Do you wish there was a SaaS marketing plan template you could use to make your B2B SaaS conversion rates skyrocket? If so, we feel your pain…
Every SaaS company wants to grow subscriptions and get those cross-sells and upsells (a.k.a. customer retention) that make it such an attractive business model.
But they don’t always know what actually works. If only there was a marketing plan for your software product based on SaaS legends…
Well, fear not because here it is! Today, you’ll learn how to crush it in with the awesome, FREE advice you’re about to find in this insider’s marketing plan for SaaS companies like yours.
1. Use Content Marketing to Become a Thought Leader
“Content” is defined as any type of information across any medium, like a tweet, Facebook post, video or blog post.
Content marketing works if you do it right. Hiten Shah built two multi-million-dollar B2B SaaS companies: Crazy Egg and Kissmetrics. And he says the bulk of his growth came from content marketing and anyone can succeed with it.
Look at someone who did just this recently:
Hubspot and Buffer still give killer information on their blogs everyday. It takes a lot of time and money to create such in-depth content, but they do it for a reason:
It works. It generates a lot of search and referral traffic.
So what works best in the B2B content marketing strategy game? Here are three important tips:
a) Be Unique and Game-Changing
Basecamp is a great example of a B2B SaaS marketing model that took a different approach.
They blogged about how they were building their business and why. At the time, it was unusual for a business to do this.
b) Give Away the BEST Content on the Web
To stand out, get shared, and get links, your content should be the best.
How can you produce content readers will drool over?
- Use graphics, stats, quotes from experts, and studies because it’s more trustworthy.
- Use BuzzSumo.
Go to Buzzsumo.com and enter your industry. This tool sorts articles by social shares. Study the most shared articles to learn why their content performed well.
c) Use Email Marketing
Why? Because 99% of your visitors aren’t going to buy upon their first visit. If you don’t capture and nurture them over time, they’ll leave and forget about you forever.
You can use email at absolutely every stage of your SaaS conversion funnel, too.
d) Use Facebook and LinkedIn
Real talk… both B2B facebook marketing strategy and B2B LinkedIn marketing strategy are entirely separate topics, and we have some killer content in the works.
In the meantime, get this super hot tip for a free LinkedIn retargeting hack. Seriously though, do it today because you probably won’t be able to do it for free much longer.
2. Use Many Touch Points
A typical timeline for prospects might include:
- They find you from a Google PPC ad.
- They join your email newsletter for months.
- They join a free webinar.
- They like all your Facebook posts.
- They sign up for a free trial.
- They’re reminded by a remarketing ad.
- They get a call from your team.
Once you start stitching together your prospect journey, you can see where this starts to become really important in improving your lead to MQL conversion rate.
By testing different mediums, you can find what gives you the highest return. We found that offering our best content in an eBook converts very well. Don’t neglect to measure your results.
While It’s often hard to find time, that which gets measured, gets improved.
But make sure you have a consistent image so people recognize and connect touch points. The co-founder of Kissmetrics, Neil Patel, does this well; he puts his face everywhere:
- guest posts on authority sites.
- his sidebar.
- Facebook ads.
- landing pages.
3. Improve Product-Market Fit
When you mix good marketing with a bad product, customers can leak out of your SaaS conversion funnel faster than you can acquire them. Your negative reputation can and will spread.
On the other hand, a great product can lead to fans who spread the word for you (free of charge). Word-of-mouth referral marketing is GOLD for B2B SaaS companies because it comes from trusted friends and colleagues.
The founder of Marketo said focus on what customers actually pay for, not what they say they’ll pay for. Watch the video below for details:
4. Focus on Retention
Retention is how long an average customer keeps using your SaaS. A study from Harvard Business School found that a 5% increase in retention boosts profits by 25 to 95%.
Lincoln Murphy, a SaaS expert who has helped over 300 SaaS grow, said in in Forbes:
“The majority of the revenue from your relationship with a customer happens post-sale. The emphasis is on both keeping the customer longer and also expanding the relationship.”
The company Slack understands this well. They’ve had the fastest growth in the history of B2B SaaS. Their founder, Stewart Butterfield, said:
“We should be working carefully from both the product end and the market end:
- Doing a better and better job of providing what people want (whether they know it or not).
- Communicating the above more and more effectively (so that they know they want it).”
Slack responds to 8,000 supports tickets and 10,000 tweets per month. They listen to customers and provide a superior customer experience, which improves retention.
5. Solve Problems Your Competitors Shy Away From
By doing so, you enter less competitive markets and grow your competitive advantage.
a) Having a deeper understanding of your customer’s desired outcome than your competitors.
Salesforce realized setting up CRMs took too long for customers. So they made their set-up fast.
AWeber doesn’t just send emails. They realize the customer wants more sales. So they give tips on topics like increasing open rates.
Hubspot solves many problems, from building landing pages to automating email systems. Hotjar records user interactions on a website and provides in-depth heat maps along with survey tools.
6. Sell the Change, Not Just the Product.
Slack wasn’t in a mainstream industry; a new market had to be created. So Butterfield took a different approach. He said:
“We are unlikely to be able to sell ‘a group chat system’ very well: there are just not enough people shopping for group chat systems…That’s why what we’re selling is organizational transformation.”
Buffer does this too. They don’t just sell social media automation–they sell productivity and freedom of time.
7. Understand That All SaaS Marketing Isn’t Created Equal
It’s important to know that marketing strategies perform differently depending on the software industry.
Here’s an example:
One of our clients is a thought leader in the nonprofit enterprise software industry.
Targeting branded keywords, like company name, in AdWords works well. This is because prospects in the industry recognize them as a trusted leader. But non-brand keywords don’t because few people search for the solution they offer.
But another client who offers sports analytics software has the opposite result:
Non-brand keywords perform well while brand terms fall flat.
Because their brand name is unknown, but the search volume for sports analytics is huge.
What works best for conversion rate optimization can differ as well.
For two other clients, we increased the form size on a Contact Us page. The same exact change bombed for one client’s conversion rate… but did wonders for the other. Why? Because their difference audiences had different priorities.
What truly matters is understanding that one strategy doesn’t fit every situation, especially for a B2B SaaS marketing plan.
Therefore, try to:
- Test quickly, check results and pivot to get a better ROI.
- Trust a history of your own tests over what worked in a different industry.
Shameless Plug: If you’re looking for more advice on how you can improve your average SaaS conversion rate (who isn’t?), click here to contact us immediately.
We especially LOVE getting results for SaaS companies :)
By having the right marketing plan for software products, you can make (and keep) more money.
You can do this by:
- Understanding how SaaS industries differ.
- Understanding the importance of retention and product-market-fit.
- Leveraging content marketing by selling the change.
Make sure you take action on these steps rather than just read them, and you just might be the next Hubspot.
Stay tuned for our next post on B2B marketing strategy for software-as-a-service. We’ll be diving into specific strategies you can use to increase retention and revenue.
Now, we’d love to hear from you.
What problems are you having with your marketing? Let us know in the comments below to continue the conversation.