- B2B SaaS marketing is a lot different than B2C marketing.
- SaaS companies struggle to compete with leading brands and build their identity.
- The best SaaS marketing strategy is to create a search engine optimized content.
- Software as a service companies must run Google ads and re-target their audience to build a connection and brand awareness.
B2B SaaS is a leading business sector today. It is expected to reach $716.52 billion in 2028, growing at a CAGR of 27.5% during 2021-2028.
The B2B SaaS brands are expanding worldwide. The US and UK hold the majority of SaaS business shares.
In addition, 10% of the market share is captured by Salesforce.
That means the B2B SaaS sector is promising, competitive, and monopolized. All this makes it harder for new brands to enter the market and grow.
But, as they say, “if there is a will, there is a way.” And this article is your way to understand B2B market challenges and powerful SaaS marketing strategies to overcome them.
So, let’s get started.
B2B SaaS Challenges That Make It Harder To Grow Your Business
B2C and B2B marketing are markedly different. You only have to think about popular commercials for everyday consumer products to know what I mean. Advertisements for products we use daily are memorable; from cars, breakfast cereals, washing detergents, cars, phones, or recent technologies like amazon echo, adverts for all these products are catchy and they make it easy to win over customers.
On the other hand, B2B marketers have different challenges to overcome:
- The customer mindset of their target consumer is different; B2B customer purchase decisions are more logical than emotional. Other factors besides pricing will affect the purchase.
- Decisions don’t necessarily lie with one person.
These challenges are even more compounded when it comes to SaaS marketing. Traditionally, marketers have dealt with physical products. Software isn’t physical. Not having a physical product restricts how you create your marketing strategy. Not to mention:
- SaaS offerings are always changing. The constant release of updates and versions can render your messaging redundant before it had time to make a significant mark.
- A niche market means you have to create accurate personas.
- Terms like cloud are amorphous and often quite confusing for the user. Your content needs to be detailed and educational.
- SaaS has short sales cycles and as you will be marketing B2B customers who are typically used to long sales cycles, you will need to bring them around to making decisions a lot faster.
Other challenges faced by SaaS marketers include:
1. Standing Out from the Crowd
The shift from on-premises software to cloud-based SaaS took some time to break into the market. B2B customers were apprehensive about data security and location, among other things. Things have taken a turn, however, as the last few years have witnessed a significant increase in success among SaaS solutions. Gartner, predicts that by 2022, the end user cloud spending will reach $500 billion.
This rapid growth means that there are more competitors to contend with.
Companies dealing in enterprise SaaS are also a force to contend with, for any mid-sized SaaS vendor that intends to break into that space. Such established companies have large reserves of capital, human resources and have built years of trust.
2. Building a Loyal Database of Customers
Under the SaaS subscription model, costs are recovered over time as customers continue to renew their subscription. New customer acquisition remains a top priority for SaaS businesses.
But customer retention remains key in driving business profit.
With so many SaaS companies offering similar solutions, there’s nothing to prevent your customers from jumping ship if they are dissatisfied with your solution.
But this can be prevented by
- Creating products that add value,
- Running marketing campaigns that educate,
- Offering customizable solutions,
- Engaging your customers.
This is the mark of good customer service and it will go a long way in reducing customer churn rates.
3. Generating Value by Targeting Volume Customers
SaaS companies experience lower per/client contract value. For traditional B2B software companies, the reward in lengthy sales cycles lies in the high value they get upon onboarding a client. This means that if SaaS companies employ the same tactics used for selling on-premise software, they will take longer to become profitable.
Instead, SaaS companies have to look at the option of b2c SaaS marketing, in order to bring in lower value customers in big volumes. This is best done through inbound marketing, a process that requires employing marketing means that guide customers to come to decide on their own that they want to buy your product. (we shall talk about these lead generation tactics further below).
This presents yet another challenge as if the SaaS marketer doesn’t have a sound lead generation strategy, then a lot of money, time and effort will go to waste. It’s worth noting that experienced B2B lead generation services will help you deal with your inbound marketing challenges.
