The software-as-a-service industry is booming, no doubt. Its current development and market share fascinate everyone involved in tech. The broader market for SaaS brands is growing faster than other sectors that form the global economy, and its value is expected to pass the $600-billion mark by the end of 2023.
So far, everything seems optimistic, doesn’t it? Probably not.
While the future is promising for players in the SaaS industry, B2B SaaS marketing strategies is more complicated than other traditional approaches. Many companies join the space daily, making it one of the most competitive sectors.
With such conditions and stiff competition across many verticals, what’s the best way to make your brand stand out? The answer lies in creating a robust SaaS marketing campaign optimized for leads, engagement, and retention.
What’s Special About B2B SaaS Marketing?
The main objective of marketing has remained the same since the early 20th century when the concept first emerged. The primary focus was to create a product, promote it, and use these campaigns to attain the targeted sales figures.
It’d be awkward to use traditional marketing methods to promote digital products. For instance, it’s normal to find an ad for any detergent brand on a billboard, but not a SaaS product. This is where B2B SaaS marketing comes in.
What sets B2B SaaS marketing apart from other advertising methods is that it mainly focuses on subscription-based products. This is way different from the single-purchase nature of customary products.
SaaS brands now have to deliver the best services that motivate customers to renew their subscriptions for months on end. Moreover, SaaS companies don’t offer products in their final form. Rather, they must keep clients engaged by constantly providing updates that boost user experience, offer new features, and keep up with rival providers.
As a result, providers of SaaS products are forced into a perpetual fight with competition and consumer churn. Your only chance is to create a winning B2B SaaS marketing strategy covering all product promotion aspects.
Breaking The Ceiling with Your B2B SaaS Marketing Strategy
In such a highly competitive landscape with more networks and content than ever, you need a succinct marketing strategy that provides the necessary focus to reject efforts that don’t align with your overall business goals.
Focusing on these aspects of SaaS marketing can refine your playbook to boost lead acquisition, rationalize client onboarding, and cut churn.
Rethink Your Content Marketing Game
Content marketing is undoubtedly the core of all inbound marketing, hence deserves a top place in this comprehensive list of practical approaches to SaaS marketing.
This strategic aspect of marketing entails creating and distributing relevant, valuable, and consistent content optimized to draw and engage a specific audience group – and to ultimately drive beneficial action by respective customers. The constant process integrates into your overall campaign, prioritizing owning media rather than renting it.
Of course, your blog is your company’s most crucial channel, and you should invest sufficient resources and time into it. Moreover, you must also figure out the social networking sites your target audience frequents and create a page or group there. Finally, you need a YouTube video campaign as it provides numerous opportunities for content repurposing.
HubSpot is a perfect example of how you can leverage content marketing to boost engagement and sales.
Offer A Free Trial
Your SaaS brand has an edge through free trials. This approach can potentially influence new clients to move the needle by significantly expanding your recurring revenue base. Moreover, allowing prospects to sample your offering doesn’t subject you to shipping or return shipping costs, so you’ve little to lose.
Your prospects will have a glimpse; not just what you’re offering, but also your brand’s customer experience and support. If they’re satisfied, you may see them pay for the subscription with no extra effort.
Finally, when clients get the opportunity to look under the hood, you’ll gain insights into the things they appreciate and what needs work. This feedback is priceless!
Here are some tips to get it right:
- Make it easy for potential customers to sign up for your free trial.
- Eliminate the requirement to provide debit or credit card information when signing up
- Your trial should be risk-free, where clients aren’t charged until they’ve had a test drive and decided to purchase
- Find an effective way to convert your users to a paid subscription, like using reminder notifications or emails once the trial period concludes.
These best practices can help you create an enticing trial with great potential for driving sign-ups and conversions.
Provide Different Plans
The pricing and features that comprise your respective product packages can influence your users’ purchase decisions. So as you determine the elements to include in your packages, focus on their needs.
As tempting as it may seem, piling the vital features into your most expensive subscription can annoy your users. Instead of using little tricks to sell the most expensive package, focus on boosting your product’s user experience to boost your sales and revenue.
