Only 20% of SaaS companies will celebrate their fifth anniversary. A clear B2B SaaS marketing strategy can help you get there.
There’s no debate about it: B2B SaaS is a highly volatile and competitive market. We help our B2B SaaS clients stand out from the crowd every day, so we know what it takes to design a successful marketing strategy. We don’t believe in gatekeeping, so we’re sharing what we’ve learned over the past 10+ years so you can grab leads and turn them into paying customers.
- What Is B2B SaaS Marketing?
- B2B SaaS Marketing Challenges
- How To Craft a Winning B2B SaaS Marketing Strategy
- 18 B2B SaaS Marketing Strategies To Try in 2024
- Future Trends in B2B SaaS Marketing
- Stand Out From the Crowd With Siege Media
What Is B2B SaaS Marketing?
First, let’s break down those acronyms: B2B stands for “Business-to-Business,” a business model that involves selling a product or service to a business rather than an individual consumer. SaaS stands for “Software-as-a-Service,” which refers to a company that sells cloud-based software rather than physical products. So, in this case, a B2B SaaS company sells cloud-based software to another business, usually as a subscription.
B2B SaaS marketing communicates your cloud-based software product to your target audience so you can raise brand awareness and ultimately turn leads into paying customers.
B2B SaaS Marketing Challenges
B2B SaaS marketing has its own unique challenges that marketers must overcome.
Challenge #1: Oversaturated Markets
Even if you have a great product, this makes it hard to gain traction in your niche and even harder to keep customers once you have them. With so many options, it’s easy for companies to think the grass is greener on the other side and switch to a different company at the slightest inconvenience.
Your marketing strategy needs to be unique enough to help you stand out but not so unique that it doesn’t connect with your audience.
Challenge #2: Complicated Offerings
Software often streamlines tasks that are too complicated or time-consuming for a human to do. Sometimes, these are easy to explain to your audience; for example, a project management system allows you to keep everything related to a task together in one place.
But some B2B SaaS offerings get pretty technical. A carbon accounting B2B SaaS company may provide software that helps businesses monitor their carbon emissions and manage their legally mandated emission disclosures to stakeholders. That’s a lot of legal and technical terminology to explain to business owners who are probably not climate experts or lawyers.
Your marketing strategy needs to break down complicated tasks and ideas for your audience, which can be hard to do in bite-sized chunks.
Challenge #3: Convincing Customers They Need Your Product
No matter how wonderful your software is, there’s a good chance your audience doesn’t think they need it, especially if they’re older and not as familiar with the technology. For example, we could hold most meetings virtually long before they became necessary during the pandemic. However, it took a global event to convince businesses to finally invest in video conferencing software.
While most business owners don’t need a global event to realize they need your product, your marketing strategy must succinctly convince your audience that they need you and you’re worth the investment.
Challenge #4: Long Sales Cycles
When a traditional consumer purchases something, they usually see an ad and then buy it. With B2B SaaS sales, there’s a much longer sales cycle, which can lead to marketing headaches.
The median B2B SaaS sales cycle is about 2.5 months. During that time, your sales team needs to:
- Prospect for leads.
- Nurture those leads.
- Pitch to prospects.
- Respond to objects raised during the pitch.
- Close the sale.
- Onboard the client.
- Renew the client.
So, unlike B2C marketing, you need more than just a flashy ad on their Instagram page — your marketing strategy needs to build a relationship between you and any potential customers.
Challenge #5: Complex Decision-Making Process
When a consumer is considering whether or not to buy something, usually all they need to do is convince themselves (or maybe a significant other) that the cost is worth it. When selling to a business, the stakes are much higher — and more people are involved — so your marketing campaign must address that complexity.
Let’s say you’re marketing a chatbot or live chat software. The marketing team knows it’s essential to be on-call for customers 24/7 and that their customers prefer texting over calling a customer service line. But marketers don’t make the final purchasing decision.
They must convince the finance team that this is a good buy and run your software terms and conditions through their legal department. They may even be hearing pitches from five other chatbot software companies that they must compare. Plus, they’ll probably need a sign-off from a C-suite member.
Your marketing campaign needs to appeal to multiple audiences, not just the audience that will actually use it.
How To Craft a Winning B2B SaaS Marketing Strategy
All those challenges don’t mean marketing is impossible for B2B SaaS companies — it just means you need an impressive marketing strategy if you want to see success.
