When you’re looking to get a new SaaS company up and running, your primary focus needs to be on acquiring early adopters and beta users for your platform. The first post in this series talked in general terms about SaaS marketing strategy.
Early adopters are important for any company. They can provide you with insights on how to improve your software platform and feedback regarding the pain points they are experiencing. Just as importantly, they can help you spread the word about your platform.
To help you get more early adopters we created a shortlist of 15 of the best sites for promoting your startup. The sites I’m sharing are a mixture of forums and platforms. The top five are sites we recommend any SaaS business to look at using. The rest are also useful and low cost options to think about. Let’s get started.
Social media platforms are a great place to promote your startup. They’re also effective for supporting your SEO efforts. As any content marketer will understand, with the correct approach Reddit can send thousands of qualified leads to your site. The platform achieves well over one billion visits each month, after all.
You can’t simply promote your SaaS site on Reddit. Reddit is not a channel that takes kindly to direct marketing. To harness the power of the platform’s huge community, you must become an actual part of it. Participate in discussions and hold back from sharing links to your site for a while.
You need to become a trusted user and discover the best way to actually introduce your site to discussions. Neil Patel does a great job explaining the intricacies of using Reddit to get more site traffic. Including how you should target the right subreddits for your business.
Reddit – Entrepreneur is one of the best subreddits on the site to use to generate buzz about a SaaS business. r/Entrepreneur is a Reddit community designed for professional networking. You can’t submit your business to it, per se. What you can do is share news and stories about your firm to a sizeable audience.
Another sub-reddit where you can promote your startup is Reddit SideProject. This group is a great when you are just starting out. You can engage with the community to get the word out about what you’re doing and receive feedback from other users.
Hacker news is a forum for people who love technology and entrepreneurs. If your SaaS company will be serving that kind of audience, you’ll want to get involved. It’s quick, easy and free to start engaging with people on Hacker News.
You can create an account and submit news or announcements you want to share. Whatever you share has a chance of reaching a big portion of the 150,000 plus Hacker News subscribers. Those subscribers are also highly engaged with the forum. Hacker News gets an extraordinary 13.5m monthly visits.
When it comes to promoting your site on Hacker News, you need to treat the forum like any other social media channel. Be sure to become a genuine user of the site. Listen to what other users are interested in and promote content that fits the bill. Don’t just post what amounts to a link or advert to your site. To find out more, check out this handy guide from Shareaholic.
Product Hunt is an active community where people share news about and discuss new tech products. Subscription to the service is free. It has one of the largest active communities of beta users on the net. In fact, the site gets a mind-blowing 6M+ monthly visits.
If you want to generate immediate exposure for your SaaS company there are few better places to do so on the net than Product Hunt. If your announcement and your service capture the imagination, you are pretty much guaranteed 500+ visitors a day to your site for 3-4 days.
The best way to ensure you do capture the imagination is to hit the Product Hunt front page. You can only do that is you fully understand the site and how it works. You have to tailor your product launch to best suit and appeal to the site’s users. There are lots of things involved in doing so. You can find an in-depth explanation, here.
Betalist is well known as the place to go to find hot technology startups before they hit the open market. Successful brands like Pinterest and Nuji were introduced to the world on the site. That reputation explains why the site gets over 120,000 hits every month.
There are two listing options available for software companies that want to appear on the site. With the free listing service you can expect to appear on the site within 2 months of submission, though they reject the free listings more often than the paid ones. The fast track version, which will see your startup featured within 48 hours, costs $129. In general, though, it is worth it.
AngelList bills itself as ‘where the world meets startups’. That makes it an obvious candidate as to where to promote your startup. The platform is designed to help startups get funding or hire skilled employees. Even if you’re not looking for those things, it’s still a good place to list your firm.
You can sign up for free. Appearing on the site will get your name out there to people all around the world. In fact, the site gets a hugely impressive five million monthly visits! If you can get even a small number of those site visitors to view your own site, that’s a massive boost to your own traffic.
