SaaS Inbound Marketing for Startups


For SaaS (Software as a Service) Businesses marketing can be quite difficult, which is why inbound methodology is the savior to boost your brand awareness.

The difference between Inbound and Outbound Marketing is that, Inbound provides informational content without expecting the prospect to convert to users.

But Outbound Marketing is contrary to this, outbound can be explained as trying to rent-out attention. And is focused on presenting your brand intrusively to your audience.

Inbound Marketing encourages you to create content and attract users to your SaaS app with information. Inbound Marketing as it implies brings the users to you. By creating content, such as Infographics, blog posts and other edutainment (educational entertainment) you attract the users to gain information and use that to grow your brands presence.

Implementing Inbound Marketing

Flywheel Mechanism of the Inbound Marketing system for saas applications.

Inbound Marketing works based on a flywheel design, three aspects have been highlighted in the image above, that can be used for your SaaS app:

  • Attract – To gain the attention of the users initial information seeking journey.
  • Engage – Provide valuable information and create engagement from the users on your product.
  • Delight – Give additional support such as a “Reach me on Twitter, if you’ve got any doubts”. And make them want to communicate with you.

Inbound Marketing is referred to as Pull Marketing, because it pulls the potential consumers into your ecosystem and grows your brand awareness. So be sure to follow a systematic approach with proper communication right throughout.

Now, when it comes to SaaS oriented businesses. We need to look at multiple aspects of promotion. Especially if our brand is in a niche area such as lets say H.R.. Finding the appropriate audience in this platform would be difficult. But when considering Inbound Marketing we can make use of platforms that consumers of our SaaS app would be using outside.

For example, Many H.R. executives use LinkedIn, so we could create a content plan for posting on LinkedIn. Or we could post videos giving facts on H.R. principles and information on YouTube.

Either way, we’re not looking to make a sale, but we’re creating attention by giving useful information.

Make the choice simpler

Round Chart displaying statistics of 77% highlighted in Orange and Dark Blue for the rest.

Gartners Findings on B2B Buyers (Source: Gartner, Inc)

Gartners Research revealed that 77% of B2B buyers had a difficult time making a choice on their purchase. Buying groups from organizations that consisted of 6 to 10 decision makers, had a tough time identifying the right service provider.

The Power of suppliers is increasing everyday as new technologies arrive. Newer Products, Mergers of Institutions that create products out of synergy become realized, and drive the demand low. So be sure to consult a proper strategy for this.

In order to implement a proper marketing strategy, your business plan needs to help accommodate it. Thorough research has to be done on opportunities and the benefits of implementing a business plan.

You should consider using Porter’s Five Forces for your business to improvise your business plan.

SaaS User Personas for Inbound Marketing

Saas Inbound Marketing User Persona example, with a female prospect highlighted using the name 'Mary Jane'.

The example above took into example the use case scenario we looked at before. In the User Persona that we have created above, we have highlighted some important aspects of the users for this business, which are:

  • Demographics – It’s important to have your demographics such as probable age, location and education figured out.
  • Goals – Your users would probably not use your platform unless they have a goal in mind, to achieve. Figure out how you can help them to achieve it.
  • Skills – Assess your users skills and create content custom-tailored to them, don’t try to grab the attention of all users, be more narrow.
  • Influenced By – Make sure to speak personally to your users as well, write content that favors their personality. Such as a quotation from Socrates to fulfill the user persona for the example above.
  • Weak Points – Weaknesses are not uncommon, so every one of your users are going to have at least some of them. Make sure to satisfy your consumers by making content that allows them to overcome their weaknesses.
  • Wants & Needs – This is the highlight of your persona documentation. Be sure to identify the needs your typical users have, and target your content appropriately.
  • Social Media Power Rank – Every user is not the same, but some users favor Social Media more than the rest, if you want to fulfill the “Delighted” aspect of the flywheel. You have to make sure the user talks about your brand on social media.
  • Brands in Use – Brands tell a story, many are trendy and some are classic. But overall people use them with intentions, so be aware of what these intentions are for your users.

It’s with no doubt that i appraise user personas as the defining feat of Inbound Marketing, with the proper persona in your SaaS platform.

User Persona Management

Make sure to have versatile user personas for different groups of users you might have, from junior level staff to senior executives, create one for each.

You can achieve the right goal for your products by using user personas, but be sure to adapt and improvise your user persona. As time changes, so do people, you might find your product going through several changes based on user feedback, constantly keep updating your personas profile along with this as well.

Thank you for reading this article, if you liked it, be sure to check out our other posts on the blog.

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