SaaS Marketing Strategies: The Ultimate Guide for Digital Success
In general, marketing is hard to get right. Between creative demands, budgetary constraints, and channel choices, there are many things to juggle. However, when it comes to SaaS marketing, there are additional obstacles to overcome.
While most marketers include sales funnels analysis and demand generation as a part of their strategies, SaaS companies must heavily rely on these tactics. In addition to traditional marketing strategies, SaaS marketers must also track buyers through the funnel and identify the perfect moment for a sales representative to reach out to the buyer.
Did you know that the average company uses at least 24 SaaS applications or programs? The question is, how do you become one of them?
In this guide, we will discuss some of the most important aspects of SaaS marketing, including SEO, paid advertising, and data-driven decision-making. We will also provide tips on how you can create your own successful marketing strategy!
What is SaaS Marketing Strategy?
A SaaS Marketing strategy focuses on selling software products and services through various digital channels such as paid advertising, organic search optimization, and content marketing.
To succeed in the fast-growing SaaS industry, your marketing strategy needs to be three things: strategic, data-driven and targeted. It requires strategic thinking and creative execution that helps SaaS companies attract, engage, and convert leads into customers.
It is important to note that SaaS marketing is different from other types of marketing because it requires a deep understanding of the buyer’s journey and how to create an effective funnel that will guide prospects through each stage of the decision-making process.
Why is SaaS Marketing Important?
The SaaS industry is growing at an unprecedented rate and is expected to reach $702.19 Billion by 2030. With so much competition, it’s more important than ever to have a strong marketing strategy.
SaaS marketing is important because it helps companies:
- Generate awareness for their products
- Find the right buyers
- Track buyers through the funnel
- Connect with prospects at the perfect moment
Without a solid marketing strategy, SaaS companies will struggle to survive in this competitive industry.
How is SaaS Marketing Different from Other Types of Marketing?
The biggest factor that makes SaaS marketing different from other forms of marketing is the challenge of proving a campaign’s ROI. This is due to several factors, including the deeply tech-focused nature of the work and the fully-online nature of the product or service.
While that may seem like a tall order, it is entirely possible to prove a B2B SaaS campaign’s ROI. Consider some of the most common goals for marketers—things like acquiring, retaining, and up-selling/cross-selling customers effectively and with minimal cost. Ultimately, the insight you gain from a successful campaign starts and ends with analyzing data.
What Are Some Common Marketing Channels for Marketing a SaaS Platform?
There are many different SaaS marketing strategies that companies can use to generate awareness, find buyers, and convert leads into customers. The basics of Saas marketing include:
Search engine optimization is a must for any SaaS company that wants to be found online. By optimizing your website and content for relevant keywords, you can improve your visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs), which will help you attract more website visitors and build brand awareness.
Paid advertising is a great way to generate immediate visibility and traffic to your website. You can use paid ads on platforms like Google, Bing, Facebook, and LinkedIn to reach your target audience.
Conversion rate optimization is a process that helps you improve the percentage of visitors who take the desired action on your website, such as subscribing to your email list or downloading a white paper. By optimizing your website for conversions, you can increase leads and sales.
Data and anayltics should be at the heart of all your marketing decisions. By tracking your website visitors’ behavior, you can gain valuable insights into what is and is not working. This will help you make better-informed decisions about allocating your marketing resources.
Developing a Marketing Strategy for SaaS Products
Now that you know why SaaS marketing is important and some of the most common strategies used, it’s time to develop your own marketing strategy. Here are a few tips to get you started:
Make Decisions Based On Data, Not Feelings
As mentioned earlier, data should be the driving force behind all your marketing decisions. Use analytics tools to track your website traffic and conversions to identify which marketing activities generate the most leads and customers.
The most successful marketing campaigns aren’t looking to bring in large amounts of traffic. In an increasingly saturated marketplace, the emphasis is on quality, not quantity. Saas marketers want to know where their highest-converting leads are coming from and how to get more of them.
