Sep 26, 2019

The Ultimate Guide to Marketing for SaaS Companies: 5 winning SaaS marketing strategies

Updated: January 23, 2023

It’s no secret that Software-as-a-Service and other cloud-based solutions are a growth industry no matter what the economic winds blow their way. However, no matter how successful your SaaS products are, you can’t afford to rest on your laurels. Savvy cloud computing companies need market-dominating SaaS strategies that skyrocket their products past the competition.

But reaching today’s buyers in the B2B and B2C sectors requires much more than mere luck or gut instinct. Instead, effective marketing for SaaS, including B2B SaaS marketing strategies, requires aligning your sales and marketing teams, performing research, gathering and analyzing data and developing a strong understanding of digital marketing.

In this article, we’ll go over SaaS marketing strategy, including what’s happening in 2023 when it comes to marketing SaaS and other cloud computing solutions to B2B and B2C companies. Keep reading to discover invaluable insights and SaaS marketing tips including:

  • Economic and market forces influencing marketing for SaaS companies
  • Data-based marketing for SaaS companies
  • How to use the buyer’s journey to craft a SaaS marketing plan
  • Which metrics to track to ensure the success of your SaaS marketing campaigns
  • Crucial SaaS marketing strategies like competitive research, brand positioning and brand messaging
  • Essential digital marketing tactics like SEO and content marketing for SaaS products

The SaaS market will continue to grow in 2023

SaaS Market Growth

Software as a Service (SaaS) is a booming industry that rakes in more than $100 billion per year. According to Statista, SaaS will only continue to grow and is projected to reach $195 billion by 2023. Moreover, despite economic uncertainty, Gartner predicts that global IT spending will grow by 5.1% in 2023. As enterprise-level businesses look to lower cost and increase value and efficiency, they’re likely to increase spending in technology, including SaaS solutions that can help them accelerate those efforts in ways that drive higher returns. There’s no better time to get into software distribution via cloud computing.

For seasoned SaaS companies and those who are new to the game, it is also the right time to craft a winning marketing strategy. But what does a successful marketing plan look like in a niche B2B sector such as SaaS? Keep reading to discover SaaS marketing and advertising best practices, including tips, tricks and tactics to craft an unbeatable marketing strategy for SaaS products.

Best practices for how to market SaaS products

When you’re looking for SaaS marketing ideas or for SaaS product marketing tactics that boost sales and drive revenue, you need to go beyond the basics. In the tech world, traditional marketing alone won’t cut it. Today’s B2B buyers are online, regardless of industry. And in 2023, even non-technology companies will be looking for SaaS and other cloud-based IT solutions such as, Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS).

So, how do you develop effective advertising and marketing strategies for SaaS? What is the best B2B plan for market-dominating SaaS companies? How do you find and market to customers who are searching for SaaS products?

Marketers for SaaS companies are lucky in that there are a number of tactics and tools readily available to help develop such a plan. We look at some of the most important below.

Know your audience and where they are in the SaaS buyer’s journey

For starters, your SaaS product and your marketing campaigns need to appeal to audiences at each stage of the customer journey. There is no typical SaaS buyer’s journey like there might be for many consumer products. Instead, it will change based on the product or platform focus, etc. And, in the B2B world, things become even more complex. The buyer’s journey doesn’t resemble a funnel at all, but a complex maze of intersecting pathways. Your prospects will enter and exit this maze at multiple points. They might even go backwards or jump ahead, then abandon the journey for months at a time. It’s vital you research your audience and their buying behaviors to understand how they move through the funnel. And, if your focus is enterprise SaaS, then the B2B buyer’s journey is even more complex.

To break it down, a well-rounded, comprehensive SaaS marketing plan will not only help nurture prospects and leads, but also facilitate conversion by educating them on the service at hand. It will be effective at retaining those customers and turning them into brand advocates. That’s what a fully fleshed-out, winning SaaS digital marketing strategy looks like.

Look at key metrics

The next step is to know what metrics to look at to ensure the tactics you use in your B2B SaaS marketing strategy are effective. There are three crucial metrics SaaS companies need to focus on to measure success:

  • CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost)
  • LTV (Lifetime Value of Customer)
  • ROI (Return on Investment)

Knowing how much it costs to acquire a customer will inform your marketing strategies. Being able to predict the net profits of the future relationship with that customer will tell you how to engage with the customer going forward. And being able to quantify return on investment (ROI) will tell you what you need to do to increase overall profits.

Google Search Console Screenshot

Perform competitor research

How your organization utilizes metrics in your SaaS product marketing is one thing; knowing how the competition does it is equally vital. Proper competitive research means analyzing everything you can about all your competitors. What SaaS digital marketing strategies are they using? What’s their organic ranking in search? Do they have a strong presence on social media? How many backlinks do they have? Are they running PPC ads – search ads, display ads, etc.?

