Undoubtedly, marketing is hard – no matter online or offline. But do you know, marketing has no physical behaviour? And it is what that swiftly changes?
SaaS marketing is a technique that encourages users to take subscription-based SaaS products. It is also known as Software as a Service, in which businesses sell their products in cloud-based applications with frequent updates and added functionality.
As compared to traditional marketing techniques, SaaS businesses offer an intangible product and need to continually prove to their current and potential customers that their “rented” or subscription service is worth the fee.
SaaS Marketing Strategy: Strategy Before Execution
Before implementing the best SaaS marketing strategy, you need to spend time researching what it is, and how it can benefit businesses.
In general, before implementing any marketing plan, you should have proper strategies and tactics by your side. These strategies will help you achieve your desired goals. As a startup owner, in the initial stage you need to focus on the following primary strategies:
- Increasing brand awareness.
- Building your credibility.
- Establishing the product/market fit.
- Finding your costs to acquire lead (CPL) and customer acquisition.
Product/market fit is a key sign of investor confidence. It happens when your product well solves your targeted customers’ problems, and there are a lot more customers to come from where your first few came from.
If you’re an emerging SaaS that has proven your product/market fit, then your strategy should focus on:
- Channel Optimization: Quickly developing strategies upon proven channel, persona, and message sequences.
- Marketing Expansion: Identifying new channels to increase reach while keeping acquisition costs in mind.
- Reducing Acquisition Costs: Using traffic, conversion, and lead quality analytics to classify and decrease acquisition costs.
- Conversion Funnel Optimization: Improving the on-site experience on chat and landing pages to improve lead conversion rates.
- Brand Amplification: Using highly targeted PR to stay at the top for your target audience.
The success of your marketing tactics depends on a strong and clear strategy – and what stage your SaaS is in.
How SaaS Is Different From Other Marketing Techniques?
Now you have a glimpse of what are the best strategies for SaaS marketing, you might be wondering about how it is different from other industries? We’ve got you covered.
Below is a quick rundown of what defines SaaS versus other industries.
1. SaaS Is All About Long-Term Customers
SaaS companies are looking to acquire and retain customers for the long term. After acquiring customers, SaaS companies must communicate with them consistently so that they don’t drop out of their company. Whereas a traditional company may use a transaction as a “one and done”, SaaS companies are laser-focused on long-term retention after a demo or download. This is why SaaS companies often give a free version of their product to build trust among the customers.
2. SaaS Customer Journey Is Challenging
During the initial stage, SaaS marketing requires a company to create and promote content on different platforms to increase brand awareness. For example, suppose you are selling an SEO tool. In that case, you will have three different types of customers. First, there will be customers who are unaware of SEO. Secondly, there will be some customers who might be comparing your tool with your competitors. And lastly, there will be some audience who are ready for a trial. Simply, what a customer “looks like” is anything but one-size-fits-all.
3. The SaaS Industry Is Flooded With Competition
No matter in which subset of SaaS you’re working with: competition is always at its peak. However, this competition has increased the demand for new software and solutions. Remember, the average business depends on dozens to hundreds of SaaS apps. There’s always a way to provide new solutions to the challenges companies are facing.
What Are The Channels Of A SaaS Marketing Strategy?
There are multiple channels and tactics that successful SaaS brands have proven work time frequently. Let’s discuss some of them.
1) Email Marketing
Email marketing is often overlooked and it’s an old-school technique, but it plays a crucial role in SaaS marketing.
Email is one of the best approaches to make customers satisfied with your product. It remains one of the best channels for making frequent, one-on-one touchpoints with prospects. That said, here are some typical SaaS marketing emails that most companies send on a regular:
- Onboarding personalized emails
- Feature announcements
- New content (blogs, videos, images)
- Company newsletters
2) SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Blogging is another best way for SaaS companies to target keywords and attract leads. SEO helps in improving search visibility on search engines, giving them exposure to thousands of search queries. This is why so many companies are looking to get featured on “best of” lists to creating their own blog content for SEO.
3) PPC And Social Media Marketing
PPC is effective for SaaS and other marketing techniques as well. Most companies today with decent budgets run PPC ads to increase the visibility of their website on search engines. PPC campaigns can be run without involving SEO.
On the other hand, social media ads have become more popular for SaaS in the past few decades. It allows business marketers to advertise directly to potential customers.
For example; checklists, case studies, and webinars are primary content for social media ads.
However, Facebook has its own slew of SaaS marketing success stories such as Big Commerce who saw a 3X boost in trial conversions from their ad campaign.
4) Organic Social Media
Social media marketing has become essential to SaaS marketing as a whole.
Most software companies may not prefer to use social media, however, many SaaS brands are leveraging the power of some prominent social media platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Social media is the best place to:
- Announce new features and products
- Curate feedback and ideas
- Communicate directly with customers
- Show your work environment
- Highlight industry accolades and earned media
Webinars and online events are great for driving demos, showing off your product, and likewise promoting thought leadership. Webinars can either be conducted live or can be downloadable “on-demand,” ideal for prospects and current customers alike.
Additionally, replays and broadcasts can be uploaded on YouTube to help build out your channel and score search traffic at the same time.
What Should Be Your Top Priorities For SaaS Marketing?
Now you know which channels to use for SaaS marketing, it’s time to discuss some best strategies.
Streamline Communication With Your Customers
It is always a best practice to respond to a SaaS customer as quickly as possible. When you’re leveraging multiple channels we discussed above, it’s imperative to allocate your resources and keep a close eye on messages and notifications. Doing so could be the difference between a long-term customer and a dropped lead.
Curate Reviews And Customer Success Stories
Positive feedback and reviews from customers are key to successful SaaS marketing. Research says that testimonials and social proof go hand in hand with higher conversions.
Create And Promote Content
Most people engage with at least eleven pieces of content before they’re making a purchase. This speaks to the need to have a different content calendar.
Specifically, tons of content such as blog posts, case studies, and videos that raise awareness for your product and the problems it solves. These types of content are perfect for social media and works as a way to both educate and stimulate your audience.
Dig Into Your Customer Data & Analytics
It’s important to dig into your customer data to get a better understanding of your customers. Here are some key points to consider:
- Average churn rate
- Customer lifetime value (CTLV)
- Landing page conversion rate(s)
- Organic traffic and conversions
- Top-performing ads and marketing messages
Empower People To Use Your Products
Apart from creating and promoting content, a solid knowledge base and repository of resources is a good step for SaaS companies. It will allow customers to reap the benefits of your products. Additionally, it reduces the time spent on customer service and questions.
To sum it up, the channels and strategies we discussed can do wonders for your SaaS marketing plan no matter in which industry you work. Through customer data and analytics, you can figure out what works great for your customer base and make tweaks over time.