What is Software as a Service (SaaS)?
Software as a Service or SaaS is a cloud-based service where the user does not have to download an app or install any additional software. These users can access the SaaS application through a web browser. SaaS applications come in many forms from productivity software like Microsoft Office to video streaming applications like Netflix.
Differences Between SaaS and Cloud Computing
SaaS applications run on a complex connection of servers and databases whereas the cloud can connect to anything that is remotely hosted and delivered through the internet. When compared to on-premise software development, SaaS is much easier and faster to implement. Given the widespread reach of the internet, it allows developers to deploy and update software applications much more easily.
The Three Main Branches of Cloud Computing
Cloud computing is a method of delivering technological resources to users from remote hubs. There are three service delivery mechanisms in cloud computing and the following paragraphs should provide you the definitions of each and provide you certain differences between IaaS vs PaaS vs SaaS.
SaaS or Software as a Service is the most common type. It delivers user-ready applications over the internet. The application does not need to be downloaded physically as it can be accessed from anywhere as long as the device has an active internet connection.
Some features of SaaS are:
- Applications are made accessible
- Does not require you to download onto the device
- Easy to scale applications to suit your business growth
Squibbler and Lumen5 are a few examples of SaaS applications.
Iaas or Infrastructure as a Service is an open-ended type of cloud service for businesses that prefer doing customizations themselves. The main benefit of IaaS is its extra capacity, which is accessible on-demand for both long term and short term needs.
Some features of IaaS are:
- Monthly billing reports
- Log access
- Storage Resiliency
Microsoft Azure and Digital Ocean are a few examples of IaaS companies.
Paas or Platform as a Service provides the platform for software creation with access to development tools, code libraries, servers, and programming environments. With PaaS, the vendor handles the back-end work and other concerns such as security, infrastructure and many more.
Some features of PaaS are:
- Database integration
- Application design, testing, and development
- Information security
Salesforce and Software AG are a few examples of PaaS companies.
Getting Started with SaaS Marketing Strategies
Customers who subscribe and use your product every month will not immediately lead to a profitable Return On Investment (ROI). This is more of a long term plan, where the ROI will start to reflect over a span of a few months.
Content is a key element when making a decision, buyers will compare different products when choosing a SaaS platform. Being active on social media definitely helps as it lets you promote your product to a much wider audience, social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram allow you to specifically target buyers who have similar interests.
Once you have selected potential buyers, offer them a free trial period so that they can experience what your product offers before making a decision.
A SaaS marketing strategy that companies often use is by offering trials for a limited period. A 30-day free trial hasn’t failed to attract potential customers so far. It is advisable to use CTA (Call to Action) buttons as a conversion tool to direct visitors from one webpage to another and will increase your web traffic.
What are the Common SaaS Marketing Strategies?
Content is what attracts and retains the customer. Many SaaS companies are building their brand through content marketing. Other methods such as Pay Per Click (PPC) and paid advertising are effective but is a continuous investment. Creating and generating good content, uploading it on social media platforms and other websites will see your business continue to generate more profitable leads.
Free Product Trials
Similar to a test driving a new vehicle before making handing over the payment, free product trials attract a lot of potential buyers and are one of the best ways to let people know about the benefits of using your product.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
It works hand in hand with content marketing to make your content discoverable to potential buyers. And for this, it is important to find keywords that people are using to find similar products. SEO helps generate leads that are easily convertible.
Display the Pricing Clearly
People are naturally hesitant while buying a product without knowing its price. Moreover, the price displayed should be the final price that is charged. Customers are more cautious about the hidden charges of a product. Transparency should be maintained at all times.
Offer Fewer Choices
When there are a lot of options available, it usually leads to confusion and customers find it harder to make a choice but with fewer options that are not the case.
Use CTA Buttons
Customize your website by using Call to Action buttons to persuade potential buyers to sign up.
Make Registration Easy
It is important to make sure there are as few barriers as possible where registration is concerned. The initial sign up process should be smooth sailing for anyone who is interested in your product.
Paid Advertising on Social Media
There are a lot of paid advertising options on the internet like PPC (Pay Per Click), Facebook, Instagram. Running sponsored ads on Facebook and other social media platforms is an easy way to gain more potential buyers as they receive heavy web traffic on a daily basis.