According to a Forrester report, digital marketing spend will reach $146 billion by 2023, growing at a 9% compound annual growth rate (CAGR).
Online marketing is that Marvel superhero that took its time to arrive in the marketing arena but is here to stay for a long time. With the rise in competition, it becomes even more imperative to have a solid online presence.
So, let’s begin with understanding this Marketing hero and how it can benefit your business.
What is online marketing and how can a SaaS business benefit from it?
Online marketing is how you leverage different web-based channels to transmit messages about a company’s product or service to potential buyers or target audiences.
Kotler & Armstrong (2012 p. 508) stated that online marketing is “efforts to market products and services and build customer relationships over the Internet.”
Let us quickly go through the 4 major subcategories of online marketing:
- Email Marketing - Having an ROI as high as 4400%, you aim to devise email marketing campaigns that have high email open rates and segment your email list in a way that drives sales, communicates information, and increases customer loyalty.
- Content Marketing - By establishing your KPIs, deciding on content types, and figuring out the best content channels, you make up a content strategy with a focus on creating, publishing, and distributing relevant, informational, and valuable content that helps attract your target audience and retain your existing customers.
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization) - With the help of keyword planning, keyword ranking, and other such organic practices, you try to increase the visibility of your website.
- Social Media Marketing - Through a social media tool, you connect with your audience and promote your product/service, increase brand awareness, drive sales, and increase website traffic.
Online marketing has become quite popular for SaaS businesses and there are many reasons why:
- There are no geographical boundaries when it comes to online marketing. Your audience ranges in millions and you can get customers from all across the world.
- It’s cost-effective as compared to the other traditional marketing channels.
- With the right strategy in place, online marketing can get you rewards even in the long run.
- It helps you build brand awareness which is the first step to generating higher sales.
Let us take two real-life examples of SaaS businesses that have grown tremendously, all thanks to online marketing:
- Close, a CRM for startups and SMBs, is making use of content marketing campaigns to engage their audience. Their blog generates six figures in traffic value every month and they get over 40,000 visitors to the site monthly. Pretty amazing, isn’t it?
- Slack, a collaboration tool makes use of social media marketing by sharing 140-character #SlackTips regularly and responds to almost 10,000 tweets every month. No wonder they saw a spectacular rise in their user figures with 15,000 at the launch, over 171,000 six months later, and more than 500,000 in a year.
Why use tools to manage the online marketing for your SaaS business?
Three reasons: time, energy, and efficiency.
While online marketing is effective, it can take up a lot of your time. Consider the number of emails you have to draft, keep track of, follow-up with; the number of blogs you need to draft and publish every month; being active on every major social media platform and so much more. In this case, if you do not have a proper strategy in place and something to help you keep everything sorted, you are doomed.
Using tools help you save time. It helps your entire team manage their workflows better as everything is organized and in one place. It leaves them time to do important things like testing and strategizing better.
But which tools do you pick?
Worry not. We have prepared just the right list for you.
8 effective tools to boost your online marketing
SendX, an intuitive and affordable email marketing software that will automate things for you and provide you with free email templates to start your newsletters or email campaigns. You can start by designing, scheduling, and tracking your email campaigns.
But what if you don’t have an email list?
SendX provides you with the perfect solution that will help you build your email list from scratch. You can do so by designing email popups forms, inline forms, and then measuring the conversions.
To assess the effectiveness of your campaigns and strategy, they also provide you with various reports like the Heatmap report (overview of which CTAs are working) and custom reports for measuring your email campaign performance.
Qualaroo is one of the most advanced customer feedback tools available in the market today. It helps you ask the right questions to the user at the right time.
Using this tool, you can collect feedback the moment a user engages with your brand. This way, you can address issues and concerns as they happen.
To create a survey, you can choose from a variety of questions and customize the survey as you like, adjusting its color, adding your company’s logo, custom text, and more with advanced targeting options to deploy the survey based on your requirements.
One of the most attractive features of Qualaroo is Sentiment Analysis powered by IBM Watson, which helps you process survey responses (especially open-ended responses) for actionable insights. By keeping these valuable customer insights handy, you can focus on improving customer experience.
The tools also allow you to create a word cloud from survey responses to detect common responses, themes, and pain points that further save time and effort in analyzing customer feedback.
- Which type of content gets the most engagement on Facebook?
- How do I measure our social media performance?
- What is the best time to schedule my post on Instagram?
SocialPilot is one such tool that helps you find the answer to all these questions and many more. It is your one-stop destination for managing all your social media requirements.
It has many amazing features like bulk scheduling, content discovery, and curation, comprehensive analytics that can be converted to shareable reports, audience analytics, designing engaging advertisements, social inbox, team management, etc.
The best part about Social Pilot is that it is presently the only tool that lets you post on all major social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, TikTok, Tumblr to VK, all from one dashboard.
Acquire is an all-in-one customer engagement platform that helps in providing superlative digital customer experience.
In case, your customer support is bored answering the same repetitive questions, you can take the help of Acquire’s chatbot and scale your support efforts.
