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Hackernoon logoHow To Incentivize Free Marketing For Your SaaS Product by@jaipaul

How To Incentivize Free Marketing For Your SaaS Product

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@jaipaulJai Paul

Your SaaS product is likely more important than ever before, given that many businesses are pivoting to the world of digital retail and find themselves in desperate need of excellent software to facilitate this sudden change. Despite the fact that SaaS products are in hot demand, however, many of their creators are unfamiliar with the best marketing tactics that are needed to cut through the marketplace’s noise and reach out directly to prospective clients. Furthermore, many SaaS gurus understand that free marketing for their product would be fantastic, but have no idea how to generate such advertising without having to pay for it.

Here’s a review of how to incentivize free marketing for your SaaS product, and what other paid advertising strategies could also work if you want to maximize your marketing results. 

Understand how and why SaaS is different

The first step toward success is coming to a true, extensive understanding of the fact that your SaaS product is fundamentally different than almost anything else on the marketplace. Many SaaS gurus are tech-savvy individuals who have a wondrous breadth and depth of IT knowledge but have little to no experience when it comes to marketing. This leads them to make costly mistakes, such as investing huge sums of money into traditional advertising campaigns that yield lackluster results despite the massive amounts of money they cost. 

No longer should you be making the mistake of thinking that you can advertise your product like any other. When you come to realize that SaaS marketing is fundamentally different, you’ll recognize that pursuing free advertising is of the utmost importance. This isn’t to say that paid advertising is worthless, or that traditional marketing tactics won’t generate any results, but that your primary focus should be on generating a buzz for your brand that ensures users try out your free service samples. Old methods like google maps marketing and even traditional email advertisements still work, but you should be focusing on making such a positive impression with users that they eventually upgrade their packages. 

If you’re not already offering a free trial to prospective clients, immediately go about establishing a free trial service. Next, spend some money to widely market that free service; if customers don’t know you’re making a free trial available in the first place, they’ll never download it and become convinced by the superior efficacy of your product compared to other leading contenders. This is where you should spend money on traditional advertising, so that customers who are likely to be receptive to your messaging are exposed to banner ads and other more regular advertising tactics which advertise your free service. 

Collect and utilize user feedback

Once you follow the above steps, you’ll have a decent base of users who are relying upon your free trial for their SaaS needs. The next step is collecting and utilizing their feedback, which can both hone the efficacy of your product and be used for marketing purposes. This is far easier said than done, however, so don’t think that you can shortchange your customers when it comes to collecting information on their user experiences. Relying on proven customer feedback tactics is highly recommended; requiring feedback from customers, deploying an attractive and easily-navigable customer feedback portal, and practicing all-hands support will help tremendously when it comes to obtaining useful consumer data. 

Next, consider embracing the power of affiliate programs. There are many reasons that your SaaS company needs an affiliate program, the most important of which is probably the fact that a partnership with a niche-specific affiliate will help you target a niche audience that’s more likely than the average consumer to purchase your SaaS package in the long run. Identifying these affiliates is always difficult, as there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to success, which is why you as the business leader or marketing pro will need to identify local affiliate partners who would be ideal for your specific brand. Nobody else can do this for you, so don’t be fooled by efforts to outsource this specific step in the process.

Creating a credit program is somewhat similar to relying on an affiliate program. A credit program for your SaaS service is something that rewards users for taking certain actions - if they recommend your service to a friend, for instance, your credit program would reward them, perhaps with a discount on future services. This kind of referral program is of the utmost importance, because consumers trust the advice of their friends and colleagues more than any other source of information. Offering enticing credit program rewards is thus important if you want to master the art of free marketing for your SaaS service. 

There’s no way to become the number one SaaS provider without spending at least some money, but you need not break the bank nor rely upon traditional advertisements to accrue a massive user base. Create a credit program, rely on affiliates, and tirelessly collect user feedback, and your SaaS service will soon be more widely enjoyed than ever before. 

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