10 Growth Hacks to Accelerate Your SaaS

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Today I want to give you 10 growth hacks that really work.  This collection of growth hacks comes from Thomas Schranz who's the CEO of a company called Blossom.IO. I've taken his ideas and expanded it to make it relative to my audience, but I think these things really, really work.

Let's start with number one, the first one is all about positioning.  Essentially this is one of the hardest things to really understand but one of the most important things to get right, it's all about your why, your reason for being, what you are all about, what your company is about. It's how the questions you need to be asking yourself is what is your reason for being.

How are you going to make an impact on your customers world, how are you going to change things what things do you hate, how are you going to change your customers lives.  What do actually stand for. A lot of this thinking comes from a guy called Simon Sinek who did an amazing TED talk and it's all about finding your why. If you get that right, you get that drive and understanding right, and communicate that to your customers, then you'll find...You'll get an amazing fan base. To give you an example, my reason for being here, is that I want to create the biggest community of successful entrepreneurs. This is why I'm driving huge amounts of content out to my fan base because I want to help them in any way I can.  That's my purpose, and that's what I really, really want to do.  Get that right, it's the reason why people buy Apple for example, over something else.

Apple didn't always have the best technology okay, but people would still buy them, and people buy all their other products as well, because they got this ethos, they got their reason, and its purist design, however you interpret it.  They've got that mastered, you can do that too.

Number two, content marketing. Now content marketing is really what's behind, most of the successful companies out there right now.

Look at Neil Patel who's really driving that message. Content marketing is all about producing educational content, out into your audience. The more educated they feel, then they're going to come back and they're going to buy your product. It's not an overnight win, it takes some time. Let me give you five tips on getting your content marketing strategy right.

1) Make every post focus on just one topic, one purpose and make it educational.

2) Know your audience or persona as we call it in the content marketing circles. Your persona is who you're writing to, what sort of person they are.  So that your writing style, or your communicating style works as to how they are going to understand it.

3) Title. Use an engaging title, make sure that people are going to click on it. Use the tricks, like the 'top three', '10 strategies to ' and so on.  Some good sources for looking at different titles that work are Upworthy and Buzzfeed.

They're masters at this type of stuff. Study some of their content, and you will start to get an understanding on how to actually put that together.

4) Is the engaging image, use an engaging image to really capture people, to make them read further into the post. By engaging image, don't use an image that so obvious, that's directly related to the content, abstract it.  Use something quirky, something a bit different, something to make people think how's that image connected to that content, and then they make the connection.  Never ever use stock images. You do need to think out of the box there, but it makes all the difference.

5) Put a call to action on every post. People are...Imagine they are engaged with your content they are  coming to the end and they're thinking what do I do now.

If you don't have that call to action, you know getting them to subscribe, getting them to do something, even click buy. Make sure you have a call to action for every single post.  Okay that's content marketing.

The third thing in growth strategies is  reuse your content. The reason you do that is because every piece of content you create, has to be amazing.

James Shramko has this analogy where he uses a bottle of wine called grange. Grange is like the best wine, that Penfolds produce. The reason he uses that analogy is that he's basically saying every piece of content that you put out there has to be your best. It has to be like the best bottle of wine. Overtime it matures and it will last for a long, long time. It'll keep drawing customers and visits into your site.

That's great, we know we got to create amazing content. But amazing content takes a lot of time. Because it takes a lot of time, how can you maximize it? You maximize it by re-purposing and reusing your content elsewhere. So from your initial arts call, your initial white paper or whatever it is, then you re-purpose that into SlideShare, maybe ask some questions on Quora, make sure there's PDF available, and publish that on PDF sites.

Make sure you got an e-mail, maybe a podcast, maybe a video podcast, you have your YouTube channel, Tweet it, put it on Facebook. All those other things, but they're all connected to the source content, the really good piece of content that you put out. Me talking to you right now is a video, but this video will turn into a podcast, a video podcast, a blog post, a PDF, it will go into lots of different ways and mediums of communicating to my audience.

Number four, landing page conversions. Okay, focus heavily on optimizing every visitor that comes to your landing page. Okay, you need to know the metrics, you need to know where they're coming from. You need to be split testing your landing pages, so you can measure the conversions and obviously improve them.

