It’s not always easy to be an early-stage SaaS startup with a minimum viable product. There are so many things to think about and so many plans to be made in order to grow your business. Remember, you might be catering to your customers’ needs right now, but why stop there?
If you have such plans, then we would like to tell you that the total size of the public SaaS market is expected to reach $157 billion in 2020. There is a great opportunity ahead, but with opportunities come challenges.
As everyone is battling to grow their business and around 80% of the businesses are already using at least one SaaS application, it indicates that the competition is going to be strong in the upcoming days.
Managing a successful SaaS startup is more like a balancing act where various elements come to play. If you lose your grip on any of them, chances are you will lose the entire game. To keep all the elements streamlined, you can’t rely on traditional strategies to grow your business. Instead, you need to be flexible in your approach as you can’t solely rely on what’s tried and tested. What worked for you in the past may not work now, so there is no guarantee.
How would you grow your SaaS startup in 2020?
The challenges are countless, but what keeps you fit for the market are your consistent efforts and creative approach. Don’t let the hurdles along the way stop you from getting to the finish line – your own success story. Here are some of SaaS startup growth strategies that you shouldn’t miss, so let’s begin.
Create compelling content
Inbound marketing is one of the most sought-after marketing activities for many B2B SaaS companies. It is a tactic that creates valuable and useful content aimed to attract a massive audience. As you create meaningful content for your audience, it attracts your idea, which generates familiarity and trust in your brand in the long run.
70% of marketers are already investing in content strategy, so you need to get your priorities straight and be ready. The most common and practical approach to attract your target audience through inbound marketing is by inviting them to fill up forms. In these forms, they provide honest feedback and details about themselves. Once you get the valuable and detailed insights into their thought process and their interests, you can easily craft content that addresses their pains.
Interestingly, there is another angle to the story where regular promotion seems to be an essential activity to get your message amplified among a large number of audiences. You must indulge in promotional activities for your content regularly. You can choose a mix of content that includes:
- Case studies – It is a great way to convince your audience that others have benefited from your products and services.
- White papers – It acts as a way to convince others that you have writing expertise. You can address the pain points of others while providing a solution to help them rise from a problem.
- Blog posts – Blogs posts are a great way to educate your audience about your brand. It is important from the SEO perspective, where you can get your website ranked in the top positions on Google.
Guest posts – Guest posts open doors for a new set of potential customers where you can get a backlink for your website. Make sure you choose websites with high domain authority; it will increase the credibility of your website.
When you encourage feedback, make sure you don’t make it a medium to validate your assumptions; instead, leverage it to grow your SaaS startup in the right way.
A typical example that we see in our day to day lives is the recommendations we see on various social media platforms, Google Ads, and other marketing channels, including your website. You would be surprised to know that around 82% of Americans rely on recommendations and referrals which leaves a big opportunity for you to play on the market.
Moreover, leveraging feedback, customer review, and referrals are cheaper than other ways of marketing. Make sure that you offer incentives and benefits which your users can’t resist. Let them provide a free word of mouth publicity for your products by referring them to their acquaintances.
Use Social Media
Can you imagine the big chunk of the market potential you lose if you haven’t tapped into social media marketing yet?
You can use tools like HootSuite that would help you maintain an active presence on social media. It is a great tool that streamlines your activities, and many SaaS startups are using it daily to amp up their social media game.
You can schedule your posts well in advance on various social media platforms that include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google+, and Instagram. You can use tools like Sprout Social, Hootsuite, and Crowdfire to schedule & manage your social media content.
Apart from this, it also helps to track all the brand mentions and comments referring to your brands. It gives you useful insights into customer behavior and changing patterns, which you can later on use to formulate a smart strategy to attract your customers online.
Offer Freemium Services
Freemium services are one of the secrets to high conversion, provided that you make a converting SaaS free trial. Whether it is the free trial length, email follow-up sequence, first in-app experience, or putting up extensions, it is critical to make a successful free trial for onboarding customers.
When you design a free trial, make sure you design it in a way that your customers evaluate your product and genuinely use it. Your free trials must relate to their need so that they feel an instant connection and can’t hold themselves from trying your services. But before you design a free trial, don’t miss on customer profiling and try to address their issues and concerns, only then will they come to try out your services and products.
Anyone who signs up for your free subscriptions or the free email may not make the ultimate decision to buy your products or services. You must design a free trial, keeping in mind that you need to stimulate them to use it. So, you can segment your free trials based on the audience that comes and visits your website. This way, you will be able to address their concerns at different levels, and the person who is visiting your website feeling the need to click on the free trial will select it by themselves.
Leverage Influencer Marketing
When it comes to growing your SaaS startups, influencer marketing has a significant role to play. Around 17% of the companies spend half of their budget on influencer marketing. It offers added perks and imparts credibility to your brand, which helps in building a long term relationship with customers. Furthermore, influencer marketing brings a higher return on investment.
Working with popular influencers will open doors for a new audience where you can expand your reach. You have the opportunity to spread your message and your values to your core audience. It will give more character to your brand and your audience will connect with it more easily.
It all begins with finding the right influencer for your brand. Working with an agency would get you to the perfect influencer for your needs as they keep tabs on established ones. However, not all influencers work with agencies, so you need to find them yourself. You can use a listening tool to crawl through social media, blogs, forums, and identify influential personas who could be experts in specific domains. Once you find some of them, list them and identify those who follow a similar value system that you do. When you find the right influencer whose value matches yours then, your storyline would sound genuine, and your message will come off in a natural way to which the audience can connect easily. You can explore the best influencer marketing trends from Mentionlytics to run your campaigns with perfection.
As you know, various SaaS startups are battling to survive on the market; you would surely need something that makes your brand stand apart. When you indulge in marketing, you tend to put in massive efforts, be it on the financial or professional front. We recommend you think about the growth ideas mentioned above and plan your growth strategy as a SaaS startup.
We hope these strategies will help you. Stay tuned for more updates and industry insights.