How To Market a SaaS Business – A StartUps Guide

SaaS businesses belong to one of the most sought-after marketing segments today. Thanks to our increasing reliance on cloud technologies, more and more companies have started buying SaaS products to make their operations seamless and efficient.

But with hundreds of SaaS companies in the business scene, how can you stand out from your competitors?

Before promoting your SaaS business, you’ll have to craft a robust SaaS marketing strategy. And by effectively marketing your products and services, you can open new growth opportunities for your company.

In this guide, we’ll share with you the ultimate tips on how to market a SaaS product and business the right way. We’ll discuss each step in detail, so make sure to read on.

What is SaaS marketing?

Software as a service (SaaS) marketing is a specific type of marketing that aims to promote SaaS products to consumers. It helps build awareness and position your software in the market.

In SaaS marketing, SaaS businesses try to develop software that addresses your target market’s needs. This drives customers to know more about your services and eventually subscribe.

But, what’s the difference between SaaS marketing and other types of marketing?

It isn’t a one-time purchase.

There are over 150 types of marketing in the business scene. But unlike any of these, SaaS marketing isn’t a one-time purchase.

The consumer’s journey doesn’t end after they’ve purchased your software. It continues throughout their subscription or until they decide that the services no longer match their goals.

It creates trust between you and our customers.

SaaS marketing aims to retain customers for the long term. But to do this, you must connect and build trust with your target market.

It isn’t technically a product.

The tricky part about SaaS products is that it isn’t technically a product. So don’t leave the setup and implementation processes to the hands of your customers.

Instead, SaaS marketing involves helping consumers launch and integrate their software into their existing systems. Therefore, how you advertise your business must also consider your company’s reputation on top of the product itself.

It isn’t mutually exclusive.

SaaS marketing isn’t mutually exclusive with other types of marketing. It could also involve content marketing, email marketing, and social media marketing.

So why is SaaS marketing even important?

SaaS marketing, both for B2B and B2C enterprises, places customer retention as its top priority. It helps businesses build awareness, generate leads, and retain them for the long haul. They’ll continue to use and subscribe to your software as long as it meets their corporate goals.

So, where do you start?

The only way to effectively promote a SaaS business is by crafting a robust SaaS marketing strategy. Especially with the saturation of the digital space, your marketing efforts must shine over your competitors to generate leads.

Yet there’s no one-size-fits-all strategy to market a SaaS product or service. Remember that your target market is broad and could include audiences with different needs and understanding.

Identify the target audiences and their needs

One of the most vital steps in crafting a SaaS marketing strategy is identifying your target audience and their needs. We must know who will benefit from using your software.

Think of it this way.

If a company offers its software, we’ll only want to learn more about it if it matches our business goals and addresses our needs. Otherwise, we won’t even bother checking out the product or their services.

And that’s the whole point of this step!

Your software must be value-adding.

Potential buyers need to know the value your software is adding to their business. They must know how your product will benefit them and the results they can earn from using it.

Remember that there’s no use promoting a SaaS product or service if it doesn’t solve your customers’ problems.

Your target audience has different needs.

You can also identify your customers’ needs by classifying them into different levels:

  • Small businesses;
  • Mid-size businesses; and
  • Large businesses.

Every business level has different needs that your SaaS marketing strategy has to prioritize. For example, small businesses usually want to see how your software can generate more leads and customer traffic.

Aside from that, you can also adjust our marketing approach based on your target audience’s buying power. For example, small businesses want affordable pricing models, so make sure to tailor your messaging based on that.

Competitor Research

Now that you’ve identified your target audience and their pain points, don’t rush and promote your software right away. Instead, take it slow and research what strategies your competitors are doing.

That’s where competitor research comes into play.

Competitor research helps you craft an effective SaaS marketing strategy. It allows you to see how your competitors stand out and why customers subscribe to their products and services.

Ask questions about competitors.

The best way to get valuable insights from your competitors is by asking yourself these core questions:

  • How long has this competitor been in the industry?
  • Who’s its target audience?
  • How much do its products or services cost?
  • What’s its SEO or website ranking?

These four questions give you a glimpse of the effectiveness of their marketing strategy.

Look into different marketing strategies of various competitors.

But to get the most out of this step, compare two or more competitors and look into:

  • How they brand their products or services;
  • How they brand themselves over other competitors;
  • What promotions (paid search promotion, social media promotion, etc.) they’re doing; and
  • Their pricing model.

Through these insights, you can develop a robust SaaS marketing strategy to stand out from your competitors. On top of that, it will also influence your paid search campaign structure.

Identify and Prioritize Marketing Channels

The previous steps influence the marketing channels you should use to promote your SaaS products and services.

For example, your Google ranking may already be enough to attract potential buyers. But in other instances, sending emails, using paid advertisements, or promoting your products and services on social media can boost customer traffic.

Regardless, identifying which platforms generate leads better helps cut down on your overall budget. In addition, it prevents you from wasting resources on ineffective marketing channels and strategies.

Search Engine Optimisation

Many companies and individuals research a product or service first. That’s why most high-profile SaaS businesses attract leads organically through Google searches.

So one way of effectively marketing a SaaS product or service is through search engine optimization (SEO).

