What is SaaS Marketing? SaaS Marketing Meaning + [13 Killer SaaS Marketing Strategies]
Table of Contents
In this article, we’ll discuss the SaaS marketing meaning, providing you with a SaaS marketing definition. We’ll also go into detail on “Why is SaaS Marketing different?” and “How is SaaS marketing different?”. After that, we’ll discuss the top SaaS marketing strategies for your brand as well. You can use the above content map to decide which section is most important for you and jump there.
SaaS marketing, meaning or our official SaaS marketing definition, is as follows: Software as a Service (SaaS) marketing is a type of marketing that’s purely focused on user acquisition for a subscription-based business that ultimately allows you to retain clients with a high LTV. You sell your products as a cloud-based application/platform. The best way to market a SaaS is by building awareness and hiring SaaS marketing teams for product-led business growth.
SaaS marketing brings your product to your target market by positioning it and building awareness around it to get your brand’s high LTV. (lifetime value) users. Compared to businesses with physical products or one-time purchases, SaaS businesses offer an intangible product. They must continually prove to their current and potential customers that their “rented” or subscription service is worth the monthly fee.
SaaS (Software as a Service) business market is booming. It is a model that delivers software products over the internet via a third-party cloud provider using a subscription-based or recurring payment method. Due to its low cost, little to no installation configuration, and easy integration with other business applications, SaaS is becoming the preferred choice for B2B and B2C consumers worldwide.
In fact, a report suggests that global end-user spending on SaaS applications will reach USD 208.1 billion by 2023, compared to USD 152.18 billion in 2021. Gartner predicts end-user spending on SaaS products will be around USB 176.6 billion in 2022. In the coming years, we can expect overwhelming growth in the SaaS market as more enterprises continue to adopt cloud-based strategies.
As of June 2022, the top 10 SaaS companies have a market value of a whopping USD 758.65 billion. Companies like Adobe, Salesforce, Intuit, Atlassian, Zoom, Slack, and many more are profiting by offering SaaS products to a worldwide audience. As a safe estimate, the overall SaaS market is well over a trillion U.S. dollars and growing.
A critical factor in this extravagant growth has been marketing. SaaS marketing has picked up in recent years. It is a strategic and systematic approach to bringing SaaS products in front of B2B and B2C end-users. SaaS marketers use various techniques to increase customer engagement and develop long-term relationships to maintain a steady flow of revenue.
What is SaaS in digital marketing, or What is SaaS product marketing?
SaaS marketing, or SaaS in digital marketing, is a marketing approach explicitly designed to build awareness and promote SaaS products. It includes bringing the SaaS product to the market and positioning it in front of a global digital audience to engage prospects and generate qualified leads. SaaS marketing includes strategies to onboard new clients and also retain existing customers.
SaaS space is crowded. A report suggests that there are around 10000 SaaS companies. These SaaS businesses offer products in various domains ranging from customer relationship management, human resource, workforce collaboration, business intelligence (B.I.), e-commerce, finance and accounting, transportation, manufacturing, and much more.
In the marketing realm alone, there are around 8000 marketing technology (MarTech) solutions—a list referred to as Martech 5000 has been keeping track of these solutions since 2011.
Regardless of the accurate number of global SaaS products, this market is highly competitive, making SaaS marketing even more challenging. In the next section, we’ll discuss what factors make SaaS marketing different from traditional digital marketing.
How is SaaS marketing different?
In his blog post, he outlined the importance of the freemium model. While many SaaS experts disagree with this approach, he states this is something a B2B SaaS should do.
He exemplifies Sprout Social, HubSpot, their Free CRM offer, and Buffersocial. They all use the power of “Free” to draw users into the platform and get them to sign up for the product.
We think there is a more effective way to approach it today from a transactional standpoint. Free offers can often lead to many signups that you’re likely paying with bandwidth or other charges. Yet, free signups don’t lead to a sale 50%-80% of the time.
Instead, consider testing an offer where you’re charging users $1 for an X-Day Trial period. If that’s a tough sell at your SaaS company, consider asking for billing details up front instead.
Why should you do this?
1) This filters out most users that are tire kickers.
