Software-as-a-service is a relatively specific niche, so when you're developing your marketing strategy, it's important to be aware of the crowd you're marketing to. Whether you go the popular way of offering "free trials" or stick to the "content is king" model, Saas marketing can still be tricky to figure out. We asked seven experts:
What is the most important factor in SaaS marketing?
SEO and Content are still important factors for SaaS marketing success. Content that earns the attention of the target customer and then sells to them.
But I think one emerging factor for the SaaS world is influencer marketing. It's been around for a long time and has gained momentum the last 5-7 years in the social media world especially for fashion-type goods, but now it's really expanding into other markets, including SaaS.
For SaaS companies it's finding the influencers that have the attention of your target customer and connecting with a pitch. Sometimes free access might work. Other times it might take money. Let them do their thing. It's an opportunity right now.
Dayne Shuda, Ghost Blog Writers
The content needs to convince potential users that you understand their business and associated pain points; and that your service is a solution worth their investment. Telling your story is of utmost importance to emotionally connect with people before they will trust you enough to buy from you.
Establishing a solid foundation on LinkedIn is important. Reaching out to help is the best way to build trust; and publishing expert level content on LinkedIn helps to build credibility. Using video is also important. Prospects can see your authenticity and sense your commitment.
Having reviews and testimonials provides credibility. Ensure that users cite the helpful benefits they experienced; as opposed to just saying that they liked a certain feature.
Vito Michael Santoro, Vaetas
After 9 years of work, I can assure you that the MOST important factors for SaaS marketing is: content marketing. Having gone from 0 users to more than 21.5M the key is to build content that educates and at the same time help users to identify your company as an EXPERT in the industry.
In this way, the next time this client has a question about our area of knowledge, he will NOT search for it in Google, but will come directly to our site.
This is what we do and what we focus on, thanks to this work, our traffic is currently 79.4% through direct access to our site.
An example of this is when we create content on how to compare different investment instruments for 2018, we do not say that our software is better than the others, but we simply focus on providing a comparison that generates value and helps the user, we educate!
Then this same user will think first of us when looking for content and someone reliable.
Always remember: you MUST first educate and build trust with your content, then sell.
Cristian Rennella, elMejor Trato
Content is not only important in driving awareness of your service, but for SaaS companies it is key to educating users during a trial period. Often times, alot of marketing goes into getting people to sign up for your free trial, but once they sign up, everything stops. To convert those trial users into paying customers, content in the form of how-to emails, blog articles, guides and video tutorials, will help users engage with your product often and see its value right away. A great customer service team to help walk customers through the process if needed is important as well!
Melani Deyto, TextMarks
Account based Marketing funnels are a hyper-effective way to market your SaaS business. Define your most important customer groups by title, industry, or any other narrow segment. Then make content for their specific decision making process. Where are they searching for answers to their problems? What would interest this particular group about your solution?
Go deep, think of their specific challenges and how you play a part in solving them. At the end of your funnel you should incorporate some personal outreach, an email or phone call does wonders for conversions. Account based marketing funnels target very specific market segments, helping you cut past the noise of traditional marketing messaging and focus on your very best customers.
Tim Jernigan, Badger Maps
One key component in SaaS marketing is making good use of lead magnets to collect email addresses as email marketing is an effective way to turn leads into customers (as well as onboarding & retention). The key is to customize the lead magnet to a specific audience so that it provides real value by offering them information that they are most likely looking for.
So instead of having the same call-to-action on every blog post or creating one guide that you think would be useful for potential customers, create mini-guides that are specific to your best blog posts. The blog post themselves should also be highly valuable themselves - otherwise why would a potential lead think that whatever your lead magnet offers would be of value (and therefore why would they give up their email address).
Josh, Field Boom
Easily, the most important factor when marketing for SaaS is understanding who you're marketing. Who needs your service? Why do they need it? What obstacles are they facing? Most importantly, how are they researching their problem?
Once you understand the very real-world problems your audience is facing, you'll be better equipped to solve their problems. You'll be able to target top-of-the-funnel keyword groups and content gaps for your SEO efforts. Creating relevant and engaging social media campaigns for your mid-funnel prospects gets easier when you know what obstacles they're struggling to overcome.
SEO, content marketing, social campaigns, webinars, outbound email campaigns, it's all important, and it's all necessary. SaaS marketing is a multi-touch effort that must deliver targeted messaging.
An effective SaaS marketing campaign, especially for B2B, requires an in-depth understanding of who needs what, when. It increases your odds of being at the right place at the right time.
Daniel Davidson, By Dan