Ultimate Guide For Hiring The Best SaaS Agency In Record Time
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Whether you’re generating leads with blog articles or nurturing prospects with personalized email sequences, having a quality strategy is key to business growth. But, companies will often lack time or resources to scale their business, so they decide to seek help from a SaaS marketing agency. So, how can you make sure you have chosen the agency that will have the needed know-how to reach any B2B marketing objective?
To help you make the right decision, we’ve gathered all the information any senior marketing leader or SaaS CEO will need to know before hiring an effective marketing agency.
What is a SaaS Marketing Agency?
If you’ve been running your business for a while, you probably hired a few agencies to help you reach your marketing goals. Yet, most SaaS founders feel confused about the differences between a traditional marketing agency and a SaaS marketing agency.
With numerous B2B SaaS companies on the market, it was evident that traditional marketing agencies cannot provide adequate service to such a specialized business model as SaaS. That’s when SaaS marketing agencies started offering their services to SaaS companies that needed sales and marketing strategies.
In general, the objective of each SaaS-oriented marketing agency is to suggest actions that would lead to continuous business growth for their clients. A B2B SaaS agency relies heavily on data to provide such information. That is why the one you choose must know how to read and manage data and suggest strategies based on it.
B2B SaaS Marketing Agency vs. Digital Marketing Agency
If you’re hiring an agency for the first time, it’s completely normal to feel overwhelmed with all these terms you will hear. With most agencies choosing to unite their service under either ‘SaaS’ or ‘digital marketing’, you will need to consider three crucial differences between these two agency models.
Service specialization is the first difference you will notice once you compare digital marketing to SaaS agencies. A traditional marketing agency will specialize in any digital service such as websites, app or game design, social media campaigns, or any other service online. Digital marketing services can also include online promotions for non-digital products and services.
On the other hand, a SaaS marketing agency will work with businesses related to software or technology. They can work with other digital companies, yet their primary focus is to help software and technology companies achieve their goals, from launching their product onto the market to developing an inbound marketing plan.
Both digital marketing and a SaaS marketing agency will have a team of experts working with multiple clients at once. However, SaaS agencies tend to have fewer clients to dedicate sufficient time and attention to each of their clients. From the client’s point of view, this implies you will often get more value from hiring a SaaS agency over a conventional digital agency.
Because of their size, digital agencies can usually deliver several different services at once. As each SaaS business is unique and requires some time to learn about its business, opting for an agency that treats you as just one more client on their list will probably not result well.
3. Technical Know-How
SaaS agencies are focused on helping other software and technology companies excel. That makes it easy to understand most technical challenges their clients are facing. They developed a deep understanding of all technologies SaaS companies are both offering and utilizing, which allows them to implement better-informed strategies.
When you hire a traditional marketing agency, they will focus more on online advertising and marketing than on learning about your business. On the other hand, a SaaS marketing agency will want to learn more and understand with ease how your SaaS business works.
SaaS Marketing Services
A typical SaaS business will consist of a small team experienced in tech and product development, but rarely marketing. Additionally, they will not consider the long-term strategy for lead generation and customer retention. That’s why hiring a SaaS marketing company is a logical step to having a successful marketing campaign that will bring exactly what your SaaS business needs.
When it comes to SaaS marketing services, software and technology companies will often outsource in the following areas.
By taking a quick look at some of the most successful B2B SaaS businesses in the field, it’s evident that their success comes from well-thought SaaS SEO strategies. Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of increasing your website’s organic traffic by gaining top ranking on the SERPs for keywords that are relevant for that company. When it comes to SaaS companies, you will want to rank for SaaS-related terms your potential customers use to search on Google and other search engines.
A quality SaaS SEO strategy can help companies to:
- Scale growth exponentially with content-led SEO,
- Reduce cost-per-acquisition over time,
- Increase monthly recurring revenue,
- Convert customers from other marketing channels.
Paid Social Marketing
SaaS businesses use paid social marketing to promote their products and services to their target audience. Yet, without a long-term strategy, there will be no results. Paid social marketing involves a range of activities to generate quality leads and sales, from the social media campaign and ad creation to testing and budget management. Determining the most successful platforms for your company is not easy, so a team of SaaS marketers will be the asset you need.
Paid social marketing activities will involve:
- Ad creation,
- Bidding management,
- monitoring and testing,
- Social media expertise,
- Detailed reporting.
Paid Search Marketing
Paid search marketing involves intent-based digital advertising through which B2B SaaS companies can purchase sponsored ad space on SERPs like Google, Yahoo, or Bing. With paid search marketing, you will be in front of the people who are already actively seeking the product or service your offer.
