What is SaaS Marketing? – Literally translated from English by Software as a Service or simply Software-Service, SaaS (Software as a Service) is part of Cloud Computing, a universe that we must understand to better assimilate the SaaS principle.
But to make it simpler, SaaS can be defined as hosted software that the user can access from any terminal connected to the Internet using a username and password.
You can therefore manipulate the software anywhere and anytime without having to download or install it.
What is SaaS Marketing
SaaS Marketing is a distinct and growing subset of marketing, as all programs purchased, installed, and operated directly on hard drives are moved to the cloud to be accessed only through a membership model.
As its name suggests, SaaS is unique in that it is materially elusive: no product changes hands.
The SaaS model is backed in large part by its user experience as well as the service and support provided to users of its technologies and tools. You need both top-notch software and exceptional customer service to make the SaaS model and SaaS marketing work.
With these, the software will eventually sell itself, but first you need a method to get as many users as possible to engage with your unique program.
You’ll need to entice them with an irresistible offer to try out your SaaS, then make signing up and learning the tools as easy as possible.
One of the challenges of SaaS Marketing is that each use case is unique.
Examples and results vary and marketing needs to show exactly how it can work for each potential customer. What better way to demonstrate one-on-one than by offering a free SaaS trial to every prospect?
Every potential customer can see firsthand how spectacular the interface and ease of use are , and how much a subscription benefits them.
An advantage of SaaS marketing over other types of products is that it is possible to offer a fully functional version of the product rather than just a part of it.
What is a SaaS funnel?
Many businesses are set up with the intention of getting their product known to as many potential customers as possible, but have no strategy. To generate leads, these companies try every tactic they can think of and mimic what other companies are doing without considering the unique needs of their ideal customers.
A good starting point for planning how to fill your pipeline is to figure out what solutions people need , more specifically, what solutions you can deliver to them.
Here are the topics that will allow you to create informative content, subtly showcasing your SaaS and its capabilities to solve their problems. This way, you attract more people who really need your solutions.
Traditionally, a SaaS funnel is a documented process that examines the SaaS marketing and sales process from start to finish.
This SaaS funnel directly mirrors the inbound methodology which breaks down the process into four main steps to better organize your marketing and sales efforts:
- Attract potential customers with targeted content
- Convert potential customers into leads by inviting them to sign up for your free trial program
- Convert leads into customers by convincing them to upgrade to your program
- Build customer loyalty and encourage them to buy or upgrade through excellent customer service, ongoing support, and helpful content
SaaS and Inbound Marketing: two complementary notions
There are many marketing techniques that can be combined to achieve optimal results.
Inbound Marketing or incoming marketing process is the foundation of an effective digital strategy for promoting a SaaS. Unlike outbound marketing (outbound marketing) or traditional marketing, the inbound approach consists of attracting potential customers to the product.
A complementary combination between SaaS and Inbound Marketing could be the ideal solution and offer many advantages. Both notions require an initial investment which is gradually amortized.
An inbound approach to sales and marketing focuses on creating relevant, quality content to drive visitors to the business. These can then be converted into qualified prospects, and then into customers over time.
To get the most out of such a combination, it is a question of how the public seeks out new information.
SaaS users are generally very active online , beyond social use or light communication: more savvy users, even if they are not yet SaaS users.
Considering the inbound methodology and its four phases (Attract, Convert, Sell, Retain), we can go back a bit and assess how to create an inbound marketing strategy starting by defining buyer profiles and illustrating the main traits of buyers.
These profiles affect every step of the process with information about their challenges, online behavior and communication preferences.
The next step is to create content for them that addresses their challenges and helps them solve their problems. Successful SaaS companies differentiate themselves from their competitors by focusing on their customers’ problems and providing resources that solve those problems.
The Most Effective SaaS Marketing Strategies
Besides Inbound Marketing, other marketing techniques can be used in complementary combinations and perform better than others when promoting a SaaS:
Adopt a real content strategy
While it may seem absurd to build an audience before you have a product or service to offer, it’s a brilliant and effective approach.
It also builds better relationships with your audience, paving the way for two-way communication.
One of the best things about Facebook advertising is the highly customizable targeting.
With the ability to target buyers based on various details like buying behavior, interests, and job titles, you can refer to your Buyer Profile to define exactly what kind of buyer you’re looking for and showcase yourself in front of these prospects.
Facebook is very sophisticated with its data tracking and will allow you to target users who have visited your site even if they have never made a purchase with the specific information of the selected profile.
There’s a lot to be said for Google’s massive reach. When you target an audience based on relevant keywords , you’re likely to come across people who are just beginning to look for solutions to their problem that your SaaS can solve for them.
By introducing yourself to them early in their research phase, you will have the opportunity to invite them to participate in your coaching process and, possibly, to sign up for a free trial.
Want to go further? Do not hesitate to download our benchmark on SaaS B2B conversion rates