B2B SaaS Startups Marketing Strategy to Grow Faster
Do you have a great product but no one seems to be buying? Have you found a niche with little to no competition, yet there’s no buzz around your business?
You need to create a landing page that converts and an effective marketing funnel.
Target Persona Research
Who are your customers? For many founders building a new product, this question can quickly become a guessing game. Understanding your client’s goals is vital to product building and messaging.
Conduct a strategy workshop with your team where you discuss the tool, how it would work, why it would benefit users, who would be using it, what specific problems do they face. Airtasks is one of many new B2B SaaS startups out there. It’s a team productivity platform for the construction industry with a unique feature to upload and display 3D file formates to collaborate and manage projects. During team discussions, Airtasks learned that the tool would benefit a variety of target audiences, including Architects and Engineers, Building Operators, BIM/VDC Teams and more.
For the following steps, develop target persona groups. Airtasks reached out to potential customers to better understand each persona, from their day-to-day workflow to their communication styles, goals, and challenges.
Messaging is crucial when launching a new product. Since nobody knows what “this new thing” is, include sections and pages that explain what the tool is, what it does, how it works.
It would help if you showed why it’s different from other solutions. Explain how it will benefit the target audience(s) or what they’ll lose if they don’t use it.
Include sections explaining who the product is for and how it benefits each group to help visitors qualify themselves.
In addition, you also need to create a sense of trust. It’s challenging when you don’t have “social proofs” such as testimonials, reviews, awards, press. Airtasks (founders of which were working in the construction industry and noticed that there is no team productivity platform to serve construction teams) might add an “About” page that demonstrates the deep understanding of the challenges and needs of the target audiences.
Define Your Goal
If your business is new to the market, your main marketing goal probably will be to drive conversion and product adoption.
Product adoption describes the process of users becoming aware of a product, understanding its value, and beginning to use it.
The system is called a Marketing Funnel and is usually broken down into four discrete stages: awareness, interest, evaluation and conversion. Let’s look at how B2B SaaS startups can build an effective marketing funnel.
Boost Your Online Presence to Raise Awareness
Prospects can become aware of your service in a variety of ways:
- They see one of your ads on Facebook;
- They read one of your articles on Medium;
- They listen to a podcast where the host gives you a shoutout;
- They search for something on Google and find your website;
- They attend a conference, and one of the speakers mentions you;
- They watch one of your videos on YouTube.
When people have questions, they go to Google.
Ones you create a blog, you will dive into the SEO metrics to make sure every post you write has search traffic potential. It would be best to do keyword research to determine what content to create. Airtasks’s audiences might have professional-related questions the company could help with. And if they’re looking for construction or teambuilding-related content in the future, they’ll likely think of Airtask.
YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine in the world. To rank on YouTube, you need to conduct keyword research to determine what videos to create and then produce high-quality, actionable videos.
Building your social media network, engaging with your followers, and knowing your audience are also great ways to raise awareness about your business.
Many B2B marketers have found success in fostering thought leadership through social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Quora, and other places where key decision-makers are asking questions.
For example, founders of Artasks can establish themselves as a thought leader on Quora: offering practical, in-depth answers. They can also create a Group on Facebook to engage with Architects and Engineers. Find where your audience already hangs out – fish where the fish are.
A typical marketing budget ranges between 10 and 40% of forecasted annual recurring revenue. However, SaaS companies may invest more than 80% of their income in marketing and sales. This may sound a lot, but considering that these are long-term investments that return $2.20 for every $1.00 spent, it’s worthwhile.
Use Content Marketing to Generate Interest
Your job is to talk more about the problem. Raise awareness of the issue. Persuade these people that it’s important and should be tackled and resolved. Educate them on how to solve it. Connect the problem with your brand, product or service. Convince people that you’re the right solution.
Your goal is to convert prospects that are now “problem aware” and “solution aware” into leads. Use free content to incentivize (=motivate) prospects to submit their contact information and opt-in to receive future marketing.
Create Lead Magnets to generate leads:
– Educational Resources (such as Case Study)
– Useful Resources (Templates, Checklist, etc.)
– Software Downloads
– Discount/Coupon Clubs
A long and complex lead magnet will likely convert poorly. So I don’t recommend, for example, a mini-course delivered over 14 days or a 300-page e-book as a Lead Magnet.
Do you want to hear the key ingredient for an effective lead magnet? You simply need to solve a specific problem with a specific solution for a specific segment of your market.
When it’s unclear how to use a software or a service, and the onboarding process itself is painful – you won’t likely continue to use it, right?
Since nobody knows what “this new thing” is, create a user playbook. For example, if the user is new, the support team can be ready with a list of FAQs, and the marketing team can send out a group of emails with “did you know?” tips.
Conduct surveys to make sure your clients are satisfied with your service and look for areas for improvement.
Dropbox made the whole onboarding a six-step piece of cake but also integrated their referral program as a final step. Just like saying ‘thank you by offering more of the product.
Introduce a Referral Program
Referral programs will help you increase user sign-ups by offering benefits to the community.
Dropbox’s referral program is possibly one of the most famous cases of referral marketing. The promise is simple – reward people with more free space for referring to their friends and accepting an invitation. In early 2009 their AdWords campaign showed a Cost per acquisition of $388,11 for a $99 product. Campaign failed. Eventually, the referral program resulted in its users sending 2.8M invites in April 2010. Dropbox achieved 3900% growth in 15 months.
Offer Free Trials and Demos
Prospects are now aware of your service and receive marketing materials from you. They evaluate the various choices, including your competitor’s solutions. Now at the moment of truth—purchase
Demo/Free Trial is what your new leads need when they’re not ready to put too much skin in a game and make an actual purchase.
What else are the types of content that will help your lead make an informed purchase decision?
• Customer Stories (Salesforce.com has dozens of these).
• Comparison (Podia is one of many creator-focused platforms, their nine comparison pages generate traffic and convert at over 10%).
Compare your tool with competitor’s tool or help customers choose the right solution by comparing your tools with each other.
Provide Different Pricing Plans
A single subscription plan won’t necessarily fit all when it comes to pricing. Look into offering your customers different pricing plans for their budget and needs, and make plans visible on your website.
Your flexible solutions demonstrate an understanding of your customer’s needs and budget.
Written by Valeriia Dolgova