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important inbound marketing services for SaaS companies
Lucas HamonJun 25, 2015 4:00:00 AM6 min read

5 Inbound Marketing Services Your SaaS Can't Live Without

important inbound marketing services for SaaS companies

We're Brothers & Sisters from Different Mothers & Misters:

As the owner and business development voice of a growing digital marketing agency, I am often asked the question of which are the most important parts of the inbound equation. This is typically posed by folks in start-up mode or businesses looking to trim their marketing costs while increasing its overall impact.

The latter seems a little strange, but it's actually not too far from what's possible. I find that a lot of businesses are still spending their marketing budget with the mindset of an outbounder, because that's what we've grown accustomed to over the last couple of decades.

But a lot has changed in 20 years, hasn't it? Electric cars are sexy. Tivo has come and gone... And broadcast advertising on the internet is flat out flatlining.

Okay, so back to task at hand - how do we carve out the important parts and JUST focus on those?

Here it is - your list of the 5 most important b2b inbound marketing services your company can't live without.


~ MORE LIKE THIS: How to Use Blogs Within Your SaaS' Marketing Strategy ~



Ready to sprint?

We know how important it is to take calculated steps towards your goals. Yes, there is going to be trial and error in just about everything you do, because that is the inherent nature of working with code, but that doesn't mean we sprint first and ask for directions later.

We want our marketing foundation to be solid and stable, so I like to use the tripod analogy. There are three basic components to inbound marketing that cannot support you without equal participation from all three. 


Now, if your business has been around for awhile, and your website gets thousands or tens of thousands of hits without doing anything, what's "necessary" is going to be different from a site that gets no hits at all.

So, for the sake of making this make sense for your SaaS, I'm going to break this conversation down into multiple blog posts to highlight some of my favorite industries and categories: SaaS, Staffing, Education, Accounting, Public Companies, & Start-ups. Today, it's all about you lovely software companies, but if you're still in start-up mode, you may actually find more value in our upcoming release about start-ups. 

Blurring the Lines

With SaaS, the lines between marketing and service delivery are rather blurry. Your platform is here to make the lives of your customers easier, isn't it? It's expected to be intuitive, intelligent, easy-to-use, and take up very little resources or bandwidth from the technologies required to run it. So, if your marketing doesn't reflect these concepts, it's going to be quite difficult to convince anybody that your platform will.

Imagine if I were to email you without permission about SEO or inbound services because I bought your contact information from one of those less-than-forthcoming lead generation companies. Would you take me seriously as somebody who can generate organic traffic to your website or provide leads that grant their permission to market to them? I would hope not, but don't we all get emails like that daily? I know I do! Yes, me... the owner of an inbound marketing agency, gets cold pitches about lead generation services DAILY. It's a FAIL on so many levels...

This is why we cannot ignore the value and integrity behind your marketing campaign. If you disrupt prospects with pop-up ads, spam, or overly aggressive tactics, you will be at odds with them from the beginning.

The top priorities for SaaS Marketing:

1. Content Downloads (CONTENT) - What drives your SaaS' value better than proof that your prospective customers are losing money by not using you? This is a great place to offer statistics and real-life data that will help visitors understand the true value of their ROI - whether it be with your platform or something they can do on their own.

What are some good downloads? White papers, ebooks, infographics, templates, and other ways to educate your audience without selling to them.

2. Blogging (CONTENT & DISTRIBUTION) - This is one of the best platforms for educating your buyers, so they understand WHY your platform is so important. Education is the crux of any good sales process, because your customers don't want to be sold something they don't need or understand. Since Google is such a fan of education, they're likely to start sending visitors your way if you blog about problems that people need solving.

The internet seems to be going that way these days.

3. Social Media (DISTRIBUTION) - If you build it, they will come, right? Wrong. You need a distribution channel to get your content OUT THERE. Your buyers are crawling all over LinkedIn & Twitter. They accidentally find answers through Google+. And although they'll never admit it publicly, they're sharing pictures of kittens and food on Facebook - probably as we speak. Make it easy for them to find you and share your story.
4. SEO (DISTRIBUTION) - Google, Bing, and Yahoo will be happy to deliver people to your website, but you need all the right words in the right places, inbound links, and content that reflects your mission. Blogging is one of the best ways to boost your SEO rankings, but your site itself should also be optimized... as should your social media posts. Now, don't get carried away and start blasting ads on your social streams. You should have a strategy (here's a FREE one)
5. Lead conversion paths (CONVERSION) - What good is website traffic that's not ready to buy - as in, they're early in their buyer's journeys, and although they have all of the makings of a future customer, just don't happen to be there yet when they land on your page?  Well, that depends... do you have a lead conversion path in place to capture them as future opportunities? This is where we tie EVERYTHING we just talked about together... Here's how it works:
~ Somebody visits because they typed a question into Google, and were delivered to your blog, which was search engine optimized (more HERE on SEO and blogging strategy).
~ They love your post and notice that you're giving away a free statistical white paper that supports your blog idea - so they click on a CTA (cal-to-action) that takes them to a landing page.
~ They fill out the form, hit "submit," (or some other clever one-liner), and are carried to a new form. Now you have their contact information and can connect with them by other means. (email, phone, social media, etc)

Don't forget your lead conversion paths in the content downloads you offer or your blog posts. If you're blogging about, I don't know... an organic digital SAAS marketing strategy, for example, then provide links to a piece of content that provides inbound marketing strategy for SaaS (click HERE).

6. Email (NURTURING) - Nurture those contacts. Offer tips, links to content, and special sales. Chances are you'll snag those who were meant to be snagged eventually. Some of your visitors are purely tire-kickers, and they'll never buy from you no matter what you put in front of them. But that doesn't mean they're not worth nurturing. In fact, some of my best clients have come from referrals generated by contacts with no hope of conversion. By emailing, I give those referring business easy ways to do it.

Your inbound marketing strategy will keep your SAAS healthy and thriving

Only the Essentials for us!

I know it's in your nature to question everything and test what you learn against what you can touch. And you're probably still going to want to slam that list of contacts you purchased with email ads to see which convert. If you must, consider the impact it will have on your ability to send emails after enough of them have marked you as spam. Consider again how much money they cost, and let's come back in 6 months doing it both ways to see which is cheaper and has longer lasting results.

Click HERE for a free guide to getting started with inbound marketing for SaaS:

Download this free guide to getting started with inbound marketing for SaaS!


Lucas Hamon

Over 10 years of B2B sales experience in staffing, software, consulting, & tax advisory. Today, as CEO, Lucas obsesses over inbound, helping businesses grow! Husband. Father. Beachgoer. Wearer of plunging v-necks.