There is no doubt that it’s different from any other type of marketing. It is because in the case of SaaS, you may have a great product but you can’t show it to the customers. Why it is so?+ They don’t get an idea of all the features of a SaaS product just by looking at a few advertisements on the internet.
A visit to the site of any successful SaaS product such as Hubspot and Zoho would confirm that the company has taken a great deal of effort to explain the product on the site itself. The only way to do so is through online content.
To know how to market SaaS products with great results, we need to understand SaaS and the difficulties in its marketing.
What is SaaS?
In the course of a normal day at work, we use many software products that are available online. For example, we use Grammarly to check the correctness of the language in a copy, Copyscape to identify copied or plagiarized text, and Bitly to shorten unwieldy long URLs.
We never have these platforms on our computers as we have MS Office or CorelDraw. And, to use these platforms you pay a subscription fee rather than a one-time cost of the product.
Businesses use many software applications on the internet whenever they need to use them. For example, Freshbooks is popular accounting software while Zoho offers similar features with options to customize it to Indian GST requirements. In the marketing automation space, Salesforce and Hubspot are among the most popular SaaS products.
How SaaS is different from regular software?
SaaS products are different from regular software because of their ability to implement instant upgrades and customization, which is a growing need of businesses in today’s high-paced and intensely competitive business environment. These software products are hosted on the service providers’ servers on the cloud. It spares the customers all the hassles involved in buying and installing the software on their systems. Typically, SaaS products are available for a subscription rather than a one-off sale. These factors make them more robust and versatile.
Trends in SaaS Product Marketing
As per a survey, 38% of small and medium business (SMB) organizations are running entirely on SaaS, the market is still witnessing new and more promising products.
For example, Kloudportal provides SaaS marketing services and offers a suite of SaaS products that cover many functional areas of a business:
EazeKart: Reads barcodes and QR codes and can be integrated into both offline and online stores.
OpalCRM: Offers marketing automation solutions such as lead capturing.
Simple Exam: Provides educators and education businesses customizable software to organize exams online.
Mobilearn: Provides a complete ecosystem for a coaching business.
MobiQuiz: This allows you to engage your customers and audiences quizzes.
Why SaaS marketing is different and difficult?
We have discussed in brief how SaaS marketing is difficult. It is because we have a product to sell that we can’t show physically. Whether it’s B2B marketing or B2C marketing, SaaS is a different ball game altogether. But is it difficult, too? We at Kloudportal, a SaaS Product Marketing Agency, don’t subscribe to the idea that SaaS Product Marketing is difficult.
Yes, it’s different from product marketing, for instance.
That said, any type of marketing requires calibrated strategies and consistent efforts. If we use the same approach to SaaS marketing with necessary changes in content and delivery, SaaS marketing can also be successful.
Difficulties with SaaS Marketing
Lack of physical features
We have talked about this earlier in the post. Now, we would explore how the lack of physical features can be overcome.
One of the most effective ways of making SaaS products known and popular among the target audience is by talking about its features and use cases through content – blogs, guest posts, articles, social media posts, and videos.
When you visit a successful SaaS product site, one thing that strikes you most and leaves you impressed, if not awe-inspired, is the quality and quantity of the content — the explainer type.
That’s the way forward!
A case for compelling and engaging content
Explain your SaaS products in the context of the overall industry and level of awareness about them. A SaaS product may be ahead of its time. Its story and future need to be told amply for the people to grasp its use cases and potentials.
Talk in detail and in an engaging manner how your SaaS product offers effective solutions to a major problem such as scalability constraints faced by businesses. Educating the customers is vital to make them take an informed and confident decision.
Retaining the customer rather than the acquisition of a new customer is always less expensive and more rewarding, more so in B2B marketing. Ensuring that your SaaS customers don’t migrate to your competition’s platform, you should keep them engaged and informed to stay ahead of the curve that your competition might be trying to scare them with.
So, content is the most potent weapon in the armory of a SaaS Product Marketing Agency.
Difficulty with free trials
A key marketing strategy is to let the customers have some real ideas about your product – how it feels, how it works, and how it solves the problems. You can use this strategy and give your customers an opportunity to try out your SaaS product before they subscribe to it.
Different companies offer different plans. Some may offer a free-of-cost basic version such as Grammarly’s basic plan in contrast to paid Premium and Business plans.
Many SaaS companies offer their services free for a limited period of time ranging from a week to a month. But, none would give access to their premium services as part of the free trial.
That’s where the difficulty with SaaS marketing surfaces. There is practically no way a SaaS Product Marketing Agency can let the customers have complete knowledge and feel about the product until they subscribe to it.
Well, this challenge once again highlights the importance of content that is compelling in terms of information and engaging in terms of delivery.
So, more content, please!
Long sales cycle
B2B marketing is a long-drawn process that can easily stretch up to a year for a single deal to come through. In a SaaS product’s life cycle, it’s a considerably long time for the product to remain as it was at the beginning of the sales cycle. Typically, a SaaS product would witness frequent upgrades to meet new challenges and competition. A SaaS product marketing strategy has to aim at swift results and to that end, it has to be different. This is the ultimate challenge in SaaS marketing.
However, a SaaS Product Marketing Agency such as Kloudportal is cut out for this type of challenge. It has a precise and proven roadmap that can deal with all possible hurdles in SaaS product marketing effectively.
Software as a Service is a rapidly growing technology that helps businesses with cutting-edge solutions without making them deal with logistical issues. SaaS products are available for subscription, meaning customers don’t need to commit for life by paying a hefty price to buy them. However, SaaS marketing may not appear as easy as other types of marketing. It has to focus more on educating the customers than selling the products.
But as sales are important, SaaS marketers have to work on multiple fronts and aim for quick results. Given this, a SaaS company must enlist the help of a SaaS Product Marketing Agency that has the capability to meet the challenge and deliver on the promises.
You must choose your SaaS agency with due care and planning!