Monday 30 December 2013

Direct Marketing Strategies for SaaS Vendors

The cloud industry is continuously growing and thriving that software companies find the market appealing and lucrative. With SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) still being one of the dominant cloud platforms there is, cloud adoption has increased in various industries. The IT industry creates and innovate products and services by leveraging on the cloud’s ability to scale and host an array of SaaS applications that are offered to consumers, start-ups and small businesses.
“The Future of Cloud Computing Survey Third Annual Survey 2013,” was recently published by North Bridge Venture Partners and GigaOM Research, which indicated that 63% of 855 respondents (comprising business in various industries, IT decision makers and cloud platform vendors) are using SaaS in their companies.
The growing deployment of SaaS applications provides endless opportunities for software companies to improve the services to meet the growing demands of the clients’ business operations. Moreover, this is an opportune time to strategically promote the products directly to get a share on market. Whether you’re a start-up SaaS vendor, a budding entrepreneur or an established SaaS provider, below are direct marketing strategies you can implement to increase your consumer’s base and clients worldwide:
  1. Publish white papers – A rule of thumb in publishing white papers are to provide new perspectives on the industry. Companies publish white papers to explain newly developed technologies as well as to educate people about their products. Generally, white papers should be short, concise and readable. Three to five pages maximum should cover the topic, with a clear synopsis of the paper.
  2. Educate through webinars – Webinars allows you to connect and engage current and possible clients. These seminars are conducted over the Internet, using social media, blogs and corporate websites to promote them. Educate your viewers regarding the industry and provide thought-provoking ideas to help them on making decisions in their IT needs. Invite them to register via newsletters, and use a reliable webinar solution such as GoToMeeting for videoconferencing and live chats. Allot a time for Q/A for your viewers and listeners.  
  3. Be visible on your blog and other blogs with guest posts – Work with someone, who is an expert in content marketing to help you create optimised and concise contents that can be posted on the corporate blog and to other blogs. Provide interesting topics and ‘how-to tips’ that add value to your product. Pitch in to high traffic blogs for guest posts, but make sure you don’t directly sell the product there. Provide rich, in-depth analysis of the industry and solutions for their IT infrastructure. Your goal must be to educate, share and inform readers, more than selling just a product.
  4. Write an e-book – Self-publishing an e-book will create a strong branding on your side. Popular SaaS vendor such as HubSpot is maximising this approach. You will see “Marketing Whitepapers & E-books” constantly on Twitter, which is always promoted as free, and it grabs people’s attention, which leads them to take an action even just by clicking the link.
The statistics prove true that SaaS deployments will experience growth in the coming years. However, whilst the resources to produce software are already available, from cloud servers, hybrid cloud platform to cloud app hosting, the biggest challenge is how to maintain product innovation as the SaaS market gains momentum.

Patrick Li is a tech addict who’s looking at ways to streamline business performance using cloud technology and other new services.

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