Is it even possible to determine what that number is today? With the proliferation of SaaS and tech companies, can you confidently say that you’re aware of all your competitors, from the leaders on down to the newcomers ready to pounce?
The SaaS market’s explosion means you need to work hard at standing out. Your ability to survive—and thrive — in the market depend on it.
What’s the best way to get your company seen and heard? Read on for our top SaaS marketing strategies.
7 Tips For Promoting Your SaaS Company
Rising above the clamor in a highly noisy SaaS environment is a challenge for sure, especially if your field is already dominated by heavyweights. But there are ways you can separate yourself from the pack.
A lot of these strategies are borrowed from universal marketing best practices. They’re practical steps for any brand, of any industry, regardless if it’s B2B or B2C. A few are specific to markets more technical in nature.
Whatever you pursue, make sure that you:
Differentiate yourself. We’ve already talked about how competitive this industry is. So what makes your product the best option?
Keep in mind the pain points of your prospects. If their needs are the focus, then you’re in a better position to both generate and convert leads.
Recognize the nuances of SaaS. Your customers aren’t deciding on office equipment. They’re selecting a software option that will require time to implement, learn, and develop new practices.
The following SaaS marketing tactics need to be part of your toolbox in attracting attention.
Let’s pretend your company offers payroll solutions. You want anyone searching online for “payroll software” to find your site without having to scroll through multiple pages.
Patriot’s Payroll Software ranks high in organic search for “payroll software”
Honing in on search engine optimization (SEO) is key to making your website appear high in the search engine results page, aka SERP.
A whole bunch of SEO factors determine where your content ranks on popular search engines like Google. Search engine algorithms take into account various aspects—keywords, website speed, mobile-friendliness, authoritative links, and more—to decipher how well you’re meeting users’ needs.
The better your SEO, the better your SERP ranking. And the better you’re able to attract organic traffic.
2. Email Marketing
Email tops the marketing list for return on investment (ROI). An eMarketer study determined that the median email marketing ROI is 122%—four times higher than other digital marketing channels.
It’s been around forever, but it still performs. Perhaps that can be attributed to its opt-in nature. Someone who subscribes to a brand’s email newsletter demonstrates that they want to hear from the brand.
Email’s evolution has also contributed to its staying power. Marketers don’t have to resort to a “spray and pray” approach of sending the same message to everyone. Email service providers of today are equipped for sophisticated targeting.
Here are a few pointers for making the most out of email marketing:
Collect subscribers by using dynamic sign-up forms and popups on your website
Segment your subscribers, breaking them into smaller groups based on aspects such as demographics and engagement with your emails
Create automated emails in response to user actions, such as a welcome series for new subscribers (they work; Omnisend research for the first half of 2021 shows automated emails generated 32% of all email marketing orders but accounted for only 2.4% of sends)
A WordPress automated email, in response to a new subscriber
Include a clear call to action (CTA)
A/B test to identify content that resonates, and ideas that need a tune-up
3. Free Product Access
We believe in the idea of product-led growth. It’s the notion that you let your product do the selling.
Allow your prospects to experience your product and its features for free, no strings attached. It’s a fantastic way to demonstrate the power of your software. Expose them to the capabilities firsthand so they can see how your solution can diminish their challenges.
Free trial periods are a popular option. If they haven’t converted into paying customers by then, offer an incentive. It’s also an ideal time to ask for feedback. Question which aspects they liked, and what was subpar or lacking altogether.
Hootsuite offers a free trial with each of its plans
Alternatively, offer a “freemium” version whereby no-cost access is granted indefinitely. You can limit the features to give a taste of your software, or ungate it all but with restrictions in place. Either way, freemiums are great for bringing users into your ecosystem. The model also makes it easy to “scale up” to other plans as they grow.
4. Compelling Content
Superb content marketing is not just about developing a foothold that manifests in a fantastic SEO showing. It’s about establishing your brand as a true, trusted expert.
Content marketing involves creating content that is highly valuable to your prospects and customers. Their pain points and questions should be at the center of anything you compose.
It can be educational (how to solve an issue or use your product), informative (industry news or product developments), or purely promotional (sharing your brand story or celebrating a client’s success).
Here are some tips for building authority with well-crafted pieces:
Embrace variety. Blog posts, videos, white papers, podcasts, thought leadership pieces, customer testimonials … and the list goes on. Don’t be afraid to take the less-traveled content path, either.
Repurpose. Leverage the content you’ve worked hard on. Produced a massive white paper? Slice and dice it. Create an infographic, for instance, or extract portions for a social media post series.
Keep producing. We’re not saying you have to be a content factory, especially if you have limited resources. Rather, aim to publish consistently and refresh pieces with updated stats, trends and examples.
Share it. Spread the word directly to your audience through email marketing and social media. Make it shareable so they can do the same.
Analyze. Examine your content’s performance through tools such as Google Analytics and adjust accordingly.
5. Social Media
Some SaaS leaders may assume social media is best for B2C businesses, with little relevancy for B2B brands. Not true.
There are a lot of platforms that might not make sense for your business. But some do, and they are the ones where your target audience spends time. Identifying the appropriate platforms is the first step toward formulating a social media strategy. Thereafter, here are a few useful tips:
Build relationships. Use social media to connect with followers. Communicate in a friendly and natural way. Stay away from direct advertising if you want a strong following.
Offer value. Compelling content rears its head again. Social media is a vehicle for sharing it.
Responding to comments. Especially if you are running ads on Facebook or any other platform. Because a lot of people will notice your ads and your communication.
Use a social media management tool. Keep yourself on track with a solution for scheduling posts. Extra features to consider include alerts for viral opportunities or urgent responses, audience engagement insights, trend monitoring and analytics.
Zendesk uses social media to promote its content
6. SaaS Affiliate Programs
With all of the communication channels at our disposal, not a lot can match the competency of good-ole’ word-of-mouth referrals.
In the SaaS domain, this is where affiliate programs come into play. You already have satisfied customers. Ask them to promote your greatness and reward them for it. It’s typical to offer a discount or monetary benefit for each referral that becomes a paying customer.
It’s a win-win situation. Customers receive incentives to sing your praises. You gain new customers without having to expend “boots on the ground” effort—just providing support by facilitating communication and offering advice as needed.
7. Online Advertising and Directories
Within the realm of SaaS marketing, online advertising is on the more expensive side. But sometimes it’s the shot in the arm you need. For one, it builds your brand’s reputation. Second, it’s a way to reach online users interested in what you have to offer, who might otherwise not know you exist if your SEO rankings are low.
Traditional pay-per-click advertising programs run through search engines such as Google. But there are also advertising options on social media platforms and through industry newsletters.
How about an online directory that specializes in software services? Some are free to post while others require a fee. Here are SaaS-friendly examples we recommend checking out:
Software For Projects
TDLR: These SaaS Marketing Strategies Will Show Your Value
Any shopper contemplating a SaaS purchase has a big decision to make amid a dizzying array of options. You need to ensure you’re not just a blip on the radar.
All of the SaaS marketing strategies above—SEO, email marketing, free product access, compelling content, social media, SaaS affiliate programs, and online advertising and directories—will position you well in attracting attention. Whichever paths you choose, use them to address your prospects’ pain points and differentiate yourself.
We are confident that these techniques do more than draw interest. They serve an important role in convincing prospects that your product is worth the expense.
Laura Cerbauske is an experienced digital marketing and SEO specialist at Omnisend - an Ecommerce Marketing Automation platform. When she's not blogging, she likes to read about SEO, digital marketing and e-commerce trends, technology, and personal productivity.