We won’t lie – some of our most challenging projects involve creating a B2B marketing strategy for SaaS products.
Business owners are a tough crowd! They’re rational, they’re numbers-driven, and they don’t always have the time (or patience) to wade through marketing fluff…
…and that’s exactly why we LOVE helping SaaS companies with their B2B digital marketing strategies.
There’s nothing more satisfying than seeing our SaaS clients increase their subscribers, grow their audience, and hit goal after goal.
So what’s our secret? Well, we don’t have any.
We blend timeless marketing frameworks, modern best practices, plus years of immersion in the B2B & SaaS spaces to craft digital marketing strategies that deliver amazing results.
What is B2B & SaaS Marketing?
At its core, B2B marketing is the process of creating relationships between a company and other businesses. And SaaS marketing? It’s simply applying those same principles to marketing a software product.
The main difference between the two is that SaaS marketing must take into account the unique challenges that come with selling a digital product.
For example, when you’re marketing a physical product, you can use things like packaging and design to make it stand out from the competition. But when you’re selling a piece of software, your potential customers can’t touch or hold it – so you have to get creative.
Due to the nature of the product, B2B SaaS marketing is a unique beast among other forms of marketing:
First, most SaaS products operate on a subscription-based model.
Unlike traditional products, the transaction doesn’t end when the customer pays for the product.
Instead, SaaS providers need to continuously nurture their relationships with customers to ensure that they remain subscribed (and paying) month after month.
Aside from trying to keep existing subscribers, SaaS companies need to constantly attract new sign-ups or face the very real threat of extinction.
The second challenge that SaaS startups face is customer churn.
Because most SaaS products have a free trial period, business owners are often quick to sign up and just as quick to cancel their subscription if they’re not satisfied.
This makes it all the more important for SaaS companies to provide both an exceptional product and world-class customer service.
Last but not least is the fierce competition that defines the SaaS space.
Because the barriers to entry are relatively low, there’s no shortage of new SaaS products hitting the market every day.
This means that even the most innovative SaaS products have to come up with newer, cooler, and more appealing features on a regular basis to stay ahead of the curve.
Combined, these make B2B SaaS marketing a tall order, and even more so when you compare it to B2C marketing.
How B2B differs from B2C marketing
B2B marketing deals with a different type of audience, budget, and marketing goals compared to B2C marketing. Marketing to other businesses involves:
A smaller audience size
The B2B audience is smaller and more niche than the B2C market. This is especially true when you’re offering a SaaS product.
For instance, while you can sell shoes to thousands – even millions – of potential customers, much fewer people will need AI-driven accounting software or a cloud-based content generator.
As a result, B2B marketing strategies have to be hyper-targeted. It also requires an intimate understanding of who the target customer is, what their needs are, and what they’re looking for in a product.
A higher purchasing budget
Generally speaking, businesses normally have bigger budgets than your average consumer. That means that the stakes are higher for businesses, too – before they trust you with their money, they need to know your SaaS company and product are worth it.
Part of B2B marketing is cultivating that trust from the very first touchpoint and making sure that it’s carried all the way through the sales process.
Different marketing goals
Volume sales are typically the goal of B2C marketing. Since most B2C products are priced to be as accessible as possible, businesses need to move a lot of units to make a profit.
On the other hand, B2B marketing is about quality over quantity. As a result, businesses are more likely to make costly purchase decisions, so SaaS providers can charge more for their products. In turn, this means that they don’t need to sell as many units to reach their financial goals.
A more complicated buyer’s journey
The B2B buyer’s journey is notoriously long and complex. There are multiple decision-makers involved in the purchasing process, each with its own needs, wants, and objectives.
For example, a company’s IT department might be concerned with data security while the financial team looks at the bottom line. Then, they have to convince the company’s upper management to sign off on the deal.
All of this takes time – much more time than the average B2C customer spends making a purchase. Because of this, B2B marketing efforts need to be focused on building relationships and trust over the long term instead of ringing up a sale today.
A longer sales cycle
Due to the higher price point and complexity of B2B SaaS products, the sales cycle is also much longer.
It can take months – even years – to land a deal, meaning B2B marketers need to be patient. They also need to have a deep understanding of their audience and what they’re looking for so they can continue providing value at every stage of the buyer’s journey.
Different marketing messages
The marketing messages that work for B2B products are very different from those used in B2C campaigns.
B2C marketing tends to be focused on emotional appeals and immediate gratification. On the other hand, B2B marketing is all about logic and showing how your product can solve your target customer’s specific pain points.
Different customer service expectations
Clients of B2B companies expect a higher level of customer service and support. Since they’re spending more money on your SaaS product, they naturally have higher expectations for things like response times, uptime, and features.
They’ll also expect you to be intimately familiar with their business and evolving needs – the moment they feel like they’re being treated like just another number, they’ll take their business elsewhere.
