SaaS Marketing Strategy: A Step By Step Guide
Published on April 1st, 2022
Published on April 1st, 2022
When it comes to implementing a SaaS marketing strategy to enhance the customer base, SaaS companies often witness specific challenges. The hindrance is primarily associated with SaaS unique sales cycles & retaining customers for an extended duration. The SaaS marketing sphere is not static & as per studies, a SaaS business can expect a change in the software stack in the upcoming two years.
Customers are cycling through the SaaS products considerably & the current SaaS market growth is 18%. 78% SMBs invested in SaaS companies & in 2021, the SaaS (software as a service) market is set to be worth approximately 145.5 billion USD.
If you are a SaaS product owner or a startup, you are different as you are selling solutions to solve pain points, selling support to your clients & you are selling experience. Your target market may be inherently narrow, but you are selling something that is continuously evolving & changing. Hence, when you have SaaS go-to marketing strategy by your side, it guides you through navigating common SaaS marketing challenges.
We have prepared a guide breaking down each point & know-how you need to know about SaaS marketing strategies for customer retention. Leverage this guide to prepare a well-oiled b2b saas marketing strategy for your software as a service product & skyrocket your company to marketing success and lead generation at every stage of the sales cycle.
Today, the SaaS marketing plan is focused on continuously acquiring long-term customers. It’s stacked around the idea of building an impactful pipeline that can aid in generating high-quality leads. Most SaaS companies focus on developing an effective ecosystem to nurture leads & organically push them to the sales funnel.
A good SaaS marketing strategy lies in the concept of seeking to craft a customer base for a longer duration, not only for one purchase. This denotes that the core concentration should be on building the organization’s credibility and developing trust among the target market, not only on the product itself.
Before going into the details, here’s a quick rundown of why the SaaS industry is different from others:
The SaaS industry is highly-competitive, and with technological advances, new products are coming up in the market. Hence you have to focus on customer experience product value & build trust among your prospects to stay relevant in the industry.
Note the statement that whatever subset of SaaS solutions you are working on, competition is fierce. But positively, their level of competitiveness denotes that there are still requirements for new solutions & you have the opportunity to develop new SaaS products to mitigate the target market’s pain points.
The customer journey in SaaS marketing is direct, and to close a deal or for lead generation, you have to create brand awareness. Each SaaS product is unique, and based on your SaaS business model; you need to provide your target market substantive knowledge of the things, they need to know about your product. Otherwise, your prospects may be hesitant to invest in your tool.
If you are a newbie in the SaaS industry, you must focus on creating your brand visibility & adopt SaaS content marketing strategies to create awareness among your audience. Especially in the SaaS business model, prospects are overwhelmed when provided with user knowledge. However, it would help if you balanced educating your target audience & drowning them with information.
As mentioned, SaaS marketing is inclined towards customer acquisition and retention for a long duration. After onboarding, the SaaS sales reps maintain continuous communication with the customer to reduce the customer churn rate. As per data, the annual average SaaS voluntary customer churn rate is 5%. In traditional marketing, the transaction is usually ‘one transition & done,’ but in the case of b2b, the marketing strategy is all about a long-term haul. And this is the primary reason why SaaS companies often adopt freemium models or trial versions.
Developing an impactful B2B SaaS marketing strategy is about unearthing the best way to reach out to your prospects & and implementing the most appropriate way to attract them to use your product. There is a combination of channels rather than a single method for SaaS marketing strategies. We have listed down the tactics that many successful SaaS brands have implemented; it has worked for SaaS organizations repeatedly. Let’s drill down it:
A content marketing strategy for SaaS is an excellent way to conquer the market. Applying content marketing to your SaaS strategy is regarded as one of the best practices to improve the customer support experience by many SaaS marketers.
Furthermore, many SaaS experts approved and tested content marketing for the SaaS product for diverse, successful SaaS companies worldwide. To leverage a content marketing campaign for B2B SaaS, you can follow the steps below:
Though email marketing is old-school, it’s even now an integral part of SaaS customer success. It is still relevant for SaaS companies to get more signups. Email marketing is among the best channels for SaaS marketing which can touch your prospects one-on-one.
