As the world becomes more and more digital, there’s a lot of potential for companies in the software as a service (SaaS) industry. Just like your customers have questions, it’s understandable for SaaS business owners to have questions about SaaS marketing.
How is SaaS marketing different from other types of marketing?
How do you pull off an effective SaaS marketing strategy?
It’s time to answer those questions and give you some amazing ways to get more from your SaaS marketing efforts.
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Popular marketing methods SaaS companies use
If your company has a little wiggle room in its marketing budget, paid advertising can be a great part of your SaaS marketing strategy. There are many potential paid platforms.
However, most companies stick with large platforms like social media (Facebook, Instagram, YouTube). It’s also common to create and launch paid ads on search engines like Google.
SaaS businesses also often use content marketing to reach their target audiences. A great example of SaaS content marketing is having a blog that’s full of helpful information. If you’re posting and sharing content from your business, you’re engaging in content marketing.
Standing for search engine optimization, SEO remains a vital part of the SaaS marketing playbook. When done well, using an SEO strategy can get a company’s website to start showing up higher in search engine results. The more high-ranking spots a company has, the more organic online traffic they typically receive.
Being such a competitive industry, competing for space in the world of SaaS search results can take time and effort.
Webinars might be better for a SaaS marketing strategy than any other method. That’s because you have (hopefully) a captive audience. To put it in other words: your business has the floor.
So, many companies include webinars in their SaaS marketing strategies because it’s the perfect platform to explain everything your software offers.
Depending on who makes up your target audience, social media could also be a great platform for your SaaS company. Social media websites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and others are great places to share content. They’re also perfect for growing audiences on separate platforms.
With algorithms changing at the drop of a hat, I don’t recommend putting all of your energy into social media. At least, not at first. But at the bare minimum, use it for sharing content.
Another way to reach potential SaaS customers is through email marketing. I’m sure you don’t need me to define email marketing.
Check your email inbox (after reading this article.) The emails from companies (you know, the ones clogging your inbox) are marketing emails. And they come in many forms.
But before you can reap the rewards of email marketing, you’re going to need a list.
10 tips you must include in your SaaS marketing strategy
1. Keep your webinars no longer than 30 minutes
I hate to tell you this, but nothing makes people groan more than learning they’ll have to sit through a long webinar. So, really try to condense what you’ll cover.
Here’s a helpful tip: take a second to scan the virtual room. If you notice that people are looking anywhere else but at you, or if it looks like their souls are leaving their bodies, you’re losing your audience.
When I mention webinar length, I strictly mean the duration of your company’s presentation. You definitely want to take as much time as needed to take and answer questions from your audience.
2. Offer a free trial for potential customers
Another must-follow tip is to offer a free trial of your SaaS product or service whenever possible. A free trial gives interested people an exclusive chance to see what your company offers first-hand.
Your business can also offer what’s known as a freemium model. Typically, this model lets SaaS companies offer free versions of their products to customers. The catch is this version doesn’t contain all the features paying customers receive.
Free trials let SaaS products and services shine! Just don’t offer an extremely limited free trial or a freemium version where everything’s locked out. That’s frustrating and often turns potential customers away.
3. But, also think outside the free trial.
Yes, free trials can be powerful tools. Since we’re talking about offering software to an audience, it’s often difficult to offer anything physically tangible. Or is it?
Tap into the part of the brain that loves all things free with some freebies! Shirts, stickers, whatever swag your company can cost-efficiently giveaway.
Like myself and a sizeable part of the population, there’s something that just feels good when we get free stuff.
Yes, I know shipping costs are up. But if paying $50 or even $100 to send out freebies results in one or more SaaS sales, this strategy is worth its weight in gold.
4. Don’t make leads go through a “hide-the-price marathon”
Oftentimes, the final hurdle before a lead becomes a customer involves pricing. Typically, a person or business that’s cool with your SaaS company’s prices is ready to start working together.
Let’s be real—your SaaS company is in business to make a profit. There’s nothing wrong with that. However, some SaaS companies oversell what they offer or aren’t confident about the value they provide. SaaS marketers sometimes insert pricing information behind pages and pages of pre-sale information.
When you offer a strong enough SaaS product or service and follow my content marketing tips, your business will find plenty of paying customers.
Storytime: When I was younger, television infomercials and commercials were everywhere. I mean, they still are, but that’s not the point of this story!
For some reason, I remember my mom telling me something to the effect of “When a business doesn’t show how much their product costs, it’s probably really expensive.”
To this day, 30+ years later, I still assume that products or services not showing their prices in ads probably sell something expensive. And I bet I’m not the only person who heard this growing up.
5. Have your SaaS company show up in new places.
SaaS companies can also fall into the trap of doing the same thing and wondering why nothing changes. Trust me—it’s an easy trap to fall into!
For lack of a better phrase, it’s good to shake things up from time to time. One way to do that is by showing up in front of a new target audience.
