What is SaaS?

SaaS (software-as-a-service) is a concept that has revolutionized the way we buy and use the software. Long story short, SaaS (unlike on-premise software) allows you to use a certain app or software without downloading it, installing it, or having to buy any sort of hardware that contains the app in question. So the software is stored and maintained online, by a SaaS service provider. SaaS companies usually use a subscription fee business model and charge fees on a monthly or yearly basis.

Today, more and more companies are relying on some sort of SaaS in order to run their business more easily and smoothly. In addition, an average company should expect that roughly half of their current SaaS stack will have to be replaced in the next two years. This simply means they’ll need to buy more software and spend more money on SaaS in the forthcoming period.

One of the best ways to stand out from the competition and take advantage of the imminent growth of SaaS worldwide is by investing in digital marketing. SaaS companies can be very different in terms of their specific industry, IT infrastructure, or customer base, but they do have one thing in common. They all exist in the online realm, so the most reasonable thing to do is to reach out to new customers on the internet and try to redirect them to your website or your product. And there are very few better ways to do it than social media marketing. Here’s how it can help your SaaS business grow.

Know your audience

First of all, in order to get anything out of your social media efforts, you have to be familiar with your audience and your customers. Basically, anything you do about your social media presence has to be driven by accurate and comprehensive data about your customers.

A reliable CRM platform can help you gather this sort of customer info and immediately apply what you found out in real-time. It will help your marketing strategists, content creators, customer service reps, and even product developers do a better job. Knowing what your customers and your audience are about is absolutely necessary if you wish to advertise and sell to them successfully.

Create quality content

Content creation should be the central part of your social media marketing efforts. By creating and posting quality content you’re introducing consumers to your brand and drawing their attention towards your company, your website, and your products. There are many different types of content you can utilize to improve your SaaS business.

How-to’s

The basis of any kind of content marketing is to make your content helpful, relevant, and to address your customers’ specific questions and needs.  In general, you should try to keep most of your content educational instead of purely promotional. That’s why how-to’s can be very valuable for improving your online presence.

You can use them to explain how your product or its specific problematic features work. You can also help people solve common problems related to similar products or in some other way associated with your industry. You’ll need reliable data about your customers’ demographics, interests, search queries, and browsing history in order to maximize the potential of this type of content.

Explainer videos

All this seems to be even more profitable if you do it in video format. Over the last few years, video marketing has proven to be ridiculously effective.

For instance, 85% of users are more likely to buy something after seeing an explainer video about it, while 64% of them have already purchased a product after watching a video on social media. In general, going for educational content on your social accounts is great, and if you decide to put it in video format, even better.

Success stories and testimonials

Unsurprisingly, consumers tend to believe other consumers more than they tend to believe brands themselves. As a matter of fact, 84 percent of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

That’s why you should ask some of your genuinely satisfied clients to put in a few good words for you. If they allow you to post this publicly, it can be great proof of your trustworthiness. Just make sure this testimonial is authentic and truthful, or otherwise, it can only have a negative effect.

Images and infographics

Adding images to your content on social media is proved to increase engagement and information retention. So try including photos in your posts whenever it’s possible and reasonable.

You can also go for content that’s visual and informative at the same time. Posting interesting charts, infographics, or even breaking news from the industry in the form of a photo can be both educational and entertaining for your audience.

Content promotion

Social networks are especially beneficial to brands when it comes to content promotion. Here, we’re speaking about content that’s already been published elsewhere (e.g. your website) but can be made more visible by promoting it on social media.

This way, by growing your social networks you’ll also have a chance to boost the traffic on your website. It’s becoming increasingly easy to do this if you have a few bucks to spend on sponsored posts. Especially given that you can use these posts to target precisely the right demographics with precisely the right messages.

Use social media as a storefront

With good content, you’re basically building online presence and trust, while at the same time improving brand image, which brings many benefits to your business in the long run. But social media can bring value to your business in the short run as well. Namely, social media can help you sell your product or service in a more direct way, by simply showcasing it on your accounts or demonstrating how it can help the user.

Now obviously, a SaaS business usually can’t showcase their physical product, since they don’t have one. But using your social media to show screenshots or short recorded sequences, and explain your services and different plans can all be very useful. This way you’re basically using your social media as a storefront, letting people see for themselves what your company has to offer.

Customer service

More and more consumers consider that brands should be available via multiple channels and around the clock. As much as 83% of people think that brands should respond to comments in a day or less, while 38% of them wouldn’t wait for more than an hour.

