17 Oct Social Media Marketing for Your SAAS Business (Detailed Guide)
Software as a Service or SAAS is gaining momentum and popularity amongst businesses operating in a diverse range of industries, owing to its cloud features and relatively cheap cost.
While SAAS is popular amongst users, the software developers and marketers find it extremely difficult to design and market a SAAS software.
This is happening because of two reasons. One, software developers must think of innovative and unique ways of to introduce a feature(s) that give their product an edge over competitors.
In addition, they are faced with another dilemma; the feature that they introduce must be affordable and ideally should be less than the market price. The second issue pertains to marketers, who often find themselves in the dogfight of customers and advertisement platforms.
However, despite the enormous problems’ marketers face when advertising SAAS businesses, social media marketing stays a popular choice.
If you wish to promote your SAAS business using social media platforms, read this guide and increase the scale and sales of your business.
This guide will be divided into four parts: before and after launch, increasing reach, and conclusion.
Before Launching Your SAAS Product
The pre-launch is an incredibly crucial time wherein marketers and engineers should sit down and gauge with each other. Marketers should understand the product as much as possible so that they devise a tactful and effective marketing strategy.
1. Define your audience
Conduct research online and off-line about prospective audiences and clients, for better results, talk to competitors’ customers and ask them about the issues they face when using their current SAAS software and try to remove the issues from your product.
For instance, before launching its vitalized platform, Netflix used Facebook and other platforms to gauge with the audience to ask questions about their video streaming experience and how much would they be willing to pay for a service that gave them access to millions of movies and television shows from across the world.
The surveys gave them the opportunity to collect emails and names of potential customers.
Much to their surprise, about 75% of the respondents responded in the affirmative, and when Netflix relaunched itself in 2013, it had gained over 30 million subscribers in one year.
2. Identify vital social media channels
While the old saying goes that you should not put all your eggs in one basket, it does not stand for social media.
Social media advertisement isn’t cheap, therefore, you’ll have to do your research and identify which social media platform well-suited to promote your SAAS business and you should advertise on it conveniently.
Netflix, for instance, used YouTube to promote itself since the latter is a video-streaming website and has over two billion users.
This gave it the opportunity to showcase its content to a global audience and increase its reach.
3. Develop pre-launch interest
Create interest and curiosity among your targeted audience before formally launching your product by having an active social media presence, indulging in paid partnerships with social media influencers, and increasing your presence on topical websites, such as Quora, Reddit, and etc.
The key to a successful social media campaign is that you give very little information in the most creative ways; one way to do this by writing less and redirecting the post towards your website.
Also, here are a few pointers that you should keep in mind when developing a pre-launch interest:
- What problem does my SAAS product solve?
- How valuable would this solution be to the user?
- How do I be innovative in my consumer-approach
Here’s how a Funnel CRM, a famous CRM Software for businesses, created curiosity, with their abstract concepts on social media;
See how creatively Funnel CRM not only placed their product as a modern world solution to an old age problem but also made the creative catchy and attractive enough to grab your attention.
4. Create a community around your product
Create a group of hard-core community of diehard followers by either creating a Facebook page or group or an email list and advertise your product in this group.
Advertise your product in the community, but do NOT give away the product entirely. In this community, you could offer financial and non-financial incentives like a discount, lifetime access to the SAAS product at incredibly low costs, or give rewards for the first fifty sign-ups, etc.
Another way to gauge your community is by maintaining special records and lists of potential leads and early sign-ups and you should convert them into your die-hard followers.
You must bear in mind that the initial sign-ups are your biggest assets and they deserve to be treated in a special way.
Also, the first sign-ups can be an excellent group for alpha testing.
After Launching the SAAS Product
Once the product is launched, your marketing strategies will change and will be more about increasing your product’s scale and reach.
1. Start Putting Out Content
Once your product has been launched, there are no secrets to keep or hide. But the job now is that you educate the audience about your product and its features. But, most importantly, you must convince them as to why they should switch to your product.
While doing so, you should put the focus on the following aspects of your product:
- Its features
- What does it do?
- What new feature(s) does your product offer?
- Why should customers take the leap to your product?
At this point, you should aggressively engage in social media posting and content promotion. The key is to educate the consumer about your product and elaborate on its features.
The more likely the audience will understand it the more they’ll be inquisitive about it
We already know how aggressively Ahrefs promote and do marketing of their SEO SAAS product on social media.
Let it be Youtube Videos, Blog Posts promotion on Facebook and LinkedIn, or random clicks showcasing their office’s culture, they’ve always done a fascinating job at engaging the user with their content.
However, this time let’s look at their pattern when they’ve just launched a new feature within their product; Ahrefs Webmaster Tool.
