We're in a digital age, and it's transformed how people buy.
- The entire buying process can happen online. We research problems, compare solutions, and buy (and use) products, all from the comfort of our browser.
- Traditional marketing has lost its edge. We're getting better and better at tuning-out invasive, spammy marketing messages. Tactics like cold calling and buying mailing lists are expensive, inefficient and undesirable.
- Competition is growing. It isn't enough to be good, or even great: to succeed in the cut-throat SaaS space, your business has to be the best.
THE INBOUND MARKETING METHODOLOGY
Inbound Marketing is designed to use these changes to your advantage: leveraging technology and education to build and scale a predictable lead generation machine. At its heart, it’s a methodology for:
- Attracting your ideal customers to your website.
- Educating them with high-value content.
- Nurturing them to a point where they're ready to buy.
There are four stages to the Inbound Marketing methodology - attract, convert, close and delight - each of which plays a crucial role in establishing and rapidly scaling your SaaS business.
Note: Effective inbound marketing requires marketing skills & experience, but also the right tools. If you aren't using it already, we highly recommend HubSpot, which any SaaS company can start using for free, here.
1) Attract Your Ideal Buyer
Not all website traffic is created equal. Instead of wasting time and energy attracting bad-fit visitors, Inbound gets to grips with your ideal customers, using blog content, SEO, infographics, social media and more to attract the right people to your website.
2) Educate and Add Value
Education provides incentive for your ideal customers: allowing you to help them understand their problems, and position your business as a potential solution. With many B2B SaaS solutions solving complex problems, education is an essential part of demand-generation.
3) Prepare for Long-term growth
Inbound Marketing lays the foundation for exponential growth: using powerful long-term strategies to create month-on-month growth of visitors, leads and customers.
4) Generate Rapid short-term interest
Speed-to-market matters, and even best-in-class solutions get beaten to the punch by faster competitors. Thankfully, the Inbound ethos is the perfect complement to rapid lead generation strategies, like pay per click and display advertising.
5) Turn ANonymous Visitors into Identifiable Leads
Inbound is designed to encourage website visitors to opt-in to your marketing: offering valuable resources in exchange for their contact details.
By creating downloadable offers, calls-to-action, landing pages and contact forms, you'll be able to develop a predictable lead generation machine.
6) Foster Trust
Inbound is designed to foster trust between your visitors and your company, by using helpful content and powerful social proof. The greater the trust, the more effective your lead generation: whether you're trying to generate more contacts, or increase your Free Trial signups.
7) Raise Your Brand Visibility
Inbound boosts lead generation by keeping your business front-of-mind, using strategies like retargeting, influencer marketing and guest posting to raise the profile of your company.
8) Optimise and Improve
It's important to take an iterative, data-driven approach to lead generation. Inbound leverages the latest strategies and technology to optimise your lead generation, including content personalisation, contact forms and smart (rather than intrusive) pop-ups.
9) NURTURE LEADS TOWARDS A SALE
It's rare for customers to appear out of thin air: they usually require education, time and trust before they're ready to buy.
That's why Inbound uses automated email marketing, personalisation and valuable content to nurture leads towards a point of sales-readiness.
10) Seamless transition between sales and marketing
It's usually during the hand-off between Marketing and Sales that hot leads get lost, forgetten or abandoned. Inbound is designed to align Sales and Marketing in service of a single goal - revenue - using tools like lead scoring, marketing automation and sales-enablement content to create a seamless "smarketing" experience.
11) Offer The Right Help at the Right Time
How many times have you started a free trial, or downloaded an eGuide, only to be instantly bombarded by overzealous sales reps? Or the opposite: found yourself interested in a product, but unable to talk to someone about next steps?
Inbound is about offering the right help to prospects, at the right time: using tools like smart content and a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system to track visitor activity, and offer the right advice, at the right time.
12) CLOSE LEADS AS CUSTOMERS
Visits, clicks and leads are great, but it's customers that matter to your business. That's why Inbound brings accountability to marketing, and allows you to dig into the visits, contacts, leads, customers and ROI generated by your marketing activities.
13) Turn Customers into Brand Promoters
Inbound Marketing is designed around a simple mantra: always be helping.
Instead of abandoning customers after the point of sale, Inbound continually engages with them, offering content and advice to help your customers get the most value possible from your solution.
14) Secure Monthly Recurring Revenue
By continuing to offer help and guidance, and using surveys, interviews and feedback to take the pulse of customer happiness, Inbound is designed to create long-term relationships: maximising Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) in the process.
15) Boost Customer Referrals
If you help your customers, they'll help you back. As well as additional revenue from up-selling and cross-selling, Inbound's ethos encourages happy customers to recommend your solution to other people: driving customer referrals and growth in the process.
Getting Started with Inbound Marketing
Sold on the Inbound mantra? Need help developing a SaaS marketing strategy, or looking to optimise your existing approach?
First things first, sign-up for a HubSpot account (it's free to get started) and take a look at all the ways HubSpot simplifies developing and implementing an effective inbound marketing strategy for you.
After that, feel free to contact us for a free SaaS growth consultation, and we'll offer you advice on how to create, improve and optimise your current approach to marketing.