When starting a new business, you have two options: either enter an existing market and surpass the competition, or discover a new, unexplored market and provide a unique solution. In other words, you must decide whether to venture into the blue ocean or the red ocean.
Back in 2015, our client, Eleken, had to make this choice too. They launched a full-service design-driven app development agency working with a wide range of clients and started sailing in the red waters. But five years later, Eleken came up with a new business strategy. Now their focus was solely on designing SaaS solutions. That’s how their boat sailed from the bloody red waters into the calm blue ocean.
To enter the relatively unexplored territory of SaaS design, Eleken needed to devise a fresh marketing approach for promoting their services. Together with Kaiiax, they succeeded in developing a content marketing strategy tailored to the SaaS industry. By regularly publishing relevant content and implementing a well-balanced SEO strategy, Eleken was able to generate over 20 new leads per month and secure a spot in Google's top search results for over 30 high-impact keywords. Curious to learn more about their tactics? Keep reading to find out.
Targeting SaaS? Be like SaaS
Eleken likes SaaS. They like designing SaaS products, working with SaaS product development teams, and learning from SaaS businesses. Their new business strategy was largely inspired by the SaaS model such as offering full-time product designers for a predictable monthly fee, similar to a subscription service like Slack or Notion. Eleken even added a Pricing button to their menu – something you normally see on the websites of SaaS products.
By providing skilled designers on-demand and eliminating the lengthy hiring process, hidden costs, project managers and convoluted communication channels, Eleken differentiated itself as a pragmatic UI/UX design partner for SaaS.
But to win the clients’ attention, Eleken still had to deal with various marketing challenges. The good news is, they were not alone.
Overcoming challenges of the SaaS design market
Long B2B sales cycles, a selective entrepreneurial audience, and limited marketing resources ‒ Eleken faced these obstacles when making a shift to a new business strategy. Let's explore how these challenges impacted the company.
Long and complicated B2B sales cycles
Just like any newcomer, Eleken had to win the new audience’s trust. It could take months for a potential client to evaluate all the pros and cons and make sure Eleken was a reliable partner to team up with. That’s why they needed a strategic approach to content creation that doesn’t only educate the reader, but also demonstrates the company’s expertise and credibility in the SaaS field.
Selective entrepreneurial audience
Eleken's target audience – people who make decisions about partnering with designers – are SaaS company leaders, so our content had to be relevant to this audience. People with strong entrepreneurial backgrounds don’t rely on the first article they come across from a company they have never heard of. We had to focus on high-quality business content to deliver valuable and engaging information to our target audience.
Limited marketing resources
Moving to a brand new field means starting over from square one. In Eleken’s case, we’re talking about everything: new website copy, new blog posts, new team ‒ quite a hard nut to crack – which made the process even more exciting for us.
After multiple discovery sessions, we came up with a content marketing strategy to help Eleken attract the right audience and conquer the SaaS market. Here’s what we did.
A go-to-market strategy to attract SaaS leads
Based on the challenges above, we built a comprehensive SEO and content strategy that helped Eleken attract leads and increase traffic. Here are the core tactics we followed to achieve this goal.
Targeting a business audience with business content
We tailored our content to meet the needs and pain points of business owners – decision-makers in the SaaS design industry. For example, our content roadmap included such topics as 10 Reasons Why Products Fail (So You Can Prevent It), Roles in SaaS Company: Who You Need to Start Hiring When Your SaaS is Growing, and How to Price Your SaaS Product? Guess Less, Ask More.
By providing content that addresses the challenges of this category of readers, we built trust with potential clients and proved that Eleken deeply understands SaaS.
Targeting technical audiences with design content
Targeting decision-makers alone may not suffice as a successful strategy in the SaaS design industry. Along with those who make the final decision, Eleken also directed their focus towards experts such as product designers and product managers who may be involved in researching and purchasing design services, as they can influence the decision-making process.
To attract these specialists, we created blog articles like Compelling Design Takes More Than “Making It Like Stripe”, Should Your Productivity Tool Also Look Like Notion?, and How to Сonduct a UX Audit: 5 Essential Steps.
Picking the low-hanging keyword fruit
To bring in the audience that is ready to buy, our Kaiiax team created landing pages that addressed specific search queries related to purchasing SaaS design services. We used keywords with transactional intent, even those with zero search volume, such as "SaaS design agency" and "SaaS web design," to increase visibility and reach a narrow audience of potential clients.
Minimizing risks by targeting high-volume keywords
To play it safe and mitigate the risk of the promotion of our key niche (SaaS design) not yielding the results we wanted, we created landing pages that targeted high-volume transactional keywords such as "UI/UX design services" and "web app design". This strategy allowed us to attract organic leads to Eleken's website from a wider pool of potential customers.
Increasing traffic and lead generation within the first 3 months
Despite the challenges that were lying ahead, Kaiiax and Eleken came out victorious, and the traffic on Eleken’s website continues to grow:
The traffic generated from the "business content" geared towards business audiences is steadily increasing too. As link building does not play a role in this type of content, its growth is solely the result of the quality of the content.
Although referral traffic was the most important channel during the project’s early stages, organic search won out over referrals for the number of leads generated and is now the key channel for lead generation.
As a result, our SEO and content strategy proved to be effective and helped us achieve quality leads in the SaaS niche.
Persistent work on content and SEO paid off
By focusing on content marketing, Eleken has developed an effective strategy to attract leads and transformed from a newcomer in the market to a renowned SaaS design agency. But they did not stop there.
Eleken's design team has expanded threefold and now comprises approximately 40 UI/UX designers. They have assembled a team of professional writers, link-builders, SMM managers, and marketing designers to continue scaling their business. What’s more, their content was featured multiple times on platforms such as UX Magazine with a community of over 600,000 readers.
It's been four years since we started working with Eleken and our collaboration continues. We’re looking forward to finding out what the future has in store for us.