When starting a SaaS business, it is vital to devise an effective marketing strategy to increase sales and attract customers without being wasteful. With all the new marketing techniques pouring in, SaaS startups have to be very selective. These are our suggestions of where to begin and how to allocate your budget to validate product-market fit and establish unit economics.
SaaS Marketing For Startups
If you are a SaaS startup company that offers subscription-based products, your marketing strategy is entirely different from other types of businesses. Rather than grabbing onto the latest trends and techniques, you first need to find your ideal customer profile, validate product/market fit with early adopters of your minimum viable product, and establish viable customer acquisition cost (CAC). SaaS marketing can get you Marketing Qualified Leads, help you scale and secure Seed funding, and extend your runway to Series A.
Best Marketing Techniques for SaaS Startups
Google and Social Ads
To find your ideal customer when they’re searching for your SaaS solution, start with the lowest hanging fruit – set up ad campaigns on Google and social media. Using the machine-learning algorithm of Google and Facebook Ads, you can target very specific audiences and keywords and get your brand in front of people who are already searching for you.
If you’re not sure how to split your ad budget between Google Ads and Facebook Ads, simply split it. Once your campaigns are sunning on both platforms, you’ll start getting data on their performance and adjust as needed.
Once you start monitoring how the campaigns perform, you may have to experiment with the free trial’s length and learn how to acquire the most subscriptions at the lowest customer acquisition costs (CAC). After you establish true and stable unit economics, you can scale your campaigns and expand aggressively.
Investing in paid search and social media marketing is hugely efficient for SaaS startups as it eliminates wasteful marketing and gets you immediate and high ROI results. Targeting your customers through multiple marketing channels, providing them video content are some of the key trends of PPC that will help you stay at the top of the game.
But remember that paid channels alone cannot guarantee brand visibility, and as new competitors enter the market, they would be driving up the CPCs in Google Ads auctions and eroding your margins. The way to ensure sustainable growth is to start investing in SEO.
SEO for SaaS Startups
As a SaaS startup, you should invest in SEO early on. This would ensure your website content is ranking organically on search engines and expand your audiences. The key elements in SEO for SaaS companies include fast websites, flawless technical performance, strategic keyword targeting, and strong E‑A-T signals.
You need to make sure your site provides a smooth and intuitive user experience with easy navigation and maximum speed and performance. Find keywords that speak to your audience, create content for all stages of the user journey, and always keep an eye out for your competitors.
Investing resources in SEO and Content is very cost-effective for SaaS startups. With relatively small websites and SEO-friendly platforms, you never have to face the challenges huge e-commerce sites have. Plus, your strong teams of in-house developers can quickly implement all necessary technical SEO changes. Make sure to keep your site up-to-date, have an attractive storefront, and provide a clear and clean view to your customers to simplify their journey and target them with the right content.
Expand Campaigns and Move Up the Funnel
Once you have covered all the basics of SaaS marketing that are cost-effective, result-efficient, and demonstrated stable unit economics, it’s time to scale.
Retargeting helps you target customers that have already been to your site and showed interest but have not completed a purchase. Once you’ve created big enough audiences for your campaigns, you can remarket to different segments, depending on the buyer’s journey.
You can retarget people who are still in exploration mode with more informative and branded content. You can also focus on audiences that are comparing their options by showing them ads and landing pages to make your SaaS solution stand out. You could bring back people who are ready to convert to offer pages.
Retargeting is a guaranteed success as it helps you market your products to customers who are already familiar with your brand and are still in the decision-making process. Your retargeting ads can be just the nudge they need to convert.
Optimize and Expand Your Ad Campaigns and Channels
The bulk of your SaaS marketing efforts should stay focused on constantly optimizing your campaigns – segmenting and testing new audiences, expanding new keyword strategies, developing and optimizing landing pages to get higher conversion rates.
If you suspect you’re beginning to saturate your local market, you can test international expansion, too. Start by identifying the search demand in the local language with some keyword research and test the waters with Google Search Ads.
If you’re investing heavily in paid marketing, make sure you can always see the full Return on Ad Spend picture. In case your conversions happen off-site, in a payment processing system, for example, see how you can track these post-free-trial conversions back in Google Analytics. This technique would allow you to train the algorithms to optimize PPC campaigns for users who not only sign-up for free trials, but also stay on the platform and convert to paying customers.
Content Marketing for SaaS
Content marketing is the best tool to help your audience discover you and grow demand for your SaaS product. Consider how people are searching for your solution and what problems it is solving, and create content to address this information need.
You can apply the buyer awareness matrix when you start planning your content strategy. In a nutshell, it’s a way of segmenting your audiences in 4 categories: unaware of the problem, problem-aware, solution-aware, and product-aware.
Your bottom-of-the-funnel (BOFU) content would target product-aware audiences with offers and landing pages, while the other 3 groups would need nurturing and informational content.
For example, head-to-head comparison landing pages could help solution-aware prospects that are exploring their options. You could lean on video content to better show potential solution-aware customers how to use your tool, describe features and benefits. Top-of-the-funnel (TOFU) content would address problem-unaware and solution-unaware audiences.
Many SaaS startups struggle when planning their content marketing strategies when the focus keywords that describe their solution have very low volumes. In such cases, you could consider keywords with adjacent intent.
Adjacent searcher 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 and to create content for their information needs to help them discover you.
Email Marketing Campaigns
Email marketing has outshined social media ads, paid searches, and affiliate marketing. By devising the perfect email marketing journey and following through, you can easily increase your reach, improve customer engagement, and enhance personalized marketing. Email marketing enables you to reach out to potential customers or retain loyal customers by sending them quality content assets, as well as additional offers.
With email marketing, you can also utilize the data and analysis provided by analytical tools and segmentation. You can send targeted emails to customers based on their past purchases, interests, abandoned carts, lifetime value, and much more. Email marketing is also an easy and cost-effective solution and thus perfect for SaaS startups.
Referral marketing, also known as Word-of-Mouth marketing, enables business owners to use loyal customers to promote their products rather than traditional marketing channels. Referral marketing is effective as people are more likely to trust their friends than the testimonials on your website.
You can ask your loyal customers to join your referral program and enjoy benefits like discounts, coupons, free subscriptions, etc. You can also offer a discount to people who visited through a reference.
Such marketing techniques are sure to build brand awareness, increase sales, and traffic on your website. You can easily automate these marketing techniques with plugins and extensions – here’s a list of the Best WooCommerce Marketing Plugins to make it easier for you to pick the best.
SaaS Marketing Strategy to Help You Scale
When creating a SaaS startup marketing plan, the important thing is not to overload your strategy from the beginning. Start with channels that allow you to find customers who are already looking for your product. Once you’ve established unit economics, scale rapidly and expand aggressively to win the race to market. Stay agile, test and analyze results, and try new channels and techniques to be ahead of the curve.
This is a guest post by Xaviera Khalid, the content writer at WooKeeper.com. She focuses on SEO content and provides factual writing. Check out her work at WooKeeper.com.