Think of your SaaS marketing team as pillars supporting the weight of your business. Each pillar is just as important as the next, and each hold equal weight and importance for your business. While each pillar may be unique in their design, they all work together to accomplish a common goal. Similarly, if one pillar stops working, then your entire structure could collapse.
You want to build the best marketing team possible for your SaaS company, of course. Team members in the following roles will result in a strong structure for your business that is sure to bring success. You need someone
- creative to come up with content that can keep you engaged
- with a business mind to convince information seekers into customers
- with product knowledge to convince interested visitors to make the purchase
- who stays on top of new marketing methods and available channels
- who tracks down every marketing effort you make.
Let’s examine each of these roles in detail.
The Content Marketer
If content is not part of your marketing strategy, then you already a step behind your competition. Content marketing is the fastest growing strategies used today by businesses, and one of the most effective ways to build an audience because it focuses on distributing and creating content that is relevant to your audience, attracting them to your business and ultimately converting them into customers.
Podcasts, videos, blog posts, and social media content are all aspects of this strategy, so an effective content marketer is essential as the creative force in your marketing team.
Strong writing skills are fundamental for this position, as well being able to combine creative elements with effective business strategies. This content also needs to be strategic, engaging various audiences along the buying cycle, from awareness to final purchase.
Sites like HubSpot provide excellent examples of how to engage with your audience properly throughout their customer journey. While their site sells CRM and marketing software, they also are one of the leading sources of valuable information in the marketing world. They post content explaining new technology and strategies or creating infographics, breaking down statistics and facts.
Your content marketer should be able to create consistent and high-quality content that engages with your audience, and this starts with a deep understanding of your target audience. Content marketers need to know what information your audience is searching for and where they consume this content before they implement a content marketing strategy.
This is where SEO strategy comes in; SEO and content marketing go hand-in-hand, so the combination of these forces results in highly effective and engaging content that draws in customers like a magnet.
Content marketing introduces your business to an audience, and it is responsible for creating a sense of trust and loyalty with your customers. DemandGen found that half of all consumers use a business’s content to determine the next step in their purchasing decision, so it is vital that your content marketer provides effective content.
The Conversion Optimizer
Once your audience finds its way to your website, the next step is to convert them into customers. Your website conversion team is focused solely on making this transition as effortless as possible for customers.
In order to accomplish this, your team first needs to optimize your website. A poor web page can mean certain death for your business when most customers judge a business by its website design. If your site has low-quality images, slow loading pages, or lacks a user-friendly format, customers will leave.
Your site should also make it is for people to learn about your business and make a purchase. Proper navigation menus are critical to building an optimized website, so your team should be sure to avoid common mistakes like unclear titles or simply relying on a search bar.
Forgetting to create a format for mobile devices is another detrimental oversight that many websites are guilty of. Since the usage of a mobile device to browse the web over a desktop has increased in the past couple of years, if your website doesn’t work on smartphones, then you are going to lose the majority of people who visit your site.
Once your site has been optimized, your conversion team needs to implement a strategy that turns more visitors into customers. This strategy should include adding in elements to the site that are proven to increase conversion rates, such as displaying reviews.
Real stories resonate well with future customers, and customer reviews influence nearly every customer’s purchase decision. Another strong strategy to include is adding in a live chat customer service. This greatly improves customer satisfaction rates, and most, importantly, it increases conversion rates.
Finding the best design and layout for your website may require some trial and error, so It is vital to build a conversion team that has a bit of knowledge in both coding and web design. Your team should experiment with various strategies until they find the mix that results in the highest conversion rates.
The Paid Media Manager
Out of all your marketing team segments, paid product marketing is probably the type that you are the most familiar with, as it includes ads, both digital and print. Throwing money at digital channels to see what sticks can be very effective, especially through social media advertising.
Social media advertising for SaaS businesses can bring you good results, especially when a brand is just starting out. Facebook offers hyper-targeted advertising for your business. If yours is an enterprise or core B2B software, you should also be advertising on LinkedIn. This platform is by far the best social media channel to use for B2B sales; companies credit it for up to 80% of their leads.
While social media marketing is one of the best options to start with if you get hold of the right “interest groups” and post timings that work for you, product marketers and media managers should always be on the lookout for which channels get the best results and help you connect with your target audience best.
Another key part to product advertising online is using Google AdWords in a pay-per-click campaign. This means that your business only pays when your ads work and result in someone clicking on the link. In order to reach the most relevant audience with AdWords, your team should understand how to implement effective PPC strategies.
This means your media managers need to be aware of how PPC works in conjunction with organic search, user intent on search engines, and the importance of keywords research. Understanding which keywords draw in the most qualified customers and utilize those words in the campaigns is key to cracking AdWords campaigns.
Since paid advertising is usually the most expensive of all marketing endeavors, it is vital that your team works together with your analytics team to find out which channel is most effective and producing the highest ROI.