Many SaaS companies who seem to “magically” show up in all the search results do so through the power of guest posting.
Basically, guest posting involves one business creating content for another business. In turn, the company sharing free content gets its name in front of the other company’s audience.
I won’t lie – this marketing strategy is time-consuming. And, unless you have employees or a VA, it’s going to take time. But finding and posting content on non-competitive websites can bring a massive boost to your company’s monthly recurring revenue.
6. Too much of a good thing is a bad thing
According to a recent study, the average person makes about 35,000 decisions each day. But the thing is, people can also make a decision to walk away if they have too many choices.
That’s why it’s smart not to offer too many choices to prospective customers. By offering two to three choices, you help avoid “choice overload” during the customer acquisition process.
If your SaaS products require more than three or more price options, make it easily understandable what’s in it for users.
7. The power of repurposing
While it remains one of the most cost-effective forms of marketing, creating and maintaining a content marketing strategy takes time and money. You can get the most bang for your content marketing spend by repurposing your marketing materials.
Plus, this SaaS marketing strategy helps ensure your business shows up in as many online destinations as possible. Here are some quick ideas on how to repurpose your content:
- Turning a blog post into a video
- Transforming video content into social media snippets
- Writing new blog posts around your best-performing social content.
8. Find or ask for user-generated content
One of the few things better than having lots of content is having your existing customers create it for you. This is otherwise called user-generated content, and it’s incredibly valuable.
User-generated can be a quick video of someone enjoying your product. It can also come in the form of someone writing about the software as a service your company provides.
Whether they are images, videos, or posts, user-generated content shows prospective customers everything they’re missing out on!
If there’s currently no user-generated content out there about your SaaS company, you can change this situation. For instance, your business could hold a small contest where entrants must submit a picture of them enjoying your product or service.
9. Don’t be afraid to write about your competitors
Something you’ll quickly learn in the digital marketing realm is that your business probably has several or many competitors. It’s understandable to assume that writing about your competitors is a bad idea.
But if you can speak objectively about your competitors, it shows that your business isn’t scared to talk about the competition. You get bonus points if you detail what your business offers that the competition doesn’t.
Another benefit of this digital marketing strategy is that you can steal traffic away from visitors who learn about another business. If your business website pops up in a competitor-related search, you gain traffic that could have gone to the competition.
Writing about your competitors doesn’t mean saying something like, “Company X sucks because it’s not as good as our business.” That’s childish and doesn’t tell anyone what separates your company from other ones.
10. Write a round-up post
One of the SaaS companies I worked for in the past used this strategy often. And, seeing this strategy in action first-hand, it works. This referral marketing company would create round-ups.
The thought behind a round-up is simple. You ask a general, industry-related question that is easy for people to give a general response about.
Here are a few examples of round-up questions for SaaS companies to ask:
- What’s the one software you couldn’t do business without?
- How does software help your business?
- What are the features you want from business software?
These are only a few examples off the top of my head. Use these ideas to start coming up with a question or questions your target audience can speak about.
Commonly asked questions about SaaS marketing?
What is SaaS marketing?
Generally speaking, SaaS marketing is anything SaaS companies do to achieve their marketing goals. These goals typically include gaining new customers, making more revenue, increasing awareness, and similar goals.
If it helps make a company, it’s probably a form of SaaS marketing.
How does SaaS marketing differ from other types of marketing?
It’s helpful to understand three factors: product, audience, and customer journey when learning what makes SaaS marketing different from other forms of marketing.
SaaS businesses need to sell a product that customers typically can’t touch, feel, or physically hold. Essentially, SaaS companies are selling software to their audiences. And this can be tricky.
In most cases, a SaaS business also needs to market something that’s often complicated. Hopefully, not too complicated!
In most cases, SaaS marketing is all about reaching companies. To be more specific, a SaaS business needs to reach decision-makers within a company. Sometimes, it’s not always clear who’s making a company software-related decisions.
On the other hand, B2C (business to consumer) companies don’t have that unknown barrier to breakthrough.
The customer journey
If a customer journey for average marketing efforts is a sprint, consider SaaS marketing as a marathon. Okay, it’s not quite that bad. But this is a great time to put yourself in your customer’s shoes.
You probably know the SaaS industry and what your business offers like the back of your hand. Your customers don’t. So, be prepared to spend some time and energy explaining what your company’s software does.
I hope you enjoyed this look at SaaS marketing. Spending the last decade in this industry, marketing a SaaS product can be challenging. However, finding an audience of paying customers can be the one thing that takes a SaaS company to the next level.
Alex Eagleton is a copywriter and digital marketer passionate about helping companies connect with customers. Throughout the past decade, he’s worked with companies including Referral Rock, Connecteam, and Ramsey Solutions. He’s a versatile writer who understands how to align with companies, truly matching their voices and tones.
When he’s not writing, he enjoys spending time with his dogs, reading, and playing guitar.
You can reach him by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.