Hence you have a great opportunity to use your social media to demonstrate the quality of your customer service. People will be much more eager to send a message and ask about a product or look for help if you ensure they get a swift and helpful response via a channel of their choice.

And as for bad public comments and negative feedback, they don’t have to be necessarily harmful to you. You can turn this into an opportunity to display your attentiveness and professionalism. For this, you’ll evidently need accomplished and knowledgeable customer service reps who can offer top-class tech support and solve problems in a matter of minutes.

The power of influencers

Hiring influencers is a great way to spread the word about your product and positively affect your online reputation. The trickiest and most important thing in this process is finding the right ones for your brand.

Obviously, SaaS companies aren’t going to look for a generic Instagram fitness model or a travel blogger. You’ll need a tech or marketing influencer, followed by users who are already interested in products similar to yours. Customer data can help you here once again since you’ll need to analyze an influencer’s follower base and check if it overlaps with your own customer base.

Influencers you choose to hire also need to be skilled content creators. They have to be able to advertise your product in such a way that it seems like an integral part of their content. This builds trust and interest for your product among their followers.

Special offers and giveaways

Social media is a good place to inform people about your discounts or loyalty programs. Those who regularly engage with your content will be timely informed about any sort of special offers you’re providing.

Also, offering users perks and small rewards in return for recommendations on social media can be an effective strategy. Remember, the ultimate goal of social media marketing is turning your social media followers into customers. So by growing your audience you’ll have a chance to convert more followers into buyers in the long run.

Showcase your culture

Putting a human face on your business can help you establish a positive brand image. Publishing posts and videos about the inner workings of your company from time to time will show that your business includes real people doing real jobs and living real lives.

This can be very important for SaaS companies that operate in a hard-to-understand digital realm using the newest technologies, so they usually seem even more remote to an average user than other brands. Thus showing that your company is not some dystopian faceless tech villain can make it easier for consumers to relate to it.

Conclusion

Running a SaaS company today means a lot of new opportunities, but also a huge amount of competition. In order to stand out and be noticed, SaaS brands will have to care a lot about their digital presence, because the digital realm is where they find their customers.

Social media will be one of the keys to success, especially for young startups that need to grow quickly in order to survive. Sure, your product is the most important thing and without a genuinely good product, you stand no chance. But it’s all the same when you have a good product that nobody has heard about. Using social media the right way helps you reach your target audience, boost your brand image, develop trust, and advertise your products in the most efficient way.

About the Author

Mihajlo Radivojevic writes for Really Simple Systems. He writes mostly about marketing and sales and anything that can be marketed and sold… which is, well, everything. As for hobbies, he likes getting into one too many YouTube projects, which leaves him with no time to sleep and just enough time to watch 3rd tier football.

 

New Generation Of Google Analytics-v2

What You Need to Know

Google introduced a new integrated app and website version of Google Analytics last year in early December named Google Analytics 4 or GA4. The latest update is the most significant change to GA since its introduction to the market in 2005.

So, what makes it so drastically different from the previous versions of Google Analytics, Urchin, Classic Analytics and Universal Analytics? Is this technology something you need for your business? Google had this to say, “To help you get better ROI from your marketing for the long term, we’re creating a new, more intelligent Google Analytics that builds on the foundation of the App + Web property we introduced in beta last year”. – Google, 2020

Gaining a better return on investment is always something we are searching for as business owners. Still, we also seek to understand that technology and its purpose and keeping up with the changes can be challenging. The good news is that Google has developed the latest version of their analytics based on your feedback and consumer demands. Let’s take a look at three of the critical differences.

Three Key Differences

1. Real-Time Tracking

  • Monitor your user’s activity at any time on your website (such a great feature)
  • Reports will allow you to see what content your users are spending the most vs the least amount of time on, what’s converting and what is getting their attention
  • Discover the location of your users and the source of your website traffic, such as social media or organic searches
  • The Real-Time data technology means you will develop a better understanding of how your clients/viewers use your website and how you can improve

2. Customer Focussed

  • Offers customer-centric measurements, rather than measurements divided by the platform or device like previous versions
  • The technology upgrade uses multiple identity spaces such as marketer-provided User IDs, and users opted into ads for additional personalization
  • Manages information through simplified and re-organized reporting systems
  • Better understand your customers, target audience and the actions they take on your website

3. Google Ads Integration

  • Improved integration between GA4 and Google Ads means you can effectively identify your target audience and specifically market your paid ad campaigns.

