What is SaaS Marketing: Challenges, Strategies, & Benefits

Komal Chaturvedi
Komal Chaturvedi

Co-Founder & CEO, MotionGility

SaaS Marketing
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    Marketing a SaaS product can be a tough drive up the hill due to the multiple challenges marketers face while promoting their products.

     

    A few include educating target users, communicating the USP, justifying the pricing, generating leads, etc. 

     

    But if it were that easy and manageable, things would have been completely different for marketers and SaaS-based startups.

     

    SaaS Marketing is complex, you already know that. The general idea here is to cut through the fluff and reach out to the right set of people using effective strategies both in terms of cost and performance.

     

    Below, I’ve outlined what it means to market a SaaS product, the key marketing strategies used by top startups, and a few relevant marketing metrics for your better understanding in this blog.

    What is SaaS Marketing?

    what is saas marketing: challenges, strategies, & benefits

    SaaS marketing involves unique strategies, tactics, and processes to launch, promote, and sell Software-as-a-Service [SaaS] products. 

     

    It involves positioning and making efforts to communicate the need for subscription-based cloud products to the target audience.

     

    The need is to use the right marketing channels, reach potential customers, make them realize why the product is the perfect solution to their business problems, and persuade them to sign up for a free trial.

     

    Before you deep dive into the different SaaS marketing strategies, it’s necessary to understand the common marketing challenges associated with marketing SaaS products.

    Key Challenges SaaS Marketers Face Regularly

    what is saas marketing: challenges, strategies, & benefits

    There are tons of challenges in B2B SaaS marketing. 

     

    And for standing out, marketers are always looking for ways to smoothly navigate the evolving landscape of market competition, dynamic business requirements, user expectations, etc.

     

    Here are the top 3 marketers generally face:

    1. High Customer Acquisition Cost [CAC]

    For SaaS marketers, CAC has and will always remain a key concern as it has direct implications on a startup’s success.

     

    CAC is simply a particular amount that you’re spending to acquire a customer. Now this should be less than what the customer is spending to purchase your product. 

     

    Often, SaaS startups end up spending excess capital on marketing their products but somehow, are unable to generate considerable revenue due to poor marketing resources and other reasons.

     

    As a result, the profit margin drops thus impacting the business’s bottom line and operational efficiency.

    2. Lengthy Sales Cycles

    b2b saas sales cycle

    Here when we’re talking briefly about B2B SaaS marketing, it’s a no-brainer that there is going to be more than one stakeholder involved. 

     

    The involvement of multiple decision-makers thus delays the entire decision-making process. Every aspect related to product feasibility, scope of product impact, etc., is considered under the key heading of ROI. 

     

    Here are the possible implications: A longer sales cycle may result in increased resource consumption and maybe inefficiency in product effectiveness.

     

    The only solution to shorten lengthy sales cycles is to locate and remove existing bottlenecks in prospect communication, pitching materials, objections handling, etc.

    3. Balancing Acquisition and Retention

    This is an interesting balance for marketers to figure out to keep their SaaS business on track. 

     

    And particularly here, the concept of LTV [lifetime value] comes into the picture. 

    So the need is to identify the sweet spot that drives maximum revenues in the face of new customers and also continues to provide quality services to the existing ones.

     

    From the acquisition perspective, there are a few methods SaaS startups generally implement:

    A. Content Marketing

    This involves creating quality educational material for educating your new customers. You can create long-form blogs, and product manuals, or even host webinars to allow your customers to know your platform.

     

    Nowadays, top SaaS companies are using animated videos to better explain their product’s functionality. The agenda of this video lies in communicating the overall USP and demonstration through catchy visuals within 90 – 120 seconds.

     

    Examples include: Zoho, Clickup, Monday, AWS, Google Cloud, etc.

    what is saas marketing: challenges, strategies, & benefits

    B. Free Trials

    Free trials are an excellent way to attract potential customers and provide them with hands-on experience with your software.

     

    By allowing them to use your software for free, you can increase conversion chances as after the free trial ends, there are high chances they will sign up for a paid plan if your product comes out to be a perfect solution to their problems.

     

    Few examples of SaaS brands doing extremely well by offering free trials or a Freemium model include Asana, Freshworks, Timely, etc.

     

    Now if we talk about how you can retain your customers, here’s what you can do:

    C. Seamless User Onboarding

    User onboarding is a crucial aspect if you’re serious about providing your new users with an exceptional user experience.

     

    To achieve this, you can get an onboarding video created especially for your users. Through this video, you can now provide them with a guided walkthrough of your platform, highlighting navigation and key features. 

     

    Check out how Wrike provided its platform’s overview through an animated SaaS video:

    4 Most-used SaaS Marketing Strategies

    The right strategy will get you in front of your target customers’ eyes while the wrong one will end up burning your capital and even losing out your existing customers.

     

    So what is really important here is to understand who your customers are, what they like about you, and what’s the best channel to reach them in less time and resources.

     

    Here are the top 4 strategies marketers generally love to execute:

    1. Search Engine Optimization [SEO] for SaaS

    This is an underrated yet super-effective marketing strategy if you’re into SaaS B2B marketing. 

