One of the many challenges that you will face when trying to raise awareness, generate leads and promote your product, is the fact that you have a rather limited resource pool to work with.
SaaS products are not exactly easy to advertise on all mediums and chances are you won’t be able to do it properly on a lot of them. Because of their digital nature, displaying them in action, using their strengths, and generally making them appealing is something that does not really work on more traditional mediums like TV adverts, radio promos, or even newspaper sections.
So, as the nature of the beast intended, you will have to turn to the digital advertising mediums, the most popular of which is social media.
But in today’s world, the average user is far too jaded and far too weary in order to blindly try anything and everything he or she sees. In order to win the attention of users and attract visitors, you need to make sure that your social media marketing campaign is done correctly and ingeniously.
But how? How can you make an outstanding social media marketing campaign for your SaaS product?
Before you hit the market, you will need to know what the actual users are looking for as well as what needs they have, and how your product can satisfy them.
That being said, you will want to start off by scoping your target audience and deciding what demographic the campaign will be addressing. It is very important to decide properly on a strict core demographic, with a few auxiliary demographics that are in various ways related to the core.
If you already have dedicated visitors on your website, you can use tools like Google Analytics to get a better understanding of your audience’s interests and how to target people who might also be interested in your product.
Image Source: Megalytic
Once you’ve settled on a demographic, it is time to see where that demographic usually hangs out online, what social media platforms they use the most, and where you can plan your campaign.
This way, you will know which platform you will be rolling your campaign out to and gain access to community influencers as well as the platform’s services.
2. Groom the product
This is a more aesthetically important task that needs to be taken care of before the campaign starts.
Simply put, it is all about making the product look as good as possible and as appealing as possible, without misleading the readers or making absurd and over-rated promises.
The best way to go about this is to break it down into different layers, depending on what will be used in the campaign.
For texts, like press releases, posts, blogs, you will want a writer. They are not difficult to come by, and a freelance writer will generally be rather inexpensive.
For photos and general graphics, you will want a graphic designer. These are a bit more pricey, but a good freelance graphics designer will generally be more affordable than ones contracted through services and companies.
For videos or animations, you will want to turn to a specialized service. This is because it is a lot more affordable, and a lot less time consuming than sourcing out the individuals by yourself.
Have your writer start writing drafts for promotional texts, and the graphic designer come up with visuals, that will be used throughout the campaign. Remember to highlight the positives, drown out the negatives, but refrain from sounding too commercial.
A great example here is Airbnb’s ‘Live There’ campaign where they motivated their users to not visit a place like a regular tourist would do but actually live there like a local, even if it’s just for a night.
The video received 11 million views and 56,000 likes on Facebook which means that it was a great hit for their target audience.
3. Launch the campaign
When the time is right, and you have everything that you need, you’ll need to pull the trigger and get the campaign rolling.
Start by contacting the chosen social media platform, and opting for their advertising services. Be sure to pay close attention to the options that are given to you, and that you think long and hard about which ones are the best ones for you.
This is also the time when you set the demographic and select who will be targeted by the ads themselves as well as on what devices it will be shown. A good rule of thumb is to go for both mobile and desktop platforms, increasing the number of people reached exponentially.
Whatever you do here, don’t roll out everything at once. Start using some of the texts that the writer has provided for you, and 1 maybe 2 of the graphics that your designer created for you. Keep the rest in reserve for later, so that you can mix things up and vary certain elements, thus extending the lifetime of the marketing campaign.
4. Choose a rhythm and stick with it
Something very important to note about marketing campaigns is the fact that they are always in motion. They never stick to one form for long, and there is always new posts, new concepts, new ideas and new elements thrown in every so often in order to vary things up and keep it interesting.
You will have to do the same for your campaign.
You will need to change posts, change graphics, maybe even insert a new element, like a short animation, a voice over, or a sponsorship, every now and again. This is to remind users that your product is still out there, still alive, and still great, plus you might raise more interest this way.
The main thing to remember here is the fact that you need a rhythm. Not too often, but not too rare either. As a rule of thumb, you might want to vary things up every 1-3 months, depending on the severity of the variation.
Once you’ve chosen a rhythm, stick with it. This will help you plan out your campaign further as it goes along, and give you actual time frames to work with, thus leading to better results and better advertising material used.
5. Attract external interest and influencers
Something that will prove vital to the success of your marketing campaign is the help of external interest and influencers.
Simply put, interest from outside the company and fan base that can promote your product, as well as influencers that have a large following in the field that you are advertising on.
The best thing that you can do is go through the community, see who are the most influential members, and reach out to them. More often than not you will be able to strike a deal with them which will result in more exposure and promotion for your product.
This can be done through blogs, videos, streams, as well as other forms of social media.
When we launched Setapp, the first subscription service for Mac apps, we did the same thing.
We opted to use Product Hunt because you can launch your product on the platform each time you add a major upgrade to it. Which helped us gain a bit more coverage and push our marketing campaign further.
However, in order to market our new Mac App Advisor system, we turned to our office cat, Hoover, for inspiration. We created a series of banners with pictures of Hoover giving app recommendations and ideas.
Coincidentally, our office cat shares the same name with Product Hunt’s founder, Ryan Hoover, who noticed the banners, liked them, left a nice comment and even sent a tweet about them.
This gave our product a lot of exposure and the much needed new interest that we were looking for. Soon enough more and more people were trying out our product and actively subscribing to it.
6. Keep the campaign rolling throughout the lifetime of the product
This is fairly self-explanatory, but the product itself needs to be promoted constantly throughout its lifetime. This is so that you can attract the maximum amount of interest in it, at all times.
The only times when you can consider stopping the marketing campaign is when you decide on releasing a new version or coming up with a new but related product. Even then you’re not exactly stopping the campaign itself but rather shifting it from one product to the other.
Remember to check up on it regularly, interact with the people that show interest in the product, as well as gather feedback and figure out more ways to improve.
A social media marketing campaign might sound easy, but it’s not.
You will be constantly looking for ways to improve it, looking for ways to reach even more people, ways to generate more interest and ways to attract more and more sales.
As long as you plan ahead properly, prepare every single detail, go over your strategy, find the right people and keep putting in the effort, your campaign will undoubtedly succeed.
There are a lot of online marketing campaign success stories out there, and with enough work and a bit of luck, yours can be among them.
Guest author: Eugene Kalnyk is a Marketing Specialist at Setapp, the first Mac app subscription service which gives access to hand-picked apps for every job on your Mac. He loves writing about Marketing, PR, SEM, and Productivity, and help readers solve their problems. Meet him on Twitter.