With the SaaS industry growing exponentially and so does the competition, crafting effective SaaS marketing strategies is crucial to your SaaS growth. More than ever, you need effective marketing strategies that help you stand out from the crowd and utilize channels that produce high ROI for your business and so on
This post delves into understanding what makes SaaS marketing unique and why it requires different tactics than traditional product marketing. We will explore several proven strategies such as SEO optimization, tiered pricing models, landing page usage, and product trial offers that can significantly enhance your Saas Marketing efforts.
Further, we'll discuss how you can convincingly present your platform to prospects through comparison tables, video demonstrations, and live chat support. Lastly in this comprehensive guide on SaaS Marketing Strategies, we’ll cover monitoring success with performance metrics, long-term strategies like cross-selling and up-selling current customers and highlighting company culture and values.
Table of Contents:
What is SaaS Marketing and B2B SaaS Marketing?
Software as a Service, or SaaS, is changing the game for businesses. No more worrying about hardware — just subscribe and use the software. But what about marketing? It's about finding and keeping those monthly subscribers.
In traditional sales, the focus is on one-time purchases. But in SaaS marketing, it's all about building lasting customer relationships. Understand your clients — those already using similar services and those unhappy with their current provider — and tailor your approach.
SaaS marketing is a unique blend of strategies to attract and retain customers. SaaS marketing is crafted to help you build brand awareness and promote it to nudge your audience into purchasing and using your tools for the long term. B2B SaaS, a sub-category, hones in on businesses instead of individuals. B2B SaaS marketing is about targeting B2B buyers whose customer journeys are often long, and complex. The decision-making process of B2B is also more complex and challenging to track as there are several factors involved. Plus, there are various buyer personas involved in the whole process: end-users, gatekeepers, and decision-makers.
Let's compare a few companies to see the differences in customer journeys:
Canva, a popular design SaaS that helps people with little background in design, create visually-stunning designs within minutes. Canva targets a wide range of audiences from individuals (students, entrepreneurs, marketers, and anyone who wants to create graphics), and organizations (startups, SMEs, agencies, non-profits, enterprises, etc.). So, we can say that Canva does both B2C SaaS marketing and B2B SaaS marketing, but it gained popularity among individuals due to the straightforward, self-serve onboarding combined with no sales follow-up.
Salesforce: a prime example of a B2B SaaS company that provides solutions for businesses. As a marketing and sales CRM, Salesforce targets the sales and marketing departments of companies. The tool focuses on helping the sales team collaborate with other departments and external communication with leads and customers.
If you check out the Salesforce website, you can see that the Salesforce sign-up form asks you several questions about your business before letting you try the software. The sign-up form asked you about your company size, your revenue, and so on.
In B2B SaaS, many times we talk about enterprise SaaS marketing where the marketing focuses on acquiring big companies. Account-based marketing (ABM) is often discussed as the main strategy for Enterprise SaaS marketing.
Top 10 Effective Strategies for SaaS Marketing
In the competitive SaaS market, unique strategies are necessary to ensure your business stands out from the rest. From SEO to tiered pricing, these methods can help you attract and keep customers.
1. Build your content marketing strategy and SEO for B2B SaaS
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a powerful tool for boosting visibility and attracting clients. Optimize your website with relevant keywords and top-notch content to rank higher on Google and get noticed. However, it's not only about getting ranked on Google. The goal of your content marketing is to gain traffic from your target audience. This audience should be made of visitors who are interested in your topics and may potentially use your products as solutions to fix their business problems.
Only 5% of the audience is familiar with your brand and is in the active buying phase when landing on your website. Therefore, your content needs to not only generate sales and qualified leads but also gain marketing-qualified leads for your site. As mentioned above, B2B buyers have long customer journeys, which require time and patience to raise awareness, build trust, and many times generate buzz with your buyers. Your content should be built to serve that — speaking to your buyers at various points of their customer journey.
When speaking of content, people instantly think about writing articles. Yes, indeed, a blog is still one of the most popular and effective content types to gain traffic and build trust. There are several types of content that you can produce to generate traffic.