2) This approach focuses on paying customers upfront who are willing to invest $1.
3) Asking for billing details upfront filters out users who are unlikely to continue as paying users.
4) This starts your relationship on the right foot for your SaaS.
5) Exchange of money from the start is critical to get commitment from a customer to pay the big dollars later.
If you were seriously considering a tool, ask yourself the following question:
“Would I pay $1 to try a product or provide my credit card details?”
If you answered no, you’re likely not committed to getting it anytime soon. Yet, if the tool did save your business a ton of time and money, $1 is a no-brainer.
Your user thinks the same way.
Most SaaS companies choose the Free route by default without trying an alternative.
“Consider that generally 80% of revenue for most SaaS companies comes from 20% of their paying customers. Furthermore, 20% of this 20% are very likely your highest LTV customers.”
Now, it may seem obvious to give away your product for free; think about the costs of maintaining 50K+ free users.
Neil Patel outlines the importance of selling the service, not a “product”, even though SaaS is software.
Yes, SaaS by design is a product and not a service. We agree with this point wholeheartedly. This is precisely what makes it so challenging to sell today. We’re not even talking about the competitive landscape that’s constantly changing.
Ensure to maintain a high-touch frequency with your customers to help reduce churn.
To bring this point home, consider this recent study of how SaaS companies asking for billing info upfront convert twice as many users.
Focus on the 20% of your customers as they generally drive 80% of the revenue as outlined in the LTV graph.
We couldn’t agree more here because customer retention defines a successful SaaS from a failed one.
“If you increase your customer retention by only 5%, you can increase your business’s profitability by 75%, say researchers at Bain & Co.”
The secrets of a SaaS selling itself are to:
- Have an awesome product
- Provide world-class support
- If you don’t have both, you’re going to have a difficult time making it successful.
Neil outlines that having these in place will help improve the critical SaaS metrics like:
- M.M.R., AAR
- Payback Period
- Attribution models
- Multi-touch point marketing
Why is SaaS Marketing Different Than Conventional Digital Marketing?
This article also discusses why SaaS marketing differs from other online marketing types.
The article discusses the difficulties of marketing a SaaS and how tricky it gets. Marketing a physical product is hard while selling something you can’t touch is even more challenging argues the author.
So how do you excite the customer on their journey to add another SaaS tool to their mar-tech stack?
This article focuses on the accelerated sales process for every B2B SaaS. Regardless if you’re in B2B or B2C, the sales cycles can be 10x faster than other business models.
This is because the very nature of software leads to fast decision-making on the user’s part. Most SaaS companies charge on a month-by-month basis as well. This means the user isn’t signing long extended contracts, making buying easy.
“SaaS platforms are typically not an impulse buy, states Raelene. This means your SaaS marketing strategy needs to have an immediate impact on sales.”
In fact, according to BSCG research, 64% of SMBs rely on cloud-based tech to fuel their business growth.
Additionally, 78% of businesses consider investing in new SaaS solutions in the next 2-3 years.
Accelerating your SaaS sales is always great for the bottom line. Fast sales can help create positive cash flow. This accelerates marketing and user acquisition growth.
Another big talking point is setting yourself apart in the competitive SaaS landscape. Far too many companies lean on pricing as a competitive advantage. That often isn’t a sustainable strategy in the long run.
Raelene further discusses the importance of the Freemium model, and again we disagree.
Although freemium is the typical model today, using the 1 dollar trial offer is better.
As an alternative to the $1 trial, you can ask for the credit card info upfront.
Consider this recent study that outlines how critical it is to ask for upfront payment info. Their findings on slide 42 show that this tactic doubles conversion rates regarding paying customers.
As we’ve stated earlier, you’re looking to attract the right users who will pay. Most SaaS companies are afraid to do this and attract users that stay on the freemium model forever.
Pagely.com further exemplifies Zendesk, Dropbox, and Slack as companies that use the freemium model.
If your SaaS is venture-backed, you can afford the endless freemium users sucking the life out of your resources.
This was the case for Dropbox and similar companies. This isn’t great for cash-strapped start-ups or early-stage SaaS looking to save every dollar.