You don’t want to drain your cash flow too quickly, so make sure that your team knows the ins and outs of each paid channel and can leverage effective audience targeting on those channels.
The Social Media Marketer
Don’t write off social media as a “necessary but fruitless” form of marketing for SaaS. A lot of referral traffic is now coming from social media, beating out organic and paid search in many cases. If your business doesn’t have a social media presence, then you could be missing out on up to 31% of customers searching for a product like yours.
The reason it’s important to hire a specialist is because they will likely have to wear many hats. They need to be a creative designer when it comes to content, an effective copywriter, a strategist, advertiser, and customer service rep.
On top of that, customers expect social media interaction to occur nearly instantly; users expect an inquiry to be answered within a few hours. Your social media manager needs to be able to handle these types of interactions with customers by staying connected and aware of customer engagement through social media.
Additionally, they need to be able to seamlessly track all of your channels and release posts simultaneously. They should be familiar with social media management suites such as Sprout Social or Hootsuite. These sites connect all of your social media accounts into one dashboard, making it easy to stay on track with posting schedules. They also offer ROI reports that measure engagement, views, click rates, brand mentions, and more so you can gauge exactly how profitable your social media strategy is.
The Lead Gen Marketer
Studies show that only 2% of sales occur after a first introduction; the large majority need up to five follow ups before a sale is made. That means you are letting up to 98% of your customers slip through your fingers if you don’t have a team that follows up!
The customer lifecycle for SaaS businesses follows a fairly straightforward pattern: acquire, engage, retain. However, the customer journey is not usually so direct these days. Therefore, your team needs to keep track of customer’s positions along the way and implement strategies to improve statistics for every step.
One of the most important steps for your customer acquisition team should be retention. It costs far less, in some cases up to ten times less, to keep an old customer than to find a new one. Your team should provide services that maintain relationships with customers, such as follow-up calls or emails.
Your lead gen marketer needs to be an automation expert too! Your team needs to create an automation plan for multiple situations in order to be thorough and successful. Keep in mind, customers will be quick to unsubscribe or mark you as spam if they get too many emails. Find a balance that is effective without being overwhelming.
The customer acquisition team works hand-in-hand with your other marketing teams as it focuses on drawing in more leads, while it also works at retaining clients. This double-ended strategy will save your company money as it preserves previous customers, and it will also save time by retargeting rather than searching for new leads.
The customer lifecycle for SaaS businesses follows a fairly straightforward pattern: engage, acquire, retain. However, the customer journey is not usually so direct these days, so your team should track customers’ positions along the way and implement strategies to improve the bottom line for every step.
One of the most important steps for your sales team should be retention. It costs far less, in some cases up to ten times less, to keep an old customer than to find a new one. Your organization needs to make it a priority to provide services that maintain relationships with customers.
The point of having a sales person or sales team is to provide a “real life human” behind your online business. Your sales staff should focus on creating more personal connections with clients.
While the implementation of chat bots and AI systems in online businesses continues to grow, people still typically want to be able to talk to a real person, especially when it comes to sales and customer service.
The Data Scientist
No matter how much advertising and marketing your other teams create, it is essentially useless unless you know if they are effective or not. Your Data Scientist – the fancy new way of saying data analysts – can track all your marketing campaign and determines whether the results are in line with your strategy or not.
The “scientist” part of the role is the ability of the analyst to dig into mountains of data. Big data can be intimidating at first glance. That doesn’t mean it’s not for small or medium-sized businesses. Try not to get overwhelmed. Make your changes one at a time. This will allow you to know exactly what adjustments are influencing your results.
This part of the marketing effort is data-driven; your analysts should be well organized and able to use multiple software programs to track information. Of course, Google Analytics is a fundamental skill. Knowledge of other analytical systems, such as Kissmetrics, is highly beneficial and recommended.
There are numerous metrics that SaaS analytical teams should track in order to get a complete picture. For instance, your team should the number of website visitors that come from organic searches versus paid advertising, and the percentage of customers that sign up for free trials that result in purchases. Numbers like these measure the success of your business by numbers, making it easy to understand which avenues of your marketing strategy are drawing in the highest amount of sales.
When you track traffic numbers and behavior of your leads, you’re able to create funnel visualizations in order to determine which marketing strategies are working and which need improvement.
Once the results from your advertising campaigns have been collected, you need reports that translate these figures into measurable results. Then, it is up to your decision makers to connect the dots and make appropriate changes to your strategy and direction.
The strength of your marketing team determines the size of your profits, and ultimately, the success of your business. No matter how great your SaaS product is, if no one knows about it, obviously they won’t use it.
Putting together an effective marketing team requires you to find members that are not just qualified and skilled for their own position, but are also willing and able to work together with other teams. Each team overlaps and helps the other, and leave you – the product owner – to steer the ship. Building a marketing team for your company is by no means a small feat, but it is essential for building the foundation of a strong and successful business.
Pratik Dholakiya is the Founder of Preceptist, a content marketing agency for SaaS businesses.