With the evolution of cloud services, there has been a paradigm shift in how IT companies market themselves. With increasing number of IT companies delivering software or infrastructure on a subscription based model, marketing of these products or services has also been reformed. Companies used to promote IT product or services through huge investment in buying ads (TV, Banners, Magazines and newspaper), buying email lists, indulging in cold calling, participating in trade-shows, all of which can be seen as Interruptive Outbound Marketing and prospects are also not likely to pay attention to any of these outbound activities. Now entire game has been transformed into Inbound marketing where Content is the king.
“Inbound marketing focuses on earning trust using educational content that draws consumers toward your website where they can learn more about what you sell on their own terms” -Hubspot
Hubspot itself is a saas based marketing automation company and found that 54% more leads are generated by inbound tactics than traditional paid marketing.
So what Inbound marketing strategies should a SaaS company invest in, in order to generate leads
Step 1: Audience Identification
Do a thorough research of parameters like:
- Target segment profile
- Target Segment designation
- Social platform they are active on
- Type of articles they share, like or comments
Step 2: Define Goals & Call to action
Define goals or objective you want to achieve with this target audience. Based on these objectives, you need to:
- Strategize Action you want your target audience should take :
3 attributes when I say action here:
- Landing page – Destination of your campaign where you want your prospect to perform an activity and create demand of your product
- Forms – where your prospect will share details with you showing interest in your SaaS products
- Call to action – Finally prospect shows interest by clicking call to action button like download, register, signup etc.
- Strategize your content :
Strategizing content emphasizes on 2 important aspects:
- Content Creation
- Content Distribution
Step 3: Create Content
According to contentmarketinginstitute.com, 88% business uses content marketing. However, if you’ve been trying hard for many months, but becomes blank whenever you think of writing for your SaaS Business — you may be feeling a little bit frustrated. If you follow a proper methodology for creating content, it can be an easy journey for most of the content writers.
1. Content Examples
- Value Added – Tools, Tips, knowledge base.
- Product Benefits story(Prospects are generally not interested to know your product features)
- Shared Experience
- Vision & inspirational Messages
2. Content Type
3. Content Format
Once you decided the type of content you can pick up the content format – best way to deliver that content. You can leverage same content in different formats too.
Step 4 : Distribute content
Creating high quality product will not bring you business unless you know how to market that. Similar is the case of Content. Content distribution is as important as creating high quality content.
So here are few steps how can you strategize your content distribution:
- Add your content in your website – be it in blog or web page. Give a link to recent content in your homepage.
- Optimize your post for SEO – Find relevant keywords specific to that content. Use tags to define your keywords properly. Define Alt Tag if you are sharing any image.
- Distribute it within your network:
- Newsletter / Email Campaign to your own database
- Share it within your social network – twitter, facebook, LinkedIn. Tag social network with influencers within your organization.
- Share with slideshare and youtube channel
- Distribute outside your network:
- Hackers News
- Other influential Social Network relevant to your business.
Step 5: Analyze your content
Analyzing your each every content over each media will help you decide next step forward. Any campaign without analysing its content is like having a vision without any goal/objective.
You can analyze content performance with google analytics (when you are analyzing your website) and social media analytics (like facebook Insights, linkedIn / Twitter analytics).
Parameters that you can analyze:
- 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
- Demographic data such as what country they are visiting from
- How long visitors spend on your website
Now you may wonder how can you track your content with google analytics. You can track each and every content by using Google URL Builder and can place this on call to action button.
These were all strategies to setup inbound marketing for any SaaS business. Finally, being a founder or business head of any vertical, it is important to be an influencer rather than promoting product – you need to make your personal brand.
According to Hubspot, 82% of those who blog daily acquired a customer using their blog, as opposed to 57% who blog monthly — which, by itself, is still an impressive result.
Your brand is all about you. It tells the world about your uniqueness and what makes you compelling. It’s beyond the company you work for and your role in it. So blogging, tweeting, social media – all talks about you as brand which at the end influence your work and business.
The article was originally published here.