You need consistent cash flow as much as possible and only users willing to commit early on.
Raelene: Pagely.com recommends for your SaaS focus on selling value and benefits that it can deliver, rather than focusing on price.
Most companies are very fixated on low pricing to fight competitors.
They want to win new customers so they can endlessly fight churn constantly.
It’s a fun activity for them, it seems…
But, what they fail to think about is that:
“Pricing themselves higher, while providing world-class support might be the secret sauce. This should be a part of your SaaS USP.”
Yes, some people want features and benefits, but most folks today value stellar support over features.
They can almost always find another alternative in the SaaS market today. Also, when all hell breaks loose, customers want things fixed quickly. What they can’t always find is world-class tech support.
Competitors who charge less can’t afford to hire stellar customer success managers. So, they can’t provide white-glove service. This lack of support causes them to fight high-churn rates constantly. Their angry customers turn to alternative platforms that provide world-class service.
This is where customer success managers play a critical role in your SaaS growth and user retention. Proper onboarding, educating the customer regularly and following up is mission-critical.
The real value of your company isn’t the software alone but how it impacts your customer’s bottom line.
Would you pay the extra $30/month to get white-glove service if you knew the cheaper alternative couldn’t provide dedicated support?
The next topic Raelene from pagely.com focuses on is: Content is King.
Many SaaS companies have fantastic blogs, podcasts, interviews, reviews, eBooks, how-to’s and guides. This helps them promote themselves in the search engines and add value to their users. Hubspot is the prime example here, showcasing its strong inbound strategy.
While it’s difficult to argue against “Content is King”, what’s easy to spot here is the missing piece.
“While content is King, content delivery is the Queen.”
Although sharing content on social media and aligning that with SEO is crucial, how you amplify your content is critical.
Furthermore, consider the channel, platform and audience to which you’re amplifying your message. How do these different types of audiences fit into your multi-channel marketing strategy?
Let’s take an example here:
You might be after B2B marketers who are men, exhibit technophile behaviours and earn over 60K. Consider whether Google Ads, Facebook or LinkedIn platforms have advantageous targeting options. Perhaps, testing Reddit, Twitter Ads, Bing or even Pinterest Ads could yield good R.O.I.
Is your audience researching your service on Google, or are they passively scrolling through the social feed?
Do they spend much time researching and pinning on Pinterest?
Could you deliver a compelling YouTube explainer in 30-60 seconds?
The options are almost unlimited, but it all starts with crafting your customer avatar.
In addition, consider how your message sounds and what channel it is being delivered on. Perhaps Chatbots, Email or YouTube video ads can deliver better engagement and R.O.I.
“Don’t discredit channels based on your own assumptions, but rather let the data speak for you.”
Consider what types of audiences exist and where they might be hanging out. They might be on forums, certain blogs, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook Groups or LinkedIn Groups.
Cross-promotional partnerships and channel partnerships are other very powerful strategies.
Raelene from pagely.com focuses on cross-promotional marketing.
Consider researching and finding other providers who sell complementary services to your business. They might already have the perfect customer base you’re after.
This is a great way to reduce marketing costs.
Remember that 80% of your revenue will typically come from 20% of your customers.
“According to this study, loyal customers are worth 10x their initial transaction and they’re 65% easier to sell to than first-time users.”
Referral programs, ambassador or affiliate programs are another great way to improve customer acquisition.
What struck us the most from this post is the following statement from pagely.com:
“It’s also important to remember that there’s no real growth attached to paid advertising.”
Their reasoning behind it is that Google and Facebook CPCs are way too high, and it costs an arm and a leg. Thus, you should completely focus your efforts on inbound marketing like SEO.
The statement that you “can’t get growth out of paid advertising” couldn’t be further from the truth in 2019.
Paid advertising accelerates your marketing tremendously if you set up your funnel correctly.
Yes, it’s more competitive than ever before today because R.O.I. is there.
If you’re engaged in any form of advertising A.I. and Machine learning today, it reduces CPCs, CPAs. Consider researching tools that can help you lower your CPA or CPCs.
A.I. can also help you find the perfect audiences, as well as bid for the perfect customer at the right time, on the right platform, device and even pick ad copy.