Each content type listed above needs a different platform to reach your target audience, and each platform has a different search engine to help the audience find relevant results. SEO helps your content be found more easily by the audience. Besides building a content marketing strategy for B2B SaaS, you also need to build a link-building strategy to help your content get ranked on search engines like Google and Bing.
2. Use Ads to show your values to your B2B audience at the right time, right place
When it comes to attracting B2B buyers, utilizing the right advertising channels is crucial for success. Here are some effective ad channels to consider:
LinkedIn Advertising: LinkedIn Ads can work very well thanks to their capability to do hyper-targeting that other platforms cannot do. With options like sponsored content, sponsored InMail, and dynamic ads, you can reach decision-makers and industry professionals based on specific job titles, industries, or company sizes.
Industry Publications, Media Buying, and Trade Journals: Many B2B buyers rely on industry publications and trade journals for industry news and insights. Advertising in these publications allows you to reach a highly targeted audience that is actively engaged in your specific industry.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM): Using platforms like Google Ads, you can target B2B buyers who are actively searching for products or services related to your business. By bidding on relevant keywords and optimizing your ads, you can drive qualified traffic to your website and generate leads
3. Offer Product Trials or lead magnets to collect leads
A product trial lets customers test your service before committing. It's more convincing than any sales pitch. Create an effortless sign-up procedure to avoid turning away potential users. For SaaS sales, the sales process can take a long time to close deals with companies (various decision makers, security risks, etc.).
If your audience takes a trial of your SaaS product but they don't know how to use it because of its complexity, the trials will backfire. People will jump to the conclusion that you're not a fit for them. Therefore, many SaaS companies choose to not provide free trials right away. Instead, they may bring a demo call into the process where SDRs (sales development representatives) showcase how to use the tools and distill information from the lead so they can customize their product to best fit the audience.
4. Implement Tiered Pricing Models
Pricing is not often discussed as a marketing strategy. However, pricing plays an important role in the consideration and conversion phase of your customer journey. Your pricing will be a make-or-break for your business. If you don't see your pricing right, you will lose your potential customers as the price can be too high for them. However, if you set up your price too low, you're causing harm for your profitability.
For pricing, tiered pricing is one of the best-used strategies by B2B SaaS Marketers and product owners. Tiered pricing caters to different customer needs and budgets. With various packages at different price points, there's something for everyone, from startups to big corporations. To achieve the right level of tiered pricing, marketers and product owners go through A/B testing, personalization, and user research. For some SaaS, the pricing is up to case-by-case negotiation.
5.Build converting landing pages
One of the most common mistakes that founders tend to make is that they only care about bringing the traffic to their website. It's a costly mistake as it takes money and time to bring traffic to an underperforming website - an website that has very low conversion. It's important to check your landing pages' conversion and implement several tactics to build landing pages that convert well.
Several components contribute to a converting landing page: copywriting, visuals, and site performance. And marketers need to tackle all three of these components to create landing pages that convert well.
6. Convince Your Audience Through Your Platform
Competing in the SaaS arena can be a challenge, so you must employ clever tactics to entice prospects to sign up for your service. To outshine the competition, you have to play smart on your platform. That means flaunting comparison tables, wowing them with video demos, keeping sign-up forms short and sweet, and offering live chat support.
Showcasing Comparison Tables
A comparison table is like a superhero cape for your SaaS product. It shows potential customers why your service is awesome and why they should choose it over the rest. Don't just list features; explain how those features bring real benefits to users.
Providing Demo Videos
Around 84% of people say they've been convinced to buy something after watching a brand's video. So, be a showstopper. Use video demos to give prospects a crystal-clear view of how your software works and why it's the bee's knees.
Provide case studies and knowledge bites via emails and social media
B2B buyers are not impulsive buyers. They need to collect enough proof and information before they make a purchase. For B2B buyers, case studies and best practices materials are one of the best ways to convert them in the consideration phase of the buyer journey.
