SaaS or Software as a Service businesses make it easier for companies to manage their technological requirements. With its cloud based system, everything from installation to maintenance is done through the Internet. Thus it should be no surprise that SaaS is the most popular and remains competitive in the cloud computing industry.

Your online marketing efforts must not only be efficient but it should be effective in monetizing generated leads into sales. Here are nine ways a SaaS business can convert more free users into paying customers:

1. Focus on Website User Experience

If people are interested in your software, the first place they will go to is your website.

Statistically, 61% of visitors will leave your website if user experience is poor. 67% of visitors will most likely patronize a product or service if they had a positive experience with your website.

In order to ensure user experience, your SaaS website must have the following:

  • Mobile Responsive65% of online traffic comes from mobile devices. If your website is not mobile, you are leaving money on the table.
  • Fast Download Speed – The most popular websites ranked in Google average 9.82 seconds download speed. That is your benchmark speed for your website.
  • Accessible via Multi-Browsers – Not everyone uses Google, Yahoo! or Bing to search. Make sure your website is also accessible by Firefox, Safari and other browsers as well.
  • Clean Design – Clean design makes it easier to navigate your website. Easy navigability results in a 25% increase in lead conversions.
  • Fully Functional Buttons – Nothing turns visitors off more than having a website where the buttons are faulty. Make sure these are fully functional and working all the time.
  • Great Content – The attention span of an Internet visitor is shorter than a goldfish. If your content can’t capture their interest in fewer than 9 seconds, the visitor may just click out of your website.

2. Shore Up Your “About Us” Page

When people click onto your link, they will land on your “About Us” page. In effect, the About Us page is your official meet and greet, virtual handshake page. This is where site visitors will have an idea of who you are and what your business is all about.

The About Page is very crucial in that you must immediately create the impression on why the site visitor needs your software. It should validate why he or she clicked on your link in the first place.

Content in form of text and images become very important. This is where content should be compelling enough to catch the site visitor hook, line and sinker like a goldfish.

A great strategy to use is to integrate a Call to Action (CTA) once they have are impressed by your content. They will likely be compelled by it and give your software a try.

3. Utilize LinkedIn

Social media is a powerful tool for building markets and generating leads. Of the popular networks in the market, LinkedIn offers the most valuable benefit for SaaS business owners.

Compared to Facebook, LinkedIn’s user base is small. Facebook has 1.71 Billion users while LinkedIn only has 450 Million users. However LinkedIn is the preferred networking choice of professionals.

Surveys have shown that LinkedIn is 277% more effective in generating leads compared to Facebook or Twitter. If you want to market and promote your SaaS software, you should focus on LinkedIn. You can also use their blogging platform LinkedIn Plus to publish and distribute content.

4. Analyze Your Customer Base

The great thing about online marketing is you can procure important statistics and figures on your campaign’s performance in real time.

You can study numbers and data that tell you where they came from, which content kept them onboard longer and other figures which will help you determine the online behavior of your market.

These figures will construct the profile of your website visitor which will be a useful reference guide in revising the strategies of the existing campaign and for conceptualizing future online marketing plans.

5. Cross-Promote with related businesses

Any SaaS business owner should take advantage of partnerships. A deal with a different business that sells complementary products can significantly increase the awareness and help generate more paying customers.

For example, a SaaS business that has a social media tool can make a partnership with an SEO tool. The users of each partner can get preferential prices to the other tool, once they decide to become a paid customer on one of the businesses. It’s a win-win situation for the businesses but also for the users. A tool that allows SaaS businesses find partners and run cross-promotion campaigns is Cross.Promo.

6. Guest Blog

An effective way of marketing and promoting your software is to guest blog on other websites. There are websites which welcome contributing writers and even allow you to include more details and information in your column.

Guest blogging will open your software to new markets and audiences who may have need of your products and services. It will also further enhance your expertise and reputation as an expert in the field of software design.

7. Re-Package Effective On-Boarding Techniques

In this day and age of Internet marketing, your focus should not only be on creating new markets. If you have built up a sizeable data base of customers, you can generate new revenue from them as well.

Keep in mind that your current customers have already chosen you over other vendors of similar software. They have given you their trust. This is half the battle won.

Review your previous on-boarding techniques and re-package them for the benefit of your current customer data base. Give them additional discounts or include a related item to improve your value proposition.

8. Consistent Create Dynamic Content

In the world of online marketing, content remains king. People spend 5 hours on the Internet every day. Of these hours, 23% are used to read content.

In fact, last 21 April 2015, Google changed its algorithm to emphasize the importance of great content. For Google, great content should be:

  • Fresh
  • Unique
  • Relevant
  • Usable
  • Engaging

It should also contain as much details as possible. The average word count for first-page results in Google is 1,890.

Great content will always bring visitors to your site. It will generate leads and if you are consistent with the quality it will make it easier to convert the leads into sales.

9. Use Influencer Marketing Strategies

An up and coming approach to marketing is called Influencer Marketing. A good way to describe Influencer Marketing is “word of mouth” advertising. Online reviews are a prime example. It may prove to be a level up to traditional content marketing.

Take a look at the statistics:

  • 92% of consumers trust recommendations even from personalities they don’t know.
  • 70% of consumers trust online reviews.
  • 65% of brands use Influencer Marketing techniques.
  • 79% of businesses believe online reviews play a big role in consumer decision making.
  • 62% of consumers believe they will patronize a business after reading a positive review.

Influencer Marketing can lend more credibility to your software program.

It will take some time for your online marketing strategies to bear fruit. But marketing itself is a process of evolution. Trends, developments and consumer preferences are frequently changing. Thus, you must constantly be on top of your online marketing program to make sure you can accommodate abrupt shifts in consumer demand.