How to grow your customer base
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    Outline:

    1. Analyze your competition
    2. Provide useful content
    3. Get more (positive) reviews
    4. Survey your customers

    Promoting a SaaS business online is a tough challenge – since most of your prospects research and buy online, you need to ensure a steady stream of targeted traffic to your offer if you want any chance to succeed.

    What’s more, the traffic that you do get needs to be sent through an optimized funnel that takes the leads through the trial, the sale, and the entire onboarding process smoothly and efficiently. If your prospects run into any hiccups, they always have your competitors to choose from. And you know they are just waiting for an opportunity to lure your prospects away.

    That’s why, in order to remain profitable and ensure consistent growth, SaaS companies need to optimize every part of their funnel – the competition in most fields is just too steep to afford not to maximize the value of every lead you get.

    Luckily, in the ever-changing landscape of online marketing, there are still plenty of opportunities for SaaS companies who are willing to go the extra mile for their customers. If you make your customers happy, you’ll never have trouble retaining them and acquiring new ones.

    Here are the four SaaS marketing tips you should try if you want to grow your customer base and carve your own share of the market.

    1. Analyze your competition

    Before you can start implementing an online marketing strategy for your SaaS company, you need to figure out the market landscape and thoroughly analyze your competition.

    • In order to enter a market with a new product, it needs to be able to offer unique value to the customers because otherwise, the prospect will have no reason to switch to your product in the first place.
    • Understand what others are doing in terms of marketing and growth so that you can apply the best practices to your own strategy and maximize your chances to succeed.
    • What should you look at when doing competition analysis? A good place to start is their SEO strategy – by analyzing the keywords that your competition is ranking for, you can better understand the customer base and all the different segments of the audience you can target.  This will also help you with your own SEO strategy – you can identify keywords that you should focus on and collect data like potential backlink opportunities and even content ideas that could be a good fit for your website.
    • Look at your competitors’ social media presence – the sites that they tend to focus on can give you a better understanding of where your audience hangs out, as well as the approaches that seem to work best for engaging it. You might even be able to identify opportunities on social media that the competition hasn’t discovered yet.
    • Also, try to analyze the market through the eyes of your customer and see where the top SaaS companies in your field are promoting themselves to get an idea of potential advertising avenues.

    Collecting all this data about your competition may seem like a daunting task that requires a lot of manual labor, but there are tools that can make the job easier.

    For example, Competitors App allows you to collect a lot of data about your competition’s email marketing efforts, social media, website changes, and much more, so you don’t have to collect everything yourself and instead concentrate on analyzing this information.

    2. Provide useful content

    If you want any chance at succeeding in the competitive SaaS world, you need to use every strategy that can give you an edge over your competitors.

    • SaaS buyers are one of the most sophisticated and educated audiences online, so you’ll have a hard time gaining new clients if you’ll start selling straight away. Most buyers perform thorough research before making a final decision, so your best bet of persuading them to choose your product is to provide useful and insightful information that will make the choice easier.

    • Content marketing is very effective. It allows you to go into more detail about your product, its specifics, features, and unique benefits, without appearing pushy or triggering your audience’s defense. Prospects looking for a specific solution are eager to find content that informs them, guides them and makes the decision easier, so if you can create articles and videos that educate the reader and help them get answers to their questions, you’ll be able to guide them through every step of their journey until they see your product as the only natural solution to their problem.

    • By offering premium-quality content you can position yourself as an authority in your field. If you invest the time to develop relevant, engaging, and in-depth content around the most pressing issues that your ideal customers are facing, your content will get shared on social media and even other blogs, which will give you a new stream of targeted traffic and a huge boost to your SEO efforts.

    • An unintended benefit of having high-quality content on your SaaS blog is the impact it has on your website’s value. If you were ever selling your website, the content would be an important factor that would increase its price because the site would become much more valuable to its visitors.

    But how does one create high-quality content that gets read?

    If your company is still in its early stages, you may not have the resources to hire an in-house writer to handle all of your content needs. You could assign the task to a team member who specializes in the problem you are solving. However, even with knowledge, it can be challenging to create engaging articles that people will want to read. Luckily, there’s another option.

    By hiring remote employees, you can find specialists in your field with extensive writing experience that can help you convey the messages that you want to put out at an affordable rate.

    3. Get more (positive) reviews

    No matter how good your sales pitch, you’ll have a hard time converting prospects into customers if they don’t trust that you can deliver on your promises. Social proof is an essential component of success with a SaaS product, so you need to make sure that you have plenty of happy customers who are willing to vouch for the quality of your services.

    According to a survey by Brightlocal, customer reviews are more influential than paid ads, as the majority of surveyed customers said that they only work with businesses that have a rating of 4 stars or higher.

    But how do you get positive reviews, especially if you’re just getting started?

    • The most important step is establishing a customer-centric approach in everything you do. As soon as you start interacting with leads and onboarding your first customers, you need to have a Customer Care representative ready to solve any issues and help make your customer’s experience as easy and seamless as possible.

      If you make an effort to work with each customer, even those that are being difficult, you’ll minimize the number of negative reviews and might even turn a few of those unhappy users into your most loyal customers.

    • A common issue when trying to maintain a high online rating is that upset users are much more likely to leave a review compared to a satisfied customer. People tend to be much more willing to voice their opinion if they’re unhappy with a service, so some SaaS companies face the issue of having a lower rating simply because the bad experiences tend to be more visible.

      The good news is that there are ways to combat this trend. Simply by encouraging your most loyal customers to take a few minutes to review your service, you may find that you’ll never run short on positive reviews and they will mostly drown out the few negative ones that, as with any service, will occur here and there.

      After all, if you make your customers happy by providing excellent service, they will often be more than glad to return the favor by leaving you a glowing 5-star review.

    • It’s essential to be persistent when trying to get more product reviews, especially at the beginning, because you need to establish a positive reputation quickly if you want to make converting prospects into customers easier.

      What’s more, Google takes into account the number of reviews when ranking pages for keywords, so having reviews available on your site, directory pages, and social media can give a significant boost to your organic traffic.

    4. Survey your customers

    Growing your customer base is not an easy task, especially if you have to guess what your customers want or would like you to improve upon. Instead of trying to figure everything out on your own, launch an email drip campaign to conduct customer surveys to find out how you can make the experience better. This won’t just help you improve your relationship with the current clients, but also help you collect the necessary data to attract new ones.

    Conduct regular customer surveys as an integral part of your online marketing strategy. After all, these days it’s easier than ever to offer your customers a convenient way to share their opinion about your service. Your customers will appreciate your effort to improve and will be happy to share their insights and experiences.

    Ask questions about how satisfied your customers are with your services, your customer support, what they’d like to improve if they could and if there are any pressing problems that they are facing with your product. Learning more about how customers view your service can help with setting new team’s goals that are more in-tune with what your target audience needs.

    One thing to remember is that since you’re asking your customers to spend their valuable time answering your questions, you should make the survey as short and as relevant as you can. Do not add unnecessary questions. Be very specific about which customer satisfaction metrics you want to gain insights on and carefully plan out the questions to provide you with insightful answers that you can actually use.

     

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    Dave Schneider is the founder of LessChurn, churn reduction app. In 2012 he quit his job to travel the world and has visited over 65 countries. In his spare time, he writes about SaaS and business at DaveSchneider.me.

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