How To Implement Inbound Marketing For SaaS Businesses
by Mike Khorev
The concept of inbound marketing has been the buzzword of the marketing world in recent years. Yet, what actually is it?
To put it simply, inbound marketing is about publishing relevant, valuable contents to attract your customers ‘inbound’. The opposite of this idea is what we understood as the ‘traditional’ outbound marketing, where we put our marketing materials outward to disrupt prospects with advertising, cold calls, events, or any other disrupting promotions.
As we can see, the key principle is about minimizing disruption, and we have also suggested that the key aspect of inbound marketing will be content.
In this guide, we will discuss the ins and outs of inbound marketing, and how we can apply it to SAAS businesses. Let us begin.
Why Inbound Marketing Is Effective
The are several clear benefits of inbound marketing compared to traditional marketing tactics:
- Since the main aim of inbound marketing is about minimizing disruption, there is generally less resistance from your audience.
- Inbound leads are generally more qualified since they are the ones who come to you to consume your contents.
- Inbound marketing is easier to track with affordable, even free tools like Google Analytics.
- Inbound marketing is generally more affordable compared to PPC advertising, organizing events, and other traditional tactics.
- It is relatively easier to start: everybody can start WordPress blog or a YouTube channel.
As we can see, there are many benefits offered by the inbound marketing. Next, we will discuss the key concept and basic principles of the inbound marketing process.
Inbound Marketing: The Concept
In general, there are three main aspects of inbound marketing:
- Content Development
- Content Promotion (Including and especially SEO)
- Content Leveraging
There is a growing assumption that inbound marketing is essentially a modernized SEO, and there is some truth to that statement: inbound marketing is about publishing valuable contents regularly, and the main way to get those contents discoverable is SEO since the most of us stumbled upon a content through a Google search. Yet, there are other promotion channels we can use to promote our contents, and there are also ways to leverage our contents to generate even more leads. For the rest of this guide, we will discuss the key areas you should focus on in SAAS inbound marketing strategy:
1. Content Development
The core of inbound marketing is your contents, and especially the quality of your contents. While content marketing is a pretty broad subject by itself, here are some of the key principles you should consider:
- Your contents must be unique and valuable. The content must be unique enough so it won’t be flagged by Google, and it must be valuable and relevant to attract your audience.
- Headings (Titles) and subheadings do matter. Check out this guide by WordStream that might help you further.
- In general, aim for 1,000 to 2,000 words of content length. The SAAS audience generally appreciate in-depth, data-driven contents, so length is also of import
- Use various forms of media. Even in a written content, you can use images, infographics, and even short videos
- Aim to tell a great story even in your most technical, in-depth contents
SEO services are also one of the most important parts of inbound marketing. If the essence of content marketing is putting your contents out there, SEO is the main way to promote those contents. Almost everything including purchase on the internet begins with a Google search, and optimizing the search ranking is a very important aspect of promoting our contents.
There are several key SEO aspects to consider:
Keyword optimization has been and still the most important factor for SEO. However, it is true that for modern SEO, we can’t simply stuff our contents with the target keyword(s) and hope for the best, since Google also account for the article quality and value for human readers. To ensure this, make sure your keyword(s) occurs naturally throughout the text while focusing on the content’s readability for human readers. Also, use other words that are semantically related to the main keyword throughout the article.
Backlinks are also very important for SEO. The idea is, the more people (sites) linking your site, the more credible your site is. Yet, we should also consider the quality of backlinks, as only authoritative sites will be accounted by Google. In fact, if you have too many links from low-quality sites, you can get penalized.
There are many different approaches we can use in building backlinks. Yet, if your contents are already valuable, naturally there will be people who will link it sooner or later. So, the quality and relevancy of your contents are the most important thing to focus on. Other effective ways you can try are influencer marketing, guest posting, and building relationships with authority sites.
3. Influencer Marketing
We have briefly discussed influencer marketing above, and in this saturated world of digital marketing, one of the most effective ways to get our voice heard. The idea behind influencer marketing is fairly simple: as the name suggests, we get influencer(s) of our niche to promote our contents. Yet, by no means, it’s always an easy process.
Not every influencer will be willing to promote our contents just because we asked them. So, there are two main areas to focus on:
Finding The Right Influencers
There are many different tools that can help you, including BuzzSumo’s influencer identification tool. Yet, arguably the most effective way is to manually find your influencers by monitoring social media and online trends.
Sometimes, a simple personalized email is all it takes to get an influencer to work together with you. Yet, it’s not always that simple. Build relationships by engaging them on their social media channels, you can mention their contents and how they inspire you and offer them to comment on your content. Join the conversation in their channels frequently by giving valuable information or engaging questions. It will take time, but it will be worth it in the long run.
Inbound marketing is especially powerful for SAAS businesses nowadays, while we should also consider the fact that inbound leads are generally the most qualified. The concept behind inbound marketing is fairly simple: publish your contents and promote it to attract leads. The key to success here is consistency both in quality and quantity: maintain the quality of your contents, and maintain a regular publication schedule.