4. Dealing with Resistance to Change
Companies that resist SaaS still do so because they have existing systems that they have been using for a long time. Telling them to do a switchover is asking a lot in most cases. You will also be faced with the following concerns when marketing SaaS:
- Business continuity
- People becoming redundant and losing their jobs
- The need to learn new systems
- Losing existing relationships with current vendors
- People have invested time and effort in building current systems. They just won’t let their efforts go to waste.
These are all difficulties you will have to wade through to win over new clients. How can you?
- Identify the key person whose mind you need to change. It might not be the person with the budget. Normally, key decision-makers will turn to key system users for advice. One study actually shows that executives will turn to end-users within the company before making a purchase decision.
Prepare for objections. For instance, risks involved in entrusting data to offsite infrastructure. The right content, webinar, and tradeshow should address such objections.
With effective, targeted marketing campaigns, chances are that even the most ardent fans of current systems will see the point in using a system that makes work easier, improves security and costs less.
At this point, you are probably wondering, “How can I grow a SaaS business given all these challenges?” The simple fact is that many SaaS companies have succeeded by making use of the right SaaS marketing channels. You too can succeed.
Below are tactics that will help you overcome the SaaS marketing challenges discussed above.
B2B SaaS Marketing Strategies That Work Every Time
SaaS marketing is hard! It is challenging to beat the competition and make your position in this industry. Besides this, customer preferences and needs are constantly changing towards their software products.
Therefore, B2B SaaS brands need to use the perfect marketing strategies to stand out in the cloud. Here are some simple yet powerful SaaS marketing strategies that always work:
1. Content Marketing
Businesses all over the world are taking advantage of content to attract visitors and generate leads for their products. Content should also feature in SaaS marketing channels. In fact, statistics show that up to 84% of customers expect content from brands.
Once your content is out there, it will continue to generate leads; with marketing tactics such as content syndication, you can expand your content’s reach even further. Coupled with paid marketing tactics such as PPC, content can increase the number of leads you generate. PPC will push traffic to your site; once they land on your site, great content will go a long way in convincing them to convert.
2. Product Trials
If you aren’t already offering product trials, you should do so immediately as product trials have been shown to increase leads for SaaS solutions.
After a week, 2 weeks or 1 month of trial, it’s usually a lot more difficult for people to envision living without your solution, as long as they have had a positive experience. Prospects who sign up for trials are high-quality leads. Keep track of them and contact them early in the trial period to find out the quality of their experience. This is a key part of SaaS marketing best practices. As well, keep eyes on your statistics to see if prospects are dropping out mid-trial. This way, you will catch on to quality or usability issues.
3. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is instrumental for content discovery. With on-page and off-page SEO, you can improve the chances of people finding your content through tactics such as link building, meta-tagging, and keyword optimization.
But simply targeting high-performing keywords is not sufficient anymore. Your SaaS business website needs ultra-advanced SEO strategies to rank on the first page.
Usually, we suggest our clients create custom search engine optimization plans after understanding their targeted audience and industry. But here are some important SEO strategies that we advise all our clients to implement, such as:
Go by intent, not keywords
Google no longer sees how often a certain keyword is inserted in the content piece before ranking it. Instead, it sees how much value and information your content can offer users.
In the same way, you also need to change your SEO content creation strategy. First, you need to understand your customers and their pain points. Then, based on that, you need to create intent data-driven content. In simple words, create content that your customers want to read.
This is the same strategy we follow at UnboundB2B. Since most of our audience wants to learn about intent-based and account-based marketing, thus, we often share expert interviews and tips on the topic.
It helps our audience learn more about this topic. And it tells Google that we are masters of B2B marketing.
Find seed keywords
There is no limitation on how many keywords you can target on a webpage or your entire website. You can target as many keywords as you want.
However, adding hundreds of keywords to your website will only confuse you. It will increase your workload to monitor and track performance for each keyword.
Therefore, you must create a list of seed keywords suiting your business industry. Seed keywords are primary keywords, which can further turn into keywords.
