If you’re looking for a marketing strategy to grow your SaaS business, SaaStr’s very own Jason Lemkin has five things you can do today, this week, or this month that always work.
And the great news is that almost everything costs little to no money.
Most SaaS companies need to spend more on marketing. To save money, many freeze marketing spend, which is cool for a few months, but if it becomes the norm, they won’t have enough pipeline for the rest of the year.
No matter what, you need to do more marketing in the back half of this year. If you don’t, your teams are going to starve. As the saying goes, “You can’t cut your way to growth.”
While many of these ideas seem basic, they aren’t done enough. Instead of tackling all five strategies simultaneously, do just one thing better, and you’ll get more leads.
Strategy #1: Hold a customer conference.
It’s ok to start small, but the key is to start — even if you only get 30 people together for three hours in a hotel room. There is magic in getting customers and prospects together.
Why are customer conferences successful? Because only two types of people will come.
- Those who are interested in what you’re offering.
- Those who already love your offerings or you’re important to their business.
When customers get into a room with prospects, they’ll sell you. Prospects will listen and move through the funnel faster, plus have the opportunity to interact with you and your team.
An ancillary benefit of holding a conference is the great content you can repurpose. Record your sessions, post them to YouTube, create social posts, and write helpful blog posts on your website.
How To Host Your First Conference
Hosting a conference might seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. You can do it yourself without a Head of Marketing.
Step 1 — Rent a hotel or ballroom for the afternoon. The smallest ballroom at a Marriott costs less than five grand, and if you’re really looking for a deal, you can find somewhere for less than $2k.
Step 2 — Give 90 days’ notice and prepare two or three pieces of content, maybe two presentations on how to use your product, and then have a cocktail party. Let people mix and mingle. You’ll get good at it and start to build on it each year.
Step 3 — If you’re worried about price, partner with someone who wants access to your customer base.
Strategy #2: Host A Weekly Webinar (You MUST Do It Every Week)
Lemkin has this conversation with VPs of Marketing and founders every single week, and it’s a strategy that always, always works. Even for SaaStr!
Host a weekly webinar. The secret sauce to making it work? It has to be every single week at the same time. If you try it for a couple of weeks and quit saying it didn’t work, then you fail the mission of playing the long game.
Each week, more and more people will come. If you have a database of prospects, invite them.
It’s like the customer conference, although not as good, but it’s 52 weeks per year. Prospects can come and ask questions, see a demo, and share stories with other prospects and customers.
Consistent weekly webinars are the number one performing strategy people can do.
What are the benefits of a weekly webinar?
- A subtle benefit is people invite other people. If you’re here every week, someone you didn’t expect will show up, and sometimes that person is very important.
- You will close more deals. If you’re ACV is reasonably high, one deal is worth it. If three people come and they all make a deal, that’s much more efficient than a one-on-one demo.
How To Set Up A Weekly Webinar
You can have demo webinars or one with valuable, educational content like SaaStr.
One thing to prioritize is keeping the scripted content as succinct as possible. Book it for an hour, add 15-20 minutes of value, and save the last 30-40 minutes for chatting.
The questions that’ll come up are magical because they inform the rest of your base and sell you to other prospects and customers.
Strategy #3: Write Amazing Blog Content
This one is so basic, but it’s done with such poor execution. Businesses are often content farms pushing out low-quality blog posts that no one will read in an attempt to boost SEO and visibility.
But the key to visibility is creating value. Of course, don’t take this advice if you have a fantastic content marketing engine like Notion, Gitlab, or Hubspot with millions of monthly visitors. Keep doing what you’re doing. But if that’s not you, listen up.
If you want to get a small but always-growing amount of high-quality leads, you must write two amazing pieces of content monthly.
You don’t want anything that looks like ChatGPT or a low-quality writer wrote it. You want an enduring piece of content.
For example, SaaStr launched in 2012 and wrote some of our best content at the time on how to hire a VP of Sales. A lot of people could write that better today, but 11 years later, those pieces are 20% of our traffic.
So two iconic pieces of content a month are magical.
If you slow it down, write about whatever you’re an expert in (and if you’ve hit 1M or 2M in revenue, you’re an expert in something), and only get two great leads a month, that’s awesome!
Strategy #4: Book Some Steak Dinners
Really. Booking a steak dinner and doing a city tour wherever your customers are is huge. We’ve talked about customer events and webinars every week, and this one is right up there with always working.
The steak dinner is like a mini event and a classic field activity.
How do you do it?
Visit a new city each month and try to meet with at least ten customers. And then invite your prospects to dinner as well, and you’re customers will do the selling.
The stakes are low at a steak dinner, and the ROI is real. You just have to keep doing them, ideally once per month.
How To Organize A Steak Dinner With Customers and Prospects
Keep things simple. To host one of these mini-scalable events, all you need to do is call a restaurant, find out if it has a private room, and book it.
If it’s at an Olive Garden, that’s ok. It doesn’t always have to be a Ruth’s Chris or somewhere fancy. And sometimes, being too fancy can be a turnoff depending on your customers.
The key to making this work is just like the webinars. Do it regularly, and the momentum snowballs.
Strategy #5: Visit Your Largest Customers
In today’s remote working world, meeting people in person is already a win. You build a deeper relationship with customers when you see them face-to-face.
For this strategy, you’ll want to schedule a time to visit your largest customers, those in your top 10-15% of revenue.
It’s so simple, yet many founders don’t do it.
Here’s the trick, and it works especially well for founders and heads of customer success. Do a roadmap presentation.
When you visit your largest customers, you know you’re walking into a room where people are heavily investing in you. They’re not only investing in your company, but they’re also investing their careers and livelihood in you.
So take them on a journey of what’s coming over the next 12 months. They’ll take the meeting.
When you review the roadmap, ask for their feedback. They’ll appreciate being included and feeling heard.
And the best part? Many times, you’ll walk into a room, and 20 people will be there — your champions and their bosses. Getting 20 stakeholders in a room for a sales pitch is huge. And this isn’t even a sales pitch. But it could keep them with you for the long haul.
You only need to do a roadmap twice a year, and you could pair it up with one of your steak dinner adventures.
Sometimes the best thing you can do for your business is to go back to the basics, show up, and provide value for your customers and prospects.
Published on April 19, 2023