Organic traffic is free, and that’s great, but it takes years to build and attract new revenue streams using it alone.
Using paid advertising to reach the right audiences with the right message puts you in front of your perfect customer in minutes.
PPC. marketing can accelerate your marketing, help you build brand value and bring in the right prospects fast.
The reason Google and Facebook are growing so fast isn’t simply because CPC has tripled since 2014.
It’s because big R.O.I. was always there and continues to be, so advertisers shift their media spending away from traditional channels like TV, Radio or Print.
Savvy SaaS marketers understand the importance of using paid channels as a form of user acquisition. Yes, paid traffic is more expensive initially, but compare the quality of leads you get from organic traffic to paid channels.
Is it the same quality?
You probably know the answer to that.
Another critical component that many people miss out on is leveraging Google and Facebook targeting tech. Facebook offers look-alike audiences (LLAs), Google has In-Market audiences, similar audiences and customer match, while LinkedIn offers matched audiences.
The more laser targeted you can get today, your R.O.I. will be better. You can’t control who sees your inbound content. In the case of the big platforms, you can control who sees it, when they see it and the type of message they see.
“You can use paid media to drive specific users through the funnel significantly faster.”
Organic traffic is important, but without the right eyeballs on it, your organic SEO strategy may not bring in enough MQLs.
Paid and Organic traffic go hand in hand.
Focusing on the proper Media Mix (social + search) is important to create the right opportunities for your brand.
Ultimately, you must call out the perfect customer avatar with your headlines. Then you start leveraging CRO for landing pages and marketing automation to push users through your funnel.
“Whether you launch an ad on social media or write a blog post to rank on Google, your headline MUST call out your perfect users!”
Relying on a single channel is a weak strategy, but combining them can help you better understand your customers.
It will also bring in the right customers, given that your targeting and ad copy is set up correctly.
Various platforms provide different data types, and having a crystal clear customer avatar is critical to SaaS growth.
There are some similarities between SaaS marketing and other types of digital marketing. Such as the end result of both is to engage and acquire customers. However, SaaS products aren’t like other marketable products.
SaaS products are intangible, having no physical presence. SaaS products can be complex, with lots of different features. Each feature covers a customer pain point which must be marketed well to inform the customers about the product in totality.
The typical SaaS customer will be a B2B company or a B2C consumer. In a B2B setting, the customer can be an executive, a decision-maker, or a manager. Meanwhile, B2C consumers usually belong to the general population. In short, B2B has a lesser audience compared to B2C.
SaaS marketers cater to B2B and B2C customers, depending on the product. Typically, B2B customers are more tech-savvy compared to the general audience of B2C consumers, representing people from all walks of life. B2B customers also have significant budgets to spend on I.T. solutions. This means they can be a more demanding audience.
Moreover, with thousands of SaaS companies, the competition is very high in the digital space. Most of the product sales happen via a digital medium. In fact, by 2025, the Gartner Future of Sales 2025 report predicts that 80% of B2B sales communication between vendors and customers will occur in digital channels. That means companies need to adopt a digital-first approach.
SaaS marketing is significantly different from conventional digital marketing because the SaaS product payment is recurring. Unlike traditional products, SaaS typically does not support one-time purchases, which is why churn is a big problem in the SaaS ecosystem. The customer can leave at any time to switch to a competitor.
SaaS sales cycle is shorter as well. A typical customer can make a purchase decision in a few days— maybe a few hours. They go online, search for relevant products, read about them, perhaps signup for a few demos, and finally, buy the SaaS subscription of the product, which solves most of their problems. If they find a product that they feel is better, they can switch to it anytime. SaaS marketers aim to promote their products on search results via content marketing (discussed below).
In SaaS marketing, the most critical aspect is to convince potential customers that your product can solve their problems.
For that, marketers must build trust and give customers exactly what their marketing campaigns promise. To encourage long-term customer retention, the SaaS product must continue to deliver on the expectations of its customer. That’s the key.
Let’s discuss some SaaS marketing strategies that enable marketers to position their products in the market and drive more significant sales.
