How Do You Grow a SaaS Startup with a Zero Marketing Budget?
You have the passion for innovative technology and are ready with your Software as a Service (SaaS) Minimum Viable Product (MVP). You know who to sell to, but do you have the budget to market your product? Don’t worry. Most startups don’t.
The Tech Panda spoke to three SaaS entrepreneurs to find out if a SaaS startup could up their marketing game even with a zero marketing budget. According to Kenneth Burke, Managing Director, Text Request, a US SaaS firm, marketing without advertising or paying to promote yourself is possible.
“When you don’t have money, you can’t spend money. The two ways we found to market without advertising or paying to promote yourself are a combo of organic search and blogging, as well as manually searching for targeted email addresses. For SEO, we created content that answered our target customers’ questions. We talked to customers, noted the questions they asked, then created great blog posts to answer them. Over time, that brought in a lot of traffic (and sales),” he says.
Burke says creating your own content can beget results such as reaching out to the core people who are your audience. Since, a SaaS company’s audience is situated in a certain area rather than being scattered, concentrating on that specific spot with niche information can work wonders.
“We also created content for more commonly searched queries, for example, how many texts people send. This helped to bring in more traffic and backlinks,” he adds.
The business connections that you build over time can be a deal breaker, says Ketan Kapoor, CEO and co-founder of Mettl, a SaaS-based company and talent measurement firm that enables businesses to make people decisions in talent recruitment, management, and training across industry verticals.
As mentioned above, the audience of a SaaS product are limited, hence more power to them. Kapoor says prior background research about your go-to product market and the type of companies that you are looking to target with your product line are a must.
“Only when you know the target market and companies can you zero down on the right connections to market the product in the right way. The idea here is, your business connections are precious and serve as a foot in the door, which is more effective and powerful than any marketing method or channel. The way an established influencer can vouch for your product and grow your business, no marketing method can in the initial stages when you look to start out with zero or minimal marketing budget,” he explains.
Sean Dudayev, Business Growth Expert at Frootful Marketing, reiterates this point. “The best way to grow with zero marketing budget is to get creative with channel partners. This can be partnering with other software companies or distribution partners where there is a mutual benefit,” he says.