Why SaaS marketing must be inbound
The Internet has made it easier than ever for any business to reach a global market instantly and Cloud services have enabled those same businesses to scale their operations instantly, allowing for instant growth.
This on-demand approach to infrastructure, software and resourcing is matched by a similar attitude towards marketing. Millennial's and modern buyers now expect to carry out their own product discovery and research before purchasing a SaaS subscription.
A McKinsey study found that two-thirds of the active-evaluation phase of product research is done without making any contact with the vendors involved. The reality is that traditional “push” marketing – broadcasting messages at prospects – no longer works.
Not only do people expect to do the research “legwork” themselves, but they also actively avoid pushy sales messaging – at least in the early stages of the buying cycle. As the Mc Kinsey report concludes:
“A third of the touchpoints involve company-driven marketing. Traditional marketing remains important, but the change in the way consumers make decisions means that marketers must move aggressively beyond purely push-style communication and learn to influence consumer-driven touchpoints, such as word-of-mouth and Internet information sites.”
Shared expertise is a marketing magnet. The reality is that there are thousands of software-as-a-service vendor's competing for their share of a limited audience. So if you can’t shout about how great your products are, how do you attract a potential customer’s attention?
The answer lies in understanding the needs and interests of the people researching SaaS products and then creating content that addresses those needs. Your software has been specifically designed to fill a niche, so you already understand (at least in part) some of what your potential customers are looking for.
Using your own in-house expertise, it is possible to build inbound campaigns that answer common presales questions for your clients. Doing so establishes your business as an expert in your field, building credibility and trust in the process.
And if you hadn’t already guessed, even this article is an example of content marketing in action.