10 SaaS Marketing Best Practices
Marketing for SaaS companies is both challenging and necessary. SaaS is a booming market, as TechRadar reveals that sales are expected to reach over $112.8 billion this year, so it’s vital to position your marketing in such a way that your company stands out from the crowd. It’s also the only way to continue to grow, and that’s vital in the software industry.
According to a 2018 Deloitte survey, CIOs expected to double their spend on cloud-based services, from 22% to 44%, over the next 3 years.
Unfortunately, marketers often get lost thinking about how to best market their software. They think that the humor, emotion, and fun associated with marketing products such as clothing, cars, and consumer technology can’t be used for B2B SaaS marketing because software isn’t very exciting, but that doesn’t have to be the case.
About B2B SaaS Marketing
SaaS marketing follows the same basic rules as any other type of marketing. While you’re selling a product to a business, you’re still ultimately appealing to the interest of another person. The goal is to get businesses interested in your company’s product and service.
However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t significant challenges when it comes to B2B SaaS marketing. For example,
- SaaS means that you don’t have a tangible product to market and sell.
- SaaS is constantly changing – from updates to new features being released regularly, these are necessary to keep customers interested. In fact, 55% of SaaS companies rate customer retention cost as the key metric to measure (Totango)—but these changes should definitely be a consideration in your marketing strategy.
- Another struggle for SaaS marketers is their niche audience. Based on your software, you might only be targeting a few specific organizations.
Despite all of this, B2B SaaS marketing still has a high chance of success when done correctly. Companies that spend more on sales and marketing (as a % of revenue) generally grew at a faster rate than those that spent less. You just have to determine your strategy and the reason for doing it.
SaaS Marketing Best Practices
Below, we’ll outline 10 of our favorite SaaS marketing best practices to guide you in the right direction.
1. SaaS Content Marketing
Content marketing receives three times more leads than paid search advertising, according to the Content Marketing Institute. The key advantage of content marketing is that it continues to drive leads long after the content is initially published and shared.
That’s because SaaS consumers are looking for information. They want to know about your product or service, what it can do for them, and why it’s worth the cost. The way to share this information is to create content whether that’s blogging, videos, social media, email campaigns, white papers, or case studies.
Just remember to optimize your content for your audience and what they’re searching for. This requires you to understand your target audience on a deep level so you can offer content that matches their searches. A great example is Dropbox. They offer content for businesses, tech, developers, and more. They even offer webinars for additional information.
2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search Engine Land reveals that Google receives over 100 billion search queries every month. That’s a lot of searches that you have an opportunity to cash in on if you have solid search engine optimization (SEO). So, it should be no surprise that 61% of marketers have made improving SEO their top inbound marketing priority as of last year (HubSpot).
Your SEO efforts should work side-by-side with your content marketing efforts by using appropriate keywords, titles, internal linking, descriptions, and more. You should also use a web analytics tool such as Google Analytics to help discover search terms and improve your SEO. Watch our SEO webinar for more insight.
3. Website Design
You already know that you’re selling a service more than a product. Understanding this concept will drastically change your website design to focus on making it as clear as possible the solution that you’re offering potential customers and should ultimately aim to address their major pain points.
Your website design should focus on the customer experience. This means creating it (you may have guessed this) with your buyer persona in mind. Determine the elements that will visually appeal to your audience, the type of experience they enjoy, and how to optimize for more conversions. This might take some A/B testing, but the results will be worth it.
4. Pay-Per-Click (PPC)
While content marketing can provide more leads than paid advertising, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for pay-per-click ads. In fact, 66% of buyer-intent keywords are paid clicks (Clever Clicks).
PPC offers SaaS companies the chance to capture leads quickly and efficiently. Through highly targeted ads, you can present your software through ads on Google, and you don’t have to wait a long time to see ROI like you do with SEO.
To make sure you’re doing it right, check out HubSpot’s nine strategies for setting up proper PPC campaigns.
5. Video Marketing for SaaS
45% of B2B marketers planned to YouTube to their content distribution channel plan in 2019, revealed the 2018 State of Inbound Report. That’s because videos aren’t going anywhere. In fact, video marketing is only becoming more popular. After watching a video, 64% of users are more likely to buy a product online (Forbes).
Videos are a great way to get your message across and keep the attention of your audience. You can use a video to highlight new features of your software, share reviews, provide a step-by-step demo, share statistics, and more. You don’t have to limit yourself as long as you remember to tell a story that suits your customers.
6. SaaS Social Media Marketing
You might think that social media isn’t the best platform for SaaS marketing, but there are many benefits to using social for your business. Social media is all about building awareness for your products and services, allowing you the opportunity to reach a wider audience.
The key is to ensure that you’re utilizing the right channels.
- LinkedIn: 59% of marketers generate B2B leads on LinkedIn, compared to 26% on other social platforms (LinkedIn Study).
- Facebook: 74% of people say they use Facebook for professional purposes (HubSpot).
- Twitter: 75% of B2B businesses market on Twitter and 85% of SMB Twitter users say providing customer service on the platform is important (Hootsuite).
7. Email Marketing
For every $1 spent on email marketing, the average campaign earns $38 in ROI, according to a Campaign Manager report. The key is to send targeted and segmented emails exactly when your audience needs them most. This requires you to use an automated email marketing system such as HubSpot to set up personalized, targeted email campaigns that are triggered by what your users are doing.
For example, when a potential customer first signs up for your mailing list, they should receive a welcome email. Then, if they download a case study or sign up for a free trial of your software, they should receive a different email that’s better suited to their current sales funnel location—a first-month discount for purchasing today. Just make sure that every email has a purpose and furthers your marketing strategy.
Other SaaS Marketing Best Practices
There isn’t time to go into all of the best practices for SaaS marketing, but before you go, here are a few more SaaS marketing best practices to consider.
8. Free Offers
A free software trial is a strategic marketing move that can pay off in the long run. A free trial leads provides an opportunity for a sales qualified lead that’s almost ready to buy, but not sure, to determine if your software is a good fit for their company.
9. Use Customer Reviews
Customer reviews are incredibly valuable for B2B SaaS companies. For a qualified lead that’s on the fence about moving forward with your software, a few solid customer testimonials could make or break their decision.
10. Collaborate with Other Software Companies
Don’t be afraid to collaborate with another software company offering a complementary product to your own. By joining forces, you can help each other with leads, marketing, costs, and more.
Hire a SaaS Marketing Agency
If you’re overwhelmed by all of the best practices above, either because you have a small marketing team or don’t have the expertise to implement these in-house, consider partnering with a marketing agency that specializes in helping SaaS companies to reach their goals.
At Spot On, we specialize in helping SaaS businesses develop and implement highly effective B2B marketing strategies that deliver results, whether you’re seeking an improved website design or support for marketing campaigns so you can generate more leads. We aim to work with our clients as an extension of their marketing team. Not only are we experts with software marketing, we embrace your business as if it was our own.
If you’d like to discuss how we can help you, schedule a call here.