When selling software as a service is your company’s trade, there’s nothing more crucial than ensuring your business’ growth. In the SaaS game, it’s not enough to maintain your turnover and profit, year after year- you have to adapt, change and grow.
Whether or not an SaaS company survives, or bites the dust, is largely indicated by its rate of growth. In fact, Mckinsey & Company conducted a study which found that ‘if a software company grows less than 20% annually, there is a 92% chance of failure’.
In essence, it’s grow (significantly) or die.
With that in mind, you should be doing whatever you can to ensure your SaaS business’ growth, by continuing to improve your growth and SaaS marketing strategies. So, here are the top things you should be doing in 2019 to ensure that your SaaS business grows and succeeds.
1. Leverage Influencers
Whilst influencers are commonly associated with the beauty, fashion and fitness industries, social media platforms such as YouTube, Instagram and Facebook cater for every niche and interest. There are influencers in every niche that you can think of, including SaaS platforms and their followers comprise of a whole host of people more likely to use your product.
Influencers have the trust and admiration of their followers, who value their opinions and recommendations; this makes them the ideal promoter for your SaaS product. So, the importance of influencers shouldn’t be underestimated in 2019, even in the software world.
2. Embrace content marketing
These days SaaS companies are so hyper focused on content marketing in support of lead generation efforts, that they often fail to adequately deploy proactive content for client engagement
. This is where taking a few steps back and refining SaaS marketing strategies From creating a blog, to being active on social media- even for a software company, these are necessary additions to your growth strategy, particularly in 2019.
An active blog will not only provide your existing SaaS customers with useful information, support and software know-how, but written content brings in organic traffic- potential leads which can be converted into loyal customers when they are eventually directed to your SaaS product, after having the chance to enjoy and learn from your content.
Moreover, YouTube can be particularly useful for SaaS businesses; you can provide tutorials for your existing SaaS customers, keeping your customer retention high, as well as provide exciting demonstrations for potential leads who are interested in purchasing your SaaS product.
3. Offer freemium or free trial
Most consumers are cautious with where they spend their money, preferring to try before they buy, to ensure that the product is right for them and that it works to their expectations.
If you don’t offer a free trial, many potential leads who are ‘on the fence’ about whether or not to buy the SaaS product, would rather not take the risk of buying the product, only to find out that it doesn’t work for them. In this case, they are likely to search for one of your competitors, and an SaaS product that does offer a free trial. So, to stay ahead of your competitors and ensure your own company’s growth, offering customers a free trial is a worthwhile endeavor.
4. Offer referral incentives
Referral incentives don’t have to be particularly extravagant or expensive, they simply have to entice the customer enough to take a little time out of their day to refer a friend. In no time, referral incentives can lead to an exponential increase in your customer base.
A striking example of referral success is illustrated by the success of Dropbox, a company which implemented a referral program into their growth strategy, by offering bonus space on their platform for both the customer, and the person that they referred to Dropbox. In 15 months, the number of people using Dropbox went from 100,000 to 4 million, thanks to this small referral incentive.
5. Obsess over delighting customers
Modern consumers no longer trust traditional SaaS marketing strategies and sales tactics. In contrast, consumers do trust other consumers, and in 2019, word-of-mouth marketing has been proven to be the most effective form of marketing. So, it’s your existing SaaS customers, and whether they sing your platforms praises or not, who will make all the difference to the success of your marketing strategy.
But how do you acquire this free, highly-effective form of marketing? The answer is not just to satisfy, with your company, brand and product, but to delight them- so much so, that they can’t help but spread the word. Internal ideas are great, but they frankly have a biased point of view. This is where hiring a fractional CMO can not only free-up valuable cashflow for lead generation, but also give you access to niche specialists in content creation, web design, SEO and marketing automation. Access to this valuable rolodex of external specialists can further free-up cashflow reduce your employee overhead. The key to achieving this agility only further supports your growth goals of not just acquiring new SaaS customers, but also keeping them as customers. This is commonly achieved through providing being obsessed with providing excellent customer service and support, a stellar product experience.
So, if you implement the above into your growth strategy, you’ll be well on your way to ensuring that your SaaS platform growth goals are aligned with your sales team objective to strategically partner with niche SaaS marketing agencies that are most suited to understand the unique pain points that SaaS companies often experience when trying to not just increase customer base, but more importantly sustain that revenue growth month after month.