The first thing competition brings to the minds of entrepreneurs is the amazing budgets the giants have to make their products/services visible. Sure, this might put you at a disadvantage if you’re an entrepreneur without the skill to turn limited resources into great results. Of course, this is certainly not an excuse you can use in front of investors. There are couple of things that you can do to change the status quo. It is possible to make your SaaS product visible before fundraising.
Before exploring the main ways to increase the visibility of your product for fundraising, there is one crucial thing you should note: Finding the right metrics and measuring them effectively is very important. Be sure to reach 7% growth weekly in your main metrics. If you wonder which are most important, here are some of them: Cost of Acquisition (CoA), Churn Rate, Lifetime Value, Monthly Recurring Revenue(MRR), and Average Revenue per Customer. You can find a lot of sources on the web to find them out in detail. Here is the Kissmetrics article that will teach you about these metrics in general.
Now let’s start learning the main techniques for increasing visibility of your SaaS Product.
- Content Marketing
I won’t waste your time here to convince you of the importance of content marketing. Suffice it to say that it is one of the main signs of your authority in your market. It must be the foundation of your all marketing efforts to increase your visibility. Therefore, instead of writing down the benefits and importance of it, I’ll give you some tips about SaaS content marketing.
- Don’t waste your precious time creating contents that can be found elsewhere on the web in 1000 different versions. Be unique and provide useful content instead of duplicate material.
- Create a Quora account and search for the questions your audience asks. After finding the questions, answer them in your blog. Then post it as an answer as well to increase visibility.
- Be sure to start with a detailed keyword analysis before creating content. Focus on long term keywords first, so you’ll be ranked higher in Google for these keywords.
- Writing content is not enough. Content marketing is about distributing content in the best possible way. Use platforms like Reddit, Growth Hackers, Hackernews, Product Hunt etc.
- There are hundreds of startup platforms on the web, such as Startup Pitch, KillerStartup, Angel.co, and Crunchbase. Submit your product to these platforms.
- Publish unique analysis, eBooks, and infographics about your market. These will help you to improve your authority as well as your visibility. These types of contents are more shareable than others.
- Reuse your content by converting it into different versions. Convert your blog post into an eBook and submit it on Product Hunt. It will increase the visibility of your content.
- Measure the effectiveness of your content marketing efforts with meaningful metrics.
- Social Media Marketing
You need to see Social Media Marketing as a channel to get your target group to see you as a person first. There are serious mistakes that startups make on social media. Here are some tips to increase your visibility by using it effectively.
- Don’t just share your blog posts and your amazing products on your channels. Do more than that. Interact with your audience by answering their questions, congratulate them for their successes, like and share their posts. This might seem a hard and time consuming process, but you can use automation tools to make it easy. You can allocate just half an hour to do that, can’t you?
- You don’t need to be on every conceivable social media platform. Just be active on the ones your audience uses.
- Most of the time, reaching your audience via direct messages is easier than finding their e-mail. Use Twitter’s DM feature as a lead generation function.
- Make sure your social media accounts truly reflect your brand reflect your brand. When you add a new feature or change your target market, don’t forget to change it in your social media accounts.
- Almost every social media platform provides a place, where you can direct users to sign up for your product. Be sure to fill out all the information and use social media channels for lead generation as well.
- Every social media channel has a different language. Blend it with your brand language to increase interaction. Smiling is not damaging to brand perception. Smile as much as you can.
You don’t need to focus on lots of metrics and KPIs to measure the effectiveness of your social media management. Look at the big picture and avoid micro managing. At the end of the day, what’s important to investors is not the number of followers you have on Twitter. What’s important to you is which percentage of your traffic/leads comes from your social media efforts.
Your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) efforts will be the proof of your analytical approach to the investors when you show them that you are measuring fundamental metrics like trust flow, citation flow, and domain authority and set KPI, demonstrating that your content marketing efforts make sense. What are your long-term SEO benefits? The answer is simple – A decrease in your Cost of Acquisition due to an increase in organic leads, organic traffic, and visibility.
You can get benefit from reading sources about SEO to learn it, but I’ll share the important points for you as a SaaS product marketer/owner here.
- Backlinks are important. Create a backlink strategy that includes guest posting, creating contents, getting reviewed, and so on.
- Make sure that your website is mobile friendly.
- Make sure you are using your main keywords in your web pages according to best practices.
- Every second counts when converting your audience on your website. So, optimize your website’s page speed.
- Use a keyword analysis tool like KWFinder to optimize and analyze your keywords.
- Lead Generation
Lead generation does not mean sending emails to bulk lists you come up with somehow. Lead generation is the process of being aware of and reaching different buyer personas with smart automated emails including smart content. You don’t have time to send to anything from amazing to non-converting email lists and doing it repeatedly. Be smart and smarter. First, segment your audience according to need and the solutions you provide. Then, create personalized emails to each segment at the right time. Make sure to measure the results and conducting A/B testing to improve them.
- Community Management
Fundraisers will ask for customer references, which is why creating happy customers will be important before fundraising. Your communication process should not end after you sell your product. You should have a customer success team to ensure that your current customers are happy. You need to manage this communication process to make them willing to promote and be references for your product.
Another reason for managing your community is that people love to use products that are appreciated by people with authority. Therefore, you should spend your working hours making your customers happy and making people with authority talk about your amazing product.
- Paid Acquisition
I know that I promised you low-cost methods, but here is the point of that title: Investors will request meaningful marketing budget forecasts for management of the funds you are requesting from them. To provide these marketing forecasts, you need to spend a small part of your budgets on paid acquisition channels and test them. You should see how much money you really need to reach your KPIs. You should be able to present the limits – For example: Can you acquire more users with the same CoA when your budget increases? – and costs. Therefore, allocate test budgets for paid acquisition channels like Google AdWords and Facebook Ads.
- Growth Hacking
If you think your product is not as ready for growth hacking like many others, know that this is a big lie. It is not a barrier for your product to try growth hacking techniques. With this mindset, your product will never be ready, so avoid it and do your best with growth hacking. Don’t forget that it is a great way of decreasing your cost of acquisition and this will spark your potential investors’ attention.
Let’s imagine that you are planning to create a refer-a- friend program to increase signups. You give a $20 credit to each user who refers a friend. If you don’t limit this campaign to a reasonable number of users, it will break your budget within a few days. If you limit it to, let’s say, the first 100 users, however, you know what you will spend to get a certain percentage of referred users. And this helps you to test your growth hacking idea and create a budget for a bigger campaign for your potential investors.
Therefore, don’t hesitate to try different small-budget growth hacking techniques, both to increase your visibility and make your efforts more analytic.
Before fundraising, your brand’s characteristic should be on display. This means that the user experience and design of your product should be completed. Of course, you will always improve it with new features and developments, but the point here is for you to create a user experience process to make sure that you are listening your customers. You should conduct A/B testing persistently to improve it. I highly recommend using a user behavior tool like Hotjar to watch your users using your product. It’ll help you to create new features and find any problems your users face repeatedly.
The product/market fit is very important, especially for seed investment. Not only founders should question this, but your marketing team should adapt according to the questioning. When your development team makes a change in the characteristic of the product or just initiates a feature launch, marketing should keep pace. The team should update any materials, such as content on all platforms, to maintain consistency in the eyes of investors and current users.
This post is part of our contributor series. It is written and published independently of TNW.