take some time to learn about your industry and identify your audience. The better you know what information is already out there and who might be looking for information in your subject area, the better able you will be to create relevant content.

The good news is you don’t have to start from scratch. If you’ve already developed your software and

are ready to market it, you probably have a lot of the information you need. You already know who your ideal customer is, what types of problems they are trying to solve, and what they struggle with in the day to day running of their lives and businesses.

If you don’t already have the answers to these questions, go out and find them before you try to write.

Step 2: Develop a Strategy

Step 2: Develop a Strategy

Now that you know who you’re talking to, it’s time to figure out how you’re going to reach them. First, define your goals. Do you want to raise brand awareness, build an email list, upsell customers?

Next, narrow down your target audience. Who specifically are you trying to educate and inform? Is it the customer who needs a little help with technology, the customer focused on dramatically growing her client list, or the potential customer who doesn’t yet realize they have a problem that you can solve?

You might identify more than one type of customer, and that’s okay. Just make sure that each piece of content or each series focuses on one of those types.

Step 3: Work Out the Details

Step 3: Work Out the Details

It’s time to decide how you will structure your content. Will you create written blogs or videos, white papers or eBooks? You can include any of these (plus a lot more) in your content marketing strategy. Which ones you choose depends on your audience, your goals, and the money and equipment you have available.

Finally, develop a publication schedule. Online users are more likely to trust you if you reliably post your content. Just like on social media, posting too often can overwhelm users, but if you post rarely or sporadically, users may just forget you exist. So make a schedule and stick to it.

Step 4: Create Content

Step 4: Create Content

Now that you have a plan, you can create your content. This may be harder than it sounds. The blank page is a great intimidator.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are writers and marketing specialists out there who can create content for you if writing is not your strong point. Hiring a professional videographer can make a big difference in the quality of your videos.

If you’d rather do it yourself, but these skills aren’t in your wheelhouse, think about taking a class to hone your skills.

Keep in mind that content should be relevant to the consumer but also advance your strategy. If it doesn’t do both of these things, you probably shouldn’t be spending time on it.

Step 5: Post and Share

Step 5: Post and Share

Once you’ve created your content, it’s time to put it online. Ideally, you’re publishing on your own turf –

that means publishing on a web domain you own, so you’re not at the mercy of the newsfeed algorithms on social media sites.

Even though you’re hosting your content on your website, you should use social media to direct users to your site. Put teasers to new blog posts on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Pin your Infographic on Pinterest. Share your latest video on your YouTube channel.

You may even create advertising for your content marketing collateral. Many companies market their eBooks and white papers on Facebook or other sites.

Bonus Step: Working through these four steps will get you started, but a truly robust content marketing strategy needs continuous adjustment. Monitor the performance of each post to find out what’s working and what isn’t. If you had planned a video series but your users are responding better to your blog posts, ditch the video and keep blogging.

SaaS Branding

How to Expand Your Company’s Brand to the Mobile Market

How to Expand Your Company’s Brand to the Mobile Market

Expanding your business’s brand is never easy. You have to do whatever it takes to get in front of potential customers. The hottest and most effective way to expand your brand is to tap into the mobile market. Why consider the mobile market?Well, we’ve all heard about online marketing success stories. We’ve heard about companies that took their business online, developed a website, started sharing valuable content, developed apps, and before long, they’ve experienced massive success.

Mobile Market Branding

The mobile market is similar, but truth be told, its better. More than ever, potential customers are accessing the internet via the mobile web. They are spending the majority of their time online on their tablets, smartphones, ipods and ipads. And they are using apps and playing games like there’s no tomorrow.

To reach this huge, untapped market, you need expand your brand to the mobile market. And we’re going to tell you how to make this happen today.

Are you ready to conquer the world of mobile brand development? Follow this brief guide and make it happen! Maximize Your Mobile Strategy with These 5 Suggestions

1. Make strategy alignment a top priority – stop jumping from one marketing trend to the next and get focused. When creating a mobile strategy, the best way to achieve success is to make sure it’s focused on one major goal. As an example, you can focus your mobile strategy on brand development. And do so in a way that will help you connect with your customers better.

2. Create a scalable campaign – tapping into the mobile market is only the first step. To achieve top level success, you need to begin thinking beyond the present. This form of online marketing is expected to grow and expand in the next 5 to 10 years. So put together a plan that will allow your company to grow along with the market. Keep your plan flexible and make sure there is room for serious growth.

3. Create phenomenal customer experiences via mobile – people love things that are new and exciting. They are sick and tired of the same old things vying for their attention. When developing your mobile plan, make it fresh and interactive. Design it in a way that will get people talking. This is the best way to effectively develop your brand via mobile.

4. Customer data security is a must – when doing business online via the mobile web, you’ll need to capture customer data in order to market effectively. Never, ever, keep your customer data insecure. This is a recipe for serious disaster. Be frank about customer privacy and what they can expect from you. And most important of all, have data encryption in place to prevent vulnerabilities. This is crucial for your success.

