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How to Launch a New SaaS Product + Sample Roadmap

Let’s face it. The SaaS market has all sorts of competition from small businesses and large enterprises offering various forms of software-as-a-service products. It is important to understand how to launch a new SaaS product to help gain a sizeable customer base and return users.

Most importantly, understanding digital marketing for small business and key things to avoid during a SaaS product launch will help your small business avoid a ton of wasted effort or disappointment.

SaaS product marketing launches must clearly articulate product differentiation and value proposition at the right time and to the right people to be effective. There are several components, yet you can leverage the most value-added activities to get the results you want faster.

In fact, agile digital strategy for small business SaaS product launches is the best digital strategy method to use for these intensive efforts. Why? We will talk more about that down below.

Let’s discuss some things to avoid for SaaS product launches first, and then we’ll go into the ends and outs of what you should do to be successful.

Things to Avoid for Your SaaS Product Launch

It is an exciting time – going live with your newest SaaS product. We get it, and it should be! Yet, where there is excitement, there should also be strategy to help your small business manage, measure, and adjust your SaaS product launch along the way.

The cost of launching a product without the right strategies in place can be high. We've identified 03 mistakes to avoid in digital marketing before and also want to share some common mistakes to avoid in SaaS product launches that we have seen some of our clients do.

1. Forgetting the MVP

Sometimes things can get so exciting that we get overzealous in product design and features. We’ve worked with a client that had so many great ideas but worked in a complete silo with next to zero market testing or user feedback. Before we came in, this caused the client to create a gigantic product with tons of features and a clunky functionality. The SaaS product was so robust that initial users – even the client – could not verbalize the product’s value, differentiation, or pinpoint the benefit of using the tool at all. It was bad.

One of the things to avoid is forgetting the minimum viable product (MVP) and its respective marketing phases. It is often better to test a niche market population or user groups with the MVP first rather than go-to-market with a giant product that may be too robust to provide a quality user experience. Beta launches are useful here – we’ll go into that more later.

2. Not Doing Market Research

Knowing your competition is truly understated in the SaaS product launch process, and we mean more than doing a quick glance and their websites. You must understand your competition, who your ideal customer should be, their locations, their interests, the opportunities and threats in the industry, and other macro-economic influences on your product and business model.

Entering the SaaS space without this knowledge is essentially entering into it blindly and that can of course be costly. Market research helps your small business identify product market fit and deliver the right messaging that speaks to the right potential group of customers. It also improves your pricing strategy.

3. Casting a Wide Net

You may think it a good idea to try and capture as many potential customers as possible all at launch, but that is counterintuitive to the most successful SaaS product launches. In fact, where you leverage the MVP and successful market research, you can rely on a niche target audience and even peers or colleagues to be your first test users.

Marketing to everyone leads to panic when funding begins to exhaust itself (and trust us, it will) and product sign-ups are missing the target goal. It also points to a poorly planned marketing strategy for product launch.

Your SaaS product launch should begin at least 03 months prior to your broader public launch. In some instances, companies begin releasing MVPs as early as 18 months prior to a wider product launch.

Avoiding these costly mistakes will help you develop a SaaS product that brings value to a core user base and increases sales over time.

Content Marketing for a SaaS Product Launch

Remember that we mentioned agile digital strategy for your product launch? Agile digital strategy helps you adapt to the changes in the marketplace and deliver value based on newly acquired data at a given incremental time.

The best digital marketing strategy for online SaaS product launches are developed progressively with adaptation to change over the product launch lifecycle. Your small business needs to support each phase of the lifecycle with the right content to guide your target audience and convert leads to users.

Here are some of the key areas that your content marketing strategy should address for the product launch:

Pre-launch. This is the phase where you are introducing potential customers, based on your target audience criteria, to the importance of your product and the excitement of its future offering. Use this phase to excite and awe the crowd, but not overpromise, as well as gather customer sign-ups to be waitlisted for launch release.

  • Introduction of the product

  • Product value, benefits, and features

  • Guest user invitations

  • Landing pages for early access lead generation

  • Email invitations to beta testers

  • Interactive forums

  • Explainer videos

  • Blog posts

  • Ad content

Launch. This is the phase we’ve all been waiting for – the launch! For your SaaS product launch your content marketing strategy should support the user experience and continue to emphasize product value.

  • User onboarding

  • How-to videos

  • Step-by-step guides

  • Interactive forums

  • Email announcements

  • Social media content

  • Landing pages

Post-launch. This is the phase where you sustain product interest and adapt as needed according to the data you can gather.

  • Customer feedback surveys

  • Customer testimonials

  • New feature email announcements

  • Social media content

  • Ad content

  • Webinars

  • Blogs

A mixed-media content marketing strategy proves to be effective in gaining audience attention and capturing new SaaS customers. Visual and written content is great if the content is value-based and helps support the buyer and user journeys respectively.

Steps to Launch a New SaaS Product Successfully

The answer to launching a new SaaS product is simple:

1. Do Your Research

2. Understand Your Product Value

3. Start Small and Niche

4. Test the Market

5. Support the Buyer Journey

6. Support the User Journey

7. Use Data to Adjust

8. Be Agile.

We recommend launching the beta product to small groups of your target audience after testing the market and inviting guest bloggers to write about your SaaS product.

To make it a bit easier on you, here is a sample product launch digital marketing roadmap for Beta Launch broken down into 03 phases: Beta Testing, Beta Launch, Post-Launch.

If you adapt the 08 steps that we listed above, your SaaS product launch should be a smash hit!

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