Let’s take an example. Suppose content marketing is your seed keyword. This keyword generates keywords like “content marketing tools,” “content marketing strategy,” etc.
Optimize landing pages
Don’t forget to SEO-optimize your landing pages. It helps to attract new customers and enter your pages into SERP.
Ensure to backlink your landing pages. Make them visual and content-rich. Overall, try all the SEO tricks you know to make your landing pages impactful.
4. Run Google Ads
Google ads get millions of clicks every day. As such, investing in ads is a great way to take advantage of potential leads. The great thing about Google ads is that you can increase or decrease your budget depending on your objectives.
It’s also easy to calculate ROI with google ads, which is a good thing because one challenge surrounding digital marketing has been the inability to quantify success through measures such as ROI.
SaaS brands can also run targeted ads. They can target specific audiences based on their buyer’s persona.
This means that your business ads are visible only to those people who matter the most. This is something that non-digital advertisement lacks.
That’s because you have no idea who is consuming your ads. There is a huge possibility that people who are not interested in your products are watching your ads. As a result, you will not get desired returns.
You can use Google ads in several ways to promote your business. For reference, you can check out this Google-sponsored ad by MailChimp. The brand has targeted content marketing as a bidding keyword.
Content marketing might not be the primary service of MailChimp. But, their targeted audience includes content creators, so they used this keyword to run ads.
It gives them diversity and exposes their brand in front of different audiences. In the same way, you must use different key combinations to run Google ads for maximum results.
It is common for website visitors to buy after a couple of visits. Retargeting involves displaying contextual ads on other sites frequented by web visitors to lure them back to your site.
Retargeting will ensure your SaaS solution remains top of mind among visitors as they continue their research. Pairing your retargeting ads with a discount will make it more likely for visitors to come back and convert. With effective retargeting campaigns, you can increase your conversion rate.
Here are a few strategies to run retargeting ads campaigns:
Target specific account
Don’t knock at every door that has clicked on your ad or website. It will only waste your time. Instead, you need to target a specific account with a higher chance of re-purchasing from your website. For this, you have to create specific criteria to retarget accounts.
For example, first, target your existing customers. That’s because people who have already bought from you have higher chances to re-purchase. After that, you can move to accounts that have visited your pricing pages, tried your free software versions, and so on.
Simplify your message
Don’t try to be clever with your marketing message. Instead, keep your message straightforward while retargeting your audience.
Your complicated message can only put off the audience. Nobody has time to understand the exact meaning of your message. So, go simple and use AB testing to try different campaign messages before selecting the suitable one.
Create an audience segment
Segment your targeted audience using different groups. It can help you create customized ad messages based on your customer’s preferences.
For example, if a customer has previously purchased your product, you can use upsell or cross-sell products via your marketing message.
Use marketing tools
Leverage different analytical marketing tools to track your audience. Analytical tools use technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning to help you detect potential customers.
These tools can also help you segment and run customized SaaS marketing campaigns. In addition, you can also track your retargeted messages using powerful tools.
Pay attention to ad frequency
Don’t overwhelm your audience with retargeted ads. You should decide the frequency of retargeted ad displays based on your goals. For example, if your goal is to create brand awareness, keeping your ad frequency 4 to 5 per month is sufficient.
Here is an example of a retargeted ad. The ad is simple, to the point, and attention-grabbing.
Have You Selected Your Favorite SaaS Marketing Strategy?
For any business, being successful begins with attracting the right customers. SaaS companies may take a lot longer, but it is achievable.
The top 5 SaaS marketing strategies above can ensure that. You can easily promote your software products and services using the right marketing strategy. You can gain a competitive edge with the right strategy.
However, you must analyze your business industry, targeted customers, and products before selecting the right marketing strategy. That’s because not every marketing strategy can work for all.
Don’t know how to choose the best SaaS marketing strategy?
Then, no need to worry. You can give us a call anytime. They will analyze your business and buyers to customize a marketing plan for you.
So, don’t wait up and get in touch with us today.