Your team has put a lot of hard work into developing the best SaaS platform possible.
However, gaining subscribers and users involves a lot more than just sprinkling a few social media posts out there and hoping for the best.
Having a clear and efficient Digital Marketing strategy is crucial to your overall success.
Why is this such a big deal? The software as a service (SaaS) industry is booming. As more verticals start to become dependent on virtual technologies that keep them in touch with their clientele or members, the need for companies like yours is only slated to increase.
The only problem is they can’t choose you over a competitor if they don’t know you exist.And that’s where having a really strong marketing plan is crucial to your growth.
If you don’t, other companies out there will, and they’ll happily take away your target market in favor of their solution.
In this guide, we’re going to cover what makes this type of marketing different and why every SaaS firm needs to have an organized plan for digital advertising.
In addition, we’re also detailing seven excellent strategies to help increase awareness of your SaaS platform.
Ready to get started? Let’s dive in!
What Makes SaaS Marketing Different?
Before we can get into the finer details of SaaS marketing strategies, it is important to understand why this type of digital advertising is different than any other product or service offering.
To start, you’re offering an item that is based on something intangible, meaning the purchaser cannot touch, feel, or set it on the table in front of them.
It also isn’t a service that they can see the difference in using right away, as most people would if they hired a contractor to mow their lawn or paint a wall in their office.
In order to make your customers see the value in your SaaS platform, you have to be innately in touch with their various pain points and why your service gives them what they need to thrive.
Once you can nail down this concept and come up with concrete reasons as to why your target subscribed would use your platform, then you’re ready to start tailoring your marketing around that message.
Makes sense right? It’s this switch of understanding that you have to consistently push a value perspective is the top reason why SaaS marketing is different than other approaches.
What Are the Key Points of a SaaS Marketing Strategy?
Now that you know the angle of value is what makes a SaaS marketing strategy important, you’ll also want to consider a few key points your campaigns should always cover.
This is true if you’re using paid ads on social media, focusing on organic traffic, or using a team of salespeople to directly reach out to potential customers.
How What You’re Offering Solves Their Problem
Anytime you’re marketing your SaaS product, you need to directly address your customer’s pain points and how your software solves this issue.
What Makes You Better Than the Competition
If your niche is incredibly competitive, your advertising campaigns need to highlight the features that make you better than the alternative choice.
The Next Steps to Take
Many companies forget to mention the next steps they want the customer to take to sign up for their SaaS product. Whether this is a freemium version, trial offer, or other special, make sure you provide a clear path to moving forward.
As you flesh out these key points, try to keep them as consistent as possible across all sales channels. This gives your potential customers the ability to resonate with your message, no matter if it is the first or fifteenth advertisement they encounter.
What SaaS Marketing Metrics Should You Follow?
Once you’ve determined your marketing message and you’re starting to use digital advertising to promote your SaaS product, you’ll need to start tracking metrics.
This is incredibly important, as it gives you an idea of what your company should scale up and likewise what you need to reduce or eliminate from your strategy.
However, not all stats are considered equal. The four most important ones to pay attention to are:
1. Unique Visitors
You should be tracking how many people are viewing your landing page, seeing your ads, or visiting your website. Be sure to take note of traffic source elements, such as organic, paid advertising, social media, etc.
2. Lead-to-Customer Rate
This is the number of people who take action and sign up for more information and ultimately become an actual customer or subscriber.
3. Churn Rate
With SaaS marketing, the churn rate is the number of subscribers lost at the end of the month. You always want your new subscriber rate to be steadily higher than your churn rate and climbing.
4. Customer Lifetime Value
This is the average value of what your business earns from one customer over the entire time they’re a subscriber to your SaaS platform.
Of course, there are many other metrics you should pay attention to when tracking your SaaS marketing campaigns. Which ones make the most sense to you will often depend on your price point, niche, and target customer.
Top 7 SaaS Growth Strategies
Finally, we have a few super effective SaaS marketing strategies to help you skyrocket your growth.
These types of campaigns work exceptionally well and are a different spin on traditional B2B sales.
The good news is that most of them are incredibly easy to launch and really only take a small amount of effort to continue to promote. Even better, they really show how working with your platform can improve specific pain points for your target customers.
Here are our seven favorites for your SaaS platform to try out!
1. Offer a Free Demo or Trial Period
SaaS customers want to know that their investment into your product is something that is worth the value.
However, most decision-makers aren’t totally sure your features are what they need until they try them out.
This creates an interesting balance between giving in and offering platform access for free, but still offering enough features to convert them to paying subscribers in the future.
This is where offering a free demo or trial period becomes a really great SaaS marketing strategy. Not only do you get the opportunity to collect their information and turn a visitor into a lead, but they have the ability to see the value in your product for a set period of time.
The best part about this type of marketing strategy? There’s relatively no barrier to entry for most customers.
If they feel your SaaS is a valuable asset to their organization, then there’s no reason not to sign up for the paid version at the end of the trial period.
Compared to other industries, this method really works in your favor.
2. Offer Referral Bonuses
Consider offering referral bonuses when existing subscribers get another organization to join as a paid member.
This is another great SaaS marketing strategy that is super simple to implement and doesn’t cost your business too much of your budget.
