The consumer landscape continues to evolve as more companies are looking for ways to capitalize on the popularity of eCommerce and software as a service (SaaS). Because the revenue and customer models are different from other industries, such as traditional retail, SaaS marketing strategies need to be different
Traditional retailers’ revenue comes mostly from “buy it when you need it” purchases, and their challenge is to make sure their customers have a reason to return the next time they need something. SaaS, IT, and other service-oriented companies capitalize on an ongoing subscription model, where their users pay to keep the service on a monthly or annual basis.
Rather than a “you break it, we fix it” approach, IT specialists increasingly offer ongoing remote monitoring and management, keeping things running smoothly behind the scenes with professional services automation. Getting customers on board requires IT specialists to demonstrate a deep understanding of the field, their customers’ needs, and a forward-looking strategy to earn a lasting relationship.
This article is for both seasoned and new business owners and will explore what SaaS marketing strategies are, as well as the advantages they offer over more-traditional marketing techniques.
SaaS Marketing Strategies
SaaS marketing strategies implement a “show rather than tell” approach. Here are a few SaaS strategies that can yield positive results.
The phrase “content is king” is not an exaggeration. The internet has grown exponentially and with it the number of blogs and websites. Website content serves as one of the best ways for businesses to:
- Attract more visitors to their site via search engine optimization, social media, and other advertising methods
- Increase brand awareness and conversion rates by providing comprehensive content that enables readers to understand the value of the products offered on the site.
The advantage of content marketing for SaaS companies is that it’s difficult for prospects to imagine what the SaaS product can do for them because SaaS providers offer no tangible product.
According to Powered by Search, with content that addresses common customer pain points and demonstrates how the product can solve their problem, SaaS companies can effectively facilitate more sales conversions.
Free Product Trials
Another advantage of the SaaS marketing strategy is that SaaS companies can offer potential customers free trials to get to know their products.
Neil Patel observed that businesses that sell only physical goods lose precious inventory whenever they give free samples, so if any free samples are offered, it’s rarely the full product.
Free trials of SaaS software can fully demonstrate the value of the SaaS product to the prospective customer and how it can make their life easier.
Co-marketing consists of two companies that enter into a partnership. They pool their resources, contact lists, and general knowledge of the industry to increase brand awareness and sales for both companies in a cost-effective way.
The products and promotions offered by the companies more often than not complement one another, which makes it a great way to broaden their audiences.
An example of co-marketing is the strategic partnership of ODYS (an online company that offers powerful expired websites for website investors) and Niche Website Builders (an online company that offers website investors a variety of services such as expired websites, content writing packages, and link building packages).
The two companies collaborated to offer a combo deal. ODYS provides expired websites and Niche Website Builders offers an optional content package for an additional charge on the ODYS sites.
Both companies benefit from this arrangement. ODYS provides content packages from Niche Website Builders, and Niche Website Builders provides exclusive expired domains from ODYS.
IT Marketing Strategies
Data and credibility are the two cornerstones of any IT company’s marketing strategy. Let’s take a look at a few marketing strategies IT companies have successfully implemented that embrace these principles.
Industry Case Studies
Industry case studies are perhaps the most effective marketing tools for an IT company. They serve the dual purpose of establishing the company as a thought leader in the industry and quantifying the success of their software solutions with real data.
Case studies showcase instances of success with other clients and how the company’s software solved their problems. In the IT industry, proving facts with data is the single most important way to establish credibility for a brand.
IT companies’ marketing strategies are often centered around the unique features their solutions offer that others don’t. According to Single Grain, if there are unique innovative features that have the potential to make the lives of users easier, such as automation scripting, a common strategy is feature marketing (developing a new feature and marketing extensively around it).
Guest Blogging & Podcasting
Guest appearances are a great way to broaden a company’s audience. More eyes on you equal more potential prospects and customers. Guest blogging on another company’s website is still a popular medium, but according to Forbes, guest podcasting is also rising in popularity and offers numerous benefits as well.
Guest appearances can serve two purposes. Increasing awareness of your company or brand is one, and the other is the establishment of your company as a thought leader in the industry.
Technology Marketing Strategies
LinkedIn states that four out of five employees today play some role in the B2B tech buying process for their company. But with that many people and personalities involved in the decision process, what’s the best way to market to consumers? Here are a few marketing strategies tech companies have successfully utilized.
Impact Plus notes that the practice of featuring customer testimonials, while not necessarily unique to tech companies, is one of the most effective ways to attract new customers because testimonials establish credibility without a direct sales pitch.
Testimonials are also beneficial because they establish an emotional bond with customers who are satisfied with your product. Customers whose positive testimonials are featured on your site are loyal and more likely to refer others.
Live or Digital Demonstrations
Obvious though this may be, it’s important to prove that the product a tech company advertises works in the way the company claims. Often, prospective customers will request a live demo to learn how the product works and determine whether or not it solves their problem.
Consumer education is important, especially when it comes to the often-intricate software solutions that not everyone understands.
According to Walnut, live demos are beneficial because they “enable the personalization and engagement necessary for building relationships with prospects.”
The power of good old-fashioned word-of-mouth marketing should never be underestimated. After all, it’s free advertising and a potentially endless supply of new clients starting with each satisfied customer.
While word of mouth might not be the single factor that clinches the sale, it certainly opens the door for more conversations and potential demo opportunities that could seal the deal. Plus, in a business model that depends on customer retention, incentivizing referrals with discounts or referral kickbacks can serve the dual purpose of keeping clients happy, and connecting you with new leads.
The main takeaway here is that knowing your target audience is the most important step in developing a successful marketing strategy. Although the three business types we talked about today — IT, software, SaaS — are similar, they all adopt different marketing strategies that work best for them.
Now, every one of these marketing strategies is effective in its own way, and depending on the nature of your business, we hope you can use one of them or several of them to spur your business on to ever-greater heights.