13 SaaS Marketing Strategies To Skyrocket your SaaS Sales
SaaS sells without trouble if the product is great and the support team is proactive. If you go live with your SaaS product, you must have someone on the phone who can help your users get started and answer questions in case people want to know how something works or why they are getting an error message. A good user experience team is crucial for the success of a SaaS company.
But to sell a SaaS product in the first place, you still need robust marketing strategies to attract customers. Following are some SaaS marketing strategies that can help SaaS marketers position their brand or product in front of a global audience.
1. Proactively Identify User Needs
One of the fundamental SaaS marketing strategies includes proactively identifying user needs.
Simply because customers expect us to understand their wants and needs. Also, customers are changing SaaS stacks quickly. In fact, in 2019, a report suggested that SaaS app turnover was around 40%.
Customers leave for all sorts of reasons. One of the most common reasons is that they want to move on to something more advanced to solve their problem more efficiently. It can range from a better-looking user interface to more product features, faster processing user requests, improved network speed.
The best way to ensure that customers continue using your product is by regularly reviewing what they like and don’t like through customer surveys or feedback forms. Tracking this data over time may also be worthwhile as users grow familiar with your SaaS application, so you can see how people use it for different reasons at various stages of their relationship with the company.
Another important strategy is frequently reviewing your SaaS competitors and identifying their U.S.P. (unique selling proposition). You can also analyze their marketing strategy to evaluate how it compares with yours.
The best place to find SaaS competitors is customer review websites like G2, Capterra, and TrustRadius. The chances are that your potential customers are already reading reviews on these websites. In fact, 77% of B2B buyers perform their research before even talking to sales representatives.
As a SaaS marketer, if you are on these websites, reading reviews and analyzing how well your competitors are performing allows you to guide the development team to incorporate and improve those particular aspects of your SaaS software.
2. Segmentation and Audience Targeting
Customer segmentation and targeting are essential SaaS marketing strategies. Typically, marketers run various marketing campaigns to attract a global audience. However, people in different regions interact with a campaign differently.
Audience segmentation has become a norm in SaaS marketing. In the SaaS market, segmentation is usually done based on company size, user designation, company location, and many more factors. So each segment has a target audience. As a result of tailored messaging, SaaS marketers enjoy greater lead generation and conversion rates.
Account-based marketing (A.B.M.) is another important SaaS product marketing strategy that targets high-value customers by delivering personalized product experiences. It is a growth strategy that maximizes revenue using upselling and cross-selling techniques. SaaS marketers use it to engage with customers that matter the most strategically.
3. Utilize Content Marketing via Various Digital Channels
A robust SaaS marketing plan focused on content production is one of the many SaaS marketing strategy gems many successful B2B SaaS companies deploy today to build brand equity and value for customers in the long term. Content can include text, images, audio, and video created and distributed on various mediums like blogging platforms, video platforms, social groups/communities or social media platforms (Twitter, Quora, Reddit, Facebook, TikTok, Linkedin). It can be in the form of:
- email marketing
- video tutorials
- press releases
- Q&A platforms and more
SaaS marketers can distribute relevant content via the company website, guest blogging, or various social media websites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
One of the most important aspects of content marketing is search engine optimization (SEO). SEO ranks the content in the search engines of various content distribution platforms (like Google and Youtube). SaaS marketers use different SEO techniques to fine-tune their SaaS content so that when prospects search for relevant terms in the search engine, their product link pops up at the top.
SaaS marketers use audio/video content marketing strategies to attract a wide range of audiences. As mentioned in the previous section, they can make personalized content for different customer segments. Because content marketing is an extensive domain, it is often carried out by a content marketing agency that specializes in SaaS content marketing. The agency can develop a robust content marketing strategy, including demand generation and lead generation, to build customer interest and position the SaaS company as an industry leader.
4. Intelligent Referral Marketing
In marketing, referral marketing is skyrocketing as a leading customer acquisition strategy. Referral marketing uses word of mouth from existing customers to attract new customers. The existing customers act as brand advocates and endorse the SaaS product. They typically receive small monetary benefits or discounts when someone uses their referral link to sign up or purchase the SaaS product.
