What is SaaS Digital Marketing?
Looking for a definition of SaaS digital marketing can leave SaaS marketers feeling a little like Goldilocks—yes, the one with the three bears. Some definitions of digital marketing in SaaS will be very broad, saying more about digital marketing in general than anything specific to software. Others will be very specific, focused on what has worked for one product or platform without translating those insights into actionable advice. Too broad or too specific, these definitions often send you back to Google looking for more.
Between the mama bears and papa bears, we hope you’ll find our explanation of SaaS marketing strategy to be just right, including both high-level information for a foundation and specific tips you can act on to achieve more wins. Let’s dive in before the porridge gets even colder. (No, please don’t go swim in a bowl of cold porridge. Just keep reading.)
What Are the Top 4 Digital Marketing Channels?
Let’s start with big ol’ papa bear and talk about the top 4 digital marketing channels across industries on the Internet. According to the 7th Annual State of Marketing Report by Salesforce, the top 4 digital marketing channels are social media, digital ads, video, and digital content.
- Social Media: Social media is used for marketing by over 90% of organizations, though preferred platforms vary by audience. B2B companies are more likely to use social media like LinkedIn, while B2C companies will focus on channels like Instagram.
- Digital Ads: Paid search ads and other digital ads are also used by over 90% of organizations. Some may pay for ads on Google itself, while others achieve ad placement on websites their audiences are visiting through retargeting.
- Video: Video marketing can take a variety of forms, from product demos to thought leadership videos or customer testimonials. 90% of organizations use video in some form in their marketing.
- Digital Content: The fourth channel Salesforce identified is digital content, which is sort of a catch-all term for any information that is digitally broadcast, streamed, or stored in computer files. This means videos could be considered digital content, along with any e-books, downloads, or social media stories on booming platforms like TikTok.
90% of digital marketers say their digital engagement strategy has undergone significant change since 2020, with 89% also changing their marketing channel mix in response. But what does this mean for a SaaS marketing mix? Some of these channels will still be useful, while others can be less-prioritized. That’s why Statwax looks into your company’s data, to help you choose the channels that bring the most value to your SaaS organization.
Top SaaS Marketing Channels
The top SaaS marketing channels can be divided into three categories: owned marketing, earned marketing, and paid marketing.
Examples of SaaS Owned Marketing Channels
Owned marketing refers to elements of your strategy that users and target audiences find on their own. For this reason, you might also hear about owned marketing channels called organic marketing channels—the attention you gain is based on the user’s genuine interest, not paid promotion.
One of the most important owned marketing channels in SaaS is the company website. A well-constructed website for a SaaS company will naturally showcase the features and functionality of the platform. The site must also be optimized to win higher search rankings through keywords and other search engine optimization best practices, including landing pages that are specially-developed to educate leads and inspire them to reach out. Other owned marketing examples include your social media pages, events and webinars you might host, and video tutorials or free demos.
Examples of SaaS Earned Marketing Channels
Earned marketing refers to marketing that is the product of your brand’s reputation and thought leadership. This might include getting featured in an industry publication, getting invited to speak on a panel, and customer reviews or social shares of your content. Even customer referrals and word-of-mouth advertising are forms of earned marketing. In fact, as much as 40% of your web traffic and new leads may be coming from earned media.
The vast majority of people online (82%) trust digital word-of-mouth and reviews more than the content companies produce about themselves. Don’t let that stop you from producing content, marketing warrior—just keep in mind that your audiences are taking what you say about your platform and its benefits with several grains of salt. Stepping up your earned media presence by building industry connections, seeking out chances to publish in magazines, and asking customers to leave reviews, is essential to long-term success in SaaS marketing.
Examples of Paid Media Channels in SaaS
Paid media channels, you guessed it, are the ones you’re paying for. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t authentic and effective forms of SaaS marketing. In fact, for many SaaS companies, using paid marketing is preferred, because the results are easier to prove and more exact than organic or earned marketing.
Pay-per-click ads on Google are one of the best-known examples of paid media channels. In these strategies, you choose the keywords you want to rank for, and bid to be near the top of the results when users search for that phrase or question. Other forms of paid marketing include banner ads, video ads, and in-app advertising.
Figuring out how to market software as a service to your target audiences means achieving the right balance between these three channels—not too hard on one channel, not too soft on the others, but in fact, just right.
Statwax: Custom Digital Marketing for SaaS Companies
We understand that SaaS digital marketing needs to increase both volume and quality of leads at the same time. Achieving both at once starts with understanding where the best leads are coming from, and what makes them high-quality. We help SaaS companies advance their understanding of target audiences through persona creation, while customer journey mapping helps pinpoint where the best customers are coming from and how to get more of them. Other services like data analysis and predictive modeling empower our SaaS clients to forecast wins and predict the need to scale.
Our balanced cross-platform strategies help organic, earned, and paid marketing initiatives drive shared success. Saving time and money while improving marketing outcomes goes from fairy tale to reality when you work with Statwax. Read some of our client success stories, or reach out to talk about what you’re looking for and need.