     

    The agenda here is to craft quality educational content in the form of blogs, comparison articles, guides, E-books, etc., that are solely aimed at educating and nurturing the readers’ interest. 

     

    But this isn’t limited to publishing blogs around your SaaS product. It’s also about internally linking them to relevant topics, distributing links on other SaaS-based websites, etc., for enhanced reach.

     

    By optimizing your blogs as per the keywords, search intent, and customers’ queries,  you can make your way to the top positions on the search results page and increase conversion chances.

    2. Video Marketing

    saas marketing survey report 2023

    As per our SaaS B2B Marketing survey conducted in 2023, around 60% of marketers voted for animated walkthrough videos as their preferred choice for marketing.

     

    These videos have come out as an effective marketing tool for marketers working with brands such as CRED, Ahrefs, Spotify, Hubspot, Zoho, Asana, Discord, etc.

     

    Here are the key reasons why you can plan on getting such videos created for your SaaS product:

     

    • Provides brands with a creative medium to demonstrate their complex product’s functionality via interactive visuals
    • Empower brands to grab their target users’ attention within 30-60 seconds.
    • Increases conversion chances by directing them to the desired destination page or generating signups
    • Helps address user queries through FAQ-style videos for a better customer experience
    • Offers a streamlined onboarding experience.

    Watch one of Slack’s videos from their animated motion graphic videos campaign:

    3. Email Marketing

    Many SaaS marketers believe that hunting customers via email isn’t a promising activity to indulge in.

     

    However, emails work wonders if targeted strategically and carry the potential to largely boost product signups and overall clicks. 

     

    But how you can leverage the power of emails to promote your SaaS product? Here are a few tips:

     

    • Create short and crisp emails around the key problems your product solves. 
    • You can also strategize and execute targeted campaigns sharing product features, success stories, etc., based on the sales funnel stage your prospect is on currently.
    • A lot of marketers use the video mail technique to grab attention quickly.
    • Create a newsletter for your existing user base. If you’re a new startup, invest efforts in collecting data from your target customers and nurture them with educational content that sparks the need to purchase your product.

    By analyzing and performing A/B testing, you can optimize your email’s performance and find ways to boost click-through rates.

    4. Referral Marketing

    Not many marketers use this marketing strategy but if executed well, it can bring a considerable amount of product reach and leads from target customers. 

     

    What you need to do is craft a referral program strategy and send it to existing customers in exchange for a mini-plan upgrade, discount coupons, or other monetary rewards. 

     

    The intention here should be to incentivize this set of customers and subtly convince them to be your product’s ambassador. 

     

    Now this move will help you unlock the highly effective word-of-mouth weapon and boost your customer acquisition efforts. 

     

    Marketing a SaaS product requires you to be highly alert about your customers’ buying psychology and behavior. 

     

    Knowing this will allow you to communicate your product’s key features and benefits in a manner, near to almost converting them from prospects to buyers. 

     

    Check out a few SaaS marketing benefits below:

    3 SaaS Marketing Benefits You Should Know

    saas marketing benefits

    1. Improved Product Marketing

    As a B2B SaaS marketer, you are already aware of the pain points your prospects face. 

     

    This means you’re in a better position to tailor your target messaging and product communication that resonates with their problems effectively. 

     

    You just need to pick the right strategy whether it’s content marketing, customer testimonial videos, free consultations, etc., to win their attention and enhance your product’s reach.

     

    Here’s how Zoom leveraged the power of a video testimonial:

    2. Stronger Customer Relationships

    There’s a simple and only way to retain your customers for a longer period on your platform i.e., 

     

    Being there whenever your customer encounters a problem using your platform. 

     

    SaaS B2B marketing encapsulates the whole idea of acquiring, nurturing, and retaining your customers in the best manner to reduce churn rate and boost customer loyalty. 

     

    Multiple ways to maintain a healthy relationship with your customers could be: 

     

    • Keeping in touch with them with personalized emails.
    • Interacting with them on social media platforms such as Reddit, X, or even LinkedIn. 
    • Addressing their grievances swiftly and assisting them to make out the best from your platform.

    3. Increased Brand Awareness

    Apart from helping you spread your product’s reach through SEO, Paid marketing, Referral marketing, etc., you can even create thought leadership blog content around your SaaS product. 

     

    This will benefit you in the long run by providing your potential customers with a deeper insight into your product’s build and how it can solve their business problems. 

     

    Another sure-shot way how SaaS brands benefit from increased brand awareness is by attending technology meetups, conventions, and conferences. 

     

    The reason is that it allows them easy access and an opportunity to penetrate global markets and increase their customer base.

    Conclusion

    The ongoing SaaS product marketing landscape is pretty dynamic in terms of changing customer demands, technological advancements, etc. 

     

    As SaaS marketers, your aim should be to deeply study your product’s dimensions, target users, demographics, etc., and choose a suitable marketing strategy for better results. 

     

    We’re an animated video production company helping top SaaS brands market their complex products effectively within 90-120 seconds through storytelling and visuals.

     

    If you’re someone who wants to explore the video marketing route and generate results, fill up your details below and our expert will get back to you within 24 hours. 

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