Tag: SaaS marketing

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

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.