We really like this idea for the simple fact that it works in nearly any SaaS vertical. Whether your product is a platform for churches or helps boutique hotels rent more rooms, there’s a good chance your subscriber is going to talk to someone else in their industry.
A small referral bonus is nothing compared to the value of word-of-mouth marketing that you get, plus it ensures happy customers are going out of their way to tell others about our service.
You can also take this one step further by creating an affiliate marketing program. This is where an influencer or blogger is paid a small stipend for every paying customer they send to you via a coded referral link.
In certain niches, this can be a super powerful way to grow brand recognition and stretch your marketing power with minimal effort.
3. Content Marketing
Knowledge is power. When it comes to SaaS marketing, spreading information that is important to your niche or industry is an excellent way to position your company as an expert.
Which is why a consistent Content Marketing strategy is so important to your business.
How do you do this?
Well, think about all the topics your target customer might research online. Then write keyword optimized articles and blogs surrounding these topics.
Be as descriptive as you possibly can to really drive home that your firm understands their needs in a meaningful and honest manner. After all, you want to position your brand and SaaS as the industry expert.
Finally, post the blogs and articles online. Realize that this can be as part of a guest post opportunity or on your own website. If you wish, you can drive paid social media and Google Ads to the article to help improve traction.
Our team really loves this strategy because it suits numerous purposes. Not only are you improving your search ranking by creating engaging content, but doing this regularly can really give your SaaS a steady stream of organic traffic over the long term.
4. Consider Outbound Marketing
One of the big issues of Digital Marketing is that sometimes companies forget that they can also do Outbound Marketing, too.
This is especially true if your SaaS has a particularly high cost or is geared toward enterprise-level clientele.
In that instance, your decision-makers are going to be much further up in the organizational ladder at your target customer company. This is where having a dedicated sales team ready to reach out and get in touch is a whole lot more fruitful.
However, this doesn’t mean you should neglect your website or other brand recognition marketing.
A good landing page with tons of information can be a good sales tool for your team to point leads in the right direction. And general brand recognition makes the path of resistance a lot easier for those cold calls and emails that are necessary to get in touch with those at the top.
The real secret to this one is knowing whether or not your product is something geared towards a small or midsize business that doesn’t have a large chain of command or if it is a large corporation with multiple decision-makers and a lengthy approval process.
Tailor your approach to your particular industry and the price point of the service you’re offering.
5. User Education & Support
When it all comes down to it, this SaaS marketing strategy is more about good customer service than it is trying to sell.
However, ensuring your users have access to the right training and help during their trial period is an ideal strategy for ultimately converting them into paying customers.
For example, let’s say you have a great knowledge base with tons of professional videos on how to use your platform.
Make sure you’re sending out reminder emails to your trial or demo users during their free period to try to get them to go ahead and sign up. While you’re at it, include this great information to help them use the product more comprehensively and cut down on the overall learning curve.
Product support is long known to be one of the key factors in why a company or individual invests in SaaS.
Thus, you want to use this to your advantage as much as possible by really putting it all out there during the trial period.
Don’t feel like you’re bombarding the customer with information, as they would much rather be over-informed about a product than kept in the dark.
6. Customer Testimonials
If your SaaS platform is a little more established and you have a good base of customers already, you can certainly use customer testimonials as a marketing strategy.
Not only does it help address your target lead’s pain points, but it lends credibility by showing that others have found a solution by choosing your company.
Obtaining these testimonials is often simple. Send a mass email out to your paying subscribers and ask them to reply back with their comments.
In exchange for agreeing to use their honest feedback to promote your SaaS platform, they can receive a coupon for a percentage off their next billing cycle or even a free month. Of course, rules on this vary from one jurisdiction to another, so make sure you’re following all fair practice guidelines in your region.
Once you’ve gotten a fair amount of testimonials, add them to your sales pages on your website.
Create a marketing email that goes out to your free or trial subscribers and explains why others who opted to upgrade are so happy. And include them in your paid ads on social media.
By showing that you have happy customers who have successfully used your product, you’re showing that others have found value and the solution necessary to their same problems.
7. Go Offline to Market Online
Finally, don’t be afraid to try offline methods to target customers online. It might sound counterproductive for a digital company to try old-school marketing, but sometimes it works.
Depending on your SaaS vertical or niche, it might be a good idea to attend a trade show or network with those in that industry. You can also opt to take out print ads in specific journals or magazines related to your target market.
In some circumstances, direct mail can even be incredibly effective. For example, consider a SaaS platform designed just for landscaping companies. A good way to get in touch with this type of business is to send them a letter or brochure with information on how to access a free trial.
However, no matter which offline avenue you take, make sure the path to getting your customer to your website is simple.
Use a QR code they can scan with a smartphone or have a dedicated landing page that is simple for them to type in when they get the chance.
From there, you can coordinate other marketing approaches like whitepapers and email list sign-ups with what happens when someone takes action.
There’s no doubt that SaaS marketing is far different from any other type of business-to-business (B2B) advertising.
However, the truth is that it becomes incredibly easy once you position your product or platform as the solution to your target client’s needs. Which, of course, means really understanding your buyer persona and customer avatar.
By using the seven effective SaaS marketing strategies we’ve outlined above, you can position your company as an industry leader while giving your ideal customers the ability to recognize your brand.
In the end, this offers multiple opportunities to grow your subscriber list and scale your overall marketing approach.