Effective B2B & SaaS marketing strategies
If there’s one thing we’ve learned from working with B2B and SaaS organisations over the years, it’s that there is no ‘one size fits all’ marketing strategy that’s right for everyone.
The key to developing a successful B2B marketing strategy is to have clear, realistic goals in mind before you begin. In addition, you need to be as specific as possible – otherwise, you won’t be able to measure your success (or lack thereof).
Not sure what that looks like for you? Here are some examples:
To help you hit those goals, we use a set of proven B2B & SaaS marketing strategies.
These are the exact methods we use to help one client increase their organic conversions by 112%, another to quadruple their PPC leads, and yet another to increase their trial sign-ups by 53%:
B2B & SaaS content marketing
Content marketing is a broad term that covers everything from blog posts and eBooks to podcasts and webinars. It supports almost every aspect of B2B & SaaS digital marketing, from SEO keywords and titles to PPC ad copy, social media posts, and email subject lines.
It’s particularly important for B2B & SaaS companies because:
- It allows you to explain complex concepts and products in a way that’s easy for your target audience to understand
- It builds trust and credibility with potential customers by positioning you as a thought leader in your industry
- It can be used at every stage of the buyer’s journey, from attracting strangers with blog posts to converting leads with webinars
- It’s an evergreen asset that you can continue to generate leads with long after it’s been published
That’s why creating relevant and engaging content is a cornerstone of our B2B & SaaS marketing framework.
B2B & SaaS SEO
SEO is the process of optimising your website to rank higher in the search results. The higher your website ranks, the more likely people – aka your target customers – are to click through and visit your site.
There are many facets to SEO, including the following:
- Onsite SEO: This is the process of optimising your website’s content and structure to make it as easy as possible for search engines to understand. Onsite SEO includes things like using the right keywords, using proper headline structure, and ensuring your website loads quickly.
- Technical SEO: Think of this as the plumbing of your website. Technical SEO is all about ensuring your website is technically sound and easy for search engines to crawl and index. It includes things like fixing broken links and 404 errors, improving your website’s speed and performance, and making sure your site is secure.
- Content optimisation: Producing content is one thing; optimising it for search engines is another. Content optimisation includes things like using keyword-rich titles and meta descriptions, as well as making sure your images and videos are properly tagged.
- Offsite SEO: This is the process of building authority and trust for your website through external signals, such as backlinks and social media mentions. Offsite SEO is a complex and ever-evolving topic, but some of the basics include link building and social media engagement.
SEO and content marketing are closely related because the success of your SEO efforts depends largely on the quality of your content. That’s why a comprehensive B&S marketing strategy includes both content marketing and SEO.
B2B & SaaS PPC campaigns
B2B SaaS SEO and content marketing are both long-term strategies: they take time to build momentum and generate results. PPC is what takes care of the here and now.
PPC – or pay-per-click – is a form of paid advertising that allows you to place your ads on search engine results pages (SERPs). Executed well, it can bring highly targeted traffic to your website and is readily scalable. You can also use it to run promotions, such as discounts and free trials for your B2B SaaS product.
B2B & SaaS referral incentivisation
Referral incentivisation is the process of offering incentives to customers or employees in order to encourage them to refer your business to others. The most common type of referral incentive is a discount or freebie, but there are many other options, such as:
- Subscription discounts
- Free subscription time periods (e.g., one month)
- Branded merchandise
- Gift cards
Referral incentivisation is a powerful B2B & SaaS marketing tool because it leverages the power of word-of-mouth marketing. When done correctly, it can result in a steady stream of high-quality leads.
B2B & SaaS free trials
Offering free trials is one of the most powerful ways to gain new subscribers. Free trials give potential customers a risk-free way to try your SaaS product or service. And if your free trial is properly structured, it can also be an effective lead-generation tool.
Free trials are particularly important if your competitors are not offering them. In many cases, a free trial is a deciding factor when customers are choosing between similar products.
To create an effective free-trial campaign for your B2B SaaS company, we’ll analyse your competitors’ offers to craft a more successful offer.
B2B & SaaS social media promotion
Never underestimate the power of paid social. Today’s consumers, including your target B2B clients, crave the human element when it comes to brands they do business with.
Paid social allows you to show a more human side of your brand and connect with your target audience on a deeper level.
We’re going to help you identify the best social media platforms for your B2B company. Then, we’ll leverage our paid social media expertise to create and execute a campaign that will connect, inspire, and convert your target audience.
There you have it! These are just a few of the most effective B&S marketing strategies we recommend for our B2B & SaaS clients.
Note that if you decide to work with us, you will receive a bespoke digital marketing strategy that amplifies your SaaS company’s strengths, fortifies your weak points, and gets you closer to your goals.
Stand out from the B2B SaaS crowd
Creating a B2B & SaaS marketing strategy that propels you forward without compromising product quality, customer experience, and company culture is no small feat. But it’s one we’re confident we can achieve together.
First things first – tell us about your business goals, marketing challenges, and what you’ve tried in the past.