Now if you listen to an interview I did with Lars Lofgren from KISSmetrics the other day then you'll know that and he's the Growth Manager for KISSmetrics and since November to like February, so what's that four months, you know he doubled...he doubled the conversion rate of his homepage. Basically that's like doubling his customers, all right, and it's all down to understanding the metrics. That was his focus. Obviously a lot of split testing involved but it makes a massive difference to the company. Really do focus on your landing page conversions.

Now number five is capture the lead. Okay so, in marketing, we're all used to this, it's like the first thing that you are kind of trained on. And Marketing 101 is everything is about getting the lead and building a list. In the software startup world, a lot of people are so focused on the software, making the software amazing, they're forgetting about the leads. Basically you've got to do everything you can to capture leads.

Every visitor that comes to your site, you've got to convert into a lead so that you can re-market to them further down the line. Because remember they're not going to buy straight away, you need to keep selling to them all the way through. You need lead capture in the header, in the sidebar, in the footer, pop-up, whatever works for you. Just make sure you're actually doing it.

Six is the drip campaign. So your autoresponder sequence. Once you got that lead, make sure that they go into a sequence so that they can continually be reminded about your product and educated about your product and obviously pre-sold and sold about what your offer is.

Number seven. Social proof. If you got testimonials. Use it. Push it. Essentially create case studies. Everything you can to push social proof out to the visitors that have been to your site. Okay, it's so, so important. And what you got to think about is the whole buyer life cycle. No one buys on their first visit to their site. Okay, they go through different stages. They go...they start off with awareness, then they go into like real interest, and they become a prospect. Then they're almost about to buy, then they buy. Then eventually they become your evangelist.

At all those different stages, especially just before buying what they're looking for is social proof. They're looking for evidence that other people are having success with your products so make sure that you gather that and use it and push it out to your prospects.

Number eight is customer retained revenue. Okay, essentially this is all about making sure that once your customers click that buy button that they become an evangelist at the end. The first place to do that is their on-boarding process. As they come in to your product, you got to make sure that they get that warm and fuzzy feeling when they come onboard into your product that they feel good about their purchase.

You need to reinvest time to ensure that it's really slick, polished, they're getting answers straight away, your support needs to be really focused on new customers. Everything to get that user adopted and using your system. You know, if I buy KISSmetrics, I get a phone call the next day from someone saying "how are you...how's it going, did you get everything you need?" Offering free training. Everything like that.

Because they know that it takes time, it's a brand new application and it takes time for you to get invested. With someone following up and dealing with you directly, then of course you're going to buy into that. Not everyone can do that. Not everyone can afford an inside sales team. What you can do is focus on your boarding process. There's a great site called useronboard.com.

You should look at that for examples of how and how not to do it. Of course, once you've got them on board then work out how to extend it. Work out...once you've gotten there, how to actually increase revenue. How can you increase the retention or lower churn. However you want to turn that.

Number nine is annual payments. Cash flow is the life blood of any business. And in SaaS you rely on monthly, but make sure you've got an annual option available to you. Okay, or available to them. Because if you can get them to pay it annually in advance and give them a discount for doing that, then you are getting the cash in right at the front, which is where you need it.

Number 10 is increased awareness. Use your customers as your evangelist, as your referral partners, get them to refer other people, give them an incentive to do that. The Dropbox case is the perfect example there. 22Social who I met the other day, what they do is they give you a free license if you refer three paying customers. So imagine what that's doing to their growth. It's really, really working. Focus on increasing the awareness of your market using your customers.

That was 10, I think highly effective growth hacks that you can implement in your business. What I'd like you to do is leave a message or leave a comment on the blog at disruptware.com. Let us know your growth hacks or let us know what you thought of this video post. I think you'll find that really, really useful. This is Paul Clifford from Disruptware. Thanks for watching.

 

Recommended Resources:

1. Blossom - click here

2. Simon Sinek TED Talk - click here

3. Upworthy - click here

4. Buzzfeed - click here

5. SlideShare - click here

6. Quora - click here

7. Interview with Lars Lofgren - click here

8. User Onboarding - click here

 

 

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