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You have spent quite a few weeks, months, and even years building your SaaS product. Invested a lot of time and money in the product, and now you’re wondering. How to get traction for your SaaS product? How can you get the 100 first-paying customers? There are many customer acquisition channels that you can use, from blog posts, PR, social media to offline events, to get traction and create a successful SaaS product marketing strategy. However, having quite many channels does not mean that you should use them all in one go.
We have our SaaS product ready to launch in the market. Or it is already launched, but it is not getting the traction that we needed. In this article, we will talk about how to build traction for your SaaS product and what tools or channels you can use.
Before proceeding any further, you need to define what are you looking for in the traction? Is it getting 100 paying customers for the product? Is it getting 1000 downloads of your SaaS app (free or paid)? It even can be a giant venture acquiring your SaaS product for a million dollars. While many build traction to get the seed money to grow their market and product.
Here’s how to get traction for SaaS product
Spend on Paid Ads
We are starting with the most obvious thing to do when building traction for your SaaS product is paid advertising. If you have got a preliminary round of funding? Or a good amount of capital, then you can explore this option. Paid advertisement can be broken down into two simple categories conventional advertising and the other digital advertising.
Why do you need to use Conventional advertising?
Conventional is your traditional advertising, including TV Spot, Billboard Placements, Print ads, and Radio Spots. A SaaS product in its later stages would consider using conventional advertising for building traction solely because of the cost. Few examples that used conventional advertising to build bigger traction when launching their SaaS product in a new market are Uber, Airlift, Airbnb, and even Lyft. Using conventional advertising helps you reach a massive audience in a short period.
Why do you need to use Digital advertising?
In case you are in the early stages of the SaaS product. Then, it’s recommended to use digital advertising. In digital advertising, the primary goal is to generate a trial or perform a certain CTA (Call-to-Action) from signing up for a product to downloading the app. There are many channels in digital advertising like running Facebook Ads, Google Ads, or in-app ads. The media spends on these ads are comparatively low to conventional advertising. You can build your traction by spending on digital paid ads with a CTA to promote your SaaS product.
Offer a free version of your SaaS Product
This is one of the best marketing tools for building traction for a SaaS product is to offer a free version. Who does not love free stuff? I know I do. Offering a free version of your SaaS products lowers the customer’s barrier to entry. Therefore, a customer is less likely to hesitate to try out the product than to purchase it. By generating a trial, if the customer shows a genuine concern for the product, it’s more likely that they will become a paying customer.
Because they’re trying your SaaS product for free does not mean that you are not supposed to care about them. The free trial version of your SaaS product should offer the basic features of your product. Grammarly lets users create a free account, use their basic correctness feature, and offer premium features. When you offer real value to people, they are more than happy to talk about your product. Users who are happy with your SaaS product are likely to tell their friends which comes to our next strategy on how to get traction for a SaaS product.
Create a Refer-a-friend program
If you have used one of these apps, Airbnb, PayPal, Dropbox, you’d know that they all offer a SaaS referral program. A referral program is great for any type of business, but they’re more effective for a SaaS product. A SaaS referral program will directly speak to your customer and generate better traction for your SaaS product. A SaaS referral program engages the existing customer to acquire new customers. It can be more cost-effective than paid ads as the cost will only incur when someone successfully refers your product. As you’re rewarding for every successful referral to both referee and the referrer, you’re building reliable traction for your SaaS product.
Take part in groups and forums.
There are many online forums and threads where users explore to find answers and communicate with a like-minded community. There are many forums on the internet, from the famous being Reddit, Stack Overflow, and Quora. You need to join the thread or a group that shares an interest closer to the SaaS product you’re offering. For example, in Canva, a digital graphics SaaS product is likely to join a group of graphic designers. In the group, Canva can offer tips and solutions to the problems faced by graphic designers by plugging in their products. The two best forums/groups you need to have a profile on are Reddit and Facebook Groups.
Build an audience by using Blogs or Podcasts
For your SaaS product to be successful, you need to build an audience that believes in your vision and product. You can start by creating content that helps your audience and customers better understand the product’s offering and the people. Choose a platform that you are most comfortable with creating your content. Robinhood, the stock-trading and investing app, uses YouTube to create fun and engaging content for its audience. They create videos showing success stories of their customers and talking about stocks. There are many platforms to choose from, like posting rich articles on Medium, creating a Podcast, or even starting a Facebook group. Now, you need to choose which platform you’re going to dominate and start building traction for your SaaS product.
Don’t forget about Content and SEO
Creating SEO-optimized content for your SaaS product has great benefits, but it takes a lot of patience and time to create the perfect SEO page. It would help build your SEO blog on your webpage before launching your product to be more effective. Use Google Keywords to understand better what type of smart content you would need to create. It can help you land your website on the first pages of Google and help the audience search for your product when building traction for your SaaS product. Now, once the visitors start landing on your page, you would need to get them to sign up for their email addresses to start your email drip marketing campaign.
Keep sending emails
It would be best if you built your email database. This is one of the oldest and effective techniques in getting traction for your SaaS product. Send regular emails updating them about the milestones, offerings, and developments that provide real value to your customers. Make sure you’re not spamming your valuable customers because before you know it, they will unsubscribe from your email.
Use PR or an Influencer
An influencer, celebrity endorsement, magazine (native advertising), or the news have already built an audience that you can use to promote your SaaS product. Don’t pick the ‘trending now’ influencer or a popular celebrity to promote your product. Instead, choose someone that aligns with your audience. For example, if you have a tech-based SaaS product, you’re more likely to use MKBHD or Unbox Therapy to market your product as their audience will relate more with your SaaS product and have a higher chance of them checking it out.
Put Up Videos on YouTube, TikTok, etc.
Contrary to popular belief, SaaS businesses can make videos for all types of video sharing platforms, including the trending TikTok app. Create short videos of a certain feature of your SaaS product, and infuse some humor into it. Does a particular trait of your SaaS product allow users to do something productive? Show that in a fun, lighthearted way. Making videos on YouTube is going to be easier – you could even make comparison videos showing how your product is better than comparable offerings. Make sure to distribute these videos on as many platforms as you can (cross-promotion is magic, baby) to get the most eyeballs on your offering. And make sure you’re hosted on a good platform with reliable uptime to handle the incoming queries.
There are many ways to promote your SaaS product and build traction. However, not every channel is going to be right for you. Test your channels, create a marketing strategy and have patience before you can start seeing traction for your SaaS product.