The following are types of SaaS marketing emails you can send to your target audience:
SaaS customers require knowledge of your products and an understanding of how they can solve their pain points. After the onboarding process, sending out an email is a great way for customer retention, to give your SaaS customers a nudge, and to ensure a quality customer experience.
Developing an SEO(Search Engine Optimization) strategy for your SaaS product is vital to make your content visible on SERPs through organic search and boost your organic search traffic growth. SEO helps bring bulk leads and traffic to your website, ensuring your sales funnel development. However, you need to work on SaaS SEO and analyze a competitor to get the result. You also can focus on including your names in the blog posts, such as “best of” lists, along with developing your blog content optimized for search engines.
Inculcate social media strategy in your SaaS marketing at large. Leverage the major social platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram. Utilize social media accounts to seek product feedback or announce new products or features. Use the Instagram story feature to deploy the more humane side of your company share company culture employee stories to make your social handle engaging. Promote top-of-the-funnel content such as blogs or videos to draw customers’ attention. Share any new industry trends or other information that may be relevant to your audience.
Pay-per-click advertising is an effective SaaS marketing strategy for SaaS companies. You can rely on Google ads to enhance keywords’ visibility and outrank your market competitors. Like the PPC ad campaigns, you should also go with the social ads. With the user increment in social media, major social media networks are becoming an enticing platform to get more qualified leads. Social ads empower the SaaS solutions to deal with social algorithms to advertise the product directly to the target audience.
Along with text and images, you can use videos for Social ads; as with the advancement of Instagram, reels videos are becoming popular among users. Try to be as informative as you can, and share your brand message within the initial three seconds of the video to make your content engaging and hook viewers. Besides, your websites, events, or case studies also can be good content for social ads. Similarly, you can display your marketing success stories to your audience to raise engagement rates or spark conversations. However, ensure that the content you are using in ads is relevant to your target market.
Ensure to track marketing metrics. Before setting up marketing efforts for your SaaS products, you need to understand the SaaS marketing KPIs. Because the SaaS economic model is unique & with the metrics, you can easily measure your marketing efforts’ success. Narrowing down the KPIs helps you create and execute an effective marketing plan.
Among the myriad of metrics, we have compiled a list of the essential & vital metrics that you should consider to measure and implement in your SaaS marketing strategy.
Check out the monthly unique visitors. A special monthly visitor is the SaaS marketing metric that gives you insight into your website visitors in a particular month. If visitors visit your website multiple times in a month, it is counted as a single visit provided the visitor has used the same devices and browser and has not cleared cookies in between their visits. You should measure other metrics: Signups, Product Qualified Lead(PQL), Qualified Lead Velocity Rate, Viral Coefficient, Customer Acquisition Cost, Churn Rate, and Net Promoter Score.
Along with the SaaS businesses strategies, let’s roll to specific tips you should adhere to, to deliver the best customer experience in your SaaS sales. Inculcate these must-dos with the channels mentioned above to get enrich your customer base and propel your marketing strategy:
Content marketing is a crucial part of the marketing tactics of SaaS products. As per data, users engage eleven pieces of content before they decide to purchase the product; hence SaaS marketers put special effort into marketing SaaS content. And in a long SaaS customer journey, it speaks volumes of the need for a well-planned content calendar. With quality top-funnel content such as case studies, blog posts, and videos, you are equipped to propel awareness of your SaaS products.
Besides, top-of-the-funnel content is best for social media and educating your target audience. This content can also entertain them and hold your audience’s attention. With the rising popularity of videos, SaaS marketers are also putting effort into video marketing. Video content is in trend, particularly the bite-sized videos that are great to display your product.
Platforms like Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Twitter are great for sharing checklists and other downloadable features for SaaS businesses. The Instagram reels are another avenue you should leverage to make your products visible to your target market. For digital marketing, you can also turn your blog posts into a video. Videos are mobile-friendly and easy to digest, and they are beneficial for both awareness and sharing intriguing product knowledge.
Streamline your communication process with your customers and reciprocate their queries immediately. Unattended comments or late replies create a negative impact on your SaaS brand and lead to customer churn. Hence allocate resources to have a close eye on the customers’ queries and notifications. You can use different social media listening tools to systematize the process and minimize the team’s effort.