Step 1: Identify and Study Your Audience
Before you go any further, you have to figure out who you are selling to, which is your ideal customer profile (ICP). This differs from a buyer persona, who makes the final purchasing decision.
To determine your ICP, do the following:
- Determine your target audience or the market segment with a problem you can solve. For example, maybe your software helps business owners create schedules for employees. So, your target audience is business owners and HR managers who handle scheduling.
- Then identify your potential customer. Just because everyone in your target audience has the same problem doesn’t mean they need your software. Potential customers are businesses whose problems you can solve and who are the best fit for your software. For example, maybe your scheduling software fits best for small businesses with only a handful of employees but not chains with hundreds of employees at different sites.
- Finally, narrow it down to your ICP. This looks at relevancy, or whether or not the customer is aware of a specific pain point and its impact on their business. For example, they’re spending too many hours scheduling, distracting them from other work they need to do to run their department effectively.
Once you know your ICP, learn about them as much as possible. In particular, you want to know the following information:
- Firmographics: These are organizational demographics, like the business’s size, revenue, industry, and location.
- Demographics: Learn more about your buyer persona, including their age, gender, and race. Once you know this information, you can learn more about how to market your software.
- Psychographic Drivers: Dig into your buyer persona and learn common personality traits, lifestyle habits, and interests. This can help you know where to focus your marketing strategies.
- Technographic Tools: Discover what software your ICP already has in its tech stack. If they can’t even run your software, you should remove them from your list.
- Company Role: Find out who is involved in purchasing decisions and focus your marketing strategies on them.
If you already have customers, talk to them about how they are currently using your product and any pain points they’ve encountered. Read reviews of your product, read transcripts of sales calls, and network with them at industry events.
If it seems like you’re spending too much time on this step, you definitely aren’t. One of the main reasons SaaS startups fail is insufficient market research. The more work you do on this step, the higher your chances of success.
Step 2: Understand Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
Now that you know who you’re selling to, you need to figure out why this specific audience should buy your product. There are thousands of SaaS products out there, and unless you’ve invented something new, you need to showcase how your product is different — and better — than your competitors. This reason is known as your unique selling proposition (USP).
When crafting your USP, focus on benefits to your customers rather than features. Explain how your product helps them, not how you do it. Keep it brief yet powerful so it grabs attention and packs a punch.
For example, Webflow’s USP statement on their website is “Build with the power of code — without writing any.” This snappy statement identifies the benefit to the customer (building a creative, visually pleasing website) and the main problem the software solves (lacking knowledge of code).
Step 3: Set Your Goals
Now that you’ve done the background work, it’s time to set goals. What exactly do you want to accomplish with your marketing strategy? Some B2B SaaS companies want to focus on acquiring new leads, while others prefer to focus on nurturing the leads they have. Still others want to raise brand awareness. Regardless, write it down as specifically as possible.
We suggest the SMART method for goal setting, which incorporates the following information into a goal statement:
- Specific: Narrow your goal down to one specific target.
- Measurable: Identify how you will monitor your progress toward your goal.
- Achievable: Ask yourself if this is something you can reasonably accomplish.
- Relevant: Ensure your goal aligns with larger company goals and objectives.
- Time-bound: Set a realistic time frame in which you expect to achieve the goal.
Step 4: Determine Your Budget
Next, nail down how much you have to spend to achieve your goals. Be realistic — most SaaS companies devote a median of 10% of their annual recurring revenue (ARR) to marketing strategy. However, this figure varies based on the company’s size and growth plans.
Once you know your budget, revisit your goals and adjust any that don’t match your budget.
Step 5: Develop Your Marketing Tactics and Channels
Now it’s time to take everything you know about your audience, goals and budget and use it to determine which marketing strategies you’ll use. Focus heavily on your audience — you don’t want to waste time and money on TikTok ads if your buyer persona mostly spends most of their time on LinkedIn. You can also focus on the specific marketing assets your audience prioritizes, such as articles, podcasts or ebooks.
Step 6: Re-evaluate and Adjust
After your marketing strategy has been in place for a few months, it’s time to re-evaluate and make adjustments. Figure out where you are having success and where you aren’t, and tweak the overall strategy accordingly.
You may also need to re-evaluate and adjust your strategy when new products are released or when you upgrade existing products.
Whatever you do, remember to base any changes on data rather than gut instinct. It doesn’t matter if everyone is talking about your new ad if it’s getting more water cooler chatter than conversions.