Use Explore Referral Programs
Word-of-mouth is undeniably powerful. It’s the most relevant sales touch point, influencing every step of the customer’s journey. Currently, there’s no better way to spread word of mouth than through referral programs.
Savvy SaaS companies that leverage referral programs tend to accelerate their customer acquisition processes. In essence, the program incentivizes current users to promote your product within their networks.
Referrals are better than traditional word of mouth, where users voluntarily share product information because they’re prompted, designed, and managed by the SaaS company to generate quality leads and retain customers by rewarding loyalty. The marketing approach also leverages specialized marketing software solutions that ensure seamless execution.
Besides reaching your prospects at every stage of their journey, the approach also increases customer retention cost-effectively.
Email Marketing Still Works
You’ve likely come across stories depicting email marketing as obsolete, and this is a common concern for many marketers. However, this age-old digital marketing approach is still among the most effective.
In fact, 40% of B2B marketers attribute their content marketing success to email newsletters, while 73% of millennial consumers prefer business communications via email. Moreover, 99 percent of consumers open their email mailboxes daily. Numbers don’t lie, and B2B SaaS marketers can’t afford to ignore these stats.
Besides its immense lead potential, email marketing is effective for creating personalized content, feedback collection, generating website traffic, sending timely campaigns, and providing more value. The following tips will help you get it right:
- Concise emails
- Use engaging visuals to grasp your audience’s attention and get rid of text monotony
- Personalize your messages to respective recipients.
- Always include a call to action, informing the reader of their next steps after reading your content.
Implementing these tips in your SaaS email marketing campaign will boost your chances of driving leads, boost your sales, and increase revenue.
Use Paid Advertising
Just like content marketing that forms the core of inbound marketing, paid advertising is the heart of outbound B2B SaaS marketing. With this, I’m referring to traditional print campaigns and online pay-per-click (PPC) ads.
This method entails displaying sponsored marketing content or advertisements on popular social networking sites to target a specific audience niche. Examples include influencer-generated or branded content, pay-per-click advertising, and display ads.
There are vast examples of PPC channels, including LinkedIn, Bing Ads, and Google AdWords. All these options work differently, and each performance will depend on your audience. Fortunately, these steps will help you get it right with your paid advertising:
- Create attainable goals
- Research valuable keywords – the phrases or words your potential clients use when searching for your offerings
- Create a high-quality, compelling ad copy that’s relevant to the keywords
- Set a practical budget
- Monitor your results
Be sure to constantly monitor your ad campaigns’ performance and tweak them appropriately.
Use Customer Testimonial Videos
Picture this: you’re trying to nurture your SaaS startup leads into clients. You already attracted an audience, convinced them into your mailing list or social network pages, and engaged them on your site, but they’re still not buying. The only way to convert them most subtly is through testimonial videos.
Perhaps the top selling tool you have at your disposal is social proof. Videos are perfect for content consumption. Combining the two can culminate into a supercharged marketing strategy.
You’ll simply request your longest-standing users to record a brief testimonial video mentioning why they love your brand. That is enough for a highly potent marketing message you can repurpose in different channels.
The best part: such videos don’t need a professional’s hand. Recording using a smartphone or computer camera will add authenticity to the video. They also have an incredible turnaround time, and you get free validation! Free is good; really good.
Get Your Company Listed On Software Review Directories
Unlimited access to the web drastically revolutionized consumers’ buying behavior. Nowadays, making any purchase decision is rare without going through multiple reviews online. So don’t fret if your brand is being mentioned on such sites, as it’s more of a benefit than a reason to worry.
A recent study found that 91% of consumers between 18 and 34 years trust online reviews like personal recommendations. Furthermore, 95% of consumers acknowledge reading online reviews before purchasing.
These statistics tell exactly why you should work for a positive online presence, but this is only part of the story. Getting your company listed on software review directories earns you purchases-driving social proof. It also boosts your brand visibility and paints you as a trustworthy provider.