Keep your demos straightforward. Put a clear call to action, make sure your visitors or audience don’t require going through many loops to get your product in their hands. Guide your target audience to get more qualified leads for your business. It would be best if you made it clear where they can access your demo via landing pages with precise CTAs. If you have a freemium model, provide quality customer support to leverage a high conversion rate.
SaaS pricing structure varies from product to product, and it can be a controversial subject. Hence, to gain potential customers’ trust, ensure that your pricing structure is crystal clear; there’s no hidden secret. The point here is to refrain from skimming any details on your pricing pages. Everything should be clarified with each pricing plan, whether the’ freemium model ‘or the free trial period.
In that way, your prospects can set the correct expectations upon onboarding, and your organization’s credibility will be increased. You can use a checklist, or if you have a tire pricing structure, the name of the tires should be mentioned and provide information on whether the freemium model is included. Besides, the free trial period and the features available in an annual and monthly billing option add-on price should be well articulated on the pricing page. Slack’s pricing structure is an excellent example to take inspiration from.
Creating social proofs makes your SaaS company credible in the target market. Social proof and testimonials simultaneously play a significant role in boosting conversions. Focus on featuring your SaaS solution on the review sites such as G2( formerly known as G2 crowd), Capterria, Product Hunt, Select Hub. These sites have drawn considerable traffic, and users often review these sites while looking for a SaaS solution. These review sites aggregate customer feedback for your SaaS product.
Keep the communication channel open to current reviews on these sites. Also, accessible communication is the key to asking for testimonials that can prove the worthiness of your products—positive feedback serves as good news for your SaaS. Take time to go through the customer reviews in the review sites, respond to them, and re-publish the testimonials as a shout-out from customers; share it on your social channels website to display that your product is up to snuff.
The root of SaaS marketing data, i.e., numerous data points, can influence your SaaS product and marketing decisions. The data-driven strategy should incorporate product usage data gathered from your clients. The essential data point should include:
Ensure to measure the metrics regularly to make more data-backed informed decisions. Also, assess your social media analytics to get a brief about what is going around your brand on social media and accordingly adjust your SaaS marketing strategy.
With SaaS content creation and promotion, creating a repository of resources and a solid knowledge base is considered a smart move for SaaS. It assists your potential customers to leverage your product benefits to the fullest as they can have in-depth ideas about your product. Besides, having a repository of resources also saves time in customer support. You can create resources such as webinars, an asset library, and in-depth guides for each piece of the product features.
Before summing up the guide to SaaS marketing strategy, let’s roll down a few tips to help your marketing team to plan SaaS marketing strategies be stand out in the noisy SaaS marketing scenarios:
To create a lasting impression, SaaS companies require a defined branding strategy. It aids in drawing customers’ attention and makes a lasting impression. Focus on your logo brand voice, and maintain color cohesiveness in your content to make your signature style. Creating visual styles and maintaining a brand voice are simple steps that help the SaaS products be visible among your competitors.
When it comes to Saas businesses, be direct to your potential customers rather than creating a hoop. Rather than offering data, focus on your value proposition. Answer the questions such as how your products can mitigate the prospects’ issues. What pain points can you take care of? Is it saving time, and is it cost-effective? The value proposition of your products acts as a spell in customer acquisition. Place it front-and-center on your homepage.
In the current era, branding is getting accurate, and in the SaaS industry, culture, philanthropy, and values matter. These parameters make companies apart from the crowd and subject to your target market and new customers. Utilize social media to the highest to display your company culture and values, share company swag and employees’ narratives behind the scenes to humanize your brand. Besides, creating a company culture is a great way to bring your team together and build a healthy workplace that enriches productivity.
There are diverse parameters associated with an effective SaaS marketing plan, but rather than hanging around all the parameters, you should have a concise strategy aligning with your business goal. Many SaaS companies also specifically plan marketing budgets and put effort into an effective SEO strategy. The tips and channels shared in this article can serve as your helping hand in laying the foundation stone of your Saas marketing plan. Deeply assess all the analytics and examine strategies to determine what works best for you and tweak over time or when needed.
I tweak my imaginations and thoughts to create creative & narrative content. At FirstPrinciples, as Content Writer Lead, I underpin solutions into words, put the assessments into threaded paragraphs to solve the readers’ pain points. When not on my table, you can find me roaming around nature with the shutter on or having an insightful conversation over a cup of Latte!!
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