Many people have been striving, with limited success, to learn the secrets of how to advertise SaaS. SaaS marketing and advertising is a different ballgame from advertising traditional software models, or other services or goods in disparate fields, as we’ve often pointed out in the past. This has left a lot of potentially great SaaS providers up the proverbial creek, because they couldn’t find a good, solid lead on how to advertise or market their design in a way the world would not only be aware of it, but initially hooked to learn more.
A lot of good ideas have gone by the wayside because their creators didn’t know how to advertise SaaS, and in fact, this probably delayed the SaaS revolution quite significantly all things said and done. Rather than complain about the fact there aren’t enough solid published leads for coming to grips with this, we’re going to actually see to it that we put some out there ourselves, starting right here and now.
Yes, advertising SaaS is a little different than other industries (related and unrelated) that have come before it, but that does not mean that none of the old principles apply, nor does it mean that it’s so abstract we can’t provide a good starting point.
What doesn’t work here?
Traditional advertising systems such as multimedia, guerilla marketing and to an extent, buzz marketing don’t quite work for SaaS like they do for other industries, mainly because the biggest users of SaaS are going to be businesses. Now, there are quite a few good examples of B2B buzz marketing out there, but for SaaS, we’re going to recommend promoting technology with technology, and putting aside these old strategies.
Why reinvent the wheel?
It’s easy to instinctually think that you need to create a huge web presence from which to advertise, and start using the heck out of SEO to hook in blogs and other systems to your advertising front. Well, there’s no harm in doing that anyhow, but don’t rely just on that, when there exists a whole jungle of marketplaces and app stores out there already widely known by businesses. Mobile users are intensely familiar with Google’s App Marketplace and Play Stores, and there’s also other great frameworks like the Chrome Store, AppDirect, and Microsoft’s Azure SaaS marketplace, just to name a few.
These are already places of significant notoriety, so there’s no reason not to ride their coattails, as it were, and promote your SaaS in these and many other such locations.
Email marketing? Really?
Yes! Email marketing strategies are huge these days. This concept fell into disapproval for a brief time due to the boom in social network popularity, and the bad reputation of spam and malicious email, but it never fell out of favor with businesses, which are your biggest target for SaaS (for now). There exist some splendid mass mail framework out there like MailChimp and AWeber to name a few. Businesses pay attention to their email, more than “civilians” do, especially when it comes to well-targeted marketing. Use it, or lose it!
Along with these, if you want to master how to advertise SaaS, then you should go ahead and use the heck out of the blog systems and social networks out there like Twitter and Tumblr, and don’t hesitate to use SEO. Web presence is how you advertise this.