How to effectively market B2B SaaS: Eight practices for a successful marketing strategy
Where do you start with developing a B2B SaaS marketing strategy? Start by considering these eight best practices and developing each one to suit your company and your target audience.
1. Content is king
Good content marketing is essential for B2B SaaS business. Whether it’s a blog on your website, videos, ebooks, or industry reports, content is the scalable way to get your product in front of the people who need it.
B2B customers do more research and objective comparison than B2C customers. So if you’re in a crowded SaaS market, you might want to consider content where you directly compare your product to the competition.
The review sites that might write these comparisons are a great resource for buyers, but you don’t control what they write about you. By writing the reviews yourself, you can point out what sets you apart from the competition and what appeals directly to your target market. Your content’s titles or H1 headers (website headers) should be keyword-focussed, e.g., “Best VoIP software 2022” or “Shopify alternatives.”
2. Choose your lead magnets
As well as considering SEO, your content strategy needs to consider what content should be gated and what should be free for anyone to read.
Nobody’s going to pay to read an ad. But it’s standard for B2B SaaS companies to ask for an email or phone number for high-value content like studies or industry reports.
There’s no one way to decide what should be gated and what shouldn’t. If you’re producing good content, you want as many eyeballs on it as possible. However, lead magnets are so important for building out your email list. Consider A/B testing which type of post people are willing to “pay for” with their email, then make that the standard you work to.
3. Know your audience
As API providers “eat the world” and B2B SaaS companies increasingly run their operations on the same software, they can increasingly only compete on one thing. How well they know their customer.
A good marketing strategy is centered on detailed buyer personas. In B2B, this often looks like a job role and problems, frustrations, and ambitions someone in that job role in that industry has. Your brand, content, and whole strategy need to tell a compelling story about the user and how your product will solve their problem.
4. Focus on the funnel
Once you’ve got your buyer persona and their “story” worked out, you should align your content strategy with a funnel marketing process.
This involves splitting your leads and your content into the top, middle, and bottom of a funnel. You could think of them as the “attention,” “consideration,” and “purchase” stages, respectively.
To the greatest extent that you can, unify the data you collect across marketing and sales with tools like Sisense and Periscope Data to better place your customers in the marketing funnel.
You can tailor email marketing flows to different customer segments and even individual customers using “hyper-personalisation” methods like dynamic content. Hyper-personalisation goes beyond a “Hey [FIRST_NAME]” subject line and tailors communications to variables as narrow as the specific actions a customer has taken on your website or app.
Use this, combined with your analytics, to figure out how best to move people down the different stages of your funnel.
5. Automate the legwork
AI is transforming every sector, including B2B SaaS companies and their customers. What is interactive voice response (IVR) doing for contact centers? What are chatbots doing for your marketing team? They can’t replace your existing team or remove the need for new hires.
On the contrary, they make your existing team more valuable by freeing up time they’d spend on low-value, easily automated tasks. As IVR takes care of simple customer calls, a chatbot on your site can answer simple questions and direct customers to the right person on your team.
6. Target on LinkedIn
You need to consider how you can use social media in a way that suits your brand, which can be a challenge for B2B SaaS companies. Just filling up the social media calendar with ads won’t cut it.
For most B2B SaaS companies, LinkedIn is where the action is. This is partly because it’s full of professionals who would be looking for SaaS products. It’s also down to LinkedIn’s detailed audience targeting features, which are leaps and bounds ahead of every other platform.
LinkedIn lets you target people based on their industry, job role, even their seniority within the company. This level of targeting will get you a better ROI on the ads you were making already, but consider targeting your content to specific user segments.
7. Use analytics
From inventory management to call center monitoring, it’s critical for any modern business to be able to read and use analytics data.
In particular, the Google Analytics Funnel Visualization feature will be the cornerstone of your analytics.The pages on your site you define as “top,” “middle,” and “bottom” funnel pages should correspond to your content strategy. It all has to work together to move the user towards one of two goals: buying your product or booking a demo with your sales team. Focus is key. Otherwise, you’re just going to get lost in data.
8. Embrace the power of community
Between the rise of ad blockers and the “cookie apocalypse,” it’s clear that customers are getting sick of traditional online advertising. Savvy B2B SaaS marketers are undaunted by this and are embracing the power of community.
With almost all B2B networking happening online in the past two years, SaaS providers have taken the opportunity to invite their users into online communities where they can network, share issues and success stories, and see how other companies are using the software to grow their business.
Whether it’s on Facebook, LinkedIn, even Discord, have your team join the community alongside users. This is a great way to get to know your customers better than you could with a survey, and it gives your users an easy way to feed back to you about any questions or friction points they’re having with the product.
Using best practices
Where B2C marketing is all about branding and mindshare, B2C SaaS marketing is all about catching your customers at the right moment and educating them on how your product solves their problems. By going deeper into these eight best practices, you’ll develop a successful marketing strategy that will turn curious leads into loyal customers.