The Software-as-a-Service business model has taken over the world. It has upended industries across the board, in both B2B and B2C spaces alike.
It’s an extremely effective approach, but it’s heavily reliant on steady lead growth to maintain profitability.
Let’s take a look at the best growth strategies for B2B SaaS marketing.
Effective B2B SaaS Marketing Strategies for Strong Growth
There are many SaaS success stories out there. For example, music streaming platforms such as Spotify have far outstripped physical sales, and the impact of this technology has changed the face of the music industry entirely.
On the B2B side, a company called Atlassian, from Australia, have turned their cloud-based solutions into a massive global success – 83% of Fortune 500 companies use an Atlassian product.
SaaS has taken the world by storm, and in order to make your SaaS offering successful, you need to have your marketing strategies dialed in.
SaaS is a business model that generally operates on a subscription basis, and it’s important to keep as many recurring customers as possible. To avoid churn, you need to constantly deliver value.
Content marketing is a way to do that while also building your brand’s impact, generating traffic, and bringing in leads.
It’s a key component to inbound marketing, and it has the advantage of longevity and long-term value. Once you’ve written a piece of great content, it lives on your site and will continue to do its job over time. You might occasionally need to go update it to keep the content current, but by and large it drives leads on its own without further investment.
The flip side of the coin is that content marketing might be little-to-no cost, but it takes a lot of time investment. It only works when you stay consistent and put out high quality content regularly.
This means you’re spending a chunk of your time stoking a slow-burning fire, because content marketing isn’t a very rapid lead driver. It’s all about slowly nurturing and warming your visitors into leads.
Don’t just focus on creating great content – you also need to consider how people are seeing it. That means SEO, but it also means other distribution channels and ensuring as many eyeballs reach your content as possible.
Nothing convinces a lead that this product is right for them more effectively than actually using it.
This is especially true if your target audience already understands what their goal is and how your product supposedly helps them achieve it (i.e. through your content).
Your marketing can make as many awesome claims as you like – if your product can back them up, it can clinch the deal without the lead ever having to speak to a rep.
I’m personally a whole lot more inclined to purchase a piece of software if I can give it a go beforehand and make sure it gets the job done. More than anything else, a solid free trial version has led me to buy software I wouldn’t have otherwise.
A trial is valuable for potential customers, and it’s an extremely useful tool for you as well; it’s a great way to gauge possible buying intent.
When someone is interested enough in your product to spend time actively using it and testing it out, they’re qualifying themselves for you. Leads who are using a free trial are valuable and high-potential.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
This bit sort of overlaps with content marketing. SEO is what enables your content marketing to actually work. Your content is what convinces people, but SEO is what gets those people to your content in the first place.
If your content is buried in the depths of Google, you won’t have much luck with generating leads from it. It’s worth investing time in proper SEO to maximize your reach.
You can split SEO into two broad categories: on-page and off-page.
On-page SEO is all the factors that are under your control, and that you can perform on your pages manually. Things like keyword strategy, metadata, alt tags and headings, internal links, page load time and even the general UI/UX all play a role.
SEO is a big topic that’s worth doing a deep dive into.
Off-page SEO, then, is logically the factors that impact a page’s rank that aren’t on the page itself. This most means external links – that is, when other people link back to your page, Google sees it as more valuable and engaging content.
Link-building is a marketing strategy that is often neglected, since there’s a lot of work involved for no guaranteed results, but having authoritative, respected websites linking back to your pages is incredibly valuable from an SEO point of view.
And that tracks back to writing high-quality, engaging content. If your articles are terrible, nobody will link to them. If they’re well-written and thoroughly researched, you’re halfway to success already.
SaaS is a fiercely competitive industry, and even if your SEO is on point and you’ve got your content ranking number 1 on Google, your competitors can still swipe traffic from you with Google Ads.
When you search for … well, nearly anything, you’ll see a few text blurbs at the top of the page before the results. Those are Google Ads, and they’re always above the top results.
Even if you get a featured snippet, where Google displays a bit of your content on the Search Engine Result Page (SERP) itself, its ads are still on top. So your competitors’ ads will probably be showing up there.
The solution? Get in on it yourself and outbid them, putting your ads above theirs.
The great thing about Google Ads is that you can put as much or as little budget into it as you want. You can toss in a tiny bit of spend and see how it goes, and scale up slowly.
If you do it wrong, though, you can blow your entire budget without any kind of results. Here’s an article that will help you to do it right.
Email Lead Generation
If you’re looking for a cost-effective way to scale up your leads, you can’t do much better than cold email campaigns.
Email Lead Generation is exceptionally good for SaaS growth, especially in combination with the other strategies on this list. That’s because it drastically broadens your reach, allowing you to get your marketing in front of your target audience in a way that other channels can’t match.
First, you purchase a nice, large list of cold B2B contacts that match your target audience from a reputable data provider. This is important – if your data source isn’t great, your list will be full of useless data.
The bigger your purchased list, the bigger your results will be. The true power of cold B2B email is in scale – you’ll generate a lot more leads with a list of 100,000 contacts than with just 1000.
Next, you upload your list into Clickback’s ELG platform. When you do, every contact is run through a series of in-depth, rigorous hygiene checks that cleans out bad data, spam traps and hard bounces from your list.
Now you can successfully send marketing campaigns to that freshly-cleaned list. The trick here is not to try any lower-funnel tactics. Your contacts are totally cold, and that means they’re not even top-of-funnel. They haven’t even gotten near your funnel.
Your goal should be to drive your contacts to a landing page, where they can fill out a form to opt in – thereby entering your funnel. Don’t try and hard-sell them on anything at all yet, all you want is their permission to drop them into your funnel.
From there, you can push them into your marketing automation or CRM software and nurture them just like any other lead.
It’s easy, and cost-effective. See it in action for yourself with a free 1:1 software demo.