Examples of reliable software review directories include:
- G2 (formerly G2Crowd)
- Top Ten Reviews
- Software Advice
- PeerSpot (formerly IT Central Station)
Get your SaaS company listed here and see what other people have to say about your brand.
Leverage Comparative Advertising
While getting listed on software review platforms can enhance your brand visibility and boost trust, there’s one fundamental problem: you don’t own them, hence have limited control over what they say about your offerings and what they don’t.
For instance, if a user shares an impartial review of your offering but ends up mentioning your competitor, this can be detrimental. It’s even better if they wrote a negative remark but didn’t mention your rival.
Fortunately, you can hedge the risk by publishing comparative articles placing your SaaS product against your biggest competitors on your blog. This method subtly but convincingly airs your rival’s flaws while highlighting your strong points. The goal is to demonstrate your SaaS brand’s value.
Besides boosting brand credibility and visibility, such comparative posts rank in record time for a majority of niche SaaS verticals. This happens because most people don’t produce such content to target your direct rivals. On the upside, anyone searching for an alternative to your opponent is highly likely to fit your customer description.
Write Press Releases On New Features or Offerings
When releasing new features or offerings, you can pull some strings and organize an unveiling event or publish a blog or social media post about it. But like numerous other B2B SaaS marketers, it may be difficult to get press coverage.
In such circumstances, a press release presents the key to affordable and efficient brand promotion. By submitting a press release to the media, you’ll effectively publicize your product and convey your offering to your ideal customers, all without paying a dime.
This effective PR campaign tool can;
- Give your brand instant exposure
- Boost your sales potential
- Enable more effective campaigns
- Enhance your SEO efforts
- Attract deep-pocket investors affordably
- Paint your brand as an industry leader
It’s crucial to conduct a detailed competitor analysis and understand your market before writing a press release. This way, you’ll avoid jumping in with a publication or PR agency that already features multiple similar offerings.
Create A Private, Online User Community
We have communities all around us, and we’re part of them, whether they’re based on family relationships, shared interests, or friendship. Online user communities such as Facebook Groups take these principles of in-person arrangements and convert them into virtual.
At its core, an online user community comprises internet-based individuals with a shared purpose or interest. It plays a massive role in member or customer experience by breaking down the old-style one-way information exchange and opening up communication. The approach also lowers customer service costs, facilitates social collaboration, and builds your SaaS company’s reputation.
Look for Guest Blogging Opportunities
It’s almost impossible to nail your content marketing without guest blogging, especially if you’re looking to build your search engine rankings. According to recent estimates, 60% of blogs publish between one and five guest posts every month.
While the stats may seem overwhelming, you must remember that you’re trying to succeed in a vast and highly competitive search engine world. So if you’re not among the 60%, you might be doing enough for your site’s visibility.
As the name suggests, the strategy involves writing niche content for another company’s blog or website. This benefits you and the party that posts your content on their site. Guest blogging aids your campaigns by;
- Improving your SEO
- Attracting quality traffic to your website
- Establishing thought leadership
- Growing your social media following
- Building relationships with like minded SaaS experts
Of course, successful collaboration requires quality content. Moreover, always partner with credible and authoritative websites in the subject matter or industry you’re targeting with your content.
Include Quora in Your Strategy
It’s now possible to get answers to your questions thanks to the numerous brainstorming platforms on the web. And when talking about such sites, nothing comes through for consumers and marketers more than Quora.
The platform is inherently community-driven, and most users consider it the more mature, authoritative, and professional version of Yahoo Answers. Anyone can ask a question, and the answer box is open to anyone with an appropriate response.
Marketers in different industries are turning to it for the following reasons:
- Exceptional reach - The site boasts over 300 million monthly users
- Search visibility – The questions are searchable on Google, and your comment stays evergreen.
- Thought leadership potential – Join the ranks of countless high-profile publishers
- Quality traffic – Demonstrating how your product addresses customers’ problems can drive them to your site.
- Audience insights – You’ll deal with real people seeking genuine answers. Address their concerns, and they’ll reward you by buying your products and services
Quora is integral in your quest to build an online community. So make sure you’re always there to answer your prospects’ questions.
