SaaS Inbound Marketing Strategies for 2021
Inbound marketing is a hot trend in the SaaS market. While you might know what inbound marketing is, you might be still thinking about the best strategies to utilize for your SaaS marketing plan in 2021.
This article outlines the top SaaS inbound marketing strategies that you can start using today.
What is Inbound Marketing
Inbound marketing’s main purpose is to create awareness and to pull potential customers toward your brand. Rather than trying to find these customers by putting out ads for a broad audience, inbound marketing makes your products visible to potential buyers via more implicit and targeted means: that is why these strategies generate 54% more leads than outbound ones.
This marketing strategy is all about creating content that your target group is likely to engage with, leading them down the marketing funnel. It is a great method for companies who want to develop long-lasting relationships with customers by leaving a positive influence, especially SaaS companies.
Here are the eleven most effective SaaS inbound marketing strategies, and how you can use them for your brand’s benefit.
Create Landing Pages for Your Features
Your product’s features attract new customers and keep your current ones. However, to make use of these features to the best extent, you need landing pages for each one of them. Having a single page for all of your different features means that you are not using them to their fullest marketing potential. These separate landing pages need to be optimized with a landing page analytics tool in a way that will keep the searcher interested, so that the feature’s appeal does not fade out.
Creating landing pages for your features is a great inbound strategy because:
- The person on the landing page is interested in the feature to a certain extent and is likely to become a qualified lead,
- A separate page emphasizes the feature’s importance in more detail, cultivating its benefit,
- The landing page leads people into engaging with your brand more.
Create Landing Pages For Your Personas
As inbound marketing is about creating targeted content, your customer persona is crucial. A MarketingSherpa case study found that using customer personas resulted in a 900% increase in the length of visit.
The persona of your brand is basically the profile of your customers. You need to establish your persona in order to have productive inbound strategies that generate the best results.
Hockeystack is a great tool to analyze your leads and customers’ actions, generating a detailed profile by showing you journeys of individuals from different referrals, segments, and many more specifics.
Most businesses have 3 to 4 personas: you need to create landing pages specific to each one of them. A generic landing page isn’t likely to capture all of your different personas as they all have different wants and needs. A specific landing page relates to the visitor and gives them what they are looking for. You can create individualized landing pages in various ways:
- Focus on different and specific objections.
Each persona has different question marks while they’re making a purchase: some may be concerned about the price while others are concerned about the functionality of a product. Answer the objection that is specific to each persona to prevent these question marks from coming in your brand’s way.
- Fixing the usability in a way that will fit the personas needs.
Your personas may be accessing your site from different screen sizes, or certain personas may have less experience with technological devices and may need simpler interfaces.
- Choosing images or colors that resonate with the persona.
Images support your message by making your content relatable to your target group. Colors preferences are proven to be age-dependent. All of these design elements make your landing page more attractive to different demographics.
Add FAQs To Blog Posts
Adding a Frequently Asked Questions section to your content can make life easier for both you and your customers.
Some questions about your product are bound to come up often, and addressing these questions promptly over and over again is impossible. Since 66% of adults think that the most crucial thing about customer service is having the brand value the customer’s time, your leads are not likely to wait around for a response from you before switching to another brand.
Not only is an FAQ section imperative for better customer service, but it is also crucial if you want your brand to have higher rankings in search results. Between 2018 and 2019, voice search has become the second top search choice (coming right after mobile browsers). This means that rather than saying direct keywords, people are more likely to ask questions, and search engines are putting the sites that give direct answers to the top ranks.
An FAQ section is a great place to answer your leads’ possible questions, and a great way to show them that you’ve thought about their concerns beforehand. However, there are a few points you have to consider in order to make your FAQs effective.
An effective FAQ section should have:
- Real questions that have been tracked, not questions your brand would like to receive.
- Short and simple answers.
- Information that is consistent with your content.
- Explanations that lead to other links if necessary.
- An effective layout, where it’s easy to find the questions you’re looking for.
- A noticeable place on the content page.
Remember, the readers are there because they value their time. The FAQ section is not a great place to re-advertise your product by adding information that’s not directly answering any question.
So how do you determine the questions you should have on your FAQ section? Start by surveying your users. Ask them about their questions and concerns. Track repeated questions or recurring problems. And, most importantly, measure your FAQ page’s success and update it as needed. If the section is not leading to more engagement with your brand, you may want to add more questions, reevaluate your answers or change your layout.
Target Content Gaps of Your Competitors
To pull traffic into their sites, brands need to create content that their prospective customers may be looking for. Since many brands are creating content with similar topics, there’s often an overlap. In order to get in front of your competition, you need to find the content that they are not creating, and a content gap is exactly this: content that is wanted but not yet created (or content that is not enough, but we’ll get to that later).
