Software as a service (SaaS) organizations use software to provide customers with a service, creating, developing, hosting, and updating the product themselves. The offerings of SaaS companies can be vast, from Salesforce to Microsoft to Netflix, and the potential consumer base is virtually endless as more than 5 billion people around the world use the internet (63.1% of the world’s population).
Like most brands, marketing for SaaS companies is necessary to increase brand awareness and sell products, and digital marketing strategies typically make the most sense based on the ideal customer base.
Here are some of the top strategies these businesses can use to ramp up lead generation efforts and bring on new customers.
What Is SaaS Digital Marketing?
The primary focus of SaaS digital marketing is promoting and gaining leads for subscription-based SaaS products. These tactics allow these brands to share messages that help market their product to prospective customers.
How Is Digital Marketing Different from Traditional Marketing?
Digital marketing happens online vs. traditional marketing happens primarily via TV, radio, and print. With digital, messages can go directly to the target audience, even on a 1:1 level. This allows for targeted messages at the right place at the right time to the right person, unlike with traditional marketing that is better for widespread awareness.
Other benefits to digital marketing are it has a lower cost than traditional marketing efforts, both in creative production and distribution. Because it can reach your audience directly and bring them right to your tools and services with a click, most SaaS companies would benefit greater from digital marketing tactics.
Top Digital Marketing Strategies for SaaS Companies
Digital marketing can happen at a lower cost and is scalable at a lower budget. The level of effort you put into these strategies can vary depending on your time and resources, but if you need a place to start, use this list:
- Content marketing
- Email marketing
- Search engine optimization
- Paid digital advertising
- Improving the customer experience
A content marketing strategy is the pillar of your overall marketing strategy. Not only can content generate up to 5x the return on investment (ROI) compared to other paid digital advertising, but it also serves as the foundation for those other tactics.
Using content, you can:
- Build your brand/brand awareness
- Attract customers to your website
- Generate leads
- Close sales
- Retain customers
When you think of “content,” you may think of blog articles or stories. However, content can also include things like:
- White pages
- Videos (which are proven to improve lead quality, be more engaging to users, and boost your search engine optimization (SEO) tactics)
- Social media posts
- Digital advertisements
Plus, content can be distributed in variety of ways, including supporting other marketing channels like social media pages, emails, and the company website.
In general, the content you produce should provide solutions, answer questions, and establish your company as thought leaders. It should be quality, relevant to your audience, and engaging. It should also be optimized for search engines by using keywords, titles and descriptions, headers, images and videos, and a relevant URL.
There are many types of emails you can create for different reasons, though the primary use should be to stay top-of-mind, nurture leads, and build long-term relationships with prospects and customers. For example, you can:
- Send an e-newsletter to subscribers
- Provide gated assets to those who sign up
- Support leads by offering additional information and ways to purchase
- Nurture existing customers with new product releases, inside scoops, upselling, or product discounts
Most companies find their email marketing campaigns have significant ROI, but for your emails to be successful, they should:
- Have an eye-catching subject line
- Be short and to the point
- Be engaging
- Be personalized (if possible)
- Have a strong call to action
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO tactics help improve the quality and quantity of your website traffic. They target unpaid, organic, and natural traffic rather than paid or direct traffic. Essentially, ensuring your website and content are optimized for search engines, your pages will rank higher in search engines, giving your site more visibility to those searching for your products or services.
A content strategy is key here, as search engines will scan the content you produce for optimizations to help determine your rank. There are essentially two types of optimizations you can make for search: On-page and off-page SEO.
On-page SEO primarily focuses on your keyword strategy. The content you produce and your website in general should focus on long-tail keywords related to your industry and products. All your articles should have titles and descriptions, and you should link to other internal content when possible.
On-page SEO also includes the general user interface, such as display screens, appearance on a desktop, and ways a user interacts with a mobile app.
Off-page SEO focuses on including high-quality links from trusted sources in your content, as well as link shares of your content (like on social media or forwarded emails).
Paid Digital Advertising
Paid digital advertising for SaaS companies gives you the opportunity to get in front of the right audience at the right time, generating a higher ROI. These efforts also allow you to scale your marketing efforts faster and easier while generating traffic, leads, and ideally, sales.