Incorporate Social Media Marketing
Facebook began as a simple networking platform where friends connect or share updates. On the other hand, Twitter was designed as a personal blog that’s more miniature. Fast forward to this day, the platforms have become vital marketing channels every marketer wants to explore.
Social media marketing isn’t just a buzzword, but a tried and tested approach for all types of SaaS companies. The strategy humanizes your brand, drives traffic, generates leads, and increases brand awareness. It also builds relationships and can help you establish a robust online community.
Up to 81% of people research products and services on Instagram, and Facebook users open 12 ads on the platform every month. Moreover, 80% of people on Twitter appreciate it when a company responds to their tweet.
From these stats, you’re clearly missing out on numerous benefits if you don’t have a robust social media strategy.
Run Webinars to Warm Audiences
This is another effective B2B SaaS marketing strategy that entails promoting specific services and products, educating and entertaining your audience, and improving your audience via webinars. Running webinars (replays and live) to warn audiences can also show your expertise.
Apparently, about 40% of users watch entire webinars, and 20 – 40 percent of the attendees convert to qualified marketing leads. These developments demonstrate the impact of this powerful marketing strategy.
The primary benefits of this marketing channel include:
- Retaining viewer attention
- Warming up leads faster
- Creating conversions
- Lead generation
Webinars are perfect if you know how to address specific problems or have exclusive knowledge to offer. They’re also ideal for teaching users how to use your product or if you want a more personal interaction with your audience.
Increase Your Brand and Blog Exposure Via LinkedIn
From creating connections to nurturing partnerships to boosting brand awareness and lead generation, there’re no limits to what you can achieve with LinkedIn marketing. Unlike most social networking sites, LinkedIn is professional and tailored to establish and reinforce brand relationships.
The platform can earn you 277% more leads than when you only market on Facebook. It can also contribute up to 80% of your company’s social media leads. The site can take your SaaS company to the next level when you put it to good use.
The platform offers the LinkedIn for Business service, an effective branding tool that you can leverage to:
- Announce new updates and company news
- Highlight company culture
- Generate leads
To be successful, you must publish content frequently, engage your team members to post content on your behalf and uncover top-performing content using LinkedIn analytics. You also need to leverage LinkedIn ads to promote quality, downloadable, high-value content.
Use Ungated Blogs
Do you present incredible offers like checklists and eBooks, but they just aren’t adequate to create leads from visitors? Maybe it’s time you try ungated content.
First, let’s distinguish between gated and ungated content.
In essence, gated content requires someone to provide their email and name to access it. Put simply; they’re buying your content with their contact details. On the contrary, ungated content removes this requirement and allows users to read freely.
Now, while gated content may seem like the best idea, users have no reason to provide their details when they can quickly get the same information in the next search item. Furthermore, most of them don’t want to connect with you (yet).
Ungated content is beneficial because it:
- Reduces friction and offers instant gratification
- Increases content consumption
- Allows you to focus on more meaningful metrics like landing page visits or email open rates
- Makes customers feel valued
Direct Paid Traffic to Your Main Website
Most experts recommend that you direct traffic to your PPC-optimized landing page. Doing this focuses the traffic on a specific offering, minimizing distractive navigation. It also prompts users to take a particular action and highlights the specific service or product that requires your attention. However, many reasons or situations can drive you to direct paid traffic to your main website.
Your main website is a hub for the different types of traffic heading to your SaaS business. If your paid traffic is at the top of the funnel and looking for vague search terms, or the user is simply looking for brand terms, a great homepage can do just fine. It’s also ideal if you want to remarket to the top-of-funnel traffic where the audience isn’t familiar with your offering.
The B2B SaaS marketing space is rapidly transitioning, and whatever delivered for you last year may not be effective this year. Therefore, it always helps to stay ahead of the latest strategies and industry trends.
This list highlights the proven marketing strategies you can use to boost the growth of your SaaS brand beyond 2022. From content marketing and referral programs to email marketing and paid ad campaigns, there’s something that works for every SaaS company.
So don’t waste time; get to work with these growth-boosting SaaS marketing campaigns for B2B companies.