Marketing strategies differ significantly across industries, company sizes, and even general company culture. B2B SaaS marketing is not exempt from this. While some strategies we use for B2B SaaS can be used for other industries, there are some strategies specific to it that may not be useful to, say, an eCommerce business.
Here are seven tips to help your B2B SaaS marketing team out.
1. Have a Proper Digital Foundation
We talked about this previously, but a healthy digital marketing foundation should be your team’s number one priority. If your team is unable to track user or conversion data, you’re going to have a difficult time finding out what strategies are working. Flying blind like this is no better than doing what we call “whack-a-mole marketing.”
With a proper foundation in place, you can track meaningful events from all of your channels to see what is and isn’t working. For example, see how your latest search ads are performing compared to your organic social posts. This can be a great tool to help you optimize your strategy for conversions, and to determine where your budget is working best.
2. Explore Numerous Ad Platforms
For SaaS businesses, it might be tempting to advertise on Google Search, Capterra, and G2 and call it a day. Still, it’s important to test other platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Bing, Reddit, Twitter, and more. This can be difficult with a limited budget, but if you have some wiggle room, or are just curious to see how a small portion of your marketing budget will work on another platform, do some research and see what other options are out there.
You may be surprised to see how well your ads on a previously untapped network perform. Don’t be afraid to experiment with ad platforms, as well as your budget, messaging, and format for each one.
3. Work With Reps to Maximize Performance
Whether you’re new to a platform or not, it can help to get a second opinion. Oftentimes a representative will be assigned to your account, and you’ll get some time to discuss your goals, performance, strategies, and options going forward. While the advice you receive from reps can vary in how effective or applicable it is, they’ll occasionally provide you with a slam dunk.
They can also catch problems in the account that you may have overlooked. Platform reps are typically available at no additional cost to you, so make sure you take advantage of their support when you can!
4. Build a Sales and Marketing Funnel for Long Sales Cycles
Software sales reps know just how long it can take to close a deal. While some may close in a week or two, if not a few days, many can take over a year to close. That’s why it’s so important to keep these longer sales cycles in mind when building your B2B SaaS marketing and sales funnel.
With long sales cycles, it can be tempting to avoid sending a lead too much material, as you don’t want to “poke a sleeping bear,” so to speak. Annoying a hot, yet incredibly slow lead is a surefire way to lose them. However, if you consider that they are often busy leaders in a slow-moving organization, providing them with well-timed reminders and valuable resources can get you in their good graces. It gives them an opportunity to learn more about your business in bite-sized chunks at their leisure, and helps build brand awareness.
Do be careful to weigh your options here – your choices may depend on the role of the individual you’re emailing, the industry they’re in, and the timing of your communications (don’t send them a bunch of emails during the holidays!).
Also be sure to include your ad strategy here. It can be valuable to continue to serve ads to leads in your funnel, as they’ve not completed the buying cycle. There’s still a little ways to go before you push them all the way through your funnel.
5. Do Competitor Research
While you should always strive to differentiate yourself from your competitors, it doesn’t hurt to take a peek at what they’re doing. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel every step of the way. Look at what keywords they’re ranking for, or are trying to rank for, as well as the keywords they’re bidding on. Look at their ad libraries and their organic social channels, their YouTube account, and more. How are they performing on the software ranking sites like Capterra and G2?
By getting an idea of where your competitors are and what they’re doing, you can get an idea of your opportunities as well. From there, you can change things up to fit your brand. Make sure to follow up on your research from time to time. Competitors change what they’re doing constantly, and it can be difficult to keep up in a rapid-paced industry. Check in occasionally and see if there are any changes worth noting.
6. Provide Leads With Transitional and Transactional CTAs
Not every lead is going to want to book a demo with you the first time they encounter your business. They may not even want to book a demo the thirtieth time they come across it. This is where transitional calls to action come in handy. While a demo can carry a heavy, unpleasant connotation, something like an ebook or a case study may be more welcome to busy executives.
These lightweight pieces of content are easier to consume, and don’t require someone with limited time on their hands to lock in thirty minutes to an hour of their day to learn about your product. They can simply pick it up when they’re ready and learn everything they want to know on their lunch break. Given that so many buyers nowadays want a self-guided buying process, it’s starting to make sense to give leads the freedom to choose how they interact with your business until they’re truly ready to speak with you.
Not only will they be more receptive to speaking with your sales team, they’re also much more likely to buy into a product that they have learned to trust on their own.
7. Build, Launch, and Optimize an ABM Strategy
One final tip is to build out an ABM strategy. This is something that will likely come later in your marketing optimization process, but it can be extremely valuable to implement. Marketing and sales should collaborate closely on this initiative, as you should aim to incorporate several channels, such as outbound email, paid ads, and organic content.
First consider your ideal customer profile:
- What do your best customers look like?
- Who are they?
- What do they care about
- Where do they spend their time online?
Answering these questions will help you plan your ABM strategy. You’ll be able to reach the right audiences on the right networks, and send them the right message. They can take some time to spin up, but we’ve seen a lot of success with ABM campaigns over the years, and recommend you try one if you have the resources.
All that being said, it can be difficult to change up your B2B SaaS marketing strategy. While each of these seven tips should help you boost your performance, take care not to over-optimize all at once. Make sure to check out our other blog posts for other thoughts and ideas on marketing strategies, and schedule a discovery call with our team if you’re interested in working with an expert group of performance marketers.