This allows marketers to make smart, strategic decisions and get the biggest ROI in their campaigns. Taking a quality over quantity approach is what sets these campaigns apart from the rest.
Understand The Buyer’s Journey
The buyer’s journey is the process that your prospective customers go through when making a purchase decision. It consists of three stages:
- Awareness: In this stage, the buyer is aware of their problem or need.
- Consideration: In this stage, the buyer does research to find possible solutions to their problem.
- Decision: In this stage, the buyer chooses a solution and purchases.
As a marketer, it’s your job to guide prospects through each stage of the buyer’s journey with the right content and messages. If you can do that, you’ll be well on your way to generating more leads and sales.
Map Out Your SaaS Sales Funnel
Your SaaS sales funnel is the process your prospects go through when they become customers. It typically consists of four stages:
- Trial: In this stage, the prospect signs up for a free trial of your software.
- Onboarding: In this stage, the prospect is using your software and learning how to use it.
- Engagement: In this stage, the prospect is actively using your software and getting value from it.
- Retention: In this stage, the prospect is a loyal customer who continues to use your software.
To generate more customers, you need to focus on moving prospects through each stage of the sales funnel. The best way to do that is by providing them with the right content and support at each stage.
Have a Solid SEO Plan In Place
The importance of a strong online presence cannot be overstated, especially in today’s competitive market.
SEO is important for any SaaS company that wants to be found online. By optimizing your website and content for relevant keywords, you can improve your visibility on search engine results pages (SERPs). This will help you attract more website visitors and leads.
Best of all, organic traffic is free, making this your best place to start.
Your SEO strategy should include high-quality content that will help you rank in SERPs and attract website visitors. In most cases, your ideal target customer has no idea that your product exists, much less your company. With a clever content marketing plan, you can create SEO-optimized content users will naturally stumble upon when they head to Google to look up a question.
For example, we’ll just assume you Googled “how to make a SaaS marketing strategy?” and found this page by chance. Was it chance, or was it SEO? We’ll never tell.
Cue content marketing.
Define Your Content Marketing Strategy
When developing your content marketing tactics, it’s important to consider the different stages of the buyer’s journey. Creating content that appeals to prospects at each stage will help you move them through the funnel and convert them into customers.
The most effective types of content for SaaS marketing include:
- Blog posts
- Ebooks and whitepapers
- Case studies
Remember, the goal of your content is to educate and build trust with your audience. It should be helpful and informative, not promotional.
Optimize Your Website for Conversions
Optimizing your site for conversions means making sure every page on your site is user-friendly and compatible with search engine crawlers. Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is a very complex strategy that requires collaboration between SEOs, creatives, and web developers, but the return on investment is well worth it.
CRO ensures your website is easy to read, simple to navigate, and fast to load. It also includes using keywords in your content and titles to help people find your website in Google or other search engines.
You can use heat mapping tools like Microsoft Clarity to understand how users interact with your website and which features are most compelling. Technical SEO tools like Screaming Frog can help you identify pages that aren’t optimized properly or load slowly so you can make changes before users or robots get frustrated and leave.
Create Brand Personas and Get Hyper-personalized Via Targeting
If you want to get the most out of your marketing budget, you need to know which type of material is effective on each channel for your target audience. Each social media platform appeals to a distinct demographic of users, much like each search engine has its own unique audience.
However, before you start developing specialized content for each and every social media platform, you need to know who your target customer is and where they hang out online. This is where brand personas come in handy.
A brand persona is a fictionalized representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers. Once you’ve created a few personas, you can start developing targeted content for each one.
Remember that your personas should be based on real data, not assumptions. Use Google Analytics and other data sources to get a clear picture of who your target customer is and what they’re interested in.
Once you’ve defined your target audience, you can start creating content that appeals to them. Don’t stop there. You can also use targeted advertising to reach a specific audience with laser precision.
