In today’s crowded landscape of companies, ideas, and products, having a clear plan and SaaS content marketing strategy becomes the one critical element entrepreneurs need to focus on to take their company to another level.
And although companies take pride in having a viable product, it’s equally important to establish a strong visual and content identity that can help you engage with customers better and establish more authentic relationships.
In our case, we realized we needed to work in-depth on building our company’s foundation early and take it to new heights.
We started by organizing brainstorming sessions, conducting interviews with the team and customers, ideating, and bringing our own experience and knowledge to the table to craft a sustainable working plan for the year.
This plan would help us achieve a complete rebrand of our website and social presence. It will also help us get into the nitty-gritty details of the marketing strategy and refine our products’ offerings.
Secondly, we thought of producing content that would position us as thought-leaders in the market, launching a knowledge base and messaging bot to get closer to our customers.
Now, while we are still in the midst of tackling many projects, we are happy to share some of the things we shipped in just three months.
So, here are the areas we have worked on so far:
- Customer Engagement
- Knowledge Base
And by the way, since we will talk about branding and stories, here’s a fun fact about our company’s name and logo – Innovo42 stands for innovation and, well, the meaning of life.
The number 42 is, in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, the “Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything”, calculated by an enormous supercomputer named Deep Thought over a period of 7.5 million years.
• Revamping the website to create a stronger identity
Entrepreneurs and executives know that a strong identity is the foundation of a good company, which is why we wanted to start on the right foot and question why we do what we do and translate the answers into tangible accomplishments.
Before we decided to push new ideas out, we wanted to take a few steps back and establish a good level of brand consistency.
We kicked off this process by asking ourselves key questions pertaining to the definitive aspects of our business, as well as to the more abstract ones like our mission and vision.
Today, many companies might be tempted to skip this step because it may look like something that fluffs up the business.
However, defining all of these elements in an organized manner before you establish online and social presence will bridge the gap between your company and customers, ensure commitment, and bring clarity and direction to your team in the long run.
In our case, we asked ourselves some basic yet powerful questions such as:
- Who are we? How can we describe what we do to someone unfamiliar with the industry in a nutshell?
- What are our mission and values?
- Why was this company established and how do we help companies?
- What products do we provide, how, and where?
We believe that consistency in visual and written messaging reinforces our business’ integrity, assuring customers we are trustworthy and here to stay.
When we started, we had an identity system that wasn’t quite evolving with the business.
But although we had visual and stylistics inconsistencies across logos and the website, we knew it was only a matter of time until we made our look feel more like “us”.
At Innovo42, as a first step, we created a proper brand guideline, revamped the entire website, came up with the user interface design, created new logos, and brought everything to life through unique, playful illustrations.
As we are a team of creatives, we want to push the limits of what’s possible by thinking out of the box and coming up with ideas that challenge the status quo.
By giving our website a new look and feel, we felt we could better align ourselves to our core values and eventually see how this step changes the way we work in the long run.
And the best part here was that our solution engineer Sanjay Nelagadde has done this implementation seamlessly and at a much faster pace than usual, bringing the whole experience to the next level.
As a small start-up, time and speed are crucial factors, which is why iterations and deployment need to be done fast.
Generally, deployment is usually a troublesome process that can take up days, but with a low-code platform, we can deliver assets faster and in a more sustainable way.
By working with a low-code platform, we have managed to create a eamless experience for our development process, re-designing the website much faster. Sanjay Nelagadde, Solution Engineer at Innovo42
• Setting up the initial phase of the marketing direction
According to HubSpot, the success or failure of early-stage SaaS companies depends on their ability to:
1.Acquire new customers quickly and cost effectively
2. Retain customers over the long haul
3. Upsell customers to increase LTV (customer lifetime value) over time
In terms of marketing, we kicked off our efforts by defining our company’s persona and understanding the challenges they have. We also came up with conversion touch points to get to know our customers better and set up the conversion tracking.
We realized that collecting data in a sustainable way and using top performing marketing channels should be our first priority until we find the product-market fit.
Similarly, to connect with customers, we have devised a customer journey map to lead us on what kind of marketing strategies we need to achieve our goals.
The next question we asked ourselves was how do our potential customers and prospects become aware of our business?
Initially, we came up with a list of touch points to create awareness such as:
- Google AdWords
- Sponsored content
- Organic social media
- Word of mouth
We also wanted to understand how potential customers and prospects consider our business as their source to meet their needs.
Hence the verticals we considered at this stage are:
- Content marketing
- Social Mentions
- Free trial
- eBooks and webinars
- Email Marketing
As a first marketing phase, our aim was to target a multichannel marketing campaign and get a seamless experience across different touch-points to build brand awareness, increase conversions, and get data insights.