With this ad type, you only pay when someone clicks on your ad, so you will not waste money on something that doesn’t work. Another great thing about paid search marketing is that you can capture the attention of your potential customers at any point by using highly targeted keywords that correspond with their search intent.
Content marketing is one of the most valuable inbound marketing strategies. A team of skilled SaaS content marketers and writers can engagingly tell a company’s story and connect you with your audience on a deeper level. With a quality SaaS content strategy, businesses can address their customers’ challenges and needs to help them understand how a product or service can provide them with exactly what they need.
A typical content strategy you can expect from a good SaaS content marketing agency will consist of:
- Topic research in the client’s industry,
- Keyword research to find the keywords with high volume and traffic potential,
- Content audit to determine which topics the client already covered,
- Preparing content outlines for the writers,
- Optimizing and publishing the articles on the client’s website,
- Tracking the content success with digital analytics tools like Google Analytics.
CRO or conversion rate optimization aims to simplify the conversion process as much as possible. It eliminates any potential barrier that might prevent visitors from converting, while at the same time, a B2B SaaS organization focuses on keeping their existing customers engaged.
Each element of a CRO strategy will go through A/B testing, including Google Ads. To test and see what works, a CRO team will rely on Google Analytics, which besides insights on the company’s CRO results, also provides incredible value for their inbound marketing.
A CRO expert will prioritize customers over products and help build a user-centric website. The conversion rate will start growing after targeting customers based on their online behavior and simplifying the onboarding process for new customers.
Most of the time, SaaS founders will focus on digital marketing strategies and ignore the conventional ones such as PR. SaaS is becoming a heavily saturated market, and PR is what can help you stand out by raising awareness about your company and your services.
PR can be beneficial for startups or companies launching a new product, but also for anything newsworthy, such as winning an award, the vision for your business, or simply your thoughts on industry trends. However, it will not improve your customer acquisition rate without a comprehensive PR plan.
ABM (Account-Based Marketing)
Account-based marketing or ABM is a growth strategy that integrates marketing and sales to induce buyer experiences targeted towards accounts with high value. Besides these accounts, their key stakeholders are also targeted and marketed through personalized marketing tactics used on numerous channels.
An ABM campaign will require thorough research, preparation, and collaboration across both marketing and sales teams. Unlike traditional marketing, the ABM approach will first identify, engage, and lastly land and expand. When performed right, an ABM campaign can improve reputation, strengthen relationships, and increase revenue.
Successful Pipeline Management
A sales pipeline serves as a visual representation of the entire sales process, split into main stages. Pipeline management helps a sales team overcome common marketing challenges that result from inefficient processes. To make these pipelines successful we need to consider the design of the pipeline and management of leads that come into the pipeline.
These stages involve:
- Prospecting & Lead Generation
- LTV monitoring
Marketing Automation for User Acquisition
In today’s digital age, businesses need to adapt to the growing demands of their customers and manage their campaigns successfully across all digital channels, and for that, they need automation. With marketing automation, SaaS companies can streamline and integrate all of their processes with efficient marketing automation, but also acquire and nurture existing leads.
A good marketing automation strategy will save time, while seamlessly moving prospects and leads through the marketing and sales funnel by using relevant data. The reason why it’s so successful with lead nurturing is that, especially in the SaaS niche, prospects will be in various buying stages so nurturing them adequately based on their stage is crucial.
Landing Page Development for A/B testing
Regardless of the campaign you decide to implement, you will always have to test it to ensure the best results possible. When it comes to landing pages, having the best elements that trigger the desired action can be achieved only with A/B testing. By applying a landing page A/B testing framework, you get an understanding of the effect each change on your landing page has instead of guessing.
With a trusted SaaS marketing partner, your landing pages will be continuously tested to examine which change brings which results and provide you with a detailed report on what works and what doesn’t with your target audience.
You might assume that influencer marketing is not a winning strategy for a SaaS business, but you would be very wrong. As much as it’s not easy to determine which person a SaaS company’s target audience looks up to, the benefits are numerous. For instance, a company might decide to partner up with a blogger who frequently publishes recommendations on software solutions and have a long article on their recently developed tool.
Influencer marketing doesn’t have to involve only Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook. Depending on where customers go for recommendations, ideas, and relevant information, this will be a company’s online place to implement an influencer marketing strategy.
