7 Simple Strategies For Successful SaaS Marketing You Need To Try In 2023
SaaS marketing is all about achieving two goals. The first is revenue maximisation – more leads, more conversions- and the second maintaining that revenue – creating happy, engaged and evangelical customers and reducing churn.
SaaS or Software as a Service is a business model that generates revenue from an ongoing and regularly renewable subscription model.
Companies that follow this business model, from a marketing perspective, are interested in attracting their perfect client or customer. This perfect customer is someone who will have a high life time value (LTV) and will be someone who will not cancel their subscription early, or churn.
Typically, in order to attach these types of customers, SaaS companies employ a number of repeatable, and scalable activities.
I’ve been a Marketing leader in SaaS companies for many years and have some tried and true methodologies that scale. SaaS marketing is not hard but it is different to other types of marketing. A good SaaS marketing strategy has 7 buckets. It’s the activities in these buckets that get repeated and optimised over time. And it’s these activities or strategies that allow a company to grow, fast.
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1. Content Marketing
Ah the holy grail of content! Organic traffic means that you’ve done the hard yards and created an inbound funnel that begins with great content marketing and filters down to true and loyal customers who become your fans!
Content marketing done right brings in motivated and highly convertible visitors.
You want to make sure you’re creating content around your main keywords. Think about what it is that your customers are searching for – then created answers to these pain points in articles (usually a blog) on your website or on other channels with high intent visitors- like LinkedIn.
Check to see what your competitors are ranking for with a tool like SEMRush or GrowthBar. Then find the gaps in these keywords. (Both have free trials… try them out and see what one’s a fit for you… SEMRush is a wee bit more pricey but has loads more features, GrowthBar is a great starter for optimized content creation). While SEMRush give you more detailed analysis, Growthbar also provides an AI writer to help you write great optimised copy.
Gaps just means keywords that are:
1. easy to rank for that your competitors are not targeting, or
2. niche keywords that are potentially harder to rank for – but that your competitors maybe are not covering very well.
When you use a tool like SEMRush or Growthbar you can see a score for a keyword- this tells you how easy the keyword is to rank for.
You want to be building your content regularly and giving Google signals as to your area of expertise.
For example. Write a series of blog posts on a topic that all link together with internal links. Giving Google a heads up that that particular topic is something you know A LOT about.
Post regularly and be patient! You will be indexed quickly but it can take 4- 6 months to get ranked highly for a particular keyword.
As Google gets the hang of who you are and the value you offer, you’ll soon be ranking for keywords that are highly sought after in your niche.
The great thing about content marketing too is that it creates beacon posts- that are then able to be broken down into sawdust, or micro content, to use on socials, in ads, in website copy and more!
2. Email Workflows
Grab those leads using a lead magnet or offer on a landing page or via a campaign – then utilise them strategically to nurture, then convert them into evangelists.
Email is one of the best ways to reach your target audience and convince them that your product is the one for them.
So many companies forget that email is not simply transactional. Its a powerful tool you can use to give value to your customers.
You want to draw them in with an automated email workflow that takes them on a journey.
Give them short, meaningful, regular communication.
Include links to blog posts and product education.
Ensure that you are giving snippets of value in each, and always hit them with a CTA at the end.
Start your free trial, book a demo, try us for free… you get the point.
Use a great SaaS friendly email service like ConvertKit to help set up your sequences and broadcasts. Then set and forget!
3. Paid Search
Another way to get yourself noticed in the SERPs is to pay to play!
With this strategy, you want to make sure you’re going after keywords that are:
1. Highly relevant to your ideal customer, and
2. Not too competitive in terms of how much you’ll have to pay to get results.
Paid search can be a powerful way to start ranking for highly relevant keywords while you’re just building your organic rankings via content marketing.
Make sure you do your homework though. Use a tool like Ahreffs, SEMRush or even Growthbar to search for keywords that your competitors are targeting. Then, see how much each keywords will cost you. You want to target keywords that will get you the most bang for your buck!
If a keyword is going to cost you an arm and a leg to maintain, perhaps look to build your ranking organically for that one and focus on paying for the more easily won, less competitive ones.
Then, don’t forget to ensure you’re using targeted landing pages to drive your hard earned visitors to. Ensuring visitors land on pages that make sense to their search intent helps to drive up your conversion rate. Visitors literally hit a page that lines up with exactly what and why they were searching. It’s a powerful investment. Use a tool like Unbounce to help you create landing pages super fast with no coding required.
4. Product Marketing
Product Marketing is all about aligning your product with the pain points of your ideal customer. Product marketing simply means showing your customer, or potential customer how your product fits into the space they have for a solution to their problem.
You want to position your messaging and story telling around how your particular solution squarely solves their biggest pain point.
The main thing I think about product marketing is that you want to make it subtle… yet impactful!
Selly is not a good look in SaaS. And if you’re talking about the sausage you’re doing it wrong!
Create compelling stories around your product marketing and find that fit thats so enticing your ideal customer can not help but be drawn to your offering.
When you think of product marketing in contrast to say, content marketing, product marketing is all about the sizzle and the fit, while content marketing is all about attraction.
5. Product Education
Product Education refers to the process of teaching customers about the features and benefits of a product, and how to use it effectively. Product education fills the customer success gap and helps make your customers sticky.
It creates pathways for customers to discover how to effectively use your product and helps them to maximise their usage. So, they will be less likely to churn.
Good SaaS companies often use a variety of product education techniques to help their customers learn and succeed. For example, they may provide detailed blog posts and tutorials, offer live or recorded training sessions or demos, or host webinars to help customers learn about new features and updates.
Some well-known SaaS companies that do a good job of using product education include Salesforce, which offers a variety of training and support options for its customers, and Slack, which provides a wealth of documentation and resources on its website to help users get started and make the most of the platform. Other examples include Zoom, which offers live training sessions and webinars, and Dropbox, which provides a range of tutorials and guides on its website.
The ultimate aim of SaaS marketing is to enable the octopus to do the work for you. That means, make a product so good, and provide such incredible customer success pathways that your customers can’t help themselves when it comes to evangelising your offering!
You want other people to do the work for you. And that means organic PR and organic back linking.
Having others talk widely about your offering means that you generate incredible word of mouth referrals, plus you get the back link juice which serves to pump up the volume in the SERPs.
You cant improve what you can’t measure. It’s that simple. The cornerstone of all great SaaS marketing is being able to draw upon accurate and timely data from which to make your decisions.
You want to find your secret sauce, then scale it. And in order to do this you need access to data.
Finding your unique recipe for success, then replicating and optimising that strategy is the cornerstone of great SaaS marketing. Repeatable tasks that are constantly being improved upon.
Use tools like SEMRush or Growthbar to track your rankings, backlinks and volume. Find whats working- then 10x that!
Growthbar is particularly useful in giving you a broad picture of how well your content is performing.
This is by no means a definitive list of all the things that SaaS marketers should focus on! We’ve missed out MARops, partner programs, relationship and industry management and many other channels. It is however a good starting point for companies looking to create repeatable processes they can build upon.
If I had to pick one channel that offers exceptional, long term and sustainable value for SaaS marketers, it would be content marketing! I may be biased as I have an immense love of writing and blogging, but done right, content marketing can provide a solid foundation from which to build upon.
The long term SEO gains you get are lasting and every time you add a block to your strategy you’re building a sustainable platform from which to continue to build your brand and grow your business.