This amazing platform also manages all your support email requests from one central inbox. This way, you can connect all your customer channels, including live chat, chatbots, social media, and much more.
You can also avail Co-browse features using Acquire that helps you to view and interact with customers on-screen in a secure manner without the need to download it.
Not only this, but Acquire also connects with newer generations of customers with the help of voice and video call software, all this straight from your chat messenger.
And finally, if this was not enough, Acquire also allows for several integrations that ensure that you are performing customer service duty at maximum efficiency.
Are you clueless when it comes to SEO?
Ahrefs is the perfect place to be at if you are. Ahrefs has its own private Facebook community where you can learn and gain insights from accomplished digital marketers and SEO specialists.
They also have their own tutorials, blog articles, and learning materials so that you can quickly turn into an SEO specialist.
You can do a competitor analysis to see the keywords for which your competitors rank, which pages send the most traffic to their site, and the keywords they rank for but you don’t.
While there are other backlink monitoring tools out there, we also have few impressive tools/features under Ahrefs such as keyword explorer, content and backlink research, rank tracking, and web monitoring.
Trello is the go-to tool for streamlining and managing all your online marketing efforts.
The best thing about using Trello is that you save yourself the internal mail havoc that usually happens in the workplace. You don’t have to wait for someone to reply to your email and send you the article outline to get started. As everything is organized and in one place, you save yourself and your colleagues a lot of time and energy.
For the same reason, it becomes easier to manage your content schedules, monitor marketing campaigns, track your progress, and communicate with your team effortlessly.
You can also find content marketing templates for free on Trello.
Hubspot is an inbound marketing tool that will make your online marketing journey easier and more fun.
It helps you attract more targeted traffic to your webpage through advertising, by giving you real-time SEO suggestions and designing CTAs your visitors can’t help but click. Hubspot uses landing pages to convert more visitors into qualified leads by letting them opt into email lists, webinars, free trials, and so on.
With its Content Management Software (CMS), you can have multi-language content creation to suit your audience’s requirements, analyze your content effectiveness by seeing which content types, sources and campaigns are getting you the most leads.
Did you know that almost 80% of readers just skim through your online content?
This could be a depressing statistic for so many of you. To make you feel better, let us add to this one more statistic.
- Adding well-designed visuals actually increases people’s desire to read content by 80%.
So write that amazing article but also include visuals in it.
While it can take time to create aesthetically pleasing designs for your target audience and customers, Canva is here to help you be more time-efficient.
You can pick images for your social media posts from their templates, edit images you already have, add a professional touch to it by adding your logo, create interactive presentations, and engage your target audience by creating visually pleasing Instagram stories.
For your email newsletters, you can convey statistics with the help of the graphs feature in Canva, and also embed it in your presentations or with your infographic on the blog post. This tool also allows uploading and using your own website headline fonts to make a message both appealing and recognizable in terms of brand.
ProofHub gives you a central place to plan your marketing projects and manage your marketing teams effectively.
As an all-in-one project management and team collaboration software it has some amazing features that help marketing teams stay in ultimate control of their work. You can use to-do lists for simple task management or use custom workflows and Kanban boards to bring more clarity in the process.
Communication becomes effortlessly easy with its in-built chat app, so you don’t have to switch to a different platform for the same. You also get a dedicated space to carry out real-time discussions in ProofHub.
One of the best features in ProofHub especially for marketing teams, where a lot of creative work is involved, is the online proofing tool that makes the review process as easy as pie.
AeroLeads is an effective & powerful Email Finder and Lead Generation Tool.
For all your woes to find relevant & verified emails and speed up the lead generation process, this is the right tool. To accelerate the online marketing process, every business needs a tool like this. Getting contact information from LinkedIn has now become a piece of cake.
AeroLeads can be integrated with various email marketing tools and the data can be exported to other platforms such as Mailchimp, Zoho CRM, Hubspot etc.
With a dedicated customer support, you get to have access to as many as 15 data points which includes company name, job title, business email address, location, phone numbers etc. To enjoy a free experience the tool has a chrome extension as well.
11. G2 Track
G2 Track helps to gain instant control and analysis of all the other SaaS programs you're using to support your SaaS business. It helps you contain your software spend, reduce contract redundancy, optimize account usage and compliance, and manage contracts in one place. It even reminds you of renewals (so you'll never have to tell your co-workers it's your fault they can't access HubSpot today). All of this happens in one convenient dashboard.
Also, if you have various teams within your company using and paying for different tools or establishing duplicate accounts (which happens way too often), G2 Track will point this out and show you savings opportunities. It also gives IT directors a complete analysis of spend by department, employee, and product, so you can easily manage your budget.
The truth is, we all need help, especially when you are starting out. You just can’t afford to spend all your time on online marketing. There is so much else to do from building your product, dealing with existing customer problems, getting the right content to expanding your business.
To make at least some part of your work stress-free and hassle-free, these 8 tools will help save you efforts, time, and energy. And who knows, in the process, you might turn into an online marketing specialist?
So, what are you waiting for? Try these tools out today itself.