24, Aug 2022
As a rule, newly launched SaaS services are very limited in funds. They are not only inaccessible to the tactics of “flooding the market with money”, which became popular in eCommerce a couple of years ago due to the arrival of “big” money in Runet. Often, most of the traditional tools for attracting visitors to promotional sites are not available to startups. With this in mind, in the promotion strategy, I want to highlight three main areas that allow you to operate on a limited budget.
- FORMATION OF DEMAND.
An important task for an innovative product is to create demand for a new way of solving a problem (no one has canceled the existing solution). This activity involves not so much bombarding potential users with suggestions to solve all their problems (although it does not exclude it), but rather conveying your vision of the solution and positioning yourself as an expert in solving such problems.
Thanks to XYZ positioning, you have an understanding of your audience. In 99% of cases, this audience has a thematic platform, community, group, forum, mailing list, or some other platform for online communication. The owners of these platforms tend to monetize their sites through ads and will almost always be happy with good content. You should not try to place press releases in such places, no one reads them. And frank advertising will not meet anything but negativity at all.
Instead, share interesting information! After all, you conducted research on your audience, identified its needs, analyzed the market .. Make a mini-report out of this. Are you making an app for bikers? Surely you have information on the distribution of motorcycle brands among motorcycle owners in Moscow (or New York?) Are you writing a service for analysts? Tell us about what systems are used in the market, what are their strengths and weaknesses. If there is no inspiration at all, just translate a few Western articles.
Naturally, your service can also be mentioned in the article. You should not make it the center of the article, let it be a simple caption “Material prepared by A.B. Petrov, manager of the service for solving problem X http://example.com”, or a short mention in the text like “we in example.com solved problem X in the Z way”.
Engage with communities.
Subscribe to new topics or community posts on your topic. Someone sooner or later will have a problem that your service can solve. In addition, each community has so-called opinion leaders. Ask them to try your product, act as experts, give their opinion, write a review or even a review. Do not be afraid of failure, the very request will emphasize the expert status of a person and flatter him, even if you get a refusal. And if you agree, be sure to process the feedback and make minor improvements, informing the expert about it. This will connect him to your product and perhaps make him your advocate or even evangelist.
Participate in industry events.
Industry conferences are held across the country several times a month. The cost of placing a stand on them can vary from several tens to several hundred thousand rubles and is not suitable for everyone. You can show yourself at events in a different way.
Make a presentation.
Do not advertise under any circumstances. The approach to the content of the speech should be the same as when working with platforms: maximum useful content.
Chat with potential clients.
At the largest events (such as the “Russian Internet Forum” or “Russian Internet Week”), your potential customers cannot be missing.
Try to get a slot through structures that support startups.
At the above-mentioned RIW and RIF, the so-called Upstart Conf is held as a separate stream, which makes it possible to talk about the project or even get a stand at the exhibition. Microsoft provides strong support for startups using its technologies. We can talk about both free software provision and marketing support (highlights in stores, news on websites and mailing lists, slots at conferences, and so on).
Participate in online events.
There are many online activities that can support you. For example, Maxim Spiridonov periodically conducts a “debriefing” for startups in the format of a webinar, in which, as a rule, dozens of people participate, and hundreds watch the recording. The Seopult-TV channel recently launched the “Terrapiya” program, the participants of which thoroughly analyze the Internet project (the number of views here is already in the thousands).
Attend startup events and competitions.
Not the most effective method for getting customers, however, it will help you get feedback on the product, which will be sorely missed at the start, as well as help you make useful contacts, which we will talk about a little later.
- WORKING WITH THE FORMATED DEMAND.
Despite all the innovativeness of your product, the current solution to the same problem X has a small but steady demand. about fifty
24, Aug 2022
After the long-awaited release of the first version of the web application, it turns out that no one knows about your startup (which, of course, is absolutely necessary for all people on the planet), and for some reason users do not line up with a request to accept their money and enjoy as soon as possible. your new product.
As experience shows, one well-written SAAS product is not enough to build a profitable business. It’s great if you have a marketing budget. It is very good if you know what to do with it, because the approach to the formation of a promotion strategy requires both consistency and ingenuity: startups are almost always limited in money. In this article, I will describe how to most rationally allocate time and money to promote your product.
