You’ve got the mobile app beta-tested and ready to go. You’ve got the eye-catching color scheme, the seamless background operations, and the kind of intuitive interface that prompts designers and users to say things like, “Man, this platform is slicker than ice on a winter road!”.
Now you’ve got to manage what’s arguably your biggest challenge yet:
The marketing strategy your B2B SaaS company will be using.
SaaS products occupy an interesting place in business. On the one hand, you do have a product. But at the same time, SaaS marketing teams often don’t have the luxury of being able to let the products sell themselves like a mattress company or a grocery store might be able to.
And the rules get even more tricky when you’re talking about B2B SaaS.
That’s why we’ve put together a marketing strategy guide that doesn’t just cover general SaaS marketing strategy. It talks about B2B SaaS marketing strategy in particular. Sound good? Keep reading.
Part #1: Before You Start Marketing
You wouldn’t build a skyscraper in a swamp or expect a basketball team to come out firing on all cylinders when nobody knows how to dribble. As the decision-maker and the founder, you need to lay the foundation. On that note, here are some things you need to do before you start burning ad spend:
1. You Need to Understand Both Your Use Cases and Your Business Value
In Corporate America, the first person who contacts you isn’t necessarily going to be the final decision-maker. Sure, the tech person might be searching for software alternatives but it’s management who has to approve the product as a line item in the budget.
What this means in practice for your sales and marketing team is that you’ll typically have to do two sales jobs for every one account. Your sales process will need to first sell the person who will be using your product on a day-to-day basis. And then, when financial decisions are being made, you’ll want to have a strong angle that explains the higher-level value of your product in a way that resonates with the higher-ups.
2. Decide How You Want to Position Your Brand
From a branding standpoint, every company that’s selling something has a single mission:
To figure out how to help leads go from “We could really use a solution to this problem.” to “Our business needs this service and we are willing to trust this company with our money.”.
Put another way, you need to establish credibility while also showing people that you understand their problems like the back of your hand.
To that end, a B2C company can often get away with using informal language and more upbeat copy in ways that B2B companies can’t always do. However, depending on the details of your target demographic, you may have more wiggle room than you think.
Are you offering your service as a solution for hip, young, millennial-filled marketing teams? Maybe a pitch deck with lots of contractions and meme references is the ticket. Are you talking to tech teams and programmers? Knowing the terminology can go a long way towards giving people that relaxed feeling that makes them say, “These guys know what they’re doing.”.
3. Know Who Your Ideal Clients Are
Anyone who’s worth their salt in marketing will understand terms like “general demographic” and “buyer persona“. But in today’s world, niche marketing is all the rage. As such, it’s not always enough to answer the question “Who are we targeting?” with broad terms like “Enterprise-level businesses.” or “Hotels.”.
Because even though that tiny bed-and-breakfast is technically in the hospitality industry, the owner of that business probably doesn’t have the same problems as the executive board at Hotels by Hilton.
And while your SaaS product may be perfect for both types of hotels, it’s not easy to write content that speaks directly to a five-star hotel exec and a mom-and-pop operation with the same degree of effectiveness.
When you follow this step, you might find your team selling less to “Startups”, and more to “Bootstrapped startups that have already seen some success but are looking to take their internal processes to the next level.”. Or maybe if you’re in the legal tech space, you’re not selling to “law firms”, but to “Well-established law firms that want to simplify their internal operations.”.
Which is all a long way of saying that you shouldn’t be afraid to drill down on your demographics. You never know where you might find your dream clientele.
Part #2: Crafting and Executing a Flawless B2B SaaS Marketing Strategy
So you’ve done your homework and you know who you’re looking to convert. Now you’re ready to roll out your marketing strategy. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
1. You Have to Find Out Where Your Ideal Clients Hang Out
Selling a SaaS product is like dating or getting married. You can’t expect to find “the one” if you don’t put yourself out there and meet people.
Is there a particular bar in town that all the accountants go to during happy hour? Is there a conference held every year in your community that everybody who’s worth anything in your industry always attends at all costs?
Your first step as a company is to find those folks and get their attention. Even if the initial response is “No.” or “I need to see how this works first.”, you can use these initial points of contact to refine the finer points of your marketing strategy.
2. Frame Your SaaS Product as the Solution to the Problems Your Prospects Have
There’s an epidemic on the internet that many marketers have been slowly waking up to:
Consumers are becoming more and more sophisticated. In 2019, Social Media Today observed that roughly 30 percent of internet users were using ad blockers.
Did people suddenly stop having problems? Are internet users suddenly not interested in losing weight, running a business, or having simple and quick solutions?
No. But it takes a little more than a sales page that promises the world to close those sales.
And this is especially true in the business world where problems often need to be addressed as soon as possible. The truth is that the clients who end up on your site will be there for a reason.
If you know why they’re there, your marketing copy and your content strategy will practically write themselves.
3. Figure Out Exactly How You Plan to Execute
You’ve done all the work. You’ve built the app, you’ve laid your marketing foundation, and you’ve sorted out your strategy.
The last thing you want is for your plans and your business to fall apart so close to the finish line.
What skill sets do you have in your team? Do you have seasoned sales specialists or is your crew more gifted at digital marketing?
We talk elsewhere about how B2B companies can generate more leads, but a few common tactics for getting your foot in the door can include:
- Cold Calling or Cold Emailing
Pitching is a process that has allowed freelance journalists to thrive for years. B2B SaaS companies can opt for it as well. Like the name says on the tin, you and your team likely won’t know the companies you’re contacting through this method, but if you have a compelling offer, this is a free way to get those first few clients.
- Content Marketing
This is essentially the process of using content to drive sales. In other words, if a lead finds a video, an ad, or a social media post you’ve made, every link in your content marketing funnel should be leading them to the next stage of your sales process.
It takes a lot of coordination, but when done right, your content marketing funnel can be used to drive sales like clockwork.
In marketing, it’s a common-sense adage that warm leads are more likely to convert than cold ones. Why? Because when you know someone, they’re more likely to be open to you and what you have to say about your product as a result.
Networking with your ideal clients is a great way to get your foot in the door.
Have a Plan to Scale
Some companies see closing the deal and driving sign-ups as the end of the sales cycle. But in reality, growing as a company requires a mixture of client acquisition and client retention.
Happy customers can often become your biggest fans and advocates. And with so many companies looking for ways to generate more sales with referrals and word-of-mouth marketing, having a plan for your success is just as important as having an exit strategy.
Do you have a team that can handle the concerns of a growing customer base? Is your team of rockstar programmers and tech specialists ready to handle bugs in a timely fashion?
Businesses expect SaaS products like yours to be always fully functional. To keep building on your momentum, you must be ready to scale.
Here’s How to Build a Rock-Solid Marketing Strategy for B2B SaaS Companies
SaaS companies need to have top-notch marketing in the best of times. And when you’re working on a marketing strategy for B2B SaaS products, it’s even more important to stay sharp. When you work with an experienced marketing professional, however, it becomes a lot easier to make sure that you’ve got the results you need.
Request your FREE marketing proposal today!