Achieving sustainable growth in SaaS marketing is about balancing channels from a high-level strategy and a tactical point of view. Optimizing short-term gains with long-term investments and controlling customer acquisition costs (CAC) leads to more sustainable growth. It’s not enough to focus on one channel. Approach marketing as a whole, where all efforts can create something more significant than the sum of its parts.
Dave Gerhardt, Founder at Exit Five, Betsy Koliba, Head of Customer Growth at Demandwell, and Shauntle Barley, Director of Marketing at Demandwell, share strategies to compound channels for long-term growth by leveraging brand, SEO, and community to drive sustainability.
Driving engagement through brand value
As marketing grows increasingly noisy, standing out can be tough with so much competition for attention. Savvy marketers know they must craft innovative strategies to engage and connect with their target audience. Part of this strategy means developing an intimate understanding of customer needs, interests, and the media they consume. With this information, teams can construct a bespoke brand strategy for their ideal customer.
Building a useful and entertaining brand helps produce sustained value and ensures the right customers take notice and remain engaged over time. Possible goals for brand campaigns might be to:
- Enable support teams to orchestrate customer conversations at scale
- Add value to people, even if they aren’t a customer
- Build something that can stand on its own with a distinct brand identity
- Present people solving relatable problems in a variety of ways
The most successful tactics focus on one primary channel at a time, creating compelling messages tailored to engage the audience. Even if it doesn’t necessarily result in sales immediately, providing people with a reason to keep returning is hugely beneficial and forms an indispensable part of growth.
“Build something that serves your audience on its own, outside your platform.” – Shauntle Barley, Director of Marketing at Demandwell
Stand out with targeted SEO
It’s no secret that SEO is tedious. There is an investment of time in researching the relevant keywords and developing content that matches what audiences are looking for. Effective keyword research targets the audience based on their search intent to address a pain point and provide a solution.
It’s worth noting that the time it takes to see ROI from SEO research may be slow compared to the instantaneous effects from paid campaigns. Cultivating an effective SEO strategy, however, creates an inbound lead-generation machine that works in the background. It works long after implementation, decreasing spending on leads and other tactics.
There are three major components of SEO:
- Technical SEO: Search engines analyze the basic setup of a website to see if it’s running optimally to obtain an influx of customers. Elements such as load time, page speed, and broken links are considered when evaluating search rankings. Even so, this has just a minimal effect.
- Off-page SEO: Off-page SEO has the potential to be highly effective but is notoriously difficult to scale since control is out of one’s hands. With no direct autonomy over the process, securing endorsed backlinks from reputable sources without outside help can be daunting.
- SEO Content: Various types of material are helpful to potential buyers on their journey, such as thought leadership pieces, webinars, customer narratives, and product videos. Although it takes considerable effort to build up a quality collection of content and produce it at regular intervals, the increase in traffic, impressions, and ranking keywords will compound over time.
Marketing teams can scale up SEO-optimized content infinitely. When creating content, it is vital to consider the audience’s needs and search intent. Content should be created in a way that is relatable and easy for the customer to understand. Although this process can take some time, it is essential to start generating as soon as possible to maximize reach.
“Plant seeds now for faster growth in the future.” – Dave Gerhardt, Founder at Exit Five
The power of building a community
The power of an established audience is widely underrated, as it allows businesses to draw customers without needing external sources. There has been an extraordinary rise in online communities developed by organizations to enhance long-term customer relations. These spaces help promote sharing of information and direct communication with community members.
The key to leveraging its benefits lies in using the selected platform to educate and entertain those within its scope. Founders can harness their expertise to foster networks that aid professional development and connection with others, thereby enriching customer relationships. Once a solid base is created, driving new sales can become more accessible and efficient.
“There’s nothing more sustainable than building your audience instead of relying on external sources.” – Dave Gerhardt, Founder at Exit Five
Sustainable growth in marketing requires balancing multiple channels, each with its own characteristics. Investment into brand development, value-driven SEO, and community all require an upfront effort but reap the rewards like decreasing CACs, higher ROI, and consistently reliable outcomes. Concentrating solely on tactics that deliver instant rewards may seem beneficial in the short term but finding the balance between short-term goals and investing in the future is key to maximizing enduring progress.