In short, it’s a free tool that allows you to dig insightful data to track and measure your website’s overall performance. But the interesting part is how they promoted this new feature across various social media platforms.
Ahrefs created a buzz anywhere they could with the announcement. Here all that we’ve been seeing on some of the famous social platforms since their new feature’s launch;
- They created a full video tutorial & posted on YouTube/Facebook/LinkedIn
- They promoted their tool directly on LinkedIn/Facebook/Instagram
That is how it’s to be done for your SAAS business as well; in a full invasive mode.
2. Test Various Forms of Content
With many people using different forms of social media, it is becoming increasingly difficult to pinpoint which channel will be most suited for your product.
Therefore, it’s best if you advertise your product in every medium. However, an effective way to engage the audience would be by diversifying your content advertising techniques.
You should not stick to one form of content, instead, you should be as experimental as possible.
Try incorporating images, infographics, data graphs, podcasts, videos, and audio clips to enhance the reachability of your content. This is important because people absorb and understand the content in different ways.
Therefore, to ensure that your business reaches a large audience, you must experiment with the various forms of content.
The following forms of content can be may help:
- Written posts (with/without images)
- Link to External content
- Short/Long Videos
- Detailed Infographics
3. Partner with Social Media Influencers
The social media, especially Instagram, is filled with influencers, but a handful of them are techno-influencers.
Therefore, the biggest challenge for you when partnering with social media influencers would be to find trustworthy and reputable influencers who understand technology, its uses, your product, and are successfully able to help you sell your product.
However, there are some tips and tricks to find and partner with social media influencers.
- Search about relevant influencers in your industry using platforms such as Google, Quora, and Trendspotter and get in touch with them.
- Search some hashtags relevant to your SAAS product’s nature on platforms like Instagram or Twitter. Then go check various posts that show up and analyze their accounts to see if they qualify as an influencer.
- Look at the influencers promoting your competitor’s SAAS product. Even if you’re not interested in partnering with them, you may find a whole circle of influencers you can reach out to.
4. Engage & Be Responsive Towards Your Followers
When you have running and established communities around your SAAS product and have achieved a customer base, you must be responsive to them all the time.
Not only should you reply to comments, respond to messages and emails, but you should also post regularly, and maintain an active social media account. An active social media presence will gauge the audience and they will use it to reach out to you if they face any issues.
Also, your audience as well as certain social media platforms, such as Facebook, rate you on your response time; the lesser the response time, the higher the rating.
Jay Baer, the founder of Convince & Convert, an online company that specializes in digital marketing reported that 42% of consumers expect a response within an hour, and 32% expect a response within half an hour.
Let’s take the example of Slidebean, a startup presentation, and pitch desk creating software.
Apart from producing great quality and highly informative videos relevant to their niche, they do something that’s amazing for a YouTube channel with 174K subscribers. They reply to every single comment on their videos.
Not just that, sometimes they do reply being specific to the comment which makes it more valuable for the commenter.
The sooner you respond, the better the customer perception, which is an integral trait to possess in the digital market, he emphasizes.
In addition, if a customer has been treated badly by your brand and posts a bad review online, the word will get out quickly, which can give bad meat to your competitors to chew.
Therefore, it is extremely crucial for your company to respond to customers’ feedback in a timely manner.
Once you have launched and established your product, now you must focus on increasing its reach.
Scaling the Reach for Your SAAS Product
You’ve put out a great product in the market, your business is moving towards stability each day, and is progressing towards sustainability. That’s exactly the time you scale your business and chase those herculean numbers.
Here’s how to do it.
1. Invest in Paid Advertising
The paid advertisement goes a long way, so use it as much as you can.
Social Media paid advertisement not only help you get clicks, but it increases the reachability of your business.
When you pay to advertise your content on social media, you are helped by the algorithms of these platforms. Facebook and Instagram, for instance, display your product to your targeted demographics.
For instance, Facebook alters its algorithms from time to time to scale out and provide relevant content to its users based on their searches. Consequently, the organic post reach for branded pages has decreased by 40%.
As per the statistics provided by AdWeek, the average branded Facebook post will only reach 2.6% of the brand’s targeted audience, which means that approximately 97% of the brand’s followers won’t see the brand’s posts.
And it’s not just limited to Facebook. Most of the social media platforms will limit or have limited the organic reach on their platform. Although some platforms still have exceptional potential, that may never unleash properly unless you invest in paid advertising for your SAAS business.
That’s exactly why a lot of big SAAS companies like Hubspot and Ahrefs still invest in paid ads for either their content or product’s direct promotion even though they already have big social media following.
