Are you struggling to find the right balance of distribution channels? Maybe you have a solid SEO strategy that’s starting to yield results, but you need something quick and easy to get things moving.
Choosing the right SaaS distribution channels is challenging in the ever-evolving marketing industry. You need to find a balance between short- and long-term platforms, figure out what’s working (and what’s not), and be able to adapt to changes and trends.
Fortunately, there are a few tried and true approaches for SaaS firms, like paid social media campaigns and referral programs. Embracing an omni-channel approach and leveraging channel distribution tracking to keep tabs on successes and trends is the path to success.
Before you can craft the ideal omni channel distribution strategy, you need to understand the options and how everything fits together.
Are you selling directly to your customers or using a software vendor to distribute your product?
SaaS companies that sell directly to their customer base will have a different approach than those relying on a vendor. There’s more work involved for those who use direct channels, but they also have more control over every aspect.
On the other hand, using a vendor to distribute your product relieves some pressure on your team and allows them to focus on other tasks, including marketing efforts.
Another consideration when planning distribution involves customer interactions and who controls the timing. It’s easy to say, “Meet clients where they are,” but it can be complicated when you’re getting started and don’t have an established customer base.
Inbound channels involve the client coming to you, maybe through a Google Search. Conversely, outbound channels would be important to newer companies seeking out leads, like cold calls and emails.
Successful teams learn to balance inbound and outbound channels, meaning they rely heavily on channel distribution tracking to time follow-ups, proposals, and more.
Teams working with a tight budget might need to build an omni-channel distribution system with free options. However, some paid options offer a quicker return.
While it’s important to work within your budget, considering a blend of paid and free channels is best.
Be sure to consider your overall business strategy as you select distribution channels. Some of the best channels for one firm might be less effective for others. It’s necessary to determine which platforms fit best with your objectives.
Consider your team’s talents and skills, but don’t forget your target audience. Tracking metrics across distribution channels is critical for determining your target audience’s behaviours.
Leveraging analytics to identify useful patterns and trends makes it easier to identify which distribution channel drives results fastest. Consequently, your team will make more accurate decisions about your omni-channel distribution strategy.
Establishing an effective omni-channel distribution strategy is one thing, but building one that delivers quickly requires a bit more effort. These five proven channels are your best bets.
Social media marketing ranks second in advertising markets and accounted for a third of the digital advertising spending in 2022. With billions of prospects using multiple social media platforms, there’s not much of a decision to make on whether or not to use them.
Did You Know? As of April 2023, the global count of internet users stood at 5.18 billion, representing 64.6% of the worldwide population. From this figure, a staggering 4.8 billion people, equivalent to 59.9% of the global populace, actively participated on social media platforms.
Adopting social media as a direct inbound approach yields fast results for savvy teams seeking to build a foundation quickly.
While most businesses agree that LinkedIn is the place to advertise, it’s only one platform of many. It’s fast and easy to reach over 800 million people who use LinkedIn to network and inform.
The key is choosing the right combination for your product and target audience. For example, if your key demographic is Millennials and Gen Zers, you must consider Instagram. Over 60% of the platform’s users fall between the ages of 18 and 34.
Companies with a few customers can leverage those satisfied clients to grow their base. This inbound, direct channel relies on a mutual benefit system where you reward existing customers for referring new ones.
Not only does this approach foster loyalty among your clients, but it also helps you gain qualified leads quickly. Plus, it doesn’t typically cost you much, if anything at all.
Creating a solid customer referral program takes some time at the front end.
Make sure you set up appropriate channel distribution tracking to identify those platforms that provide the best engagement and returns. It will also help you identify trends and patterns to refine your program as needed.
Email marketing is an effective outbound channel that offers impressive returns.
Did You Know? Email marketing numbers continue to climb worldwide, with a projected 13.3 percent growth rate anticipated by 2027. This upward trend underscores the enduring relevance and potency of email as a marketing channel, even in an age dominated by social media and other digital platforms.
Email marketing as a SaaS firm is a bit more complex than other industries, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth the effort. Aside from being cost-effective, email marketing is surprisingly effective at drawing out qualified prospects.
Begin your email strategy with research and analytics. You need to know your target audience and their behaviours to know which prospects offer your best chance at conversion.
Using your analytics, segment your prospects into groups with unique conversion goals. This approach lets you personalise your emails to agitate those pain points and position your product as the best solution.
It’s a good idea to use a platform like Mailchimp to automate your campaign. These email marketing platforms allow you to segment your list to send different stages of your campaign to the appropriate lists. It’s also possible to try A/B testing with this format to test different campaigns for efficacy.
While that sounds like it could get confusing with different platforms, lists, and analytics, Forward provides the support teams need to succeed with email marketing. With seamless integrations to popular email automation platforms and detailed analytics all under one dashboard, it’s easy for teams to create, manage, and refine campaigns.
Though we live in an increasingly virtual world with many customers doing business online, the usefulness of in-person events cannot be ignored. Networking events, trade shows, and even hosting community-based events can open doors to new relationships and partnerships.
Personalisation remains a critical aspect of sales, and face-to-face exposure can create positive impressions and encourage new leads.
As an added bonus, in-person events help you establish credibility, trust, and authority.
Another facet of sales is who you know, and that means there is power in partnering with reputable names in the industry. You can gain credibility and spread the word about your product if you can catch the attention of in-market powerhouses.
For example, platforms like Salesforce Appexchange, Shopify, and Hubspot Ecosystem often carry a lot of weight. Being listed in these marketplaces can enhance your credibility, help you make desired connections, and attract more leads. At the very least, it earns you another mention on a high-value site, which helps your SEO.
Additionally, it helps to look at industry review sites like G2 and Capterra. Earning positive reviews from these notable, reputable software sites can help boost sales and drive new traffic.
Adopting an omni-channel distribution strategy is a critical step for SaaS companies seeking sustainable growth. Several approaches offer quick results, but determining the best combination for your product involves reliable analytics.
Establishing a strong channel distribution tracking system is the foundation for short and long-term success.
Forward’s digital sales room provides the support teams need to establish, set up, and maintain a viable strategy across all channels. When teams can work together at every point, it’s easier to create a seamless sales experience and timely encounters while your brand is fresh in a prospect’s mind.
For example, you send a team of sales reps to an in-person event. They can add leads to your CRM and post a shout-out via social media. At the same time, other team members can access the data and collaborate in real-time to send personalised messaging to the prospect.
With Forward, all of these interactions go to one place where everyone can see what’s happening at any point. If somebody wants to jump on a deal at that conference, the rest of your team can make it happen with the centralised dashboard.
It’s also easier to see the big picture across all channels. Real-time analytics let you gauge prospect interactions with social media posts and email campaigns to know what’s working and what isn’t.