The growing popularity of the software as a service (SaaS) business model means stiffer competition in the market. A recent study shows that the global market for SaaS will have an annual growth of 19% in the coming years.
You must stand out from the crowd if you want to attract and retain customers. What you need is an effective SaaS marketing strategy to help you stay on top of the competition.
It is a common misconception that a strategy doesn’t need fixing when it is not even broken. But no SaaS marketing strategy is ever stagnant. It must adapt to the constantly changing demands of the market. Strategies that used to work on you in the past may no longer be as effective in the present. Hence, you must treat your SaaS marketing strategy as an ongoing process.
Take a step back and evaluate the effectiveness of your current marketing strategy to determine the areas you need to improve on.
Why you need to develop a SaaS marketing strategy
The challenge that SaaS companies face is how to sell their products. Since their main selling point is their service, they don’t have any physical or tangible products to promote or show off. Likewise, SaaS products can be complex and involve different features that are technical in nature. This makes it difficult for them to attract new customers and convince people to buy from them.
Moreover, SaaS companies heavily rely on customer subscriptions instead of one-off purchases. It’s not enough that they attract new customers – they must retain these customers and secure their loyalty. This means focusing on building trust in the company itself and not just its products.
This is what makes SaaS marketing different from ordinary marketing strategies. It is designed specifically to overcome the common challenges that SaaS companies face. But this doesn’t mean that it has to be complicated. The best SaaS marketing is often simple yet catchy and informative. This way, your target audience can understand why they need your SaaS product.
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How to develop your own SaaS marketing strategy (5 tips)
Each business has different ways of approaching its marketing strategy. There is no one-size-fits-all approach here. Nonetheless, there are some essential and common elements that successful SaaS marketing strategies share. With that, here are five tips on how to develop your strategy for the upcoming years.
1. Understand your target audience
Your audience’s demands and behaviors are always changing. It is important that you constantly strive to understand them if you want to continue meeting their expectations. The best way to do this is to leverage data analytics.
You want to collect valuable information about your prospects. Things like which campaigns drove them to you, what pages they visited before contacting your sales team, or what challenges they’re trying to solve.
The same goes for your existing users. You’ll want to know which features they’re repeatedly using in your SaaS product, which ones they’re only checking out, or which pages motivate them to renew their subscription.
Churned users, on the other hand, will help you understand what features you’re missing or which competitors may be offering more value.
Learning your audience’s needs and preferences will allow you to create personalized content that drives up acquisitions, identify the best leads, and build a product that will entice customers. A study by McKinley shows that understanding your target audience can yield 20% higher customer-satisfaction rates and boost conversion rates by 10% to 15%.
One way of tracking your customer data is to use CRM software. CRM or customer relationship management systems help manage customer interactions and information for your business. This way, you can easily pull up and review each customer’s profile and figure out the best way to accommodate their needs. You can also use CRM software to segment existing and potential customers.
Check out this list of best CRM platforms to help you zero in on the best platform for your business.
2. Keep in touch with leads and customers
The goal of SaaS marketing goes beyond attracting new customers. It also aims to secure their trust and loyalty in the long run. To do that, you must always make your customers feel valued and cared for by your business. Keep in touch with leads and customers so that they’ll remain engaged with your brand.
Email marketing plays a huge part in every stage of your SaaS marketing funnel. According to Statista, the number of email users will reach 4.3 billion by the end of this year. This makes it a great tool for your marketing campaigns. You can use it to build awareness of your brand in your customers’ minds and guide them throughout their customer journey. The best part is that you can send them emails as frequently as you want with minimal cost. You can also use email analytics to assess your lead’s behavior. This will give you insights into whether or not they are likely to convert into customers.
Maintaining contact with your leads and customers is easier than ever, thanks to technology. Software like CRMs, marketing automation software, email automation, and chatbots allow you to keep in touch with your customers with minimal human interference. You can even automate your email marketing using the best email marketing services for your business.
3. Develop relevant content for your customers
Your website is where you will most likely get your leads. Hence, you need to focus on how you can generate more traffic to your SaaS site. One proven method of lead generation is content marketing. This involves publishing high-quality content to entice customers to your brand.
According to the latest B2B Content Marketing Report, the decrease in revenues brought by the pandemic forced many companies to look for alternative approaches to marketing other than paid advertisements. Because of this, content marketing became a popular choice, with 66% of businesses increasing their content marketing budget in 2022.
When creating content, make sure that they align with your target audience’s interests as well as your brand. For example, your product is a CRM system. Some of the topics you should focus on are customer experience, customer relationship, marketing, sales, and more.
Developing relevant content is just the first step to content marketing. You must also make sure that it reaches your intended audience. Promote your content by sending email newsletters to your customers and leads. This can be a weekly wrap-up of your latest blog posts and news within your website. You should also apply SEO techniques to increase organic traffic to your SaaS site.
4. Monitor competitors and market trends
A successful B2B SaaS marketing strategy requires constant research and study of the competition. According to Deloitte, 70% of businesses plan to expand their ability to use data when it comes to decision-making. Through competitive analysis and market search, you can identify the most successful tactics used by other SaaS companies within your domain. Look out for their most profitable keywords, backlinks, search rankings, and online presence. Likewise, learn from their flaws and see how you can create a better alternative for your SaaS marketing strategy. Monitoring your competitors helps you differentiate your SaaS product and make it stand out from the rest.
Moreover, keep an eye out for the latest trends in the market. These include technologies used for SaaS marketing, popular channels or platforms used by SaaS companies, and more. This future-proofs your SaaS company and ensures that you remain relevant in the market.
Akeel from Horizen Capital provides an additional tip:
To effectively research your competitors’ SEO strategy, put their website into Ahrefs or a similar tool, and go to the top pages report. Now label all of their pages getting traffic as either bottom of the funnel, middle of the funnel, or top of the funnel.
Then note down all the easy to moderate difficulty keywords (this is relative, based on your domain’s reputation) and go after them first. To see which pages get the most backlinks to a site, go to the best by links report in Ahrefs and see which pages are getting the most links (overall or in a given time period).
Try to emulate the content strategy of getting the most links for them, e.g., if they created a free tool that’s getting a lot of links, create a slightly better free tool and then reach out to the websites linking to the competitor so that you can convince them to link to you instead.
5. Automate where you can
There are a lot of processes involved in SaaS marketing. These include sending emails, creating content for your website, updating social media, and more. Doing all these manually can be time-consuming and tedious. Worse, it prevents you from focusing on other similarly important tasks such as customer service, accounting, product development, and more.
Nowadays, businesses of all sizes can access automation tools. In fact, 95% of businesses are already prioritizing process automations, with 21% saying it’s a high priority. Thankfully, you can now automate different marketing processes within your company. There are various software solutions designed specifically to streamline the various aspects of your SaaS marketing. For example, you can use social media marketing automation to manage your social media platforms or email marketing automation to send emails to customers.
Improving your SaaS marketing strategy
According to Baker McKenzie, 77% of businesses are accelerating and scaling their efforts towards digital transformation. This is great news for the industry since SaaS investment will still be going strong in the coming years. But the increase in demand also means competition in the market will only get tighter from here. Make sure that your SaaS product stays on top by developing your SaaS marketing strategy in 2024.
Most importantly, explore what tools you can use to improve your strategy and boost sales. To narrow down your list, check out GetResponse, a powerful tool that can send emails, create pages, and automate your marketing.