In growing industries that are quickly becoming saturated, like the Software as a Service—or SaaS—industry, creating digital marketing campaigns that stand out is imperative.
After all, the SaaS industry is made up of at least 15,000 companies, and that number is predicted to continue growing as we all become decidedly more tech-dependent.
If you can’t connect with your audience in a way that excites them, educates them, and anticipates their needs, then your brand will quickly become lost in the sea of options.
In this post, we’ll discuss key principles of digital marketing for SaaS products.
- The best way for SaaS brands to identify their audience
- How to use SEO to bring people to your brand
- Content marketing and thought leadership for SaaS
- Case studies and testimonials
- Creating and marketing a stellar demo
Let’s dive in!
The best way for SaaS brands to identify their audience
Here’s something every SaaS marketer needs to know: Only 3% of buyers say the advertising they see is relevant to them.
That’s a problem that needs to be addressed.
Let’s start with the traditional method of crafting a SaaS buyer persona. We do this by analyzing data. And the information classified as “data” here can be:
- Anecdotal, from sales or customer support
- Evidence-based, as in data that’s collected via Google Analytics or a customer survey
- Third-party, as in data that someone else collected that a brand can purchase or rent
Marketers and salespeople get together and use this data to create hypothetical buyer personas with specific attributes, pain points, etc.
And yes, even with that 3% number leering overhead, these personas are still helpful. You’ve got to start somewhere, after all. The problem is that the data you’re using to create these personas is static (unless you’re updating it every day). This means your SaaS buyer persona may be outdated before you even put it to use.
So how do we get more accurate data for our personas? Zero-party data.
Zero-party data is the highest-quality data you can obtain because it’s information you proactively request from your customer.
This could include information collected through email sign-up forms, questionnaires, surveys, registration forms, etc.
- Go interactive by creating a mobile micro-experience, with 2–4 questions about customers’ motivations, interests, or needs.
- Create a poll on social media.
- Send out a survey.
- Create an email or messaging preference center where customers choose the communications they want to receive.
- Offer a loyalty program where customers receive discounts, early bird pricing, or other perks in exchange for sharing specific information.
By moving from third-party to zero-party data to inform your SaaS buyer personas, you’ll be able to create more targeted marketing campaigns, reduce your unsubscribe rates, and ultimately, increase your sales.
Download The Guide to Digital Marketing for SaaS Brands
How to use SEO to bring people to your brand
For B2B SaaS brands, it’s critical to own the conversations in your industry.
Content marketing and thought leadership are central to this—more on those later. But without B2B SEO, all the valuable content in the world may not bring users to your brand.
SEO starts with your website. You can run a full SEO audit, which analyzes both on-page and off-page SEO, technical issues like site speed, site structure issues, and much more. This is a comprehensive and (let’s be honest) long process, but it’s one that’s well worth it. You’ll need a digital marketing agency to complete this for you if you decide to go this route.
Related post: Here’s Why Your Brand Needs a Virtual Marketing Partner
The other part of SEO, however, has to do with keywords.
The first thing you need to do is identify keywords that relate to your product, brand, and customer personas. Use a tool like SEMRush or Google Keywords to help with this—you’re looking for keywords that are highly relevant, yet also mid-range in volume.
Because the higher the volume for a keyword (like “B2B SAAS demos”), the more it will cost you per click. Plus, higher-volume keywords can become so general that they don’t move the needle or so expensive that it doesn’t make sense to spend the budget, considering how intense your competition for those clicks will be.
So, instead of choosing “B2B SAAS demos,” you could choose “best B2B SAAS demo for mid-size companies,” or “affordable B2B SAAS demo,” or some other variation that fits your product and matches what your audience is searching for.
You’ll continue this process until you’ve identified several keywords that you want to target through your content, thought leadership, and paid advertising strategy. Then, you’ll get to work creating that content and making sure those keywords are included in your website copy. And while it may be tempting to jam-pack your copy with your keywords—always keep in mind that you’re writing for people, not algorithms.
Content marketing and thought leadership for SaaS
Content and thought leadership are always important for B2B brands, but they’re essential for SaaS companies. This is because many SaaS products, no matter how user-friendly they are, have a fairly decent learning curve, and few businesses want to spend days of their employees’ time training them on how to use a new tool.
For SaaS brands, content should include:
- An informational content library with resources for troubleshooting, usage guides, walk-through guides, and other helpful information
- Regular thought leadership from one or more leaders at the company
- Content designed both for customer acquisition and for customer retention
And don’t feel confined to text-based content, either. Videos, images, podcasts, audio clips, and webinars are all excellent formats for SaaS companies to use to connect with their audiences.
Related reading: How to Write Crazy Successful B2B Content in 2022
Case studies and testimonials
Given how important reputation and referrals are in the B2B space, it’s no surprise that SaaS brands should include as many valuable case studies and testimonials as possible in their marketing content.
Case studies should be driven by data as much as possible, with an accompanying narrative to offer context.
Focus your case study around results: you want to show specifically how your product helped your client achieve their goals.
That goal doesn’t have to be solely financial or sales-based. Maybe your client wanted an easy-to-use product that required very little company downtime for training, and your case study is written to show how your UX contributed to shorter training sessions and faster onboarding.
Whatever your case study is about, you need to begin by identifying the client’s goal and how you helped them achieve it. This will help you pull the right data to illustrate your points and tell your story in the most compelling way.
As for testimonials, these are much more straightforward since they come directly from your clients. Each time you have a highly satisfied client, simply ask if they’d be willing to say something about your product or company. Some will decline, but many will say yes—and these rave reviews can go a long way toward helping convert potential customers who are still on the fence.
Creating and marketing a stellar demo
Like all tech brands, SaaS companies need strong demos to help prospects and even current customers see how products work and how they can be used in different contexts.
Demos can come in a few different formats:
- A pre-recorded video, which customers can watch on-demand independently
- An interactive demo that customers access for a specific amount of time—essentially, a basic, truncated version of your service
- A webinar or other guided “tour” of your product, conducted by a salesperson or customer experience professional
Whether you choose one of these or all of them, demos should be well-produced and give customers all the information they’d want to know before buying.
Once you’ve got your demo, it’s time to market it. This is where you’ll need a B2B paid ads strategy: create a landing page specifically for demo signups and then develop ads that lead users directly there.
You can experiment with different copy and different images to see which ads work best. Keep your buyer personas (ideally created using zero-party data!) in mind when crafting these ads, as those personas will be key in making sure your ads succeed.
Digital marketing for SaaS brands can be complicated. If you need some help getting started, give us a call!