We all have the tendency to want to do what is “sexy”. I mean, who doesn’t look at the “gurus” on Facebook that are making millions just by running ads and want a part of the action? I get it. Yet, what we don’t see until we dig deep is the work these people did to get to the point where they have a replicable, scalable business. Consider the possibility you’re not qualified to focus on scalability.
Yes, I just said that. Bear with me.
Here’s the typical process of a SaaS company looking to scale:
- Inbound marketing (i.e. ads)
- Content marketing (i.e. blog posts, social media)
- Outbound marketing (i.e. sales emails - eekkkk)
Now let me explain the mental process most entrepreneurs have that lead them through this process:
- “Crap, I spent all my money on ads” (PS - it wasn’t enough test-and-optimize in the first place, especially when I have no credibility yet!)
- “Shoot, my content isn’t performing … because I have no ads to drive traffic!”
- “I admit defeat. I’ll send cold emails and pick up the phone”.
This process is backwards. We start off with what is “sexy” and fun, not what works. We all do this in varying capacities, but this is a perfect example of why so many SaaS companies are failing.
Let’s all agree on one principle: Results matter. Nothing else.
Successful B2B SaaS companies build up their revenue and initial marketing budget by doing the dirty work of networking, connecting, and building relationships in the industry. B2B sales will always, without fail, be a relationship-centric situation. When you start here, you grow to the point you can afford to invest in content marketing.
A solid content marketing (and, as a byproduct, SEO) strategy gives you and your company the credibility you need to succeed when it comes time to running ads. And, because of the ripple effect felt from the outbound and content strategies, you can now afford to run paid advertising campaigns the right way.
The idea we can grow companies off of $5 in ads per day simply isn’t true, unless you have 938 days (sense the sarcasm) to test and optimize. Most startups don’t have this runway, so they should avoid it until they’re truly ready.
Providing value is the best way to build a rapport and trust with prospects, so focusing on creating that value before bringing leads to your site is a safer bet than blindly throwing ads at a non-optimized, pretty-but-empty site. When you shift your focus and implement these three pillars of growing a tech company, the results will speak for themselves.