Besides existing customers, SaaS marketers use referral marketing to gain the followers of digitally established individuals. This is also known as influencer marketing, where the SaaS company pays or collaborates with the social media influencer to market the product in front of their niche, enthusiastic audience.
Influencer marketing is like a celebrity endorsement that focuses more on connecting with potential customers as the influencers are emotionally and socially closer to the general public than a celebrity. For B2B and B2C SaaS businesses, digital content creators on LinkedIn and Twitter can be excellent candidates for influencer marketing.
Besides customers and influencers, SaaS marketers may use third-party publishers to promote their SaaS brand for a small commission fee. This is known as affiliate marketing.
5. Enable Multi-Channel Buying for Customer
Your SaaS customers use different social and digital channels or platforms daily. Why aren’t you?
Multi-channel marketing also referred to as omnichannel marketing—with a slight difference, is a vital SaaS marketing strategy. Either way, they are one of the most widely used marketing best practices.
Omnichannel is more customer-centric as it aims to offer a seamless buying experience to customers across all channels, including social media, email, physical stores, online stores, and various online marketplaces. It integrates the same company and customer data across these channels to facilitate the customer.
In contrast, multi-channel marketing is more product-centric as it uses various channels to sell the B2B product. Multi-channel marketing strategy does not necessarily imply omnichannel as the product data synchronization and configuration may not be consistent across channels. For instance, a SaaS application may have different features for various deployment environments due to compatibility or integration issues.
Both approaches enhance customer experience with minor differences. However, due to the complexity of executing these approaches, hiring or outsourcing a specialized SaaS marketing agency is the best strategy to ensure results.
6. Take Advantage of Organic Social Media
Continuing our discussion from the previous strategy, SaaS marketers leverage social media channels to attract prospects and leads organically. In fact, in recent years, social media marketing has become the most common and highly potent SaaS marketing strategy.
As of January 2022, there are around 4.62 billion social media users. Like regular social media users, SaaS customers also use various social media channels, of which LinkedIn and Twitter are very significant. You can find company executives, managers, and decision-makers to engage and sell your SaaS products directly.
Social media marketing is great for announcing new features and products. It gives you the initial boost needed to position these features in front of a global audience. The audience can provide immediate product feedback, which SaaS marketers can filter and share with the development team to make quick changes.
Social media marketing is also commonly used to share content such as educational blog posts or videos. It can provide high social proof and represent the company’s culture to attract millions of people on these platforms. SaaS marketers can also run paid ads on these platforms. 79% of marketers reported running paid advertising via social media in a 2021 Hubspot blog poll.
7. Offer Free Trials or a Freemium Model
Freemium is a commonly used software distribution model. SaaS businesses offer free trials and demos as part of their marketing strategy. It is a clever software distribution model that enables customers to use it free of cost. In certain applications, it is also referred to as the community edition. Once they are in, they will likely continue using your SaaS product.
SaaS marketers can determine which strategy would work best for their targeted audience. It can be a free trial or a transition from a trial to a paid version. They can also restrict free signup with an attached credit/debit card. Moreover, the free version or trial can be limited to 7, 30, or 90 days.
Some companies offer free credits for a specific period, such as Amazon Web Services (A.W.S.), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). All three companies offer specific credits to use their cloud offerings for a fixed time.
8. Experiment With Pricing plan
The SaaS business model is generally different from the traditional business model, so marketers experiment with various pricing plans as part of their SaaS marketing strategy.
Besides the freemium version we have discussed above, there are various SaaS pricing plans, including:
- per user
- per feature
- usage-based or pay-as-you-go
For instance, a SaaS product can be offered at USD 80 per week. Or a pay-as-you-go model could charge the customers only when the SaaS product is running. These pricing plans are mostly subscription-based. The B2B company may offer dedicated, personalized resources, including a dynamic pricing policy in large enterprises.
9. Make It Easy to Sign Up
Customers may not get a good first impression if your signup or onboarding process takes too long.
SaaS marketers ensure that customers are hand-held throughout the onboarding process as part of their marketing strategy. Onboarding could result as a part of successful SaaS marketing campaigns.