18 B2B SaaS Marketing Strategies To Try in 2024
To create a successful B2B SaaS marketing campaign, take the best B2B marketing strategies and the best SaaS marketing strategies that fit your budget, audience, and goals. Here are a few to try in 2024.
1. Design an Amazing Website
As a SaaS brand, you probably don’t have a physical storefront, so your website needs to be in tip-top shape if you want any hope of pulling in customers. But simply having a website isn’t enough when you’re one of 30,000 SaaS companies. You need a website that looks great, is easy to use, and is easy for search engines to find.
Before implementing any other strategies on this list, develop a well-designed website. If you take the time to set up a website with good structural bones, it’s easier to expand and improve it as you grow.
When you build your website, add a blog or learning center to easily incorporate quality content for your users. The developers and designers at Siege Media can help! While designing an entire website isn’t our bread and butter, we’ll gladly work with you to design a blog or learning center that elevates your brand and sets you up for success.
We focus on content hub CRO, blog templates, WordPress refreshes, and landing page design.
Reach out to learn how Siege Media can help design your blog or learning center with SEO (and your brand) in mind.
2. Invest in Quality Content
One of the critical components of any B2B SaaS marketing strategy is building a positive relationship with customers at every stage of the buyer’s journey. Your content goes a long way toward laying the foundation with leads while supporting your existing customers.
B2B decision-makers openly share how vital quality content is to them. Most prefer learning about a potential vendor through content showing their expertise. Nearly 50% report consulting at least three pieces of content before reaching out to a sales representative for more information.
Content does all kinds of things:
- Educates your leads
- Shows your leads you are trustworthy
- Illustrates how to solve problems in your industry
- Teaches users how to use your product
- And more!
Don’t rely on just one type of content, either. Some people learn best by listening and may benefit from a podcast on their daily commute. Others are visual learners who prefer watching a short video. Still, others prefer to read an article or two while on their lunch break.
The content strategy team at Siege Media knows your content helps pay the bills at your B2B SaaS business, so we specialize in creating a data-driven content strategy that brings quick wins and long-term success. Our content marketing specialists are ready to craft written content that builds brand awareness and trust, while our world-class designers are waiting to create a beautiful design that adheres to your design guidelines.
3. Focus on SEO
Great content helps bring in leads and support customers, but even the best content won’t work if your audience can’t find it. That’s where SEO comes in.
SEO stands for search engine optimization and consists of best practices that help search engines understand your content and return it to the user when they search for specific keywords on search engine results pages (SERPs). In short, it enables you to rank higher in search results so you get more eyeballs on your content.
Some people believe SaaS SEO involves selecting some high-performing keywords for your content, and that’s certainly part of it. But it also covers everything from blog design to post structure to link building. Siege Media’s SEO experts have you covered. Whether you’re looking for whole-scale improvements or a few small tweaks that pack a punch, we can help. Our SEO services include:
- Content pruning
- Keyword research
- SEO A/B testing
- Title tag optimization
- Page speech optimization
- Internal linking audits
- Canonicalization and indexation best practices
- User experience assessments
- Information architecture analysis
Get in touch with Siege Media today to discover how we can boost your SEO and increase your ROI.
4. Offer a Free Trial or Freemium Model
One of the best ways to get a paying customer is to give them a taste of what your product can do for free: nearly a quarter of free trials convert to the paid version. Unlike other strategies on this list, this one costs you next to nothing to implement, and the risk to your bottom line is minimal.
You have two options: offer a free trial (the more complicated your software, the longer the trial should be) or a freemium version limited to a few select features. Either way, you’ll get your customers to fall in love with the product at no financial risk, giving you a chance to prove your software is indispensable.
5. Network With Your Customers
Where do your customers network? Whatever the answer is, it’s where you should network, too. While it’s a good idea to network with people in your industry to make connections and stay on top of trends, you’ll only find colleagues, not customers.
Carve some time out in your schedule to network at the events your customers attend. For example, if you have a senior living software program, spend time at conferences for those who own and operate senior living facilities.
6. Partner With Niche Influencers
Regardless of your niche, it probably has influencers. They may not have as many followers as, say, makeup influencers on TikTok. However, they will show up in the feed of the people who matter — your customers.