3. Customer Engagement and Conversational Marketing
• Launching Intercom Messenger to engage with customers
We are quite vocal about being self-proclaimed Intercom evangelists, so we were excited to work with a topnotch messaging tool, setting up chatbots to automate certain tasks and helping users get the answers in real time.
Our stance remains that success comes from engaging with customers through user-friendly products to help onboard and support them in a more personalized way.
From a support point of view, the app allows us to easily chat with users and visitors, understand their problems and requirements and quickly tracking issues so we can address them as fast as possible.
From a marketing perspective, Intercom enables us to segment users based on attributes, send targeted in-app or email messages, and target visitors and leads with personalized messages.
4. Help Centre
• Giving answers to questions in a comprehensive Help Centre
Aspart of the overall rebranding process, our team has devised new avenues to tighten the relationship with the users and deliver faster answers with the help of an integrated knowledge base.
One of the latest trends in customer behaviour is giving users quick access to answers and allowing them to solve problems on their own.
Today, consumers want a company to provide them with a way to do self-support.
Through the help of Intercom, Colin Anthony, Co-Founder at Innovo42, has created a comprehensive help
The idea is simple. Concise articles help to frame topics into focused sections. These articles can be added into collections to address a broad topic (e.g. end-to-end Administrator’s Guide), allowing the modular and systematic build-up of content.
The help centre’s search capabilities are a game changer, allowing users to do a keyword search across articles and diving directly into what they are looking for instead of looking through entire help files. Colin Anthony, Co-Founder at Innovo42
Furthermore, the help function is available to users both directly within the Help Center and via the messenger bot on our website, making information available at the user’s fingertips.
• Working out a strong SaaS content marketing strategy
Changing work habits can result in shaping organizations and we take pride in being the sort of company which prompts individuals and companies to challenge the status quo of their work by providing tips and articles that educate and inspire.
As a SaaS start-up, we find it important to help customers understand how our product works and what the advantages of it are but we also want to build authentic relationships with our customers and readers.
With this in mind, we are convinced that content marketing can help educate, attract and convert audiences in a more sustainable way.
On the editorial front, we want to think differently too — and with Innovo42’s new blog and content efforts, our objective remains to empower readers with useful articles that educate and inspire.
We believe that by sharing interesting tips, industry trends, case studies, and articles about digital transformation, we will bring productivity at the forefront of companies’ objectives, so they can draw value from them in the pursuit of learning how to work better.
In HBR’s article Your Content Marketing Strategy Doesn’t Have to Be Complicated, it’s stated that “although we’re producing more content than ever, fewer marketers have a documented content marketing strategy compared with last year (32% vs. 35%), even though the same research consistently shows that those who document their strategy are more effective in nearly all areas of content marketing.”
So the idea here is to focus on qualitative, well-thought content that readers will perceive as valuable, then readers will likely be willing to engage with you and listen to what you have to say.
• Turning ideas into products in a sustainable way
Earlier this month, Rene Hess, Co-Founder at Innovo42, wrote an article about how our start-up manages to turn ideas into products, highlighting how we ideate and build workable prototypes at a speed that would otherwise not be possible.
How we work is by quickly validating new ideas, moving them to the next stage if promising, or dropping them if not feasible.
In the past three months, from a product perspective, we have enhanced the design of the web dashboard to tie it with the overall design and released a new feature which helps companies claim GST expenses, enabling them to stay in compliance with the government’s tax rules.
By having access to this feature, our goal is to help companies easily book and archive receipts correctly to have access to them anytime and make claims that would otherwise be missed.
We are aware that building and perfecting a product is an ongoing process, so we want to bring value to users by thinking about their requirements first and understanding the market challenges.
When building a product, we find the approach of Jason Fried, Founder & CEO at Basecamp quite interesting. A product changes in many ways during its lifecycle and the idea is to keep moving, building and asking users for feedback.
• Establishing an open culture focused on growth and collaborative projects (and occasional cocktails)
Running a small company can take a lot of hard work, courage, and tenacity, but we are driven by passion, vision and a mentality for solving problems.
In the past three months, our goal was to build a core team that would push our start-up forward.
With founders who have strong values and foster an environment of growth and openness, we believe that our team can bring their best selves to work and enjoy the journey.
And although we are still a small team, we want to continue living by our values inspired by Harvard Business Review:
- a vision ora mission statement
- values that offer a set of guidelines on the mindset needed to achieve that vision
- practices that are reinforced in the daily life of the firm
- people who share the company’s core values
- narrative, the unique story each company possesses or the ability to unearth that history and craft it into a narrative