If you belong to a B2B or B2C cloud-based companies, especially those in the software-as-a-service (SaaS) industry, you know how critical it is to get out in front of prospective customers during the fleeting decision-making stage.

It’s an industry of short sales cycles with complex products, acronym-laden jargon, freemium trials and ever-changing services that must be marketed precisely or you risk confusing your audience. It’s also an industry where inbound marketing can give you the strongest foothold for reaching your customers.

After all, if you’re marketing a SaaS product that isn’t tangible, your strategy shouldn’t be tangible either.

Who Should Your SaaS Company’s Inbound Marketing Strategy Target?

You’re communicating with IT Managers, IT professionals, CIOs and other decision-makers who are educating themselves and choosing which product or service will steer their organization’s latest business needs. To do this, a billboard or press release won’t be enough. You need to hit them where they live – online.

Inbound Marketing is, simply put, the antithesis of traditional (or outbound) marketing. Rather than buying ads or promotional space and hoping that someone calls, inbound marketing brings the visitors to the message. It revolves around creating interesting, educational content that attracts, engages and delights customers.

Inbound Marketing Keeps SaaS Companies in Front of Customers

HubSpot has determined that the worldwide software market has an estimated value of more than $400 billion. This is a huge customer base to reach by creating a well defined inbound marketing strategy for SaaS companies that has a careful balance of inbound content, product marketing and evangelism to help influence the buyer’s journey.

And don’t forget your current customers! Customer retention is critical in the SaaS industry. Gartner concluded that 80% of your future revenue comes from 20% of your current customers. Bain & Co did the math and realized that increasing your customer retention by just 5% can boost your profits by 75%.

So, how does a cloud company get the most from inbound marketing?

5 Key Inbound Marketing Features for the SaaS Industry:

1. Email Marketing:

A solid email marketing strategy is critical for nurturing your leads along the buyer’s journey. By qualifying your leads properly, you can send them the information they’re looking for and keep your blogs and newsletters on their radar.

2. Integration with Current Systems:

Whether you’re using Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics CRM or another contact management system, make sure it can integrate easily with whatever platform you choose to manage your content.

3. Content Marketing:

You need to position your business as an educator and authority in the industry. Use your blog to publish helpful, optimized how-tos and guides while also providing commentary on updates and industry news. Your blog can carry the bulk of your call to actions like sign-ups, free trials, etc. Having an eBook library is another great way to share more in depth information and qualify your leads by gating them behind a simple form.

4. Customer Segmentation:

Also known as the right message for the right audience at the right time. Creating buyer personas that address your ideal customer’s motivations and values will help refine your content so it reaches the right audience and ultimately increases your conversions. Once those personas are defined, segment your lists and tailor specific messages to those groups.

5. Social:

You may not place much weight on social media, but your competitors do and they could be leading your customers and prospects towards the dark side. If you haven’t already, create a cohesive message across all of your social channels that ties to your overarching message on the website and blog. Show off your personality and expertise by communicating with clients and prospects within your industry community.

With each strategy, always be testing and retesting your approach.

The Dynamic Marketing Strategy to Satisfy a Dynamic Industry

Inbound marketing is the most cost-effective, efficient way to reach customers in the SaaS industry.

Besides improving your authority and creating more indexed pages across the Internet to garner positive search engine results, inbound marketing can be a great way to shine brighter than your competitors and extend your reach so you can change the conversation from how great your solution is to how it can benefit your prospects.

This post was originally published on the Leap Clixx marketing agency blog and has been republished with permission.