5. Have a solid development team – developing a strong mobile presence can be expensive and difficult to accomplish. With the right team in place, you’ll be able to handle anything that comes your way. Please use this information to expand to the mobile market. And if you need further information, please visit this link for additional resources: Has Your Brand Tasted Mobile Marketing?

SaaS Branding

Content Marketing Explained: A Guide for SaaS Businesses

You’ve probably heard of content marketing. It’s one of the many buzz words that saturate the marketing world today. You may even know that content marketing involves creating and curating content to help your business attract and retain customers.

What you may not understand is how content marketing can work for your SaaS and how to incorporate it into your marketing strategy. This guide will give you a basic introduction to what content marketing is, why you need it, and how it works.

What is Content Marketing?

What is Content Marketing?

Content marketing can include blogs, videos, white papers, eBooks, lists, infographics, presentations and a lot more. The form your marketing takes should be based on the type of content that is most likely to appeal to customers.

The key is to provide relevant, useful information. Your content should engage, inform, and inspire your customers and potential customers. Ultimately it’s about building a relationship with the user by convincing them that you understand your industry and have the expertise to help them succeed. If you do this right, customers should look to you as a subject matter expert.

Why Should I Use Content Marketing?

Why Should I Use Content Marketing?

Advertising is everywhere. It’s splashed across the pages of your favorite magazine, printed on billboards, and inserted into your Facebook or Instagram feed. Advertising has reached such a saturation point that it has become white noise. Consumers are adept at tuning it out.

This disengagement can be a real hurdle for SaaS companies who are trying to reach potential customers. Advertising that’s quirky, off-the-wall, or controversial can sometimes break through the noise. That type of advertising doesn’t work for all companies, however. If your SaaS provides payroll services or CRM software, being known as the company with the bizarre advertising might work against you. You need to be seen as professional, competent, and well-prepared to handle the sensitive data that your clients need to run their businesses.

So what’s an SaaS company to do? That’s where content marketing comes in.

Who Needs Content Marketing?

Who Needs Content Marketing?

Instead of pushing and shoving for attention on the sidebar of a blog, you can stand up in front of customers who actually seek you out to hear what you have to say. Instead of pitching a product or service, you’re educating potential customers. Do this well, and customers will place their trust in you. When they need something in your industry, they’ll come to you.

SaaS companies like HubSpot, DocuSign, and Salesforce are making content marketing work for them, and you can too.

Where Does Content Marketing Fit In?

Content marketing should be part of a wider marketing strategy. DocuSign doesn’t just have a resource center where they post whitepapers, webinars and case studies, they also have Google Ads, a FaceBook page, and even print advertising in the Wall Street Journal.

Your content should be fully integrated with your other marketing. It should use the same tone and carry similar messages. Ideally, it should be collected in one location and you should own that space. That means you should not be posting your content exclusively on Facebook, Google or some other branded site. You should have your own blog or website where your content can appear and where you control how people see it.

When Should I Start Content Marketing?

You can add content marketing to an established marketing strategy or you can integrate it from the very beginning of your marketing and branding efforts. Whenever you start, have a clear plan for what you want your content to accomplish and how you’ll go about achieving that.

Content marketing without an established strategy and goals is likely to be ineffective and may even hurt your marketing campaign. Customers may be confused by content that doesn’t align with the brand persona you’re trying to establish. They may even begin to feel like your company can’t be trusted.

How do I Implement Content Marketing

How do I Implement Content Marketing

The first step to a successful content marketing campaign is research. Learn who your customers are, what problems they are trying to solve, and what types of content are likely to engage them. Fortunately, much of this information can be found in your exiting marketing research.

Once you know your customers you’re ready to develop a strategy. What content is your company able to (or able to pay others to) create? Where will you post it? How does it fit into your existing marketing strategy.

Finally, you’re ready to create and post your content. Remember to share it on social media, on your website, and wherever else you can.

SaaS Branding

Getting to Know Your Customers – A Guide for Marketing SaaS

Before you create a marketing plan for your SaaS you need to develop a clear idea of who your customers are, what their goals are, and what they need to reach those goals. You may believe that the ideal audience for your product is basically everyone, but you’re doing your business a disservice if you don’t create targeted marketing aimed at the customers most likely to benefit from your software.

A strong marketing campaign enables potential clients to clearly envision how the product and service will help them reach their goals. The most successful marketing campaigns feel as though they are aimed not at a demographic but at each individual within that group.

Before you can create such effective marketing, you need to know who you are selling to. This guide will help you identify your ideal client.

1. Define the Problem

Define the Problem

The search for the ideal client starts close to home. You first have to look at your product and identify the problem that you are solving. Clients buy your product because they have a problem and your product is a solution. The problem may be: I need to make sure my company is compliant with the latest payroll tax regulations, or it may be: I need to communicate with 10,000 subscribers on my email list about the events in my gallery.

If this seems like a high level concept, try breaking it down by listing all the features your software has. What does the software actually do? Each of these features solves a problem by performing a task more efficiently or by automating parts of the process.

