Marketing a B2B SaaS Product - 6 Fundamental Steps to Success
June 1, 2022
I bought this thing the other day that turned my wall into a calendar, and I've been obsessed with it ever since.
Do you wonder what it is?
I hope the answer is yes because I've read many of the blog posts and ultimate guides to marketing. They all told me that "I had to reveal enough but not too much and let potential customers wonder."
Sounds weird when I write it out loud.
My point is, all of those guides teach amazing things, but almost none of them give actionable tips in it.
And I came to change that.
So in this article, I will talk about:
What SaaS marketing is,
Why it is different from other business models,
What SaaS marketing teams mainly do,
And what the six most significant steps in B2B SaaS marketing are.
What Is SaaS Marketing?
SaaS Marketing lets the desired target audience know about your product and services. SaaS marketing efforts aim to get potential customers into the marketing funnel through a marketing campaign or a self-serve growth strategy. It can be done through various marketing channels, and it could take a long period of time to see actual effects.
Marketing becomes more important in SaaS than anything else. Because you can't just place your software on a shelf and expect someone to be mesmerized by the packaging and price and buy it.
In most cases, they won't even know that they need you, let alone know about you.
This brings us to our next topic:
Why is SaaS marketing different?
Because SaaS B2B users have different behavioral patterns than others.
Usually, in any other form of digital marketing, you should promote your product and how much it can change the customers' life.
In B2B SaaS marketing, you have to convince the buyers that your product is amazing without promoting it directly.
There are various methods to do so and create a smooth customer journey.
And every marketing team uses almost all those methods to have higher customer acquisition and customer retention rates.
These marketing tactics are:
What do SaaS marketing teams do?
The oldest trick in the book, dear ol' paid advertising.
The reason why paid advertising has been in our lives for so long is that it works.
Well, it is slowly dying since people now need more than a company's self-praise to be convinced, but it is worth a shot.
As long as you do it correctly.
The reason why most paid marketing campaigns don't increase the conversion rate in B2B companies is that they aren't creative. They aren't planned well.
They just post anything on google ads.
So how should it be done?
Well, how many ads have you seen that look like this?
There is a thin line between good email marketing and spamming people's inboxes.
The marketing team is responsible for determining that line and remaining on the successful side.
Newsletters, advertisements, announcements, there are many use cases for emails in the SaaS world, and it also doesn't require a big marketing budget. However, that's exactly why you should be cautious.
An email marketing campaign should be simple, well designed, straight to the point, and should be targeted well.
Like Nike's email.
It is clearly targeted at men, since the CTA button says "Shop Men's," and I am sure that women received a different one.
That's because 80% of internet consumers appreciate valuable content that helps them learn about a product, and 60% of them find themselves inspired to know more about a product after reading blog content about it.
In short, a good content strategy speeds up the sales process by bringing readers into the sales funnel organically, and relieves the sales team.
Could we say that content marketing is the main reason why paid advertising is slowly dying?
The reason why I'm asking is that 80% of B2B decision-makers prefer blog posts/articles over ads from potential partners – and 60% say it lets them make better product decisions.
Also, content marketing can reduce churn rates if you target current customers, and turn them into loyal promoters.
Affiliate marketing is a popular and effective technique to make money online.
You may earn money as a newbie or expert marketer or blogger by promoting other people's items on your blog, email list, and social media profiles.
You can also get promoted by other blogs or companies by running affiliate programs.
In other words, affiliate marketing is a good win-win deal between two companies.
And here is how to integrate each SaaS marketing strategy into your business:
6 Steps to Find Success in SaaS Marketing
So, now that we know what the marketing teams and marketing agencies do, let's get to the "how" of product marketing and growth marketing.
The key point to SaaS Marketing is being consistent and patient.
Which means you have a long way to go. The first step of this long road is:
1- Do Market Research
I know that it sounds a bit obvious. I know that you already knew you should do market research.
There are three things to keep in mind:
First, remember to do market research on the target audience as well as your competitors.
You need to see your competitors' practices, copy, designs, CTAs, case studies, and everything else that's marketing-related. They have been through everything that you are going through right now, and already know what works and what doesn't.
You also have to see what your target market is expecting from you. You need to know your potential buyer personas before you run campaigns for them to get into the sales cycle.
Second, decide whether you want to conduct quantitive or qualitative research.
From your go-to-market strategy to your pricing model, everything that is method-related is bound to qualitative research. Everything else that has to do with data and ratios is a part of quantitive research.
And after you find what the market is expecting, you should:
2- Evaluate Your Strengths and Weaknesses
Now that you know what your target customer base is expecting, you should look at a mirror and see how many of those expectations you can fulfill.
And if there is anything missing in your strengths, you should learn how to compensate for it with your strengths.
For instance, Let's say that you aren't a good copywriter, and you can't afford one, but you have an amazing visual designer.
Lean on videos or breathtaking newsletters instead of trying to do high-quality content marketing from the get-go.
Because if you have amazing visuals and a crappy blog, your users will be confused, and you will increase your bounce rate in a short time period.
That's why you should:
3- Choose a Channel
The channel is the first method you will use from the things I've mentioned above.
Community/social media marketing
The key point is to choose one, and stick to that one channel only for a while.
At least until you can scale the first channel.
You should choose according to the expectations of your buyers. You aren't marketing shoes or bottles, you are marketing a SaaS product to B2B buyers, and trust me, they are way pickier and criticizing than B2C companies' buyers.
Also, don't give up on your first channel, ever. Instead:
4- Do Absolutely Everything to Find Success in Your First Channel
Trying to go with multiple marketing channels will only lead to failure. That's because:
None of them will be perfect since you didn't give full attention to any.
Trying to do everything at once will be a huge investment mistake.
Content production will be slow, and neither of the channels will be efficient.
So instead of doing everything at once, you should:
5- Scale Your First Channel
You have already conducted market research. You sought, you asked, and you decided.
You decided on the best channel for you.
You targeted a high customer lifetime value. You eliminated the cold audience.
Does this sound familiar?
It should, if you have done everything up until this point that I've mentioned. You might not have seen direct results yet, but that's the whole point of a SaaS Marketing Strategy.
Your goal is to create everlasting relationships with B2B customers. You want continuous growth. Rapid growth is possible, but not always the best.