If you could find a way to generate way more highly-qualified leads way more easily than before, you'd leap at that chance, wouldn't you?
As the leader or IT lead of a SaaS company, making sure you understand not only how to market your own software or services is key in this, but so is understanding the wants and needs of your ideal customers, or "Buyer Personas".
Inbound Marketing covers all of these points and more. On average, companies that apply an Inbound Marketing strategy generate 1877 leads per month and 1523 MQLs. In this article, let's take a look at why Inbound Marketing is the best way forward.
What is an Inbound Marketing strategy?
Today, the average user is exposed to an overload of information; according to a study by Neuromedia, we receive about 6,000 daily advertising impacts. Our brains are already trained into receiving such an overload of information that we unconsciously classify, sort, and remember only the information that interests us, discarding everything else.
Inbound Marketing does just that: It's a non-invasive way to give your ideal customers the exact information that they're looking for. This way, you attract them to your products and services instead of bombarding them with messages and ads. Your SaaS company becomes a magnet that attracts new, highly-qualified leads and customers.
To give you an idea, the implementation of an Inbound Marketing strategy can triple lead generation of qualified leads in one year and in two years increase it fourteen-fold, compared to other companies in the SaaS industry with the same investment. Why does Inbound work so well? It puts the needs of your customers first, which, in the long run allows you to gain their trust, add value, and find solutions that are the best fit.
Brian Halligan, co-founder and CEO of HubSpot notes, "Shoppers have more information available to them and higher expectations for a relevant, personal purchase. Giving them that experience, which is driven by their needs and happens on their timelines, is what an inbound approach to sales is all about."
What are the steps to apply an Inbound Marketing strategy to your SaaS company?
Every Inbound Marketing strategy consists of 4 phases, which are:
- Sales and Customer Loyalty
Let's have a look at the actions that need to be taken for each of them.
1. AttractIn this first phase, you will have to make a detailed study of your audience to define your ideal customer. To achieve this, you must answer these questions::
- Who is the target audience for the purchase of my software (job title, industry, work experience, etc.)?
- Who will be the final buyer of my service (it does not have to be the same person who will use it)?
- What demographic characteristics does my buyer persona have (age, gender, location, education level, purchasing power, etc.)?
- What psychological characteristics define him/her (personality, attitudes, values, interests, etc.)?
- What behaviors does he/she use (buying patterns, price sensitivity, internet behaviors, which social networks does he/she use, etc.)?
- What type of business is my software aimed at (company size, annual revenue, number of employees, industry, etc.)
Once you have a clear idea of who you are going to target, you will have to think about how you are going to attract them to your business. To do so, you have to address the following assets:
- Content: What kind of content brings value and interest to my ideal customer? Here you have a wealth of options such as: ebooks, infographics, comparisons, audiovisuals, webinars, demos, etc. In addition, it is essential to have a blog that deals with everything from your software solutions, the most recurrent and new topics related to your industry, the problems encountered by the user, to success stories that you have achieves.
- Website: Your website is the virtual showcase of your company. To attract new leads, you have to make sure you respect the following factors: That your website stays true to your branding, inspires credibility and trust, has a fast loading speed, doesn't overwhelm the user, and is optimized for UX.
- SEO: One crucial factors to attract new leads is SEO (Search Engine Optimization). This helps increase the visibility of your company online by appearing on the first page of search engines like Google. You need to carry out a keyword research, identify the keywords that generate the most traffic, and use them to optimize your content.
For the second phase, you need to find a way to capture your audience's information. You'll do so through helpful and valuable downloadable content, such as ebooks, demos, etc. By "capturing" that personal data such as their email or company name in exchange for content that addresses their wants or needs, you provide a win-win for both the lead and your own company, further progressing that them down the sales cycle.
Furthermore, it is important to prepare follow-up emails after the initial downloadable content in order to gradually introduce your company and its solutions to the new lead. It's all about guiding them towards the educate phase of the Inbound cycle.
3. EducateOnce you have managed to convert leads, you will want to "educate" them, or take them by the hand along their buying journey so that they become customers. To do this you have to rely on 2 strategies:
- Lead Scoring: This is based on the qualification of each of your leads by assigning points as they progress through their buyer's journey. It helps you get an idea of the "maturity" of each lead and take actions accordingly. These can be configured based on profile fit (things such as company, role, country) and behavioral actions (page visits, downloads, button clicks).
- Lead Nurturing: This is a process in which a relationship is established with the contact, either through email, telephone, or other means. The objective is to make the lead progress further down the buying cycle. It works by providing new, relevant content, solutions to problems, product demos, and more to show them more about how your products/services could be the right fit and frame your company as a reliable provider.
4. Sales and Customer Loyalty
After the lead nurturing process, you should now know exactly what the problems, wants, and needs of your contacts are, so that final step is closing the sales cycle by selling your product or service.
But you must not overlook customer loyalty, since the objective is that they become "ambassadors" of your company, recommend your services to other potential customers, and that a long-lasting relationship is created with them.
Keep "Customer Experience" at the forefront of your loyalty efforts. Have a strategy to obtain reviews and feedback on your services. Knowing the opinions of your customers will help you to improve your offerings and address any problems/challenges that need to be resolved.
As you've heard, it's more expensive to attract a new customer than to keep an existing customer, so maintaining customer loyalty actually saves costs for your business in the long run.
As you can see, an Inbound Marketing strategy could be the best way forward for your SaaS company to get more highly-qualified leads than ever. Are you ready to grow your business exponentially?
We know that it is not always easy to have an in-house team that can handle all the workload involved, and that keeping up with all the marketing strategies and actions requires time and money that not all software companies can take on internally. At mbudo, we specialize in defining, creating and implementing Inbound Marketing strategies for our clients, always adapting to your industry, taking into account your goals and needs. If you would like to receive more information regarding the implementation of an inbound strategy for your company, do not hesitate to contact us, we will be happy to help you.