Niche influencers are called micro-influencers, and they are a cost-effective way to get your brand in front of your customers. They already have your customers’ attention, so forge a partnership with them. To find influencers in your niche, channel your inner Sherlock Holmes and scour your customers’ social channels to see who they follow. Reach out to them to see if they’re interested in partnering with you, but know that you may have to pay them or provide products for free.
7. Incorporate Email Marketing
Although social media is a growing marketing channel, don’t sleep on the classic email marketing campaign. Email marketing campaigns generate more than $8 trillion in revenue.
Business professionals prefer email communication, so meet them where they’re at with a consistent newsletter chock full of valuable content with a dash of promos. Send useful tips, updates on new features, special deals, and whatever else you think readers will find helpful.
To speed up the process, automate what you can, like welcome emails, progress check-ins, review requests, and the like. Segmenting your list is also helpful so you can get the right content to the right audience at the right time.
8. Start Referral and Affiliate Programs
You can talk your product up until you’re blue in the face, but words of praise mean more when they come from people your customers trust: their colleagues.
Consider what your customers would appreciate and incorporate that into your referral program. Get creative, and don’t leave out the person being referred to. For example, if you don’t offer a free trial, you could offer one month free for the customer signing up and one free month to the customer who made the referral.
Affiliate programs are also helpful, but instead of relying on existing customers to refer clients to you, you partner with third parties who market for you in exchange for a flat fee. For example, you may partner with a SaaS review blog to review your product and include affiliate links. The partner then earns a commission whenever someone signs up for your product through one of their affiliate links.
9. Add Integrations
Gone are the days of companies only using one software company for everything. That means your software needs to play nice with whatever is already in your customers’ tech stacks.
Remember when we said to learn more about your customers and their technographics? Your product should allow data to flow smoothly between it and the rest of your customer’s tech stack if you want any hope of them even considering you as a vendor. For example, if you have a CRM product, it should at least integrate with their email and calendar apps.
Adding integrations to your software does several things:
- Cuts down on onboarding time for customers
- Embeds your software into the rest of their tech stack for seamless use
- Builds credibility in your software
- Allows for cross-promotional opportunities with other SaaS companies, expanding your customer base
- Improves the overall customer experience
Once you know what’s in your customers’ tech stacks, start working to establish integrations with the most common.
10. Target Ads with PPC
Purchasing ads is expensive, so rather than papering the digital world with ads, opt for targeted ads with pay-per-click (PPC) ads.
PPC ads deliver quick, cost-effective results. You target ads through keywords, which appear in results when a user searches them. The best part is you only pay when the customer clicks on the ad. In most cases, a purchase will offset the fee.
For the most effective PPC ads, focus on how your product will benefit the user or resolve their pain point. In the example above, Zoho promises easy-to-learn software (often a pain point for CRM users) that builds customer relationships.
11. Share User-Generated Content
Make your users into advertisers with user-generated content (UGC). This social media marketing model involves sharing the content your customers already post online — photos, videos, tweets, testimonials, etc. — with their permission on your own social channels.
USG works as a marketing strategy, influencing 90% of a customer’s decision to purchase a product, because it:
- Builds brand loyalty and makes your customer feel like part of your community
- Acts as a form of social proof that the product works, just like a review
- Is seen as more authentic than traditional marketing since a customer is involved rather than a marketing expert
Customers aren’t the only ones who benefit from USG — B2B SaaS companies also benefit because it’s:
- More adaptable and flexible compared to traditional marketing strategies
- Cheaper than traditional marketing since you aren’t hiring an entire marketing team
- Easily integrated with existing social media marketing
- Is seemingly unlimited and requires minimal work from the marketing department
12. Offer Webinars and Workshops
Build community while providing user support with webinars and workshops. Show off everything your software can do and establish yourself as an expert to existing and new customers.
Workshops and other in-person events allow you to make face-to-face connections with your customers (and they with each other). Meanwhile, webinars offer the unique opportunity for users to watch a replay if they can’t make it (plus give you a chance to capture email addresses to help your email marketing campaign).
13. Ask for Reviews
Very few, if any, businesses purchase software or apps without doing extensive research. In addition to learning more about your specific product and its cost, more than half of software buyers will spend time reading reviews.
Since real customers write reviews without any sway from a marketer, it makes sense why decision-makers would trust reviews. Customers aren’t going to sugarcoat their thoughts and gloss over faults in the software to make a sale.
