With almost everything and anything being available at our fingertips, it’s no surprise that the popularity of Software as a service (SaaS) has soared in recent years.
The SaaS market continues to grow year on year and is expected to be worth approximately 171.9 billion US dollars by 2022. This means that our cloud-based economy is here to stay, and it’s more lucrative than ever.
The most successful B2B SaaS companies will all have one major element in common: a watertight SaaS marketing strategy.
Investing in marketing gives SaaS companies the tools they need to thrive and stay ahead of the competition.
So how can you create the perfect B2B SaaS marketing strategy for your business?
Creating the perfect SaaS marketing strategy
Unlocking the power of your SaaS marketing strategy provides you with an opportunity to boost the performance of your business. This means increased demand for your software and increased lead generation — two essential objectives in any competitive market.
Like any other industry, SaaS businesses also face their own unique challenges. In the SaaS industry, products are often complex and non-tangible which means you really need to be able to sell your services to attract interest.
Another challenge is that new competitors are appearing almost every day. On G2, you can find almost 35,000 software products across 745 industries. This means it’s crucial for your business to have an agile plan in place that helps you stay at the forefront of your competitors.
Developing an agile marketing strategy for your SaaS company can help you overcome these challenges. Your SaaS marketing strategy can also help your business gain increased trust, greater leads, higher conversions and more customers while strengthening your brand simultaneously.
So if you’re going to stand out from the crowd, you need to learn how to market your business as effectively as possible. It’s about using high-impact marketing techniques that boost your bottom line and developing a strategic B2B SaaS marketing plan that is specifically tailored to your business.
Here we’ll cover some sure-fire marketing techniques for your SaaS, including:
- Driving sales with Google Ads
- Increasing visibility with SEO
- Showcasing expertise with content marketing
- Qualifying leads with product trials
- Nurturing prospects through email marketing
Let’s take a look at each of these in more detail to show how you can effectively market your SaaS business.
1. Drive Sales with Google Ads
SaaS is a fast-growing market, and Google Ads align with this growth by allowing SaaS companies to reach customers faster.
PPC has serious advantages for SaaS marketing when it comes to rapid customer acquisition; not only can it provide testing during an initial launch phase for early-stage SaaS, but it also gives room to experiment with messaging and ad formats to engage target audiences for existing companies. Whether you’re an industry heavyweight or a promising SME, investing in PPC for your SaaS allows your business to expand into new markets, reach new customers and re-engage previous visitors.
In order to create successful PPC campaigns for your SaaS product, you’ll need to have clear ad goals which are aligned with your wider SaaS marketing strategy.
Think about what you want to achieve with your Google Ads; are you looking to drive sign-ups, or increase conversions? Then use this information to help you create PPC campaigns that are specifically targeted towards achieving these objectives.
Don’t be afraid to have some fun with your ad copy too. After all, you want to stop people scrolling and get them thinking about your brand as the answer to what they’re currently searching for.
To further the success of your PPC strategy for SaaS, make sure your ads are optimised to ensure increased conversions at a lower CPA. Doing this will help keep the cost of acquisition sustainable — an important factor for SaaS companies in those early stages of growth.
This is a SaaS marketing technique that we’ve used for clients here at Common Ground. While working alongside us, Alfresco were able to increase their paid traffic conversion rate by 162%, while decreasing the cost per conversion by 64%.
2. Increase visibility with SEO
SEO and PPC are often considered to be separate marketing strategies. However, combining organic search and paid search strategies can be the ultimate way to amplify the long-term success of your SaaS company.
SaaS companies often rely on having as many eyes on their products as possible. Investing in SEO can therefore help you increase your brand visibility by making sure you reach the right people at the right time.
Remember that SEO covers far more than just keyword research; it also includes landing page optimisation, blog content, product pages, backlinks, user experience, and page loading speed – to name just a few elements of SEO. While PPC can help bring quick results for your business, search engine optimisation is a long game.
Investing in SEO will improve your performance in SERPs for relevant search terms, which in turn can bring highly relevant and qualified traffic and leads to your site.
Here at Common Ground, we’ve executed SEO strategies for plenty of clients, including Customer Thermometer. We used our highly effective SEO techniques to help increase Customer Thermometer’s trial signups by 53% and achieved a 150% increase in year-on-year organic search.
3. Showcase expertise with content marketing
Content marketing is an important aspect of SEO that shouldn’t be overlooked. In fact, content marketing should be amplified.