So how does this tactic benefit you? Targeting the content gaps of your competitors is a great SEO tactic that helps you rank above them.
After you use this tactic, you can use an SEO tool to track its results on your organic traffic.
Here are the steps:
- Map out your customer’s journey.
This way, you know the content they interact with (or want to interact with) at different stages of their purchase. You also know the keywords that come up at different stages.
Tip: Hockeystack can help you track down their journey in no time.
- See if all of the needed content has been created.
Once you know what your customers are looking for at each stage, see if there’s any content that has already been created to meet their needs; you may do this by using advanced search modifiers. If there’s no content related to what you’re looking for, you have identified a gap.
- Analyze the existing content.
Could you create more meaningful content? Is your competitor’s content outdated? Are they missing a keyword in their content? If your answer is yes, you have found another gap: one that will result in your brand ranking better if filled effectively.
Be a Content Journalist
Creating targeted content is a great inbound strategy, but you need to be consistent for it to be effective. Become a content journalist by being on the lookout for new customer cravings and by quickly creating the needed content.
But are people really curious about new content? Will customers look into your posts? Well, if they are interested in the brand, 68% of online buyers will take the time to read the content that said brand has created.
While reading your content, customers also see that your company’s an expert in its field. Becoming a content journalist is a great way of showing how your brand has in depth knowledge about every aspect of the industry: providing customers with regular information proves that you’re aware of what they are asking, and that you are able to give them answers.
More importantly, having a well-built content archive is crucial for brand recognition and lead generation. Regularly creating content to fill your archive results in increasing the possibility of answering a lead’s need, and leaving your name in their mind with the article they have read from you. Now they are likely to come back for other services they may need.
To reap these benefits by becoming a content journalist, you need to have great awareness. Follow the other big names in the industry with similar customer profiles to see the areas that they are focusing on. Always be informed about the most recent and popular content, then identify the keywords or topics related to them to make sure your company is also ranking for them.
And lastly, analyze your own content and customer base. Utilize your analytics to see the content that performs the best on your platforms, and identify their common theme. Ask your audience what they want to see more of by surveying them.
If you make use all of these methods to follow the current, you are on your way to becoming a successful content journalist.
Answer How-to Questions
You may think that some questions related to your field are too basic and that answering them is not worth the fuss. If you’re ignoring how-to questions because of this, however, you are missing a key opportunity.
The people asking how-to questions are at the edge of your sales funnel; they are doing research about concepts related to your brand’s expertise, and are close to becoming aware of your brand. You have to answer their questions to pull them to the end of the funnel.
Take this example: a customer is searching for ways to improve their marketing reach, so they type out “How to improve your marketing reach” on the search bar. They see an article titled “What is Marketing Reach and How To Improve It,” written by your brand. They click on the article, and now they both see your brand as an educator and feel more knowledgeable.
Now they are ready to search “how to find good marketing metrics to track”, and the next thing you know, they have gathered enough information to understand that they are looking for the service your brand is providing. They trust your brand because they became of it in their research stage. You have successfully transferred a customer in their research stage to the awareness stage, and then to the interest stage.
A bonus benefit that comes with how-to posts is that you can rank for long-tail keywords. It’s hard for you to rank in popular keywords such as “churn rate,” it’s easier to rank with long-tail keywords such as “(how to) determine customer churn rate in SaaS,” as the second one is much more specific and has comparatively less competition. How-to questions, by targeting customers searching for details, pull meaningful traffic.
Write Comparison Posts
One of the key stages of a buyer’s journey is the consideration, where they are comparing your brand’s offerings to the services of your competitors.
In fact, 65% of consumers spend more than 16 minutes on this comparison. The best thing you can do to tip the scale towards your brand is to show them the comparison yourself.
By writing out comparison posts, you are helping your customers feel confident in their choices, and you are getting a good chance to make use of your strong features.
However, there are certain risks involved in comparison posts. Firstly, the reader is aware of your possible bias, they are suspicious about your intentions, so it’s definitely not the place to exaggerate your brand while dragging your competition down. Tell them the comparison in a simplified and honest way: state facts, not opinions.
Another point to keep in mind is to keep the comparison short and concise. If you compare twenty features, you’re only going to confuse the reader more as they now have to compare the importance of these twenty features. Boil down the comparison into the features that may be detrimental to buyers’ decisions. This way, you don’t have to leave the decision up to the customer in the end.
Distribute Content on Social Media (Not all)
Obviously, your content isn’t valuable if no one reads it. While it’s possible for you to get traffic with SEO, it takes a lot of time to rank for keywords and get visitors. To make your content visible, you need to distribute it on social media.
