Software as a Service (SaaS) applications versus Hosted applications
Chances that you are already using SaaS applications for your business are high. SaaS is a type of licensing and distribution method for software applications. Their popularity grew up within the last two decades. They are nowadays unmissable.
Formerly, when you needed a professional software, you bought a professional license. That allowed you to install and use the program on your own machines. These licensed programs can be referred to as Hosted applications. Or On-premise software as everything happens locally. You own the product and can, therefore, use it however and whenever needed.
Licenses are usually costly and represent exponential expenditure. The more workstations you have, the more it costs in time and money to set up. SaaS applications appeared on the market to solve this problem. They are offering companies an excellent alternative to hosted applications.
With SaaS, applications are installed and are running on distant servers. Users can access them from a simple web browser on their devices, either desktop or mobile. The services are paid on a subscription basis and are thus much less costly up front. SaaS solutions include many types of essential applications and services.
- human resources management
- unified communication
- team collaboration
- file sharing
The benefits of SaaS are huge:
- Installed on provider’s servers and accessed through the Internet:
- No installation time.
- No compatibility issues.
- No updates or maintenance and security fees.
- No powerful systems required.
- No obligation to sit at a particular station (work anywhere).
- Subscriptions instead of one-time purchases:
- Lower cost of entry (especially interesting for startups).
- Takes a long time to become more expensive than a license.
- Can be canceled if unsatisfying, outdated or not necessary anymore. Contrary to one-time purchase licenses that are not likely to be refundable.
- Tailored offers:
- Most SaaS companies allow you to pick the services you need from their whole bundles.
- Programs are tailored to suit your needs and are most of the time customizable.
- As service providers and not product sellers, SaaS companies are more likely to provide great ongoing customer support.
- More accessible and easy-to-use solutions:
- Outsourcing as much as possible lets you focus on your core activities.
- No time and money spending on heavy training.
You still have to overcome some flaws
SaaS companies have some drawbacks as well. They are no match for the benefits provided by SaaS solutions for most but can still be decisive for others.
Companies dealing with confidential data might not want to upload and store such information on the provider’s servers. Especially considering how much privacy policies can differ depending on the country.
Moreover, using SaaS solutions means entirely relying on an outsourcer. The users could be severely impacted if the aforesaid provider faces technical or internal problems. For instance, a strike, a dysfunction, a severe leak or worse, bankruptcy. In these cases, compatibility could make the transfer of your data between two providers impossible.
Last but not least, accessing distant servers requires a constant Internet connection. That prerequisite can be really inconvenient in some places or during business trips.
To sum up, choosing SaaS applications is, in most cases, a lot more economical and time-saving. The drawbacks are mainly related to data safety and trust in the long-term reliability and efficiency of the provider.
Gain your customers’ trust with video marketing
The advantages of SaaS outclassing those of licensed software packages is not sufficient. At least, that fact won’t convince all of your prospects at once. However, what a fortuitous comparison can’t do, marketing can.
Nowadays, most of the online traffic is made up of videos. Marketing specialists, entrepreneurs and users themselves all agree on that fact. Videos are the go-to digital content. Either for advertising, explaining anything, showcasing, and so on. In an all-connected world, every single company must definitely invest some time and capital on video marketing. Those who don’t do that risk being less competitive and forgettable. Worse: entirely unnoticed. No business owner or marketing strategy specialist want to see that happen.
To greatly improve your chances of standing out of the crowd as an SaaS company, you should definitely give video marketing a shot. You can use explainer videos to clearly describe your offers in an intuitive visual way. You can also employ tutorial videos to teach users how to work with your software packages and find out how to make the very best out of them.
Pointing out and highlighting your strengths are not the only things videos can do. They are ideal to turn the industry’s flaws into powerful advantages over your rivals.
As said earlier, SaaS solutions have some drawbacks over traditional licensed programs. The safety of your customers’ data is a huge concern. Your long-term ability to provide excellent customer service as well. Flawless assistance, reliable equipment and bug-free software are fundamental. What will make a customer chose one provider over another one is largely reliant on their ability to preempt any issue from happening. If you are able to do that, you still need to make your prospects aware of it.
Video marketing as a competitive advantage for SaaS providers
Use videos to explain how your services are provided and why your company is reliable. You will be easier to believe, as long as you and are sincere and convincing. Make explainer videos to simply animate facts about data security, stats or your company’s health. Upload an interview about yourself and your team talking about these points. Using a video is much more able to catch the viewer’s attention than writing plain text on your website. Especially now that mobile browsing is all over the place.
Following are two great examples:
- Adobe Creative Cloud’s main page has an embedded video on the top part of it. It is the very first thing you see and are likely to check. That great video describing their products is an excellent way of introducing the users to their offer and make a pleasant first contact. Adobe is however extremely popular. Thus, they do not need to focus on gaining customers’ trust. It is harder for newcomers and startups.
- Forter has made an excellent video about their company and service. That start-up combined several techniques in a single video. Explainer video as a core, with testimonials and a welcoming voice over. Anyone looking for a company that provides their service would find the video on their main page. They would undoubtedly give their service a shot.
These previous examples are both great to show how a video can improve your marketing content a lot. Without them, their website would lack the interactivity and the user experience (main concern for a company website) wouldn’t be as good.
Marketing videos are especially essential for SaaS companies. Their services are most of the time heavy in terms of content and information to provide. Moreover, your solutions must be easy to use and to integrate into companies’ IT installations. Businesses will only choose you once they are certain about that. That’s a piece of luck: videos are great at bringing this type of information and proofs.
The best way to convince them is to guide them step by step. And the best guide is one that you can hear and see.
Graphics: Alba Fernàndez Gonzàlez