What’s more, AngelList has a social aspect. Through the platform, you can get in touch with all kinds of people who could help your company.
Before you fully roll out your SaaS platform you need to iron out as many of the glitches or kinks as possible. You can do a fair bit of that in-house. Having a legion of beta testers to report issues to you, provides you with valuable additional feedback.
Beta Bound is a community of beta testers. You can list your SaaS company on the site. There are paid and free listing services available. The site enjoys traffic of over 110,000 monthly visits. A listing will certainly help to get your site noticed.
Set up in 2012, BetaTesting was one of the first sites linking startups and beta testers. Originally named Erli Bird, the site did indeed catch that particular worm. Today, the site is home to a community of 150,000 beta testers. That’s a significant number of people to promote your site to.
BetaTesting can cater to Android, iOS, desktop sites and other types of software. It then put firms in touch with knowledgeable early adopters.
If your SaaS offering has design implications, there’s no better place to promote your startup than Designer News. The site is a forum and platform for people in the design community to get together and share ideas.
Through signing up you can reach close to 20,000 Designer News subscribers with news of your new company. Those subscribers help the site to achieve over 330,000 unique site visits each month. What’s more, the platform fosters community engagement, so you can communicate directly with people interested in using your platform.
In the digital world, few apps or platforms work in complete isolation. There are loads of different apps designed to work with major social media platforms. There are also plenty of tools that work with services like Google Analytics.
Our sixth place to promote your startup is perfect if your software fits that category. Feed My App is a place to showcase your new app.
You can submit your app to the site for just $1.90 and get exposure to the service’s growing user base. That user base is perhaps not as large as that of some of our listed sites, but it’s still a pool of people worth reaching. For a fee, starting at $9, you can increase the exposure that your app receives.
Index.co is an online service dedicated to showcasing what tech companies are up to. The site aims to be a one-stop-shop for information about all kinds of businesses in the tech industry.
If you want to list your company on index.co you will need to first create an account. Once you have created an account you can promote your startup on the site. With over 110,000 monthly visits to the site, it offers a good number of people for you to promote it to.
Describing itself as ‘a community of tech startups’, Launching Next has been around since 2013 and features 5,000+ startups. It’s free to get your startup included on Launching Next. If you pay a one-off $49 fee, your firm will be up and viewable in one business day. Launching Next also features guides, advice and other resources for startup owners.
Springwise describe themselves as ‘The global source for innovation intelligence’. The site has been sharing ‘innovative ideas’ with its users since 2002. The site covers all kinds of niches and industries.
It’s not easy to get your company or your idea featured on Springwise. They only share four or five new insights a day. If your SaaS offering has a true USP, you might be able to make it happen though. With over 55,000 monthly visits to the site, it’s worth a try.
The Startup Pitch claims to be the oldest startup directory. It’s certainly a little different to other sites on this list. You have to create a business pitch, like you might provide to a print publication, to get featured on the site. Your pitch will be reviewed by the editors and published for visitors to read.
The idea is to give lower budget startups more exposure. In short, it’s a great way to promote your startup without denting your bank balance. The site’s traffic isn’t the highest – it’s certainly not in Reddit’s league. Users of the site, though, are specifically interested in startups and small businesses.
Our final place to promote your startup is VentureBeat Profiles. VentureBeat is a leading channel for tech news and insights. The company’s Profiles service is similar to index.co, which was featured earlier in this rundown.
Once you’ve signed up, you can create your firm’s own VentureBeat profile. The entire service is free of charge. Users are, however, asked to contribute as much interesting information as possible about their company. That information is freely searchable by the site’s sizeable and professional user base.
Nick Brown is the founder & CEO of accelerate agency, a SaaS SEO agency. Nick has launched several successful online businesses, writes for Forbes, published a book and has grown accelerate from a UK agency to a company that now operates across US, APAC and EMEA and employs 160 people. He was also once charged at by a mountain gorilla