Lockdown SaaS Marketing: What’s working right now?
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Your marketing strategy has undoubtedly had a bit of a shakeup over the past few weeks. The economic crisis has affected each industry in different, yet concrete, ways. SaaS companies are in a unique position whereby trading can mostly continue. However, buyer confidence is low, and businesses have to work harder to attract and convert leads or simply retain existing customers whose budgets have just gone through the wringer.
If your services have been affected or stalled due to the pandemic, you've probably had to change your messaging and create content to update customers on your company's current position. It's possible that you've also pulled the plug on some of your carefully planned upcoming campaigns. Traffic to your website may look nothing like it usually does. And all this while your customer service team tackles questions that were never featured in the training guide.
According to a new report released by HubSpot, "Buyers are seeking out and interacting with businesses more today than a month ago." However, sales outreach initiatives aren't yielding great results, indicating the need for new strategies.
While many of us were thrown off kilter by COVID-19, it's essential that we find our feet and use the best available avenues to not only support our existing customers, but also garner interest from potential leads for the future.
Understandably, tweaks will have to be made, content repurposed, and some plans may get scrapped entirely. But, the great news is, customers still want to hear from you, and there are effective SaaS marketing tools you can mobilise to keep strengthening your relationships and generating leads.
At Klood, we've been working closely with our clients to assess their immediate needs and support them in ways that align with inbound marketing best practices.
If you've got two minutes to spare, we highly recommend that you take advantage of our free marketing audit, this should help you to gauge where your business is currently sitting and where your SaaS marketing should be focussed.
Like many other business leaders, you're probably keen to optimise your marketing and position your business for a stronger bounce-back. You're conscious of where your spend is going, and you're looking for a return on marketing investment (ROMI). To help you hone in on the most effective tools, we've highlighted the current top-performing SaaS marketing tactics.
1. Having an optimised, up-to-date website
HubSpot's study of 70,000+ businesses revealed that website traffic increased by 13% in March. With lockdown still in full force, customers are spending more time online.
Is your website ready to be scrutinised by a customer who's hyper-conscious about where their current finances are going? If not, you must invest some time (and possibly budget) into rejuvenating your website, optimising user experience (UX) and updating your content.
Bring evergreen blogs and content offers to the forefront, update your FAQ pages, clarify your policies, and make your brand look credible and tuned in to current events.
2. Send readworthy emails
Now is not a good time (nor is it ever, really), to send wishy-washy emails that don't offer any value – or worse, are tone-deaf to the situation at hand. Bring a content writer on board, ask your team for input, a/b test your emails, install Grammarly on your PC – do whatever it takes to polish and fine-tune your newsletter emailers and lead nurtures.
Email open rates increased by 21% in March – this figure may be attributed to the lockdown and the increase in corporate communication aiming to notify customers about the actions being taken relating to service delivery. However, it’s certainly worth noting that customers are paying attention to the emails they are receiving.
Dial down your promotions and use your emails as educational tools to point readers towards helpful content on your website or reassure them of your commitment to delivering a high quality level of customer service.
You can build your contact list by offering help, advice, or consultation for free – if your business is in a position to do so. The current indicators imply that audiences are in learning mode; they are using this time to gather information and take advantage of free resources.
If you are proactive in providing this information and strengthening your relationships through this kind of outreach, you will have a much more receptive audience once consumer confidence is up again.
3. Show leadership on social media and through blogging
If you've shied away from social media in the past, the moment to hide is over. In a world where personalised, authentic relationships significantly affect conversion and brand loyalty, having an online presence and actively engaging with your customers is one of the best marketing moves you can make.
Write thought-provoking blogs and offer advice and industry know-how to clients and prospects. Share your blogs across your social media platforms and invite readers to engage and share opinions and tips.
If you’re the leader of a company, now is the time to show customers the human face behind your brand. Use LinkedIn and Facebook to spark conversations or ask customers to part take in surveys and polls. Building these audiences will pay dividends in the future.
HubSpot is ready to help you with free editorial calendar templates so you can optimise and plan your content with ease.
4. Don't abandon your paid ads
Inevitably, with the prospect of a recession coming, some of your competitors are going to drop out of the race. This will enable you to take advantage of better pay-per-click advertising deals and seize more conversion opportunities.
Google Ads and Facebook Ads are still effective methods of reaching customers. Keeping your brand visible gives customers the reassurance that you are operating and available to serve their needs, even if their buying decisions may be taking a little bit longer right now.
Bear in mind, however, that your audiences may look a little different at the moment. City dwellers may be in new geographic locations – research shows that website traffic in suburbs is going up, so you may need to make some adjustments to your campaigns.
5. Use chatbots and messenger apps
Since so many of your existing and potential customers are on lockdown too, they are relying on devices to access information and educate themselves about potential solutions to their problems. It’s not always convenient to chat on the phone or have a video call when working from home (with kids, pets, and dinner on the stove in the background), so gear up your business for silent conversations by taking advantage of the great advances in AI.
Make your website extra interactive by adding a chatbot; this virtual helper patrols your website 24/7, assisting customers with frequently asked questions or collecting information from queries so that your human staff can assist them further during working hours.
Did you know that you can build your own chatbot for free with HubSpot? Click here to get started.
Facebook and WhatsApp are also being utilised by businesses to give real-time responses to customer queries, so it may be worthwhile to direct some customer service attention to these platforms and use the opportunity to build on your relationships with customers in a more personal and direct manner.
While there are plenty of indicators to signify that a powerful economic change is around the corner, it's not all doom and gloom. Businesses are finding innovative ways to leverage existing channels and bolster their marketing efforts, forging stronger bonds with their customers and planting important seeds for new ones.
Conversions and sales are naturally going to dip during a crisis, but the market will rebound, and with it, new and exciting opportunities will arise. It's important to keep updated with developments in your industry and position yourself as a source of information and support for your clients. By infusing your SaaS marketing strategy with inbound practices – like being helpful and informative, your efforts will pay dividends in the future.
If you'd like to chat to us about the tools you're currently using and what may be more effective for you at the moment, we invite you to schedule a Growth Call with our Business Development Manager, Ellie. We specialise in creating thriving SaaS businesses and are always available to offer advice and guidance to companies that are keen to scale sustainably. Schedule your free consultation below.