Sounds like a painstaking, research-intensive process, doesn’t it? Luckily there are many competitor analysis tools out there to make this step a breeze. These tools will tell you, among other things:

  • Why your SaaS product keywords aren’t profitable when compared to the competition
  • How to outrank websites for SaaS products similar to yours
  • How many unique visitors your competitors generate per month
  • How to compare traffic statistics
  • Who is sharing your competitors’ content
  • What kind of social mentions and shares your competitors are getting

And, make no mistake, developing a superb SEO strategy utilizing common keywords is crucial to digital marketing success. More on this below.

Craft a solid brand

To stand out from the sea of SaaS options your customers have to choose from, sound SaaS marketing strategy must consider brand and brand messaging as more than an afterthought. Marketing SaaS products – more than any other type of B2B solution – demands solid, clear, cohesive brand, brand positioning and brand messaging.

Moreover, brand assets and messaging must focus on tangible, concrete benefits and real-world examples. Technology, especially more abstract concepts like cloud computing, multicloud, multi-access edge computing and even SaaS – are hard for less technology savvy buyers outside of the IT department to grasp. Most of the time your prospects will have a keen understanding of all things IT. Yet, there are influencers and gatekeepers who will not.

That’s why it’s critical to create branding and brand positioning that includes elements like your unique selling proposition (UCP), your brand personality and key benefits. Cohesive brand messaging that’s targeted to each buyer persona and where they are in the sales funnel is also equally vital. Without these elements, the rest of your SaaS marketing efforts won’t be as successful.

Generate organic leads through SEO

Knowing what keywords your target audience is searching for on the internet is the essence of search engine optimization best practices. To this end, no marketing strategy for SaaS products is complete without a good SEO game. And with SaaS marketing tools for SEO like Semrush, this type of research has never been easier. You can search audience keywords, competitor keywords, find best-ranking keywords, identify gaps in your keyword strategy and much more.

In general, though, the strategy of targeting prospects looking for SaaS companies through their search behaviors should be a simple one. Say you are a SaaS company that has produced a workplace collaboration and chat tool. Your audience will likely be performing searches using words like “workflow,” “productivity,” “video chat,” etc.

Knowing what your audience is searching for will also help SaaS companies create buyer personas based on the specific interests of their niche audience.

However, there are also ways in which SEO for SaaS companies can be more difficult, particularly if your company doesn’t have much in the way of a website or other content. It’s that last part that leads us to our next point.

Focus on content marketing

Even in an age where new technologies such as augmented reality, machine learning and the Internet of Things are making big headlines, content remains king. Audiences still crave eye-catching content that raises awareness, offers education and removes pain points during the purchase cycle.

And according to the latest research from HubSpot, most B2B organizations make the same mistake, and that includes SaaS companies. They focus on providing content that informs their target audience about their own company, product or service, and not on the problem. Instead, target content to the correct stage of your SaaS buyer’s journey and to each individual member of a B2B company’s purchase committee. For example, during the awareness stage, SaaS marketing content should educate buyers on effective solutions to their pain points.

And that’s not all. A solid content strategy is going to incorporate authoritative content like e-books, whitepapers and case studies as well as video content like webcasts, webinars and vlogs. Then there’s podcasting, which has become a popular medium in its own right and one SaaS companies are finding success with.

But don’t just create content for the sake of content. An unbeatable SaaS content marketing strategy means understanding your target audience members so well that you know which type of content they want and how they want that content delivered.

Is it a short video case study on LinkedIn? Or do they prefer reading about SaaS products and solutions in something like a whitepaper? Who are you targeting and where? Would you send the same content about your SaaS services to a CFO or CEO that you would to the company software developer or IT director? Probably not.

Always remember that to maximize the reach and potential of your content, you should tailor it to your potential customers based on their job positions, purchase habits, locations—any bit of data that can help you segment an audience down to the individual.

Take your SaaS digital marketing to the next level

The above tips are a good starting point to craft the perfect marketing strategy for your SaaS company. Once you’ve got an idea of how you can augment it with other tactics such as investing in PPC ads for lead generation, crafting an effective email strategy and engaging your target customers on social media, the sky really is the limit.

Marketing is changing at a rapid pace, and that’s even more true for SaaS. Elevation Marketing has the skills, experience and tools that can help you climb to new heights. We know what makes today’s technology buyers tick – where they are and how to reach them. We also understand how to leverage technology and data to create winning creative. Contact us to discover how our proven research-driven methodology helps clients get the best results.

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