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Most people use SaaS products every single day, sometimes without even realizing it. That’s because SaaS, as a business concept, can be difficult to grasp.
There are several strategies you can employ to overcome these hurdles - and as with most marketing worth its salt, selling SaaS requires creativity, genuine consumer engagement, and a killer product to back it all up. Read on to learn more.
What Is SaaS Marketing?
SaaS stands for software as a service, and it refers to online applications used by companies and consumers on a free or subscription basis. You access the product through the Internet, but the software remains on the company’s server.
This can be an appealing model for consumers and companies alike, as it doesn’t involve installing and arranging complex software. The software is already set up.
When it comes to marketing your products to consumers, this can create a unique challenge for SaaS companies. Because consumers will never actually own your product in a traditional sense, you have to thoroughly explain the benefits of renting your services.
Differences between B2B and B2C SaaS Marketing
The most important marketing strategy is understanding your potential customers. Are they other businesses or private consumers?
SaaS marketing in B2B is a longer process with more negotiation, but it’s easier to identify a target audience. For example, if you offer a streamlined employee timesheet and payroll service, you’d likely want to attract the HR department in any given company.
When it comes to B2C, your target audience widens considerably. If anyone can use your service, it becomes harder to identify the groups that are most likely to do so. However, you’ll find that your sales cycle moves much faster.
New software and updates to existing software are launched every day, and the normal consumer will be quick to buy, but quick to upgrade to a better product as well. In B2C especially, you have to build a strong brand, or you’ll get lost in the shuffling world of SaaS.
SaaS Marketing Strategies
With 73% of businesses planning to convert all systems to SaaS software by 2020, it’s essential to be ahead of the curve in this market. Below are several methods you can use to cut through the noise and attract consumers to your product.
1. Optimize your website for consumers and conversions
Your product’s website will likely be your first consumer touchpoint. This is where consumers form their first impressions.
Provide clear and easy-to-find information as they scroll through your website. That way, consumers feel they know enough about your product to make a decision. Use call-to-action (CTA) buttons with intentional placement to prompt consumers to take action.
Note: The most effective CTAs are descriptive and actionable. For example, “Grow Your Revenue.”
2. Offer free trials
Ask anyone who’s ever bought a car from a dealership, and they’ll say they took a test drive before they made their purchase. While SaaS is far outside the realm of automobiles, the concept carries over.
Offer consumers a free trial so they can take your product for a spin. They’ll have a better idea of what they’re buying, and it'll help you gain their trust. Plus, free trials are more enticing to the tech-savvy crowd than sales pitches and advertisements.
When you let people try your product for free, you show them it’s worth buying.
3. Don’t underestimate word-of-mouth
Those who have used and enjoyed your product become priceless to your marketing strategy. Encourage your ambassadors to share their experience with friends, family and colleagues by offering incentives, like a free month of membership or in-app purchases.
Check out this guide to referral incentives for more ideas.
4. Observe the competition
If you notice a similar SaaS company getting more visibility, take note of their strategies. How is their website arranged? Is their content clear, succinct and powerful? Do they offer special deals to loyal customers and businesses?
Then, try to understand where your customers are ending up when they search for your product. What keywords are they using to land on your competitors' sites? Part of your strategy may include targeting those keywords to direct traffic to your own site.
Looking at what your competition is doing can unlock helpful strategies for your own business. You can’t afford to ignore these insights.
5. Consistently improve your product
The foundation of every effective marketing strategy is offering a stellar, unique product. If your product’s not up-to-scratch, your efforts will crumble around that.
Identify issues with your product often and early using customer surveys. The market research you glean from that will influence the updates you make to your product.
It’s important to note that research isn’t a one-and-done task. It’s an ongoing process, and it’s especially important in an industry that can change as frequently as SaaS.
6. Have fantastic customer service
Fantastic customer service is crucial.
Fun fact: 86% of customers would pay up to 25% more in order to get a better customer service experience. And if they’re not finding it at your company, they’ll likely look somewhere else.
You need to have a solid customer service team or representative available, especially if you’re offering a free trial. Users should feel like they have proper support as they navigate your product for the first time.
Now, Get Testing!
These 6 marketing strategies will hopefully provide your SaaS team with a solid foundation to kickstart or improve marketing efforts. Testing different strategies is the most effective way to see what works.
Final tip: An additional strategy may be bringing in a partner to help with your marketing efforts. Learn more about what our team of search marketing experts can do for you.