The Software as a Service (SaaS) market is growing rapidly, and as a result we’re fielding more questions from ambitious startups and established SaaS companies alike. How can they keep pace with growing market competition? Well, we recommend inbound marketing for SaaS companies looking to catch the attention of a highly targeted and in-market audience, and differentiate their offering from those of market leaders.
The SaaS market is seeing impressive growth
According to new research by Synergy, the SaaS market may be heading for a growth spurt. Their latest data found that the global enterprise SaaS market grew 33% year on year, reaching over $11 billion in Q2 quarterly revenues.
What’s more, Synergy predicts that the SaaS market will grow more than threefold over the next five years, thanks to strong growth across all industry segments and global regions.
"Organisations are still in the early stages of the shift to cloud, but there’s no doubt the appetite for SaaS is growing,” said Mika Javanainen, senior director of product management at software firm M-Files, recently told CIO Dive.
Proving this point, M-Files saw a 56% increase in SaaS revenue growth in the past year alone. "This surge was global and involved organisations of all sizes in a variety of industries,” Javanainen stated.
It looks as though the sky’s the limit for ambitious SaaS companies – that is, if they can get their marketing right. However well your industry is doing, your individual brand voice needs to be heard if you’re to reap any rewards. That’s where inbound marketing for SaaS companies comes into play.
There’s everything to play for in the SaaS market
Some companies in the SaaS space, such as M-Files, are already on the up. However, many others still have some work to do before they benefit from this impressive market growth.
Synergy’s latest research found that Microsoft is currently dominant when it comes to collaboration, whilst Salesforce leads the CRM segment, SAP leads the ERP space and ADP leads in HR. Other leading SaaS providers include Adobe, IBM, Workday, Intuit and Cisco.
But because the SaaS market features both enterprise software vendors and much more niche vendors that target specific applications, industries or business functions, different parts of the SaaS market currently feature a different leader.
"Just like there would be no winner of sports, there can't be a winner of SaaS," explains Nikhil Hasija, CEO of software integration platform Azuqua.
So don’t get downhearted if your SaaS offering isn’t taking down Salesforce – instead, focus on what makes your product different from leaders in the market.
Differentiate your brand with inbound marketing for SaaS companies
“The whole benefit of SaaS is that everyone can have the best solution for their specific needs, so there are as many solutions as there are different needs,” says Mika Javanainen.
This makes perfect sense, right? Don’t be a jack of all trades, be a master of one. What this means, though, is that your brand needs to attract and connect with a specific audience. And this is why we recommend inbound marketing for SaaS companies.
Inbound marketing involves producing and promoting quality content, ideally written or at least influenced by experts in your field. Thought leadership offers a fantastic opportunity for any brand looking to make a name for itself and demonstrate its market strengths.
There are often several decision makers involved in any SaaS purchase, as it's a complex B2B offering which often demands a sizeable commitment both in terms of contract length and cost. With this in mind, it's essential that brands present themselves to prospective clients as knowledgeable, reputable and supportive. The right content can help to do all of that.
Support your SaaS customer through the buyer journey
At its core, inbound marketing is about understanding your ideal customer and creating content that addresses their key pain points and questions. By giving a helping hand and providing solutions to the problems they are facing, you can lead individuals through the buyer’s journey in a natural and non-pushy way.
Awareness stage content (blog): ‘How can the right IT solutions help your company to run more efficiently?’
Evaluation stage content (guide): ‘Five things to consider when shopping for efficient SaaS solutions'
Decision stage content (case study): ‘How we helped one SaaS client achieve a 200% efficiency boost’
In this short journey, you have nurtured a lead who was initially thinking about business efficiency, and is now considering how your offering poses the ideal solution to their issue.
Inbound marketing for SaaS companies doesn't need to be complex
If you're feeling confused, don't worry, we know if can be a lot to take in. That's why we wrote our guide to inbound marketing strategy, laying out the basics for anyone new to the game. You're welcome! Alternatively, get in touch with Six & Flow to speak with a member of our team about inbound in more detail.