Promoting your service, of course, should be part of a well-designed marketing strategy. However, very often start-ups do not have the time or resources to develop a brand and plan detailed marketing activities for their product. Therefore, before you attack the wallets of potential customers, I want you to do a little exercise that will help make your promotion strategy much more effective.
Right now, write on a piece of paper: “My service solves problem X for audience Y in a unique way Z.” Naturally, the letters XYZ must be replaced with the information that is relevant to you.
Describe the problem your service should solve. Briefly and concisely, in a few words. The search engine solves the problem of finding information among 15,000,000 Runet sites. E-mail service solves the problem of fast transfer of information and documents through the network. Why does your service exist? What problem does it solve?
Describe the target audience of your project. I beg you: do not tell anyone under any circumstances that your service is created for everyone. Remember: for everyone means for no one. Who will use your project? For whom will it be of value? Whose problems will be solved? Who will be upset if your project ceases to exist? Who decides what is worth using your service? IT-shniki, financiers, marketers? The better you describe your customers, the cheaper it will cost you to contact them in the end.
Agree, if the problem you described is acute, then its solution already exists, regardless of your service. Another thing is that your solution to the problem should be so good that its appearance, if not change the world, then at least eclipse all other solutions, otherwise why would you take on your project, right?
24, Aug 2022
SaaS or software as a service is a software licensing service model by subscription. Most often, such software is located on servers in the network. The user accesses the service through a browser or API, and is entirely supported by the service provider. Simply put, the SaaS model allows the client to work with a ready-made solution online. The user simply pays for access and gets a ready-made tool as quickly as possible. In today’s article, Ivan Paly from Boosta will tell you how he and his team drive traffic to their own SaaS products:
Sitechecker – website analysis service for technical errors;
Copywritely – content analysis service;
Kparser is a search suggestion parser.
For 2 years of work, the team has received impressive results. The products compete in search results with the giants of the seo tools industry: Semrush, Ahrefs, Moz and Backlinko. The total traffic has already exceeded 300,000 unique users and continues to grow, and the number of referring donors is more than 2,000.
We will divide the report into 3 parts: content creation, traffic acquisition and link building. Let’s move on to specific steps. Let’s imagine that you took a product, studied competitors, parsed their semantics and filed the main pages in English. These are classic steps. The question is how to extend the semantics.
Separation into mini-products
The first way is to divide your product into mini-products. At one point, we noticed that users analyze pages not entirely, but their specific parts: meta tags, h1, title and description. We added pages based on this data, and Google began to rank them well. For example, this was the case with Favicon Checker: we initially made an information landing, added a tool, and saw push traffic. You can add these mini-tools to the first screen, in the middle of an article, or combine them with how-to content. Or you can generally do only one to and leave the title, h1 or description. The main value of such pages is that the user satisfies his intent simply by getting some kind of response from the tool. He doesn’t always need to read the content. Similar responses can be generated in English and then scaled to other languages.
Create mini-products based on API
Many tools that have an API put a lot of emphasis on the quality, accuracy, and volume of their data, but often forget about design. If you work in this direction with the same data, you can easily overtake your competitors. For example, this is what we did with the traffic-checker landing page. In this case, you need to be careful. After receiving traffic, we analyze statistics on conversions and profit. After all, you will most often have to pay for the API. Even if the landing page is in the top, you need to constantly analyze whether it makes a profit.
Other Uses for the Product
Let’s take a look at the kparser search hint parser as an example. First, it was in the top for key-word generator and key-word suggestion tool. At some point, we noticed that the site ranks well for words related to YouTube – the landing page youtube key word tool went well. We wondered what else people might be looking for? As a result, we noticed a great demand for youtube name generator. It turns out that many aspiring YouTubers want to create channels, but cannot come up with a name for themselves.
It’s a bit strange. How can search suggestions help you come up with a brand name? So we went a little further. Our product didn’t just teach YouTubers how to create a brand for themselves. He explained in detail how to use this data. The idea worked. Now it is our most popular product. Further experiments with domain name generator and business name generator began. They were also successful. The important thing is that you look at your product from different angles and try to understand how it can be used.
Comparison with competitors
Surely your product has competitors. Many users are not satisfied with them, and users will look for an alternative. Such requests have a small volume, but the hottest target audience. She has already used the tool and was dissatisfied with something. This is the warmest customer and you can satisfy him. Show your benefits and reflect this in your content. Don’t forget small competitors. Analyze sites with good potential and copy their features. As they grow, the traffic to your landing page will also grow.