Key components of paid advertising include keyword research, detailed ad copy, quality images and/or video, and quality landing pages designed to convert. Google Ads, social media, and programmatic advertising are three of the most common digital efforts.
This is an example of PPC, or pay-per-click, model of digital advertising. Google Ads is an advertising service by Google in which you pay for display ads on Google search results and its advertising network. These could include static ads, service offerings, product listings, videos, or text. Businesses pay for every click on the ad, which essentially sends targeted visits to your website, landing page, or app.
The biggest advantage of Google Ads is they can help make your business and product offerings more prominent when people are searching for similar services/products. You can also easily increase or decrease spend or update your ads based on business needs.
Each prominent social channel, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and TikTok, has their own form of advertising. These ads can help increase brand awareness, boost customer loyalty, generate leads, and close sales.
Typically, the ads are static images or videos sometimes accompanied by short headlines or text. They can be targeted by a variety of audience options like demographics, geography, interests, or even generating a “lookalike” audience based off your current customers. You can also retarget users who have visited your website or clicked on another ad in the past.
It’s important not to feel like you must advertise on every social channel. Focus on the platforms your target market is using.
Programmatic advertising is use of automated technology for media buying, and the process of buying advertising space. It’s essentially an alternative to Google Ads, and in some cases can get you in a wider variety of placements. These ads can be videos or static ads in a variety of sizes.
Important key performance indicators (KPIs) to watch here include cost per engagement, cost per click, or cost per million (impressions). You can compare these to Google to determine which is right for you.
Retargeting is directly advertising to users who have shown interest in a product, app, website, or landing page. When retargeting, you’re serving targeted ads to those who have already taken action or based on previous internet behavior. Typically, this is done with a pixel within a target landing page which sets a cookie in the user’s browser.
This is best to reengage with people who left your website but didn’t do a conversion.
Remarketing is re-engaging past customers or leads. This is great for sequential messaging in ads and can also be used to nurture leads whose contact information you already have. You can send emails to inform or close a sale.
Both these efforts help establish trust, credibility, familiarity with website visitors and past engagers.
Improve Customer Experience
The overall interaction between your company and customers, from quality of products and services to the ease of finding information, ordering, delivery, and customer service, should be optimized as much as possible for your customers.
Personalized Online Experiences
Have your consumer preferences at hand and displayed whenever possible, such as when logging into a user portal or providing content related to what they’ve searched previously, such as through retargeting or remarketing efforts. Mobile responsiveness is also important here since the majority of internet users access it via a mobile device, and a poor mobile experience can hurt your web traffic.
Provide Value with Site Content
This goes back to your content marketing strategy – you should be providing value on every single page that has content. This isn’t just blog articles, but each page on your website from your About Us to your service offerings pages. Content should answer questions, give information, solve pain points, and support why your brand is the best.
Using machine learning and automated processes, like chatbots or online checkout, can help create a strong user experience.
Things To Keep in Mind When Building a SaaS Digital Marketing Strategy
1. Know Your Customers
You should be very familiar with:
- Your consumer needs and pain points
- What drives purchasing decisions
- Features and benefits that are most important to them
- Where they spend time on- and offline
- Content they resonate with
- Key demographics
- Challenges and goals
This can help you develop buyer personas that can lead your development of digital marketing strategies that make sense.
2. Analyze Your Competition
This includes their website, blog, and social media profiles. What is their messaging? Content? Value proposition? What is their online activity? What do their ads look like? Don’t spend too much time on this, but it can help SaaS companies learn from their successes and failures.
You’ll also want to stay on top of industry trends and news.
3. Have a Unique Selling Proposition/Reason to Believe
Why are you unique? Why are you better than the competition? What is your ‘reason to believe’ that sets you apart? How do you resonate with target customers? You can use the answers to these questions to refine marketing strategy and develop content.
A/B testing, or testing a control against something new, is essential for SaaS companies to ensure you’re remaining relevant and spending your marketing dollars the most wisely. If you’re asking yourself what works best in your ads, from image to headline to call to action, your content, or other aspects of your digital presence, testing can help you learn the answers though data.
Contact Dragonfly Digital Marketing
To learn more about SaaS digital marketing services and strategies, contact Dragonfly. We work with all types of businesses, both large and small, to develop strong, multi-fasceted marketing campaigns with targeted objectives and tangible results. Call (800) 636-0347.