If you don’t already have a review presence on sites like Capterra or SoftwareAdvice, set up a profile and ask customers to leave a review. Remember — every interaction is a chance to earn a good review, so don’t wait for a purchase to provide stellar customer service. Engage with reviews when you can, leaving follow-up comments to show that you listen to what customers say.
These reviews help your leads make a purchasing decision and give you feedback you can use to improve your onboarding process, product, or customer experience.
14. Run A/B Tests
It can be hard to know what optimizations to your website will be a home run or a strikeout since every audience is different. Use A/B testing to find out what’s working before implementing wide-scale changes.
With an A/B test, you can keep the original page as a control while implementing changes on an alternate version. Then, compare the two versions and see which generates the most conversions. This method helps you solve user problems with your site with lower risk, so you only implement the changes that work, which improves your ROI.
15. Make Your Website Interactive With a Live Chat or Chatbot
When your customers need help, they want help quickly — any delay can hurt your relationship. But not everyone wants to hop on the phone with customer service. Adding a live chat or chatbot feature to your website makes customer support accessible 24/7.
Live chat is incredibly popular for businesses of all sizes. Comm100 reports the average number of chats conducted monthly by their agents has increased by 113% since 2022. It’s also effective — just over 80% of users say they were satisfied with the support they received via live chat.
16. Engage in Video Marketing
Customers rank video as the most helpful form of content, and 93% of businesses sign a new client after they release a video on social media.
Your videos can (and should) live on sites like YouTube, Facebook, or X (formerly Twitter), but you can also embed them in your articles for an added lift. Articles with embedded video see more traffic than articles that don’t — up to 80% more.
Video marketing doesn’t just attract new customers — current customers also find it helpful. More than half of marketers claim they saw a 57% decrease in support tickets for their product thanks to video marketing.
17. Make Sign-Up a Breeze
Signing up for your software or setting up sales calls should be so easy even the most sleep-deprived, frazzled potential customers could complete them without a hiccup.
Use sticky call-to-action (CTA) buttons on your website so leads can see exactly where to sign up without scrolling. Once a lead clicks on the CTA, the sign-up form should be short and sweet — it shouldn’t be longer than 2-5 questions or take more than five minutes to complete.
If your CTA involves scheduling a demo or sales call, use a service like Calendly that automates the process and eliminates back-and-forth between your sales team and the lead.
18. Create Tutorials
No matter how easy you think your product is to use and understand, chances are your customers may have some questions.
Tutorial videos should be a part of the onboarding process for new customers to head off any confusion before it happens. They can function as a product tour, highlighting all the main features and how to use them.
You can also keep a tutorial video library on your site where existing users can access them for troubleshooting issues or to unlock new features they were unaware of.
Future Trends in B2B SaaS Marketing
The B2B SaaS market changes rapidly with the invention of new technology, and marketers need to be ready to pivot when a new social media service explodes in popularity or a cybersecurity threat emerges. While we dig into these trends in more detail in our SaaS Marketing Trends data study, here are a few things to monitor heading into 2024:
- The role of AI:As of this writing, roughly 50% of companies use AI tools, but that number is constantly changing. You may already be in the AI game, offering a product with AI or using it as part of your marketing strategy. We find its content generation capabilities aren’t up to snuff, but businesses can use it effectively to improve content ideation or edit content.
- The value of a great user experience: Customers will always expect a great user experience regardless of trends. We found that the majority of SaaS companies struggle to implement effective web accessibility features on their platforms. In addition, they often don’t pass key web evaluations like Core Web Vitals on mobile versions of their site. Focusing on DEI in marketing and ensuring their sites run well on mobile devices can go a long way toward setting you apart in 2024.
- The importance of quality content: Quality content will never go out of style. In 2024, users (and Google) are looking at whether your content is helpful, not the size of your content library. Especially with the rise of AI, Google is rewarding content that meets its authority guidelines with authors and other clear trust signals. This year, invest in quality content more than content volume.
Stand Out From the Crowd With Siege Media
B2B SaaS marketing is tricky, combining the quirks of both B2B and SaaS marketing into one enormous beast. Whether you’re trying to stand out from the crowd, tackle increased content generation necessitated by rapid growth, or update existing content for freshness, the SaaS content marketing experts at Siege Media can help.
Our SaaS-specific content marketers, designers, and SEO experts help SaaS companies generate more than 7.8 million in annual traffic annually, and our case studies speak for themselves. Don’t hesitate — drop us a line today to see how we can help.