Final Thoughts

This new version of google analytics might be slightly different from what we are used to, but it works to support you and your website through updated and innovative technology. If you don’t feel ready to change over to the latest edition, don’t stress, you can spend time learning about the features and integrations first.

References:

Top 5 SEO Trends to Drive More Traffic in 2021

SEO, or Search engine optimization, is arguably one of the most effective marketing tools to get new business in the door and help you thrive. In fact, according to Merkle’s 2019 Digital Media report, SEO has shown to drive 22 percent of all website visits and converted at a higher rate than non-organic traffic.

While search engines are evolving, it’s clear that SEO isn’t going away anytime soon. Not as long as businesses are trying to build visibility and credibility. And it seems to only get more and more popular every year, and 2021 is no exception.

With hundreds of new ranking factors in play, here is a comprehensive and updated list of SEO trends you need to keep an eye on for this year.

Core Web Vitals Will Take Center Stage

In today’s digital day and age, speed really does matter. People want to get their tasks accomplished in a timely manner and they don’t have time for page elements that slow them down.

Add to this fact that Google wants to provide a rich and satisfying experience to users through its search engine result pages (SERPs). And it comes as no surprise that it introduced a planned update to its ranking criteria in the form of three “Core Web Vitals”.  A set of user experience metrics based on page load speed, responsiveness, and visual stability.

In simpler words, Google and other search engines are placing more importance on ranking those websites higher in the organic results that are providing the best on-page experience to their visitors.

When was the last time you tested your site’s page speed or responsiveness? Whether you’re a seasoned developer or a newbie entrepreneur, you must run your website through a page load speed analyzer to test its Core Web Vitals.

Search Intent Will Matter More than Keywords

Have you noticed a shift in the way Google is ranking pages over the past few months?

Ever wondered how the search bots are able to understand what users are exactly looking for?

The answer lies in Google’s incredible improvements in the last few years in understanding natural language. They have gone from simple word matching to machine learning, deep learning, and neural networks. All of this technical mumbo-jumbo means that search results are getting better and better at resolving intent.

And now, Google has an amazing new tool called BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers). It’s like a new limb for the Google search engine! Initially launched in 2019, this algorithm is finally making its mark in 2021. It can walk you through the steps to finish a recipe, tell you if a product is available in stock, and even tell jokes.

TakeAway: What this means to marketers is that focusing on just the top-of-the-funnel keywords doesn’t cut it anymore.  Instead, you should focus on understanding the user’s intent behind searching and driving down the stages of the customer journey.

Voice Search Will Continue to Boom

With the advancement in voice assistant technology, voice search has witnessed a meteoric rise since its inception by Apple in 2011. Not only has voice search technology doubled in size in the last two years, but Google reports that a staggering 27% of the global online population is using voice search on mobile. Furthermore, studies suggest that by 2022, the percentage of households in the US owning a voice-activated assistant could reach 55%.

An important consideration for SEO professionals starting in voice search is the way people ask questions: how does it differ from typing into a search engine? It appears that people are likely to use more basic language when speaking than they do when typing. This may sound obvious, but there’s a difference between how you say “search engine” and how you type “search engine” into Google.

When optimizing your website for voice search, consider using in-depth, longer keywords that have a conversational tone. When people type, they tend to abbreviate. For example, a user may voice search, ‘how to make soap’ or ‘What is the recipe for chicken nuggets’- instead of simply typing the words ‘make soap’ or ‘chicken nugget recipe’.

Video Marketing Will Remain a Rising Trend

Video is undeniably one of the fastest-growing content types in the modern market. More and more sites (including major brands like eBay, Zappos, and Amazon) are using rich snippets to showcase videos in search results, and the statistics don’t lie – consumers love video content. According to a wyzowl video marketing survey:

  • 86% of businesses use video as a marketing tool.
  • 87% of respondents reported that video, in general, gives them a positive return on their investment.
  • 93% of video marketers believed video to be an important part of their marketing strategy.

So, whether you’re a small business marketing on a shoestring budget, an individual blogger, or a global enterprise, you need to find a way to start creating videos. However, Video SEO isn’t as easy as dropping keywords into your videos. You also need a great title, description, and tags that will help you rank your video in search engines.

Did you know that short-form video is hot right now, especially on Instagram and Facebook? (Fun fact: Facebook has even reported that users tend to interact emotionally 10% more with text overlays or captioned videos than photos.) So dust off that video camera and start brainstorming some ideas to showcase key aspects of your business to the world.