For SaaS businesses, the most relevant KPI is revenue, and to achieve it, growth marketing strategies need to be innovated completely. Those who wish to succeed have to replace the traditional channel approach with innovation that stretches beyond the growth channels. By digging deep and maintaining a creative mindset, they will discover new ideas inspired by the data they’ve gathered.
After all, growth marketing doesn’t focus only on the top of the funnel, it takes the entire product funnel to create a data-driven strategy that leads to improved acquisition and customer lifetime value.
Success Indicators for SaaS Marketing Agency
SaaS marketing is quite similar to product marketing. That’s because they are based on the same processes, such as generating leads, nurturing them, and converting them into sales. To achieve success in these areas, a SaaS-oriented marketing agency will need to use mentioned methods while relying on SEM, PPC, and content marketing.
B2B SaaS clients should seek an agency that already has all these processes and systems in place, and the one that is the leader in the field should have a clear roadmap to success, along with a repeatable and scalable marketing system.
Before you make your hiring decision, make sure that their SaaS marketing plan consists of the following elements:
- Determining and setting MRR growth goals,
- Crafting a year-long marketing plan,
- Setting key performance indicators (KPIs) and relevant marketing metrics,
- Comprehensive reporting and analysis,
- Setting up the company’s internal marketing processes,
- Implementing a content marketing strategy,
- Separating inbound marketing from outbound marketing,
- Supporting marketing automation,
- Strategically tactical media planning and buying,
- Conversion rate optimization and multivariate testing,
- Using digital analytics to measure success,
- Aligning marketing goals with a sales team,
- Aligning marketing KPIs with overall revenue targets.
Of course, there can be more success indicators when evaluating your SaaS marketing partner, but this should be enough for you to make your hiring decision on who will contribute to sustainable growth.
The Benefits of Having a SaaS Marketing Agency
Now that you know how to hire an agency that will help you with your marketing efforts, let’s take a look at the value a B2B SaaS company gets from it.
Providing Solutions to SaaS Problems
Most SaaS companies will apply the right marketing tactics but lack a thorough marketing strategy that combines all these tactics to reach a single goal. Even big SaaS companies with a marketing team often lack an effective inbound strategy that aligns with their marketing efforts.
The best SaaS marketing agencies will understand the commonalities as they have worked with similar businesses facing the same problems and aspiring to the same results.
Increasing B2B Revenue Growth
As already mentioned, a SaaS marketing agency will help a B2B SaaS company with lead generation or demand generation, customer acquisition, and client engagement. Success on these three fronts leads to revenue growth, but you will need to completely step away from the ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to understand what works and what doesn’t. Instead, you will need a strategy showing you where each qualified lead comes from and which tools or platforms are converting this lead into a customer.
A SaaS marketing agency will provide tailored services to satisfy your unique needs. To grow your revenue, your SaaS marketing agency will focus on several growth hacking tactics to leverage conversion rate optimization. In other words, having SaaS marketing professionals optimizing your campaigns with valuable growth hacks all time will ensure constant business growth.
Access To Marketing Automation Software
One of the most valuable assets you get when hiring a SaaS-oriented marketing agency is access to software pieces necessary for your business success, but with lower costs. For instance, paying on your own for software pieces like HubSpot, SalesForce, and Zendesk, the most commonly used tools for SaaS businesses, can sum up to $500 per month or more on the low end.
With an agency, you will not only have access to all relevant platforms but also to their expertise in using these platforms. As cost is one of the crucial determining factors for SaaS business owners, saving money on any sales and lead nurturing technologies is beneficial for them in numerous ways. After all, without these SaaS marketing platforms, it will be almost impossible to achieve the desired business results.
If you found the agency you believe can deliver exactly what you need, take your time to evaluate them before hiring. Besides checking their experience working with other SaaS businesses, their reputation, case studies, and the website, you will need to get a good idea of how they work. In other words, an agency can easily present themselves in front of their potential clients in a perfect way, but how they respond to your concerns is what will show you their quality.
So, make sure you get their answers to the following questions before signing any contract:
- Which SaaS marketing services will you be able to provide us with during the entire project? Do you have content writers and copywriters, web designers, and web developers in your team?
- Which SaaS marketing channels and platforms do you suggest for lead generation and customer acquisition and why?
- What issues or problems do you see in reaching our goal?
- What are some former results you’ve achieved for similar companies before?
- What makes you different from other SaaS marketing agencies we’ve talked to so far?
- What would be the areas you’d focus on in the first quarter if we’re to choose you as our SaaS marketing agency?