24, Aug 2022
- We take page ideas from competitors
In this case, the competitor is any site that ranks according to your semantics. It doesn’t have to be a product similar to yours.
Your competitors may have a different site structure, different type of content, but the semantics they cover will be similar.
It is best to take semantics from market leaders. From the very beginning, we collected ideas from Moz pages.
Ahrefs “Top Pages” report on moz.com
But remember that the semantics of market leaders will not necessarily be exhaustive. For two reasons:
there is always valuable semantics that Ahrefs, Semrush, Similarweb services do not see.
there are always valuable semantics that your competitors don’t rank for.
- Divide the product into mini-products
We made it too late. And I had to start from there. For the first year, our main product was an SEO page analysis tool.
This analysis consists of many checks. Each of them represents a separate value for users. And every single check is searched by users on Google.
The value of such pages consists of four parameters:
You don’t need a lot of content to start ranking.
lower competition for keywords;
it is easy to make the same pages in other languages;
high conversion to the next step.
An example of our mini-product, which is part of the main product
- We create related mini-products
These should be mini products:
for which there is semantics;
take little time from your developers;
close in subject matter to your main product.
An example of our mini product, which is not part of the main product
- We create mini-products based on the API of other products
This item is similar to the previous one. But here you need more investment from a product manager and designer than from developers.
It is important to realize that there are many ways to use and visualize the same data. And the market leader with the best data in a niche doesn’t always represent it in the best possible way.
An example of our attendance tool based on the API of another product
- Looking for other ways to use the product
At some point, we noticed that a cluster of YouTube pages works well on kparser.com. I looked around to see what other YouTube pages our competitors have that aren’t related to our product at all.
The youtube name generator query cluster was very frequent and had little competition. Thinking about how to connect our product and the solution to this user need, I created this page.
Now this page is the first in terms of traffic and in the top three for backlinks.
The instruction is simple:
collect a list of the most impossible ideas, how else the product can be useful;
study the content of other products that are not yet your competitors;
make a couple of experimental pages;
if something worked, you may have opened another big niche for your product.
24, Aug 2022
In three years, our team has managed to grow the total traffic for three SaaS products to 520,000 unique visitors per month. 90% of visitors come to us from Google organic search. In this article, I will explain what steps helped us achieve these results.
But this version will be wider and more detailed. Now, six months after the speech, our traffic is growing and some hypotheses have finally proved their effectiveness.
For all three products (Sitechecker, Copywritely, Kparser) we used a similar search engine optimization methodology. Therefore, I think that the methods described here will be valuable for any SaaS product.
Let me remind you that SaaS (software as a service) is a business model in which you sell access to your program by subscription for a specific period of time.
Fundamentals of methodology.
Ideas for creating pages.
Ideas for getting links and traffic.
Untested but valuable ideas.
Fundamentals of methodology
The methodology is based on two axioms:
your product will change and you do not know where you will come with it years later;
you do not know which pages of your site and external sites will bring the most traffic, backlinks and sales.
Based on these axioms, we form the key task of the SEO strategy in the first year or two.
Embrace semantics in your niche as much as possible and test as many ways as possible to drive traffic and backlinks.
If you had precise answers to these questions, your approach would be very different. But you probably don’t have them. Therefore, you need to build a system for selecting the most valuable pages and external sites as early as possible. Here’s how to build such a system.
- Map Your Audience Needs
Your product is always within some value chain among other products. Think about what other tasks your user solves before coming to you and after he has started using your product. This way you will get even more ideas for creating pages and monetizing your existing audience.
An example of an audience needs map description
- Create pages early
You need to create all the necessary pages and content for them as early as possible in order to:
was where to attract traffic;
users had something to share;
there was something to select pages for improvements;
as early as possible, internal linking began to work, the age of the url accumulated.
Building pages as early as possible means approaching them like an MVP. Do not bring them to the ideal at first, but do it well enough, but as many pages as possible.
- Look for ways to use the same content on different sites
Creating quality content is expensive and time consuming. Create such content for your site, and then think about how to present the same content in a different form on external sites. We drew images for the blog and promoted them on Pinterest, wrote articles for the blog and used their content to respond to Quora.
- Set up web analytics as early as possible
Publish pricing as early as possible, set goals and/or e-commerce in Google Analytics. This will help you start selecting pages based on revenue potential as early as possible.