9 Unconventional SaaS Marketing Strategies - Tim Soulo of Ahrefs

Summary

Ahrefs is a $40M ARR, fully bootstrapped SaaS. Running lean at 50 employees.

A huge part of their success comes down to marketing strategies that don't follow the usual playbooks.

This great interview with CMO Tim Soulo walks through some of the things they're doing to keep on growing.

This episode is just as relevant for non SaaS.

Also... keep an eye on this podcast (Confessions Of A B2B Marketer), it's a relatively new one and the host, Tom Hunt, is known for excellent in depth articles on business growth. I'd expect more quality interviews in the future.

Lessons learned

  • Create a course to educate your potential users on how to get the results they are looking for. And although they could use other tools to achieve the results, it would be easiest with your software.
  • A course could also be used as a separate revenue stream.
  • When doing marketing at events (or anything really) try doing something different that appeals to the inner geek of your audience. Get them talking and sharing.
  • Then when they start sharing, amplify the exposure with paid ads.
  • Ahrefs does paid ads to educational content. And they don't do retargeting - they don't believe in tracking users. Epic content is doing the heavy lifting.
  • Normal thinking is that users of software find their aha moment whilst using it. Email is usually used to help find that moment and convert to paid user. Not Ahrefs. Their goal is to get users to aha before they sign up. It becomes a no brainer to purchase.
  • Help your customers become advocates of your product. Give great content and then make it incredibly easy for them to share and tell everyone they know all about how awesome you are. Word of mouth is a hugely important channel.
  • Tim's way to get started with a YouTube strategy - start, make a video with your phone, iterate, experiment and see where it gets you.

In this episode, Tom shares a summary of April for SaaS Marketer and bCast, he then bring in Tim Soulo, CMO and Product Advisor at Ahrefs onto the show to understand more about their unconventional growth.