SaaS customer onboarding involves bringing customers up to speed. It can include demos, welcome tutorial series, in-app product tours, getting started guides, and more. Furthermore, customer onboarding can be self-service, low-touch, and high-touch.
10. Build a community around your product
Humans seek social and emotional connections, which is why being part of a community is very impactful. SaaS applications that offer communities where customers can ask questions and interact with each other are a potent SaaS product marketing strategy.
SaaS marketers can run and manage these communities to promptly respond to customer or prospect queries. Within a SaaS community, someone might have already faced your issues and would answer them quickly.
11. Measure your SaaS Marketing Performance Using KPIs and Metrics
If not appropriately measured, marketing efforts would result in frail and non-actionable strategies. As a marketing strategy, SaaS marketers use various key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics to measure how well their marketing campaigns are performing in attracting potential customers, customer engagement, lead generation, customer retention, and customer acquisition.
Evaluating KPIs involves analyzing customer data to calculate various marketing metrics such as
- Customer Acquisition Value
- Customer Lifetime Value (CTLV)
- Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)
- Net Promoter Score (NPS)
- Churn Rate
- Customer Retention Cost (CRC)
However, each SaaS business is unique. SaaS marketers analyze the metrics they need to measure and what KPIs they need to evaluate to offer data-driven marketing decisions.
12. Enhance User Experience by Offering Killer Customer Support
High-quality customer service is a no-brainer in any industry, particularly the SaaS market. Customer support is applicable before and after purchase. However, its significance increases greatly after the customer has bought a subscription plan. SaaS marketers use various strategies to enhance user experience.
One of these strategies includes incorporating customer support in all customer touchpoints across the entire SaaS sales funnel. These touch points include social media platforms, digital events, product reviews, billing emails, customer onboarding, customer loyalty programs, and many more. These require customer support to keep the SaaS customer motivated for long-term engagement.
13. Augment SEO content marketing with PPC first
Since this post was initially published by Hubspot, which virtually invented inbound, they start by talking about content marketing. Much like pagely, they mention that PPC advertising stops delivering value once you stop. Content marketing is an asset.
There are some fine, nuanced points here that must be addressed.
1) Will your content continue to drive brand value 2 years later if you slowly lose your first-page ranking?
2) Hubspot says:
“A key advantage of content marketing is that it has a compounding power of return — just like a smart investment, it increases in value over time. Importantly, content continues to drive leads, whereas other forms of marketing, like pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, will only do so for as long as you continue spending.”
Yes, your content will continue to drive leads for as long as you maintain your SEO rankings.
Do you mean that once I get to the top of Google, I will not always be on page 1 for years to come?
Will my SaaS miss out on leads if I stop ranking in the top 5?
Much like PPC advertising, your SEO-friendly content pieces must be updated over time to bring in leads. Yes, if you stop PPC ads, new leads won’t trickle in directly through PPC anymore. This thinking assumes a single touch point that leads to a direct conversion type of attribution model. We’re not in 2002 anymore, and people spend much time researching every service and product they come across.
This nuanced point is somewhat laughable when you consider today’s state of the customer journey.
Most users take many different paths before they convert.
To imply that Inbound marketing is the holy grail and you don’t need PPC. means you don’t understand modern user behaviour. It also fails to explain how these touch points influence each other along the user journey.
To add insult to injury, most inbound marketers omit that Google Analytics or Search Console encrypt user search queries. This means you have no idea what your organic users are doing to find your content and, ultimately, what keywords drive organic leads.
It’s the opposite for SEM For example, Google Ads or Bing Ads will let you bid on specific keywords to provide you with a search terms report. The report outlines what users typed in to click on your ads. This report tells you which specific keywords led to a direct or assisted conversion. This is extremely powerful because it’s highly measurable. You can see what the user typed in, what device they used, and the time of day or geographical location. This way, you understand which channel drives your B2B SaaS performance.
“In addition to that, if your PPC leads display strong MQL intent, you can optimize your traffic and focus bids on these specific terms. Furthermore, smart SaaS marketers use this intel to build an inbound content marketing strategy.”
Most people do this backwards.
We don’t know.
We also ask ourselves this question a lot.
