A lot of people think of marketing as outbound campaigns: email newsletters, event invitations, product launches. All of these are valid and appropriate if executed at the right time in the right place. But the word “campaign” really means is an alignment of all kinds of marketing activities. It's a concerted effort to generate a certain amount of content that people are interested in, content relevant for a specific audience at a specific time that is integrated with specific actions and follows up the ongoing communication. Each campaign has to have an offer that gets people excited, an offer that is paired with a great call to action. You have to guide them to a landing page where they can potentially convert to new customers.
Every marketing effort is a mini-campaign: a tweet, a blog post, a YouTube video, a new webpage on your website. And every mini-campaign won't reach its fullest potential if it’s not treated as such. For example, if you build a blog, you have to understand who you’re writing it for, who you think will be interested in it or will learn something from it and will want to share it.
Let's take a look at your blog post as an example (this really applies to any mini-campaign). It must have the following 5 elements.
- Title. Is the blog post title it catchy and engaging? Will people gravitate towards it?
- Benefits. Does it address benefits or pain points that are relevant to your customers? Do you have a list of those benefits? If you do, it will make it easier for others to talk positively about your content.
- Proof. What do others say about your content? That is your proof that you're actually delivering on your promises.
- Offer. You have to have an offer that will get people excited about, will make them want to click on and share and talk about.
- Call to action. Your offer won't work if it's not paired with a call to action. People must perform an action to get the offer. Sign up for something. Register for something. Go somewhere. Click on something. Download something.
- Landing Page. Ideally you would have a landing page dedicated to this campaign, so you can track your success. This is especially important since Google no longer provides the detailed search query that led your visitors to your site.
What I have described above is the foundation of any basic marketing campaign. Now let’s talk about 4 types of these campaigns that every growing SaaS company should do.
A lot of people quickly build a campaign for a vertical audience, a group of customers or prospects that have a need for the product and are pretty homogenous in their needs, so that you can easily target them with one message. This is important and at some point you will have to do it, but before this you need to do the following.
1. First essential marketing campaign: NURTURE
The first campaign you need is a campaign that caters to your existing customers. If someone signs up for your product—free or paid, doesn't matter—you need to be constantly nurturing those people. Communicate with them. Offer them new ideas, new content. They have given you their email address, they have trusted you, they said, “Hey, follow me home, here are my contact details.” Treat this great respect and attention. By giving you their information, these people meant to tell you, “I want to be kept in touch.” Update them on what you do, on new things about your product they can learn, on how to best use your product.
2. Second essential marketing campaign: REFER
The second most important campaign is a referral program. Make it easy for existing customers to share their excitement with their friends, family, and peers. Get happy customers to share the news and to help sign up more people for your product. I wrote a blog post on how to build your first referral program.
3. Third essential marketing campaign: RETAIN
The third priority is to have a campaign that helps onboard and retain your customers. Educate them on how to use your product correctly and get the most out of it. Make sure they are satisfied and are not going to leave you.
4. Fourth essential marketing campaign: POST-CHURN
These things happen. Someone decides to leave you, to cancel the service, to stop using the product. Have a campaign that aims to get them back without being obnoxious and respecting their choice. Service them in a way that is interesting and caring. "Hey, why did you leave? Can we learn something from you so we can help our next customer better?" Be very attentive to these people. If you're able to get them back, if you're able to find out why they left, that's an amazing win. Those return customers could become your biggest fans.
Only after you've done these 4 basic campaigns can you start thinking about your unique audience, tribe, customer segment, or community that is easy to define and that will benefit from the product or the service you have to offer. Know how to talk to them, how to listen to them, how to understand their needs. Do all this, and you will build a vertical market-segment focused campaign that will get your audience excited, engaged, and lead them to become your best customers.
Your to-do list:
- Set up a nurturing campaign and update it on a regular basis with new information. In other words, keep in touch with your existing customers.
- Sign up for a referral program service, like Referral SaaSquatch.
- Create how-to videos, write an FAQ for your website, publish white papers. Produce content that will help educate your customers on how to use your product.
- Develop a survey or a questionnaire for customers that decide to leave you, to understand what made them do it.
- Make sure to lead all your visitors to dedicated landing pages to make it easier to analyze their search behaviour. Some greats tips here.