How to show case studies to your lead:
Create a dedicated page for case studies, and it is easy to locate that page on your website
Collect information about your leads through onboarding forms, or demo calls
Send related case studies via drip sequences, ads, onboarding videos, webinars, and pined posts in forums
7. Design the right sign-up flow for your product
For SaaS, the sign-up flow comes in two typical styles: self-serving sign-up, or gated sign-up.
For self-serving sign-up where users can easily sign up and have access to try the software right away, you should design a frictionless flow. The shorter your sign-up forms, the higher your chances of turning prospects into paying customers. It's a well-known best practice among SaaS providers that want to convert free trials fast — create short and secured sign-up forms. Signing up with Google, Linkedin, and Apple ID are the most popular choices. Depending on your buyer personas for B2B SaaS, registering with Google and LinkedIn is a good choice because nowadays many businesses use Google mails for business emails.
For gated sign-up flow, which is more and more often found in B2B SaaS due to several reasons (strategy, and operational cost. For this flow, t is important for marketers to generate high-quality leads for the onboarding team or sales team. You don’t want to receive spammy leads, and disqualified prospects. The time of chasing leads is time-consuming for sales teams.
8. Build Free Tools
Using free tools as a SaaS marketing strategy is highly effective. These tools offer tangible value, solve problems, and build trust with potential customers. They also generate leads, as users provide contact information to access the tool.
Well-designed tools can go viral, expanding brand exposure and attracting more leads. For example, years ago, Hubspot gained a lot of traffic when they started offering its Website Grader tool for free. Additionally, free tools act as previews, showcasing the value of paid offerings and increasing interest. They also provide valuable market research insights by analyzing user behavior and understanding customer needs.
Also, consider adding lesser effort 'tools' like interactive calculators, quizzes, and polls.
9. Build buzz around you via influencers, word-of-mouth, referrals, and reviews platforms
Harness the power of word-of-mouth marketing in the B2B SaaS industry by building trust and credibility with your audience. Rather than solely relying on self-promotion, let others speak for you. By leveraging thought leaders, customer reviews, and referrals from friends and colleagues, you establish social proof that resonates with potential customers.
Customer review platforms are great channels to bring traffic to your site and build trust. G2Crowd, GetApp, and TrustRadius are among the review sites you can invest in.
The endorsement of industry competitors and key players further strengthens your reputation. When prospects observe established brands utilizing your products, their confidence in your offerings naturally grows. Embrace the influence of others to cultivate a trustworthy image and foster strong relationships within the B2B SaaS market.
10. Build communities around your brand
Community building is a powerful SaaS marketing strategy that fosters engagement, loyalty, and growth. It offers these numerous benefits:
Customer Engagement and Retention: Communities deepen connections with customers through discussions, knowledge-sharing, and support. This boosts loyalty, reduces churn, and enhances retention rates.
User-Generated Content and Advocacy: Strong communities generate authentic user-generated content, like testimonials and reviews, acting as influential social proof. Satisfied community members become brand advocates, sharing positive experiences and recommending your solution.
Feedback and Product Improvement: Communities provide direct communication channels for gathering valuable insights, feedback, and ideas for product enhancements. Involving the community in the development process enhances customer satisfaction and aligns the product with their needs.
Knowledge Sharing and Support: Communities enable collaboration, idea exchange, and mutual problem-solving. They strengthen customer relationships and establish your brand as a valuable resource. Peer-to-peer support reduces reliance on dedicated support teams.
Building communities can be done through various channels such as Reddit, Slack, Facebook groups, and Circle, or by creating your forum using platforms like Airtable or Webflow. Webflow has both social groups and forums to make the most out of big platforms like Facebook.
By leveraging community building as a SaaS marketing strategy, businesses foster engagement, harness user-generated content, improve products, and create a supportive ecosystem that fuels growth.
Monitor Your SaaS marketing strategies through Performance Metrics
In the world of SaaS marketing, performance metrics are like GPS for your business. By tracking metrics such as churn rate and lifetime value per customer, you can get a clear picture of your progress toward success. These key indicators, like churn rate or lifetime value per customer, paint a clear picture of your overall performance.