Developing an astute SaaS content marketing plan can help take your SEO strategy further by ensuring your brand consistently produces relevant, quality articles on topics your users are searching for which are related to your product. Content marketing is a great way to increase visibility for your most valued keywords while also allowing you to provide value for your target audience.
For example, a SaaS company that owns a project management tool could publish articles that help managers increase their team’s efficiency and better manage task delegation. Articles on this topic would engage people who need help managing their projects. This in effect creates a breadcrumb trail for your potential customers, and can be used to effectively drive leads for your tool.
Content marketing can also be a valuable resource when it comes to building brand trust, and establishing your company as an expert in your field. When planning content for your SaaS, think about how you can solidify your purpose as a brand and how your products can provide solutions to customer’s problems.
This is where SaaS businesses like Trello excel. They create relevant articles that link to their content pillars and keywords. They also include strong call to actions in their blog articles to encourage increased free trial sign ups. Finally, Trello knows how to mix up their content mediums and post videos, case studies, articles and playbooks to keep things fresh.
4. Qualify leads with a product trial
Think of SaaS marketing as the art of making your product attractive to your target customers. In order to do this, it needs to function in a way that addresses your target customer’s needs, makes them curious to try your product, and eventually subscribe to your product over your competitors. And this is where product trials come into their own.
Free trials are commonplace in the SaaS industry. If you get your free trial marketing strategy right, the benefits speak for themselves. People who have the opportunity to trial your SaaS are much more likely to buy, so make sure you’re on hand to provide onboarding support for your product qualified leads.
When developing a product trial – be sure to take into consideration the duration of the free trial, whether it’s a freemium or free trial model and whether you’ll request payment details upfront or not. Getting your product trial strategy right can be tricky so it’s important to do your research and determine what style works best for your target audience.
Offering a product trial can also be an important part of agile product development for new SaaS companies, or existing ones that are releasing new products and services. It’s a great way to understand what your audience wants so you can refine your tool and develop marketing campaigns that are aligned with your customer needs, desires and pain points.
When offering your customers a product trial, take inspiration from SparkToro. They offer feature-limited free trials (forever!) and engage their free trial users with an 8-email sequence that is delivered over five weeks and includes personalised support.
If you’re looking to implement similar techniques, remember to measure marketing KPIs for SaaS by tracking sign-ups with analytics software, and set up marketing funnels to increase conversions to full-product customers. This can be done through email drip campaigns and retargeting ads.
5. Nurture prospects with email marketing
Your audience will likely have an existing knowledge of the marketing tactics you may be using. As a result, SaaS email marketing needs to be smarter than other marketing types
It’s therefore super important to create an email marketing strategy that helps your SaaS company build genuine connections with your audience. Think of it as quality over quantity!
You’ll need to know your customer journey inside out, and have an understanding of the multiple touchpoints they’ll experience when interacting with your brand. This includes Google Ads, blogs, product pages, free trials, and email marketing.
SaaS companies also need to craft their email marketing segments to target people based on their needs and interests, and refer to their customer journey stage. Email marketing can then nurture your potential prospects by delivering valuable content, and remind customers of your products and services. This helps you remove any barriers to purchasing that they may be facing.
A company that puts this into practice is social marketing platform Later. Their email marketing has a relaxed, friendly tone that matches their branding, complete with an on-brand design, mini-conversations and educational resources.
Later use their email marketing to keep subscribers informed of industry updates, the latest goings-on at Later, and great educational resources. These emails are also tailored to users based on the particular products and services they’ve shown interest in.
Segmenting your email subscriber lists is a great place to start if you’re ready to take your email marketing to the next level. From here, you can have fun A/B testing various email features to see what is most likely to engage your audience and encourage them to take action.
SaaS Marketing: In Summary
In an industry that is more fast-paced and competitive than ever, SaaS companies need to invest in their marketing strategy if they really want to grow and thrive. It’s not about throwing everything at the wall and seeing what sticks — it’s about being strategic, analytical, and insightful.
By creating a solid, tangible B2B marketing plan for your SaaS company, you open yourself up to more leads, more sales, and stronger ties with your customer base. It’s an opportunity to showcase your products and services to the right people, at the right time.
The tactics we’ve shared with you should help you break away from the pack, and take your business where it’s capable of going. Set up and measure your marketing KPIs for SaaS, and be ready to adapt accordingly with your PPC and SEO techniques.
At Common Ground, we can help SaaS companies develop PPC and SEO strategies that produce powerful results. We’re standing by to support you on your path to success, and help you achieve your short and long-term goals as a SaaS business.