Ideally, you’ll have several types of content: blog posts, videos, and infographics may be a few of these. As they all have different formats and types, they require different ways of distribution–some brands, however, prefer to post all of their content in every social media platform in the same way, hoping for at least one of them to work. But this method only makes it harder to track results. Purposeful distribution will gain you more meaningful traffic, and you’ll have an easier time analyzing the outcomes.
While developing your strategies, keep in mind that there are several different types of content distribution:
- Owned distribution: when you own the account/the web page and distribute your posts there.
- Earned distribution: when third parties discover your content and share it without expecting anything in return.
- Paid distribution: when you pay third parties to share your content on their accounts.
There are a few things you have to know before you start distributing your content via one of these three ways:
First of all, every platform has a different audience, and each one is interested in different types of content. Users of more visual platforms like Pinterest or Instagram will engage with infographics, while Twitter users will readily engage with quick and concise information in text form.
Secondly, you need to measure the number of impressions your posts get, and how these impressions translate: do users click on your website after they view your Instagram post? It’s especially important to measure the payback of paid distributions to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth. Make sure to use PPC reports and see if you’re making a good investment by advertising your content on social media.
However, you shouldn’t distribute all of your blog articles. Most of the SEO-focused articles are not suitable for social media as they are focused on the algorithm, not people.
If you still think that you can distribute them and people would be interested in the article while scrolling, your posts should stop people’s thumbs and make them click on your link.
Publish Guest Blogs On Other SaaS Blogs Targeting Similar Audiences
Another great way of creating brand awareness and getting traffic to your site is by publishing your blog posts on other established blogs. It’s pretty intuitive: if the blog has an engaged audience and if it serves the same niche as you, the audience is likely to be interested in your posts, and so your brand, too.
Since you are a guest on this other SaaS blog (as the title suggests,) you’ll have to be mindful of their format guidelines and agree on editting your content to some extent. Lastly, just like all the other methods, it’s important to know what you want to achieve and to measure the payback. But overall, if you are able to identify blogs that are willing to collabrate, this method is a fairly easy and effective one.
Use Email Marketing
If you think that email marketing is overrated, you are wrong. This trusted inbound marketing strategy has the highest ROI out of all other marketing chanells, and gives back 42$ for every dollar your brand spends on it. There are various types of emails that you may send if you’re using email marketing: welcome emails for new subscribers, email newsletters, recommendations are just a few of these.
Here are two important ways you can use these emails:
- Engagement campaigns
You are bound to lose some of your subscribers or customers, but there’s a way to win them back. If done correctly, re-engagement email sequences can revive inactive subscribers who are simply not engaging with your brand anymore. Like all other methods, however, there are things you have to consider. For instance, a good engagament campaign should be personalized, it should be made up of more than one email, and lastly, the emails should give seperate and emphasized reasons to the customers to return to your brand.
Tell your customers why they chose you in the first place. Remind them about what’s special about your brand, and maybe lure them in with a couple of promotional emails.
- Blog Distribution
SaaS marketing is also about constantly looking for resources, and some people are willing to receive emails about your blog just because of this. Sending regular emails about your blog posts makes leads likely to click on your blog posts to learn more, driving traffic into your site while also, potentially, converting leads into customers. Once you start sending out your blog distribution mails, don’t forget to measure the engagement by looking at the change in your website traffic (or via other metrics.)
Work With an Agency
You may be asking “Why should I work with an agency when I can do all of this stuff myself?” Here’s a list of reasons:
- The SaaS market is getting overcrowded.
The main problem of SaaS companies isn’t about their services anymore, it’s about creating brand awareness. That’s why one of the top priorities of brands is their marketing strategies, and working with an agency that is experienced gets you one step ahead of your competition.
- It’s cost-efficient.
This may sound illogical at first, but the cost of hiring a marketing team or trying out marketing methods by yourself is much more expensive in the long run. Since experienced agencies promise you tangible results, you’ll get your money’s worth quicker and for certain.
- You can focus on the other aspects of your business.
While agencies do the marketing for you, they will also keep up with the expanding SaaS market, saving you time.
What is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing is a marketing method that pulls potential customers towards your brand by creating engaging and targeted content.
What are examples of Inbound Marketing?
Email marketing, regularly creating blog posts about topics in your niche, distributing your blog posts on social media are some examples of inbound marketing strategies.
Why Do Companies Use Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing is more purposeful and productive––it generates more qualified leads by reaching out to people who are already interested in your brand’s field.
What is the difference between inbound marketing and outbound marketing?
Outbound marketing puts your product out there to get some people interested, while inbound marketing advertises your brand to people who are actively searching for a service similar to yours.