When evaluating their answers, keep in mind that vague or sales-y answers probably indicate a lack of experience or knowledge. The agencies which will provide you with reports, metrics relevant to ROI or CLTV, or samples of their work are the ones that have the value you need to take your sales and marketing strategy to the next level.
Different Agency Fee Structures
Just because they offer the same SaaS marketing services doesn’t mean that all agencies will charge the same amount or the same way. Some will have a few payment models, while others might only offer one to their clients. That’s why you should make sure to check all payment details before you hire an agency.
Below you can find all relevant information that might help you make a more informed decision, especially when it comes to your finances.
- Hourly Billing
An agency that uses hourly billing is charging their clients per hour. Although this payment method is more used among freelancers, there are many agencies that bill per hour. This allows flexibility from both ends, so you and the agency might decide to spend more or fewer hours working on your marketing strategy. At the end of the month, agencies will typically send an invoice based on the amount of time they spent working on your project.
- Retainer Models
If an agency suggests putting you on a retainer, that means that each month they will spend a certain number of hours working on your project and charge you a certain amount for the entire month. The value will differ depending on which services a retainer will include and the number of hours the agency will spend on your account. A retainer model also implies the agency will send you the invoice or put you on an automated pay around the same date each month, so your finances will have to be planned accordingly.
- Performance-Based Agency Models
Many agency clients will prefer to pay based on the effectiveness of the project. With a performance-based agency model, you will pay only for how successful the campaign was instead of the amount of work the agency delivered. Such a progressive way is beneficial for both clients and agencies, and it can be seen more in the B2B SaaS niche.
- Fractional Marketing
Fractional marketing enables you to supplement your marketing department or fill marketing roles entirely. Outsourcing a fraction of a trained and experienced marketing team has many benefits for businesses that wish to be more across the work of the marketing department. As most small and mid-size businesses don’t have enough resources to hire several full-time marketing roles, although they need them, fractional marketing allows them to fill in the gaps offering extensive knowledge and know-how.
- Project-based Pricing
If your company only has one project that requires marketing support, you should consider an agency that offers project-based pricing. This is a fixed pricing model with one flat fee per project with definitive specifications and scope. If you wanted something between the hourly pay and performance pay, project-based pricing provides the best of both models.
- Percentage of Media Spend
For projects involving paid campaigns, agencies might recommend a percentage of media spend. In other words, they will charge their determined fees. A client or agency will suggest an ad spend allocation, and then the agency will take around 10% of that overall marketing spend, depending on the factors agreed between both parties.
- Retainer + Revenue Share Model
This model combines two approaches, one with recurring revenue and the other one with shared revenue. This will depend greatly on the conditions of each agency, but it usually involves paying a certain amount for a certain time and also sharing the percentage of the revenue generated due to the agency’s activities.
- Value-based Pricing Model
Value-based pricing means setting the price based on the customer’s perceived value of the product or service. This approach is also known as the willingness of customers to pay, which eventually affects the price change.
- Mixed Rates
Also known as blended rates, the mixed-rates model includes various rates offered to the client, depending on the work that needs to get done. The final cost presented to you as the client will vary on the number of employees, their hourly rate, and the number of hours invested in the project. This model is becoming increasingly popular, but keep in mind that agencies are the ones deciding on the individual rate for each of their marketing specialists.
Agency Billing Contract Terms and Escape Clause
Once you’ve decided which agency you will hire based on your marketing budget and preferred payment model, you will need to work on the contract that includes all vital information about your collaboration. In general, agencies will prepare a contract and send it to you for revision. As a client, you can suggest your changes and consult an expert before you sign the contract.
Contracts might define, but most of them will cover the following:
- Business Information,
- Scope of services,
- Terms and conditions,
- Methods and terms of payment (net 30 or net 90),
- Place to sign.
When it comes to methods and conditions of payment, make sure that the information in the contract corresponds with the verbal agreement you have with the agency. Once signed, you will not be able to change any conditions mentioned in the contract, regardless of the information discussed between yourself and the agency.
Yet, there is one thing that can help you avoid having to perform the signed contract, and that’s an escape clause, however, it will need to be included in the contract before signing it. This type of clause will allow you as the client to escape or abandon the contract without being liable for the breach of it. Keep this in mind when reviewing the contract your agency has sent you and include it before making things official.
Agency That Speaks Your Language
Besides the finance and legal factors that will affect your decision, you should also consider an agency that speaks your language. Although you might have a global business and a remote team, working with an agency that speaks the same language as you will reduce the potential room for misunderstanding and errors based on the language barrier.