Find proven, high converting keywords and do inbound based on data-informed decisions instead of SEO keyword hunches.
It makes good business sense to find out which keywords work well for your business before doing inbound.
Consider how often many businesses get sold on inbound strategies and a year later have poor results, even though they rank well.
Another point to consider is that you can’t rank organically for every keyword or maintain the #1 position in the organic results for years. You have to keep a very close eye on competitors to maintain rankings.
Does your SaaS have the resources for this?
Competitors are doing similar things as you are and have access to the same spy tools as you do.
That’s not the case for PPC.
It’s difficult to get accurate PPC data from your competitors.
This allows you to maintain a competitive advantage and marketing stealth in a world of spy tools.
There is also the nature of Google’s algorithm changes that happen regularly.
You can find hundreds of articles about disaster stories where people lost much business because their rankings tanked.
Yes, that could happen to your SaaS tomorrow as well.
Let’s consider this quick example that you likely engaged in at some point earlier this week:
You saw an ad on Instagram and then searched on Google to click on an organic YouTube result. Now you’re watching a service or a product video review on YouTube. Next, you read another blog on an alternative SaaS product. A few days later, you see a remarketing video on LinkedIn and come back to convert. This customer journey can happen in minutes or span a few days, depending on how clever the marketing funnel is.
Using Paid ads and clever Marketing Automation, you can speed up the sales cycle. Ultimately, you can now see that PPC builds brand value with or without inbound marketing. This also means PPC, as a channel, does have a lasting impact on your SaaS marketing growth.
However, let’s take one step back and consider the other side…
Inbound marketing may influence PPC performance and vice-versa.
Google Ads can improve organic CTR if you rank at the top of the 1st page, while high organic rankings have proven to boost PPC CTR. This is due to perceived expertise and trust signals.
Our final take on this is such:
You should use organic and paid mediums together if you truly want to achieve lasting growth.
If you’re serious about lasting SaaS growth, look at PPC and Inbound content marketing as one unified strategy.
You should design a comprehensive PPC strategy that fuels inbound to achieve 1 outcome; more high-quality leads that convert into SaaS customers faster.
Bonus — Automate Processes
The 21st century is the age of automation.
Automation has increased rapidly due to the growing adoption rate in the cloud market. Cloud software products are becoming part of every organization’s work stack.
The marketing industry, in particular, is using automation to its full extent. Automating various processes is part of the marketing plan for most marketers.
As one of these various automation processes, SaaS marketers use hyper-personalization—a juiced-up version of customer segmentation. It uses data, analytics, automation, and A.I. to deliver tailored experiences to customers. For instance, Adobe Dynamic Chat uses A.I. to offer personalized and contextual communication with each website or application visitor.
Hyper-personalization targets customers individually by highlighting minute differences among different people in a segment. It covers all customer touchpoints in a SaaS sales funnel, including custom advertising, a unique landing page, custom recommendations, tailored pricing, personalized communication via chatbots on a customer-preferred digital channel, tailored loyalty programs, discounts, and more. It is one of the most advanced data-driven marketing practices that enable B2B businesses to maximize revenue, reduce costs, and elevate the customer experience.
Moreover, SaaS marketers use application programming interfaces (APIs) to collect customer data. Typically, these APIs are offered by companies willing to share their customer data. SaaS marketers use them to build better customer personas. They can also build custom APIs to collect data as per their requirements.
Build a State-of-the-Art SaaS Marketing Strategy With Algocentric
Successful SaaS marketing combines offering a great product, understanding your customer personas and pain points, positioning the SaaS product, writing engaging content, offering demos and free trials, and turning leads into long-term customers with quality customer support.
SaaS marketing may feel overwhelming. And applying all those marketing strategies can be quite intimidating, which is why hiring or outsourcing your marketing needs to a professional SaaS marketing agency can be helpful. A SaaS marketing agency would help create demand for your business and generate quality inbound leads.
Algocentric Digital Consultancy is a B2B SaaS marketing consultancy that can help you achieve business goals with AI-powered marketing strategies. We provide the competitive advantage you need to become more visible in front of your prospects. Our marketing strategies are backed by data-informed decisions that can help you scale your SaaS business.