The Perfect marketing for your SaaS starts with fusing logic to creativity
I love SaaS because it marries science to artistry - just like inbound marketing, and just like Hubspot.
Yes, Hubspot is also a SaaS, so, it almost goes without saying, HOWEVER, no two SaaS' are the same, and this particular app will save you from making a lot of misguided investments for yours.
Why they're so good together:
SaaS is good at logical and pragmatic approaches to solving problems, but where they tend to struggle (if anywhere) is bedside manner, and applying the art of spoken and written language to what they do.
When we get new SaaS clients, we see the struggle occurring at all levels, beyond just the straight-forward marketing materials and website copy, which is what we're typically hired to fix...
But there are so many other points of contact between the customer and the app that typically need help, especially when their marketing starts taking on a life of its own. The tone and overall qualities of your communication should be consistent at every point, and inbound using Hubspot will help you see and achieve that.
What that means at the end of the day is more interest, more buyers, and increased retention and overall satisfaction.
Your SaaS is innovative, and it will change peoples lives so long as you can communicate that in a manner that is effective and cohesive to your mission, but what about your SaaS' marketing? Here are 4 ways to apply Hubspot & inbound marketing to your SaaS' mission of overall growth and industry dominance:
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1. Improve productivity
SaaS: Okay, so it's no mystery that in order to succeed with a subscription-based software service, you must find a way to improve the productivity of your subscribers. That's the whole point, isn't it?
Inbound: With inbound, you can actually improve your app's ability to deliver on this promise. This happens because it's a very reactive style of marketing.
You are going to get direct feedback from customers and prospects through social media, and if you're really paying attention and getting involved in the conversations, you will learn even more about how your program can help the world by monitoring outside conversations and the impact that your social presence is having on your website's performance.
Hubspot: With Hubspot, you handle the large majority of your tactical execution under one login. You don't need separate subscriptions and logins for social media, email, blogging, or developing landing pages. You can even track and apply your SEO strategy.
And, because it's all tied together, even your analytics, you will be able to signficiantly reduce challenges associated with integrations, and you'll be able to find ways to boost interest and engagement, for prospects AND customers!
Hubspot will allow you to communicate based on automated list segmentation rules, which will short-cut database management challenges AND make your emails that much more targeted, and... dare I say it... Productive!
2. Save or increase revenue
SaaS: Your app has to prove that it can save revenue. One can easily point to increased productivity, and say "there's your revenue savings as well," but your consumers need more than increased productivity to commit to a subscription service for any signficant period of time, so I imagine the same goes for you in terms of hiring another SaaS to help you grow.
Inbound: This is a big world, so I will try to be succinct.
First of all, inbound marketing for SaaS is going to help you increase revenue by attracting visitors to your website, converting them into leads with gated content offers, and help you nurture them into customers through emails and internal sales alerts.
(get the free inbound marketing playbook for SaaS by Orange Pegs Media to see how)
It's going to help you save revenue, because you'll have a natural source of traffic (many, actually - social media, organic, referrals, etc) to boost and eventually overtake your paid ads. Inbound leads are cheaper too (see the study summarized by Orange Pegs).
Hubspot: If I know you, and I think I do, there is a natural inclination for you to want to build your own marketing automation software as well. You'll probably start off piecing it together to save money, but you'll realize the manpower you're investing is far outweighing the cost of a more premium all-in-one service like Hubspot.
The reality is that it's going to save you a TON of time and money, since you won't be investing your own resources into competing with juggernauts that already have 10 years of development and hundreds of millions of dollars invested over you.
Unless marketing automation software subscription services IS your business, I'd stick to investing in your own product, and spend the 200 - $2,400/month on Hubspot.
3. Be easy to adopt and use:
SaaS: This is not just about where certain buttons are, but how the program itself communicates. What if it were in Chinese, and you were selling in the US? Clearly, it will fail.
You have to speak the language to be successful, but there's more to it than just speaking English. There are varying qualities and styles, and there's also context, nuance, and tonality. All of those things should be considered with your app, of course, because UX is just as valuable as the deliverable itself.
But, again, I do run into this as a problem area with many businesses I've worked with, because they just need TLC from a seasoned marketer, and didn't have an investment in that area when they were originally building the program.
Of course, once you launch, UX improvements are usually on the top of the to-do list, as they should be.
Inbound: If you're trying to teach yourself how to market your app, so you don't have to hire anybody, then I'd be lying if I said that learning about how inbound works from tooth to tail will be a snap. Because it won't.
However, inbound IS intuitive, and you can make your app easier to adopt and use by applying inbound marketing to your outreach efforts, and here's how:
- Buyers are more knowledgeable - They know more about your app before they ever subscribe, because you helped them diagnose their problems, and understand what they really needed through blogging and your educational content offers. This means they understand what you are trying to do philosophically, which should make it easier for them use the program properly.
- Trial users convert - When somebody signs up for the trial, we don't want to let them "figure it out" by opening the app and fumbling through all of your tutorials. Why not give them bite-sized chunks of helpful information through email? "This is what this is for," etc.
- Subscribers stay engaged - When you have updates, you can and should email your user-base.
- Happy customers become promoters - It's the fourth piece to successful inbound marketing, and one that is often overlooked... But your happy customers will be happy to spread the gospel of your SaaS if you make it easy for them to do so. This means you don't want to cut them loose just yet... or ever. Help them continue using the app!
Hubspot: Well, let's just run down that list again...
- Knowledgeable customers - Publish and distribute your blog using Hubspot's blog and automated email & RSS notifications
- Trigger and automate email distribution based on things like trial and new customer subscriptions... or when they download a white paper or click on your pricing page.
- Again, you can send your updates to your customers and prospects through email, automated or blasted through Hubspot, but you can also see who's clicking and who's not, and if you have a sophisticated enough team and the right subscription (Pro or higher), you can have your app communicate when it is being used and where people are spending their time. Use this to trigger your automation through Hubspot as well!
- Post and monitor everything using the Hubspot social media publisher.
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4. Constantly reinvent itself
SaaS: You have to constantly reinvent yourself to stay ahead of the competition. Everybody knows that, but that is especially true in the world of SaaS. When you come up with something ground-breaking, you're never there alone very long, so in order to KEEP succeeding, you have to keep on reinventing.
Inbound: Inbound will help you do this because it is a form of marketing that is constantly moving.
You publish in social media every day. You post blogs every week. You email every month. You develop and update content offers every month. And you review your keyword strategy to see what's getting people to the site, and what types of clicks are converting into revenue.
Hubspot: Analytics are absolutely critical at this juncture, and many have historically used 3rd party software (or reinvented their own) to identify trends and opportunities. But doesn't it make sense for the software that you used to deliver to also provide data on what's working and what isn't?
Of course it does, and of course Hubspot does as well. Dashboards and spreadsheets - oh, my! Never make a marketing decision again without data to help drive you.
We are looking for a formulaic approach to business, and it's here. Your SaaS follows one, and so does inbound marketing ... and Hubspot. However, packaging and communication styles are just as important, and inbound delivered through Hubspot will help you find your customers and connect them logically and emotionally to your software's deliverables.
Interested in seeing how Hubspot & inbound can contribute to the growth of your software business? Schedule a free consultation with Orange Pegs today!