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SaaS Marketing: Trailblazing

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What to do when you’re a SaaS business offering something nobody else does? SaaS ‘trailblazers,’ or new category creators, have the distinct marketing advantage of limited to no direct competition and the chance to own the category/vertical they create.

That is, if they overcome one serious disadvantage – users are not even aware of their solution. While there is no competition, this also means that nobody knows about your new category, and no one is really searching for what you have.

How to Market a SaaS Product That Does Not Have a Vertical

Trailblazing a new category means that you can make your market, and you can own it in the future if you’re successful. It also does not necessarily mean that Google paid search is off the table. You just have to start a step further back.

Identify Adjacent Intent

The key to opening up search marketing as a SaaS trailblazer is first to identify keywords that indicate your ideal customer profile is in the market.

To do this, try to find adjacent searcher intent. Adjacent intent means that people aren’t searching precisely for your solution but for something similar or complementary to what you have to offer. That is enough to qualify them as your addressable audience.

Present Your Solution as a Better Alternative

The next step is to carefully present your solution as an alternative – you might not be satisfying exactly their intent, but offer an even better solution to their pain point.

Pay special attention to the landing pages you lead visitors to – they have to satisfy their information needs and present your solution’s use cases clearly. Otherwise, even if you build brand awareness, your campaign will not be profitable. Take a look at our article on building SaaS landing pages – it should provide all of the insight you need to make efficient landing pages that convert leads to customers.

This is it in a nutshell – get in front of somebody who has a similar intent to what you have to offer, educate them, and eventually convert them.

This strategy helped our long-time partner Output.com grow from 0 to 100 000 customers in just 2 years after they launched their SaaS product Arcade.

Reap the Rewards: Scale and Own the Market

Once you have a taste of success, you can scale up your campaigns and start growing exponentially. In fact, it’s best you start doing that early to secure the best market share – once you’ve cut the path, the competition will show up to the party quickly.

At this next stage, you’d want to keep a close eye on Return of Ad Spend. We’ve figured out a way to track off-site conversions – free users turning into paying customers, for example – that helps us see the true picture of ROAS. If you’re interested, see how this solution allows us to optimize campaigns for paying customers and not for tire-kickers.