The 7 Deadly Sins of SaaS Marketing – Neglect
Sin number four is neglect. No, it is not one of the original deadly sins, but it is essential. Don’t neglect brand impressions. Winning companies focus on metrics across every stage of the buyer’s journey not just on consideration and purchase. If you are going to gain new customers and new leads, your brand needs to be consistent, simple, colorful and memorable.
Defining Your Brand – More Than a Tagline
Branding is what your market and customers think about your business. Your brand specifically sets you apart from your competitors in the marketplace. Branding is, most importantly, about your customers’ perceptions.
If you don’t have a clear brand, you can ask yourself these questions:
- What makes customers choose you?
- What makes you stand out from the competition?
- How unique is your offer, and can it be easily replicated?
Strong brands have something unique and valuable that makes them stand out from their competitors. This doesn’t just mean compelling visuals but feel and culture. Graphic design is important, yet even more important to customers is knowing what makes your business unique, and your purpose. Customers are much more interested and invested in the value of your company, what you offer than your online appearance. Simplicity is key, and consistency throughout their online journey makes your brand all the more memorable.
Think about what makes your business different than your competitors’. If you don’t stand out now, consider your pricing, compatibility with third-party apps, your UX and UI design, and add-ons. If you are still having trouble differentiating yourself, this is where feedback continues to be helpful. Know your customers. Ask them what they want, and what they think makes you stand out.
The Human Effect
Customers develop their most important perceptions of your business when they interact with a real human being from your company–i.e. your customer service team. Making sure your customers are heard and helped quickly will build your brand. When your customer has so many options to choose from, the better you treat them, the more you will stand out.
In your branding, make sure you are speaking to your target market, which feedback can also highlight for you. Practice constant problem solving, and listen to your users’ concerns–incorporating this responsiveness into your brand and making it known as a pillar of your business.
Also, think about positioning. Positioning means defining what problem(s) your business will solve for your users. That way, you can know your target audience and make sure you are consistently on-brand.
Connect to your customer’s emotions with your position. This doesn’t mean the hero image you use has to be happy, but that it resonates with the users’ feelings and how you can help them with your product. For example, if they are stressed out about the problem you can solve for them, show someone who is stressed, with supporting copy on how you can help. Use direct, simple copy. Complex copy does not signal sophistication anymore, it signals bottlenecks. You can also use a hook that focuses on one of the pain points your products helps users with. And, critically, use a branding name that is easy to write and remember.
To be even more personal, use your customer’s own language that they provide in feedback and reviews. Cater your copy to their specific wording, as this will resonate. People want to relate to your product, and what your product can offer them.
Try to make your product as easy to use as possible, so that it is accessible to as many people as possible. Try to make training fast and minimal, and your UX identical on desktop and mobile for ease.
Encourage testimonials, and even try reverse testimonials, where users share their initial doubts about the product and how your business proved useful to answer objections. Use word-of-mouth strategy. Tap into your contact lists, and ask your network to try and evaluate the product, leaving feedback. Ask everyone you know to try and test your product for free–especially those who are part of your target market. Use, use, use this social proof.
Social Proof – Hop on the Bandwagon
Social proof is the most appealing feature in branding to customers–basically, showing real human beings like your employees and loyal customers that love your product. They are the best brand advocates you could ask for, as they know your business best.
Rather than spending tons of resources on TV commercials or online advertising campaigns, build your brand and grow trust in your product through social proof brand advocacy. Ask your employees and your customers to share their positive feelings about your company and what makes you great on their social media platforms. Social media is the second biggest driver of B2B digital sales, just behind onsite buying.
Don’t just focus on LinkedIn. If you have the bandwidth, advocate on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and any other popular platform–because you never know which additional audiences you might reach. Kind of like a virtual referral, or word-of-mouth onboarding, this brand advocacy will grow your business even faster than a hundred thousand dollar commercial on a major news network. People trust other real people far more than they trust brands or paid marketing campaigns.
As for your built-in social proof promotion team, your employees may not know how to best advocate for your brand, or what content will be the most beneficial to growing new customers. Set a system in place which helps your employees create mini-campaigns on their social media, providing suggestions for posts and when posting would be most effective. There are also online tools that help with this very type of mini-marketing, that automatically post the content employees select to promote for your company from their accounts. Employee branding provides access to personal networks of family, friends, and colleagues that may contain users your marketing and branding wouldn’t have reached. Rewarding your employees for their advocacy will encourage them to become better advocates, and show them you appreciate their help in building your business.
The best part about focusing on brand advocacy from your customers and employees–it costs a lot less than paid campaigns. There is room for paid marketing content and hiring influencers, but ultimately this type of real-human marketing builds trust and requires a lot less money.
Use the benefits of this social-proof brand advocacy with an efficient referral program for your business. If you have a referral program, your business will close 69% faster, have a 59% higher lifetime value, and see 71% higher conversion rates.
In summary, to build successful brand awareness, you need:
- A clear understanding of your customers and what they need.
- To utilize content marketing to educate your audience, not just promote your business.
- Hone in on social-proof testimonials from customers and employees beyond LinkedIn–with the different audiences, you can connect to on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more.
- Personalized interaction with potential customers.
- Attention-grabbing, colorful and high-contrast graphic design.
- To avoid stock images at all costs, because appearing generic won’t clarify your company’s specific image.
- Find what makes you unique, and make that your brand.