If your business operates in the same language as your native language, you should hire an agency that both understands the country’s marketing trends and knows how to win over your target audience.
Our Favourite Top 10 SaaS Agencies
Now that you have all the information you need to make a well-informed decision on hiring your SaaS marketing partner, consider taking a look at our list of best SaaS agencies. All of them are very experienced with SaaS clients and will know how to deliver exactly what your business needs.
We admit it’s a bit bold starting the list with our agency, but we’re really proud of what we do. Algocentric was founded in 2017 with a clear objective to provide B2B MarTech SaaS platforms with premium AI-Powered digital marketing services. Our clients enjoy premium digital marketing services and access to numerous high-end marketing platforms, both required for scaling their businesses and being on top of their competition.
2. Refine Labs
Refine Labs provides a buyer-centric approach to a demand generation campaign while acting as an addition to your internal team for thought leadership, revenue growth, and marketing innovation. The agency also provides a Revenue Engine Optimization formula to help their clients enhance revenue growth and focus on pipeline velocity.
Besides being an inbound marketing agency, the experts at Roketto also provide web design services to ensure each of their client’s business goals is achieved. With their unique inbound approach, Roketto helps B2B SaaS businesses scale in more ways than one.
4. Single Grain
A digital marketing agency offering numerous services, Single Grain is growing its clients’ revenues online with everything from carefully designed marketing funnels and engaging PPC campaigns to valuable content marketing tactics. They’re proud of their holistic marketing approach that integrates all brand-building aspects to achieve success for their clients.
5. Bay Leaf Digital
If you’re looking for an excellent growth marketing consulting agency, Bay Leaf Digital will provide you with more than you need. The agency is focused on growing awareness and improving the pipeline of many B2B SaaS and tech businesses. Their impressive expertise begins with marketing analytics and SEO and goes all the way to PPC and content strategies. As a growth marketing agency, they are keen on helping all their clients reach their MRR and ARR goals.
Inturact is an integrated B2B SaaS marketing agency offering strategy, innovation, and capability to execute on their valuable ideas. As a tech-savvy company, they strive to align their clients’ web marketing efforts with sales objectives, and to do that, they are utilizing all recent technological solutions to deliver growth consulting, growth hacking, inbound marketing, product marketing, content marketing, web design and development, and data analysis services.
As a B2B SaaS-oriented SEO and content marketing agency, SimpleTiger always delivers quality strategies to its clients. They cover various marketing areas, from SEO and keyword research to content strategy and promotion. SimpleTiger’s strategies help grow traffic and increase conversions, while also strengthening the relationship with customers and prospects.
8. Heinz Marketing
If you’re looking for an agency like no other, you will love Heinz Marketing. They introduce themselves as strategic planners, creative problem-solvers, and data-driven marketers who created a unique approach to Predictable Pipeline. This approach allows their clients to create immersive customer experiences, boost revenue, and build a predictable, lucrative pipeline to scale.
9. Hey Digital
Hey Digital is digital marketing and design agency that helps scale B2B SaaS businesses with their paid advertising, CRO, PPC, paid social, and landing page design services. By tracking metrics around trial signups, demo requests, quality leads, webinar attendees, the agency optimizes its marketing efforts split into Facebook and Google campaigns to achieve the best results possible.
Those interested in fractional marketing should opt for Kalungi, an agency with an outsourced B2B SaaS marketing team. Besides fractional CMOs, Kalungi also has a pay-per-performance model combined with a retainer, which ensures they deliver results that help businesses scale. Their areas of expertise include infrastructure, automation, video, analysis, branding, public relations, and marketing leadership.
The Bottom Line
The question is not whether you should hire a SaaS marketing agency or not, the question is how to find the one that will ensure scalable growth for your business. With the increasing number of B2B SaaS businesses out there, the need for SaaS agencies is also growing. That makes it a bit difficult to determine the best marketing partner for your business, but it’s not impossible.
Take your time to evaluate each offer, and keep in mind that you need convincing, not the other way around. As the mindset of SaaS founders is to sell and not buy, they might skip the part where you are being convinced of value before purchasing the needed services. Just like you are convincing your ideal customer that your SaaS product is exactly what they need, a B2B SaaS marketing agency needs to convince you that their services will enhance the entire customer journey, while also attracting sales qualified leads.
Whether you need help with content production to generate leads or email marketing to re-engage your customers, a SaaS marketing partner like Algocentric Digital will be able to create a unique marketing campaign that solves your pain points and scales your business at the same time. Send us a message today or download one of our playbooks to learn more and we can begin your digital marketing transformation.