2. Identify Broad Categories

Identify Broad Categories

Make a list of the people or businesses who might have this problem. Think broadly. You’ll get to specifics in the next step. List industries or service areas. Think about business size. Are you targeting small businesses, enterprise clients, individuals?

Consider the revenue of your potential customers. If you’re offering a high end product with a high end price tag, you’re going to need a customer with a lot of revenue to be able to afford your software.

3. Narrow Your Focus

Narrow Your Focus

Now you can get specific. Look at those broad categories and think about individuals within those categories who might benefit from your product. Are you aiming at the sales representative or the CEO? How educated is your customer? What kind of technical skills does the customer have? How old is this person?

Does your customer employ people? How many? Are they working on a team? How big is the team? What is the geographic scope of the business?

What are the factors that potential client use to make decisions? Are they focused more on the bottom line or on efficiency? Do they need to get approval from another person or a board of directors to buy your product?

Once you’ve explored all of these questions you should have a clear idea of who your ideal customer is. This could be an individual or an organization as long as it is specific and focused.

4. Aim Your Marketing

Aim Your Marketing

Now that you have your ideal customer profile you can create marketing plans aimed at that specific customer. This will require a little more research from you. Figure out where customers like this congregate online. Are they on LinkedIn or Twitter? Are they spending most of their time on industry-specific sites? If you have existing customers that fit your profile, you can ask them these questions. If not, there’s a wealth of statistical information available online from companies like Kissmetrics.

Once you figure out where your ideal customer hangs out, you can look at how your customer communicates. What buzzwords does he use? What graphics appeal to her? Create your advertising with this in mind.

By maintaining this close focus on your ideal customer, you’ll increase the chances that your advertising reaches people who are ready and willing to buy your product. Of course, other people will see your ads as well, and that’s fine. Even customers who don’t fit your profile can be great customers.

SaaS Branding

5 Essential Elements of an Effective SaaS Website

Customers use your website to learn about your company, decide whether your SaaS can help them, interact with your support team, and buy your product. An effective website makes it easy, and maybe even fun, for customers to do these things.

There’s a lot of room for customization of your website, but there are also five essential elements you must have to ensure that your website is effective.

1. Clear Statement of Purpose

Visitors to your website should be able to tell at a glance who you are and what you’re selling. 17 hats, the organizational app for entrepreneurs, does a great job of this.

Clear Statement of Purpose

The first thing you see on their site is a tagline “say goodbye to chaos and hello to organization!” They describe themselves as “the all-in-one business system for entrepreneurs.” In less than 30 seconds you know who their product is for and broadly what it does. They even include a handy infographic, for people who would rather just look at the pictures.

For another great example, look at Salesforce.com. Their home page includes a straightforward headline asking the question “What is Salesforce?” followed by a two sentence answer. The menu to the left is headlined “Solutions For” with entries titled “Small Business” and “Industries.”

Again, a quick glance at the home page lets customers know what the product is and whether its designed for them.

2. Trust Building Elements

Trust Building Elements

People buy from companies they trust. Potential customers will use cues on your website to determine whether you’re trustworthy. These cues can include testimonials from happy customers, certifications from the Better Business Bureau, or security badges.

Let’s look again at SalesForce. The center of their homescreen namedrops a satisfied client who happens to also be a leader in their industry. The hope is that users will think: If this product works for that well known company, it will probably work for mine.

Intuit actually goes so far as to provide a “security” tab on their site, where they explain how their company protects your data. They also include security badges from Norton and Truste.

3. Compelling Call to Action

Compelling Call to Action

A call to action tells users what they should do next. Do you want them to sign up for a free trial? Subscribe to your software? Contact you for more information? Getting them to your site is only half the battle. You have to convince them to take action once they get there.

Salesforce, 17hats, and almost every other SaaS website out there, uses call to action buttons. The button is prominently placed on the home page. They tend to be in bright colors, like orange or lime green, that stand out from the rest of the page.

Your action button can say almost anything from “try it now” to “start for free,” as long as the customer understands that clicking the button will enable them to further explore the software.

4. Contact Information

Contact Information

Responsive customer service is a key factor in the SaaS model. In order for customers to feel confident that you will provide service and support to meet their needs, they have to know how to contact you.

At minimum, you should provide an email address. You might also include live chat options, a phone number, or an online forum where customers can post their questions.

Whatever contact information you provide, make sure that it is easy to find on your page. Don’t bury it three levels deep in a menu. Intuit includes a support tab as one of the four tabs on their home page. Salesforce lists an 800 number in the header of their home page, accompanied by a contact link that opens a email contact form.

5. Easy Payment Processing

Easy Payment Processing

Nothing is more annoying than wanting to buy a product and not being able to do so. Make sure that the process for purchasing your product is clear. Your action buttons can help here, by enticing customers to start your free trial or contact your sales team.

If you have a pricing page, you can include “sign up” or “buy now” buttons for each service level. MailChimp does a good job of this. Most of their site asks customers to sign up for their free version, but if you click through to the pricing page, you find “sign up now” buttons on the premium packages.