What if I told you your marketing plan can be all wrong? No matter how hard you’ve been working on it.
It’s not because you’re not trying. Marketing a WaaS (websites-as-a-service) is just hard. It’s not like marketing a traditional business, it’s so easy to make wrong decisions.
I’ve had the opportunity to talk to a lot of WaaS owners and will-be WaaS owners and I see a pattern in the same types of mistakes in thinking time and time again.
Here are 5 of the most common errors that I’ve found in most WaaS marketing strategies.
1. Ineffective messaging
If your prospective customers don’t understand what you’re selling, if and why they should buy from you, then you’re missing the mark.
I would venture to say that the majority of WaaS customers don’t care about how your network works. What they care about is what it can do for them. (See “Don’t Talk Techy to WaaS Buyers.”)
It’s best to focus your messaging on the benefits and advantages. Don’t just focus on your features. Also don’t forget to remind them of the cost of “doing nothing”. Not fixing their problem comes at a great cost.
Your wasting time if you’re unable to clearly explain and demonstrate your value to your prospective customers.
2. Buyers are distracted
Let’s face it, most prospective WaaS customers are busy people. They’re not just spending their day focused on buying your solution(s). Most are handling their day to day tasks as well. (See “Your WaaS Customers Have a Day Job.”)
In order to overcome this challenge means your marketing strategy needs to at least accomplish these two things:
It needs to be super easy for your prospective customer to understand the value of your turnkey website solution quickly. You want to make the most of their attention while you have it. Help them get to their ‘AHA! Moment” as quickly as possible. You can do this with a free trial, a video or even a demo, but make sure it happens as soon as possible.
The other thing you need to make sure you do is stay in front of them consistently over a long period of time. Even if they don’t pull the trigger on your solution right away, you want to make sure your message stays in front of them so that when they revisit their search for a solution, you’re top of mind.
3. Advertising in the wrong places
You don’t want to market your solutions to the wrong audience. Make sure you’re putting your message in front of the right audience. This is much easier to do when you niche down.
Just because others are advertising on popular social channels like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest, doesn’t mean that’s where YOUR prospective customers are searching for your type of website solutions. (See “Searching for WaaS Customers in All the Wrong Places.“)
A lot of the WaaS developers I’ve worked with have found a lot of success in traditional media, like trade shows and snail mail. That’s probably not as interesting and fun as you were hoping, but yet very effective and not to be overlooked.
Bottlenecks and gaps
Websites aren’t typically impulse purchases. Most buyers usually go through a multi-step evaluation process, and your marketing message really needs to be at every step of their journey.
If you have a gap in your sales funnel, there’s a high probability that your prospects will get stuck or lost somewhere along the way. (See “Why Drive-By Marketing Doesn’t Work for WaaS.“)
It’s not uncommon to see companies that do a great job getting attention and generating interest, but don’t have a customer acquisition machine to convert their prospective buyers. Then there’s other WaaS companies that do a great job of acquiring new customers but lose them after only just a few months. (See “How to Lose Your WaaS Subscriber in the First 90 Days.”)
Bottlenecks and gaps in your funnel grossly reduce your opportunity to converting leads into paying customers.
Lack of attention to your existing customers
Not paying attention to your current subscribers won’t work for WaaS. If you don’t have a strategy to stay in consistent contact with your current customers, you can expect to see increased churn.
In general, the Websites as a Service business model requires that you get your customers to “stick” for several months to recoup your customer acquisition costs. In other words, churn will put you out of business if you’re not careful.
This just means you need to make sure you continue marketing to your current customers. It’s important that they’re constantly reminded what value your service brings them. This should be an essential part of your marketing strategy.
Staying in touch with customer concerns
If you’ve been in business for any considerable amount of time, you’ll know that customers’ needs change over time. This makes it important for your marketing strategy to change too. You can’t expect to use the same marketing tactics over several years.
The best way to notice a change in market is to just ask your paying customers what they want/need. This will allow you to make quick and effective adjustments.
In a world of marketing automation, your marketing plan is one area you can’t put on auto-pilot.