Software as a Service (SaaS) is a fast-growing industry worldwide with a projected growth of $99.99 billion during 2021–2025, progressing at a CAGR of over 11% during the forecast period. The software space is already overcrowded with some big players such as Salesforce and Microsoft, making it harder for many entrepreneurs to stand out without a proper business strategy.[¹] If you want to expand your business, you’ll have to develop an excellent marketing strategy; after all, marketing is crucial for company growth, and growth is what every SaaS company needs.[²]
Ask yourself these questions! What should you expect from your software investments? How do you make sure you’re getting the maximum return on your investment (ROI)?
Today is your lucky day! I’ll be sharing with you 4 ways you should implement that could increase your ROI! Without further ado, I’ll start with the first method:
Create a Worthy SaaS Industry Product
In my opinion, this step is the most overlooked and underappreciated of all; even though it’s the most obvious. If your product or service isn’t helping people, not even an excellent marketing team can save it! To ensure that your product is truly helpful, you will need to conduct research yourself and talk to potential consumers! Before you start creating or selling, you should ask them some questions.
Some examples: What do you look for out of a software service/product? What problems are you experiencing when _______?
If you are looking to improve your product/service, ask customers how you can do so to attract them! This step of the questioning phase could lead you to evaluate the usage of commercial software, a step few IT departments take the time to do![³] This allows you to determine how much of the total solution your company is using. In many cases, companies skip this procedure as there is a tendency to install the initial phase of the solution and then lag behind in implementing follow-on features and functions.[³]
In fact, the fault lies entirely within the company! SaaS companies that fail to keep up with consumers through basic research are bound to create an outdated and unworthy product that doesn’t resonate with the customers, ultimately leading to downfalls.
Since these updates are directly related to the worthiness of your software, you should always be checking your product for business scalability, in terms of capability expansion in the software that maps to the business.[³] One aspect I’m recommending focusing on for each update is the integration process and the ability to make it easier to do so.
Although this process will require you to assess what pieces of existing business software new solutions will need to interface with and what it’s going to take to effect a successful integration with those pieces.[³] However, once this has been done, the rest of the process is straightforward and significantly easier. This will ensure that your SaaS product or service is both worthy and sticky.
Marketing Phase: Get the Word Out!
I can guarantee you that the product NEVER SELLS itself unless it’s an illegal substance; after all, no one is going to purchase your amazing software if no one ever heard about it, so marketing is very much needed! So, begin posting on social media, start a company blog, make connections with other companies to help grow your audience and, most importantly, be sure to use smart keywords so that your ideal customers can easily find you![⁴] Performing keyword research is used to help you with PPC bidding, buyer personas, content generation, and social media marketing.[⁵] I cannot stress the importance of the last step. YOU MUST AND SHOULD DO IT!
There are many different ways to go about this, but two of the most effective methods I’ve come across are blogs and content marketing! This also includes ensuring that strong service and support ethics are provided to your customers at all times. When it comes to the latter, I would suggest checking out this Hubspot blog that goes over the SMARTs Goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely). We believe this method will build organic traffic and give your team enough data to analyze, allowing you to focus on converting your customers.[⁶]
However, this is easier said than done since the software is usually not cheap, so we have to recommend that you offer a free trial; you’ll be surprised how well this marketing tactic works! After all, by doing this, the potential customer can get hooked on your software, and see what they’re missing, convincing them of your product’s merits!
Marketing is a never-ending process that continues even after your leads have been converted to customers; this is especially true in the SaaS industry. After all, the standard software contracts run on either three- or five-year terms with the possibility of renewal.[⁷] You should keep in mind that your consumer has varying backgrounds in technology and even the pros have serious trouble with unfamiliar software as well!
So, of course, you should incorporate how-to guides and webinars to get the most out of the software. Create content like ebooks that offer in-depth information regarding your industry, and require information in return.[⁸] I promise that this will go a long way towards pleasing your customers and keeping them around for the long term. Keep in mind that your end business users will be able to take advantage of a solution only to the extent that they are well trained and comfortable with it.[⁹] To extend this even further, we recommend you create a step-by-step guide in video and essay format!
One last thing, YOU CANNOT RELY ONLY ON F.A.Q’S!
Offer Regular Updates
You should never expect your software to be finished on your first go; as a matter of fact, it’s never finished! There’s always room for improvement in the final products since particular bugs and need for improvement are better understood after your customers have used your software. Have an open thread where your software users can offer valuable feedback in developing the guidelines of updates. In other words, enhance the user experience by letting your consumer know you are there to serve them, even after they’ve made the purchase.
Spotify is a prime example of a company that constantly improves its product/service. Spotify’s music streaming platform and their focus on user experience and customer service, a method that allowed them to dominate the industry over their competitors- mainly, Apple Music. Spotify was able to accomplish this feat by incorporating artificial intelligence and machine learning to better fit their customer’s music tastes by using data they’ve collected. For example, Spotify’s “Discover Weekly” playlist presents a custom playlist of 30 songs every Monday that users may not have heard of and like.[¹⁰] Over time, machine learning allows the platform to make better selections that fit the user’s tastes, creating a more personalized and superior experience to its competitors.
The thread would allow you to identify and fix the basic problems encountered when using your software! You’ll be able to answer a very important question that’ll drive your business further and increase your ROI: Are your end users/customers satisfied with the overall solution, the expertise behind it, and the vendor’s support and service staff?[¹¹] If there are any further dissatisfactions, you should send someone to fix the problem in person to ensure your customers are getting the most out of your product/service.
Furthermore, you’ll always want to be strengthening your security on every update; customers will appreciate this since they’re trusting your software to save sensitive data. Any breach could lead to a potential loss of clients! Ensuring greater security that maintains zero risks of a security breach is essential for developing a loyal customer base for your business.
Conclusion and Last Words
We understand that SaaS teams and companies may be hesitant to implement these steps, but we believe they must try new tactics to spur growth, increase their ROI, and, eventually, reach their business goal. Remember that your audience is human, so the more you connect with them and give free information regarding your product or service, the more you are likely to pique the interest of your ideal consumers. The most crucial aspect of this whole ordeal is to offer a smooth customer-friendly experience to consumers so they never think twice before using your software!