It’s crucial to create a website that’s optimal for SEO. You can rely on product features or blog content to rank as high as possible on your audience’s search results.

Mastering SEO can be quite a challenge. But partnering with a professional and experienced SEO agency like Common Ground can help you maximize its benefits.

Email Marketing

One of the most traditional strategies that businesses use today is email marketing. But as the saying goes, the old never goes out of style.

Email marketing is still beneficial for SaaS businesses, especially B2B companies.

Through emails, high-quality leads become more engaged with what you can offer. In addition, it makes them feel supported if the email content resonates with their needs and personality.

There are different ways to play around with email marketing. For example, you can send out emails for:

  • Discounts;
  • New website content;
  • Newsletters;
  • Product announcements;
  • Product updates;
  • Special offers; and
  • Surveys.

Pay-per-Click and Social Advertising

Pay-per-click advertising allows SaaS businesses to earn more traffic and generate leads without waiting for the benefits of SEO. It encourages leads to click on appealing ads that direct them to your company’s website.

Given this, how can you maximise the benefits of PPC?

PPC becomes more powerful if you use it alongside social advertising. Through this type of marketing strategy, you can promote your SaaS products and services on various social platforms.

So how much should you allocate to our PPC and social advertising?

There’s no standard budget recommendation for SaaS businesses that want to use PPC and social advertising. So instead, you need to look at how much you’re willing to spend.

However, as a good rule of thumb, most companies spend about 10% of their marketing budget on PPC and social advertising to see significant results.

Remember that you won’t get PPC right on your first try. That’s why partnering with a professional and experienced PPC agency like Common Ground can help you generate the results you want.

Content Marketing

Content marketing has been proven to generate high-qualified leads. So whether we’re a B2B, B2C, or any other SaaS business, we can see significant results using this marketing strategy.

A fundamental technique in content marketing is to publish informative and high-quality content on your website. It must be appealing to your target audience and better than your competitors.

So how do you effectively carry out content marketing?

1. Content marketing relies on what your target audience wants.

The best way to do content marketing is by understanding your audience and their preferences. For example, if your target market is beginners, you can create content demonstrating how to use your software effectively.

2. Content marketing can take different forms.

Content marketing can range from long-form articles to short blog posts. It also includes videos, podcasts, photos, and many more.

Yet content marketing will only be successful if you prioritise keyword-optimised content.

3. Content marketing boosts SEO.

This way, you can fulfil SEO requirements and boost your ranking on search engines. As a result, you can expect more high-quality leads and customer traffic on your website.

Mastering content marketing isn’t easy. So partnering with a professional and experienced content marketing agency like Common Ground can help you maximise its benefits.

Referral Marketing

Another effective marketing strategy for SaaS and B2B SaaS businesses is referral marketing. It’s similar to traditional “word-of-mouth” marketing and lets your current customers do the work for you.

A referral marketing program takes advantage of the trusted testaments of your loyal customers. It allows them to recommend your SaaS product or service to their network.

But there’s a catch.

Referral marketing usually requires you to give incentives or rewards to customers who have successful referrals. It can be additional software features, subscription periods, or discounts.

Video Marketing

Releasing videos is a powerful marketing strategy because of their appeal. Your target audience becomes more inclined to engage with them and learn more about the SaaS product or service.

Videos are engaging.

Short videos can capture our attention, especially if we have a short attention span. Moreover, they can highlight specific features or capabilities of SaaS products and software without being boring.

Videos are mobile-friendly.

Video marketing takes advantage of how most individuals are on their phones 24/7. Because of this, people can watch your video releases anywhere.

Webinars

Many SaaS companies are using webinars as a form of marketing. In fact, top B2B leaders and professionals have mentioned how such events drive high-quality leads.

But how can you use webinars to our advantage?

1. Webinars demonstrate the usability of our software.

You can use webinars to provide demos of your products and services. They allow you to show the features and capabilities your target audience can expect.

2. Webinars give authority in the SaaS industry.

However, webinars are also an effective marketing strategy because it helps develop thought leadership and authority. In addition, they brand you as a reputable and knowledgeable SaaS business over your competitors.

3. Webinars help SEO.

Another great advantage of webinars is their flexibility. Your target audience can catch them live or download them in their free time. You can also boost our SEO by streaming them to social media channels like YouTube and Facebook.

Analysis and Reporting

Finally, a SaaS marketing strategy doesn’t stay the same over the years. Instead, it can change depending on how effective your marketing efforts are.

That’s why the last step in marketing a SaaS product and business from scratch is analysis and reporting.

SaaS businesses can take advantage of Google Analytics and integrate its features into their website. This tool helps you optimise your marketing strategies.

Google Analytics allows you to see which marketing techniques are no longer effective. On top of that, it also tells you which ones drive results the most.

Wrapping it up

The ultimate goal of SaaS businesses is to retain customers to stand out from competitors. But to achieve this, we must craft a robust marketing strategy.

SaaS marketing efforts involve a series of steps. Together, they help us position our products or services, generate leads, and have customers on board for the long term.

If you don’t know how to start, we at Common Ground can help you throughout your journey. We deliver results and can open new opportunities for your company to grow and succeed.

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