Acquiring New Customers Metrics
First, it's essential to bring in fresh users to your platform. To keep track of this process, here are some metrics you should watch:
Marketing Qualified leads (MQL) and sales qualified leads (SQL): from sign-ups, trials, list subscribers (MQLs) to deals and purchases (SQLs)
User Acquisition Cost (UAC): Find out how much it costs to get a new user by dividing your total acquisition expenses by the number of users you acquired in a specific period.
Conversion Rate: See what percentage of visitors become paying customers after visiting your website or landing page.
MRR Growth Rate: Check if your revenue from subscriptions is growing over time with this monthly recurring revenue growth rate.
But wait, there's more. Keeping your existing customers happy is just as important. Here are some retention-related metrics to keep an eye on:
Churn Rate: Measure the percentage of subscribers who cancel their subscription during a given period. A low churn rate means happy and loyal customers.
Lifetime Value (LTV): Calculate the net profit you get from each customer throughout your relationship. The higher the LTV, the better for your business.
So, by monitoring both acquisition and retention metrics, you can track your progress and make necessary adjustments for optimal results. Remember, data-driven decisions lead to increased efficiency and effectiveness in your B2B SaaS marketing strategy.
SaaS marketing strategies: real-life case studies
HubSpot is a prime example of a company that effectively utilizes content marketing as its primary marketing strategy. They recognize the value of providing valuable and educational content to attract and engage their target audience.
Content and SEO
Inbound Methodology: HubSpot pioneered the concept of inbound marketing, which focuses on attracting and engaging customers through relevant and valuable content. They created a framework that encompassed the stages of attracting, converting, closing, and delighting customers by delivering targeted content at each stage of the buyer's journey.
Blogging: HubSpot's blog became a cornerstone of its content marketing efforts. They consistently published high-quality articles that covered a wide range of topics related to marketing, sales, and customer service. Their blog not only provided educational resources but also positioned HubSpot as a thought leader in the industry.
Ebooks and Guides: HubSpot produced comprehensive ebooks and guides that tackled specific topics in-depth. These resources served as valuable lead magnets, attracting potential customers and capturing their contact information. By offering actionable insights and practical advice, HubSpot demonstrated its expertise and built trust with its audience.
Webinars and Video Content: HubSpot embraced multimedia content to engage with its audience. They hosted webinars and created video content that covered various topics, ranging from product tutorials to industry trends. These formats allowed for interactive experiences and increased audience engagement.
Email Marketing: HubSpot leveraged email marketing to nurture leads and provide personalized content tailored to the specific interests and needs of the audience. They sent regular newsletters, curated content, and product updates to stay connected with their subscribers and drive engagement.
Notion is a document organization tool that has been used widely by individuals and companies in the past 5 years. For Notion, their winning strategy is community building.
SaaS Marketing Strategies FAQs
What is a SaaS marketing strategy?
A SaaS marketing strategy is all about promoting and selling your awesome Software as a Service product to beat your competitors and make bank.
What online marketing strategies work best for SaaS companies?
The most effective online strategies for SaaS companies include mastering SEO, offering irresistible product trials, using tiered pricing models, creating killer landing pages, and wowing potential customers with video demonstrations.
How do you create a killer SaaS marketing plan
To create a killer SaaS marketing strategy, you need to understand your target audience's needs, set clear goals and KPIs, choose the right channels and tactics (like SEO or content marketing), and keep a close eye on your results.
How to measure SaaS marketing
You can measure your SaaS marketing efforts by using some of the following SaaS marketing metrics:
-LTC: CAC ratio
-Sign-up for paid conversions
-Traffic increase, and signup rates
-Net Promoter score (NPS)
What are the top Saas Marketing Strategies?
It depends! LOL. But seriously, you need to test and see which marketing strategy works well for your audience and your team. If you have a talent for video making, create your YouTube channel. If you love Twitter or LinkedIn, voila — be a wordsmith on those platforms.
🚀 Now it is time to build your SaaS marketing plan, right?
Schedule a call with our growth marketers and we will help you analyze your marketing, product, and metrics. We will present a Growth Plan with strategies to help you increase traffic, and convert better.