Why Your SaaS Company Should be Using the Inbound Flywheel Model

By Philip BerardoJan 11, 2019

SaaS inbound flywheel

Developing a brand in a SaaS company requires a number of key steps. In order to increase your brand recognition, your marketing team must publish consistent content, manage email campaigns, and build a strong online presence. Your audience looks for an emotional connection to your brand, and it’s your job to deliver the quality and value they’re expecting.

If you’re struggling to resonate with your customers, it may be because you're not putting them at the forefront of your service at all. Here are some reasons why your SaaS company should be using the inbound flywheel model and how to apply it to your marketing strategy.

 

The Inbound flywheel model puts your customers’ needs first.

Marketers have a tendency to focus heavily on what their brand says about themselves, while neglecting to speak to why it matters to their customers; and the same can happen to SaaS companies. In other words, your brand may be using messaging that’s a bit self-centered. For example, you’re saying “We are the experts of SaaS solutions” instead of something like “bringing SaaS expertise to you.

With an inbound flywheel model, you’re aligning your company’s goals around your customers, not just your marketing and sales teams. Then, you’re able to locate areas where they are are losing momentum in the sales cycle. Think back to the core stages of the SaaS customer lifecycle. You want to make potential new customers aware of your service, convert them with gated content or forms, and finally work on nurturing them over time. 

When applying this to the inbound flywheel model, it follows the same overall framework:

  • Attract, to build awareness: this can be achieved through regular blogging, social media interactions, or using targeted advertising. 
  • Engage, to help convert: you can engage your audience by conversing with them through live chat, social media messaging, or via emails. This is where a workflow can come in handy, so you'll always have the right response or follow-up content to provide them with. You can also use CTAs, forms, and downloadable offers (such as ebooks or case studies) to acquire contact information and work on the conversion process. 
  • Delight, to nurture: your customer interactions don't end once they've converted. As the flywheel model suggests, this is a critical opportunity for you to build a lasting relationship with your customer. This means addressing their questions or concerns and continuing to offer value that they wouldn't otherwise have without your service. 

 

Nurturing customers is key for SaaS; and the Inbound flywheel emphasizes this

When inbound marketing was still using the sales funnel as its main model, the attract and engage stages were most vital; but this isn’t the case with the flywheel. While you might feel your SaaS brand delivers enough quality service and value to your customers, maintaining a long-lasting relationship is also important. 

A strong customer following shows that your SaaS offerings are consistently providing enough value and ensures you’re not just a “one-and-done” solution. In return, your existing customers can help spread the word about your company to others, increasing your organic reach and referrals. Here are a few ways you can work on nurturing your customers during the delight stage:

  • Keep an active social media presence: this tends to feel like a missed opportunity for marketing, and SaaS companies are no different. A SaaS brand doesn’t have the added benefit of showcasing its features in-person, but sharing quick demonstration videos or educational content on social media is a great alternative.
  • Encourage customers to share your content: for SaaS companies that regularly blog or produce different pieces of non-gated content, allow customers to share these through social media. They may even know a few colleagues and friends who would be interested in your service as well. 
  • Answer pressing questions your leads and customers have: there are a few different ways you can improve customer support. Consider including a Q&A section on your website, creating a blog post around common questions, or providing answers through social messaging. You may also want to implement a chatbot on your website. This can answer some of the smaller questions a visitor might have, while transferring them over to live chat to keep the conversation going if necessary. 

 

By applying the inbound flywheel model methodology, your SaaS company can work toward retaining and growing its existing customers. If there are still areas of the sales cycle you’re feeling unsure of, feel free to contact thinkdm2 for additional guidance. As a b2b digital marketing and branding agency, we also have experience working within the SaaS industry.

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