Here’s a list of platforms you can run ads on to target your customer for either brand awareness or conversions;
- Google Ads
- LinkedIn Ads
- Facebook Ads
- Instagram Ads
- Pinterest Ads
- Twitter Ads
When we talk about scaling through social media marketing, Facebook’s Pixel and Retargeting options can be massively helpful. In fact, we’ve recently delivered an 800% Return-on-Investment and 350% increase in revenue for a fitness clothing brand by deploying the same tactics.
When done right, these tactics can bring significant results for SAAS companies too.
2. Promote Discount Offers Regularly
On your social media handles, give our discount offers and to gauge your community more, ascribe one day as a discount day.
Offer exclusive discounts on public holidays, like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the New Year’s. To gauge more customers and identify potential users it bets if you offer a seven-day or a month-long free trial. Netflix has a free-trial option and about 47% of the users subscribed to one of the packages after their free trial ended.
Therefore, if the free trial marketing tool works for Netflix, you should try it too.
3. Invest in Viral Marketing
These days trends are mostly formed when things go viral and things go viral over social media all the time, whether it’s the Kiki Challenge or Baby shark, you too can have your SAAS product viral all over the internet.
Viral marketing relies solely on creativity. The concept must be as such that people are prompted to share it. The benefits of viral marketing are as follows:
- It increases your business reach.
If your business goes viral, it will reach EVERYWHERE. For viral marketing to work, people need access to the internet, which the majority of the people do across the globe. So, let’ say your viral campaign starts from Chicago, someone in New Zealand can see it and order it.
- It is extremely cheap.
You create the advertisement once and must wait for it to go viral, once its viral, you do not need to spend tons of money on it.
- It gives credibility to your business.
When there is so much buzz about your business and everyone is talking (sharing) about it, people will assume that it’s genuine, which will give credibility to your business.
The question is how exactly a SAAS startup go for viral marketing? Creativity is the backbone of making something go viral. Let’s take the example of HipChat used to be software for one-on-one chatting, group chats, file storage, and video calling.
A few years back when they were just starting their marketing, they were short on budget and their CEO somehow got earned a cheap billboard ad at 101 North in the San Francisco Bay area for a few weeks. Knowing that he won’t get a chance of running a billboard ad this cheap ever again, he came up with an amazing idea that had the potential to go viral.
But why is a SAAS business investing in billboards in the first place? Well, it was an indirect way of promoting themselves on social media.
For the ad, HipChat’s CEO picked Rage comic’s Y-U-No guy and displayed a minimalistic advertisement only for a cost of 7K$.
Pictures of the billboard ad went extremely viral on platforms like Twitter & Tumblr.
Their website search traffic increased by 300%
You probably are thinking how a billboard ad can get someone enhancement in the website’s traffic?
Well, the whole story got featured in many famous publication giants, like TechCrunch, and it let to the whole internet searching about them. They made people search and find about them.
With just one smart move they created a remarkable level of buzz in the internet world.
4. Hire an Experienced Digital Agency
Digital agencies specialize in digital and social media marketing. So, if your SAAS business is valuable to you, you must invest in a digital agency.
We understand that most people, especially start-ups find digital agencies extremely expensive, but in the long-run, they prove to be fruitful and your long-term return on investment (ROI) will be much higher than it would be without one.
Digital agencies know what they’re doing, and they are trained marketing professionals who know how, when and what to target to launch your SAAS business.
Now think of it this way, your idea will be mind-blowing, but of what use is it if doesn’t reap financial benefits for you, so to ensure the success of your business, you must hire a professional digital agency.
Before you hire a digital marketing agency, you should ask yourself the following questions:
- What are your company’s requirements?
You should ask yourself what you wish to have achieved from the marketing agency. Do you want to have a website designed or promote your product? Once you are clear about your aims, you can shortlist agencies that align with your objectives.
- How does the agency run its affairs?
If the agency can run its business effectively using the ‘right’ advertisement tools, it serves as the right sign for you to do business with them.
- Has the agency worked with a SAAS business?
You will come across many digital marketing agencies, but very few of them have had SAAS businesses as their clients.
Therefore, when shortlisting a company, you must ensure that you choose a company that has worked with SAAS business in the past.
This will make things easier for you since their previous experience will help them devise an effective marketing strategy for your business and you won’t have to explain to them the nitty-gritty details of your requirements and expectations.
We at Buzz Interactive have a performance-driven social media marketer’s team who has brought some remarkable results for our SAAS business clients. Here’s a look at some case studies for you to know exactly why we take pride in calling ourselves “Performance Driven”.
It is imperative that you promote your SAAS business through social media because social media has tremendous potential that’s waiting to be tapped.
Secondly, in comparison to electronic and print media, social media marketing is a relatively cheap method to advertise your content, especially if you are in the start-up stages of your business.
Also, social media marketing is perfect for your SAAS business since most of your (potential) customers will be social media users.