Content Still Remains the KING

“Quality Content” is a term we hear a lot about in the SEO world. Google has been referring to high-quality content and sites ever since their Panda Update, stating that quality is something they are looking for when indexing web pages and delivering targeted ads.

While high-quality content is a critical point on the SEO checklist, it does not work alone to drive consistent, organic traffic. In fact, content quality should not even be a sole focus, rather it should be part of an overarching strategy referred to as the EAT (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) that delivers higher rankings and more links regardless of Google’s Panda or Penguin updates to the search algorithm.

But beyond Google, users need to see that you know everything there is about your products, services, and niche. If you are running an informational blog, it makes sense for your readers to be able to find everything on one page.

Also, the longer your content is, the more valuable it becomes and the higher your traffic will be. According to a 2019 SEMRush study updated in February this year, long-reads (posts with over 7,000 words or more)  are driving nearly four times as much traffic as the average length posts (900-1,200 words).

The Bottomline

SEO is evolving faster than ever, especially with the latest creations in a host of new technologies and search engines. People and their experience on the web will not just remain at the core of all SEO trends in 2021, but it will also create a new world of SEO that is more advanced than we’ve ever seen before. Understanding these changes to the way SEO works will better help your business both in effectively reaching users and ranking on search engines.

The Top 5 Ways To Improve Your Off-Page SEO

Your business is up and running and you’ve built a website to showcase your products and services. You’ve even started a blog and plugged it with the most relevant keywords, but you still aren’t seeing the level of traffic needed to grow your brand. You may be doing everything right on your website whilst overlooking one key element of your SEO strategy. Nowadays, it is what you are doing away from your webpage that counts for more than half of your search ranking. The following five tips will have you climbing the rankings and maximizing your digital impression.

1) Backlinks, Backlinks, Backlinks

As the title suggests, backlinks are the name of the Off-page SEO game. Backlinks are any link on someone else’s webpage that redirects to your site. Search engines love to see that your website is interacting with others in cyberspace. Backlinks act as a double-edged sword however, because not every backlink works in your favour. Paying for or acquiring backlinks from seedy sites can harm your ranking. Google and others are getting pretty good at identifying imitation backlinks. Securing backlinks from authority sites or respected blogs in your field is the most sure-fire way to improve your search status.

2) Guest Posting

A great way to not only improve your Off-page SEO but also build digital partnerships is by writing a blog post for someone else’s website. Business owners are usually open to having additional content generated for them and as long as the article is relevant and helpful to their business, you can use this space to plug your brand and provide a link to your website. As it goes with Off-page SEO though, not all guest posts are created equal. Try to write a helpful post for an authority or reputable website in your discipline.

3) Social Media Presence

Like it or not, social media is an unavoidable necessity if you are running a business in 2021. Running quality social accounts that link to your website factors into search rankings. It’s not just the number of followers or shares that your social accounts receive, but also how well you interact with others on your social platforms. Regularly posting will help your search ranking. Couple that with responding to questions and comments on your page as well as commenting on other posts, and you will maximize the effect that your social media output has on your search ranking.

4) Commenting on Forums, Blogs, and Question/Answer Sites

Venturing away from your website and interacting with users on other pages will help direct traffic to your site as well as improve your search ranking. Forums, however, are low-quality backlinks because anyone can post a link and claim to have a service worthy of clicking through to. That said, any traffic acquired through forums are from people who are actively searching for a solution and may find your services helpful to them.

Posting comments on authority blogs will help you gain exposure, as well as answering questions on websites like Quora.  Be sure that you are providing quality comments and not just spamming the web with links to your site. Google will grow wise to your ways and adjust your ranking accordingly.

5) Prioritize Quality Over Quantity

It can be tempting to go for maximum exposure and plaster links to your webpage across the internet. The reality is though that search engines are becoming smarter and better at detecting fishy internet behaviour. If your backlinks aren’t accompanied by quality, useful content, you risk getting labelled as spam and watching your search rankings plummet. As the adage goes – if you build it, they will come. Focus your efforts on producing helpful, quality content and building lasting digital partnerships that are mutually beneficial.

Final Thoughts

On-page SEO and Off-page SEO are like two oars in a canoe. If you concentrate all your efforts on only one or the other, you are going to end up spinning in circles. But if you optimize both components, your website will start building steam and begin heading in the right direction. Once you get going things will become easier and flow more naturally – and as long as you continue rowing, you’ll continue climbing those search rankings.