For example, Facebook allows you to target users based on interests, demographics, and behaviors. This means you can create ads that are only seen by people who are in your target market and are likely to be interested in your product or service.
Use a Multi-Channel Marketing Approach
A multi-channel approach can target your audience from different angles because most leads aren’t going to come from one channel and one touchpoint. With this strategy, you’ll have enough data to tie together all marketing touchpoints, lean on tracking data, and understand how different channels impact each other to generate positive results.
Spend Your Digital Marketing Budget Wisely
When setting a budget, it is important to allocate digital marketing dollars to the channels that give you the best ROI. Why spend money in places where you won’t get a good return on your marketing investment? However, this is easier said than done.
If your paid advertising campaigns have similar performances with similar trends in clicks and impressions, it’s hard to understand which marketing channel was more successful. One of the best ways to differentiate which channel to dedicate money towards is to look for the campaign with the highest amount of closed leads.
Measuring success by the number of closed leads rather than impressions or clicks will help you optimize your budget, investing dollars into the channels where you know you’ll get the best results. We call that working smarter, not working harder.
Do Your Research Then, Research Again
You can’t create a stellar strategy without understanding who your target market is. Examine past leads and current customers while asking yourself:
- What commonalities and patterns exist?
- What do the conversion funnels look like?
- How are your leads interacting with organic content, paid ads, and social media?
And don’t forget about your sales and customer service teams when researching. They know your target audience intimately—after all, they work with them every day.
In the right hands, this information is a gold mine waiting to be tapped. Just remember, in a competitive market like SaaS, it’s critical to review your research and data consistently.
Offer Free Trial Periods
Decision-makers need to know if a SaaS platform will be the right fit for their team. That’s where demos and trials come into play.
There are several ways to offer a trial to a prospective client. Depending on your product’s price point, capabilities, and onboarding needs can determine the best type of trial to offer and how to market it. A few common methods include:
At the bottom of the ladder is a basic demo of the product. Live demos are great because they require prospects to interact with a rep in real-time. This allows you to ask questions and learn more about the lead’s needs. However, a demo without a trial—or an opportunity to actually get into the platform and poke around—may not be successful if your platform is complex.
A free trial gives leads a set period of time to play around with your platform, typically anywhere from a week to a month. Free trials let leads dive in and explore your platform. It can be much easier to convert a current user into a paying customer.
Ensuring free trial users are experiencing some amount of onboarding and interactions with sellers and marketing content will boost the chances of a successful free trial.
Like a free trial, a freemium trial charges a fraction of the cost for users to either try your platform for a set period of time or to have partial access to your platform. If you’ve already convinced a lead to pay some amount of money to use your platform, you’re halfway there! Personalized support and marketing can make all the difference in retaining this client long term.
Where Do I Start?
Don’t worry; you don’t have to do it alone. We love partnering with SaaS companies to formulate a digital marketing strategy that will help you get to where you want to be. That’s not just marketing hype—100% of our clients hit their acquisition goals in 2020. Our services include:
- Paid Digital Strategies (search, social, etc.)
- Predictive Customer Acquisition Modeling
- Customer Journey Mapping and Analysis
- Data Visualization and Dashboarding
- Lead Scoring and Performance Projecting
- Search Engine Optimization
- Content Strategy
- Website Optimization
- Landing Page Development
We bring all of these powerful tactics to help our clients create an overall SaaS marketing strategy for transformational results.
If you want to try it on your own first, the best place to start is to examine the data you already have. Ask questions like:
- Where are my customers located?
- What marketing channels are we most successful in?
- What types of marketing don’t generate leads?
As basic as this sounds, it’s really important to remember to make your decisions based on data, not feelings. You’ve got great instincts, but to conquer the rapidly-changing market, you need data on your side too.
Looking at your SaaS marketing data will help you formulate a SaaS marketing strategy that works well for your company and gets you quality leads that turn into long-term customers.
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