If your SaaS strategies aren’t bringing results, you’re probably focusing your efforts in the wrong places.
But how do you develop SaaS marketing strategies that actually get more customers?
The key is consistency, which many companies don’t implement in their marketing strategies.
They’ll start strong, maybe see some immediate results, then they taper back their marketing spend over time. But as a consequence, they reduce their growth as well.
The strategy discussed today is perfect for developing an effective marketing plan for SaaS companies, who especially need to focus on consistently getting more customers to keep growing.
It’s fantastic because it lets you spread out your spending to maximize results over time without breaking the bank. At the same time, you can still scale your company at will with this framework by using the same strategies, changing only your budget!
We can break our SaaS strategy into three repeating phases that we use to implement creative marketing that continuously grows your audience: the first is to build memories. Next, maximize availability. Finally, you have to reach the market.
- Build Memories
- Maximize Availability
- Reach the Market
Phase 1: Build Memories
In the first phase of this marketing strategy, focus on building memories and associations for your brand.
This includes creating a distinctive identity through elements like branding and packaging, developing catchy taglines and ad moments, and standing out in the market through unique and creative marketing tactics.
Why is it important to have a strong brand identity? Think about it: as customers, people often make snap decisions based on what stands out in the moment. So if your brand is memorable and recognizable, the chances of being chosen by customers in that crucial decision-making moment are much higher.
(We’re not saying that copy doesn’t matter. We’re saying you should have both, good copy and distinctive design – more on that soon.)
There are two key ways to make your company memorable to potential clients. The first is to leverage distinct branding. The second is to build connections with uses.
Leverage Distinct Branding
Companies can leverage distinctive branding elements by meticulously choosing everything from your company logo to the colors and fonts you use, as well as by designing unique images and graphics.
Another part of distinctive branding is having consistent messaging in all of your marketing content as well as in your interactions with customers. This helps solidify your company identity in their minds, making it easier for them to remember and recognize you in the future.
This phase involves heavy brainstorming, testing, and experimenting with different branding elements until you find the ones that stick in people’s minds. One way to determine which elements are most effective is by hosting an online survey to a large (500+) group of users. Explicitly ask them: which logo, font, color, or design looks best? How unique is each option? Ideally, you’d want 50% or more of the survey responses to indicate that a design is unique for you to incorporate it into your brand.
Once you use their responses to create a solid brand identity you gain the ability to be quickly recognized, making it easier to attract and engage new users in future marketing campaigns.
Build Connections With Uses
Second, try to build connections with the specific uses for your product or service. Remember, people buy your product because they need it for something – so focus on those needs and how you can build unique associations between them and your brand.
For example, if you’re a SaaS company that offers project management software, think about the ways in which your product can improve efficiency and organization for businesses.
Consider questions such as:
- Is your software great for specific features?
- Does it help people communicate more efficiently?
- How does it change the user’s experience for the better?
Advertise these qualities directly on your product pages. Post about their usefulness on social media. The idea is to find the reasons why people use your product or service, then promote them in your marketing materials – Asana and Teamwork are great examples of companies that do this effectively.
Phase 2: Maximize Availability
Now that you’ve built up a memorable identity for your brand, it’s time to maximize your availability in the market. This phase focuses on putting yourself out there and making sure potential customers can easily find and access your product or service.
It’s like being “in stock” in a grocery store… but digitally.
Do this by optimizing your presence on search engines, maintaining an active and informative website, being listed in online directories, and ensuring your product is readily available in stores and online marketplaces (or wherever customers go to find it). It’s all about making it as easy as possible for potential clients to find and buy your offering.
Just like Phase 1, Phase 2 can be broken down into different parts. The first part of maximizing availability is identifying where people find whatever you offer, then establishing a presence in those places. The second step is to remove friction from the purchasing process to remove barriers for customers.
Find & Go Where People Are Looking
In SaaS industries where competition is high, being easily accessible can often be the deciding factor for potential clients. Don’t underestimate the importance of maintaining a strong online presence and making sure your product is readily available whenever and wherever customers are looking for it.
Sit down with a piece of paper and write a list: if someone wants a product or service in your category, where are all of the places they’ll go to get it? Use every resource you can to help you brainstorm – search engines, magazines, and even local newspapers all provide useful information about where customers might be going to find and purchase your product.
There isn’t a number of list items or time limit to aim for when listing possible locations. Take time to consider both digital and physical locations that offer similar products or services to those your company offers. You can even ask yourself where they go to find competing products to help you identify undiscovered distribution channels.
Using growth marketing tactics such as targeted advertising and referral programs can also help increase your accessibility and visibility to the right audience. It’s all about finding creative ways to get in front of potential clients and make it as easy as possible for them to become paying customers.
Be Easy To Buy
Maximizing availability isn’t just about making it easy for consumers to purchase from your website or physical storefront. It’s about removing any and all friction from the entire purchasing process, from the moment a consumer considers buying your product or service to the moment they successfully complete the transaction.
This means staying competitive with pricing and features, as well as constantly considering new SaaS strategies and growth marketing tactics that place your products and services where people go to look for them.
In short, never give customers a reason not to buy from you.
Keep the buying experience simple and seamless. Do this by:
- Limiting the number of steps customers take when making purchases
- Accepting multiple payment methods
- Existing across various platforms
- Optimizing mobile purchase processes
Focus on finding ways to remain accessible when users need support or have questions. To do this, either establish a dedicated customer support channel or use an AI tool to create a chat function that answers FAQs. Apply one (or both) of these techniques to create a supportive environment for your customers that keeps them feeling cared for. Request and listen to their feedback, and make changes accordingly.
In the end, consumers want convenience and ease – so give it to them. To ensure sustained growth for your business, make sure you’re constantly evaluating and improving upon purchasing ease for consumers.
Phase 3: Reach the Market
Once you’ve built a strong, memorable identity for your brand and maximized your availability in the market, it’s time to focus on reaching potential clients and converting them into paying or repeating customers.
This phase is all about forcing your way in front of a large audience to generate interest and target potential clients with messages that resonate with their needs and pain points.
In order for a company to extend reach, it must do two things: continuously target the whole market, and get noticed.
Continuously Target The Whole Market
The traditional B2B approach is to target specific market sectors. This can be helpful when for companies who offer industry-specific solutions, but ultimately, your goal is to tap into the entire market rather than finding a “niche” market of companies that fit a specific profile.
Limiting yourself to specific, smaller segments of the market means missing out on potential clients and limiting your brand’s growth potential.
It’s like choosing to decrease your sales.
Again, fine when you have a limited budget. But the ultimate goal is to reach the whole market.
Instead, focus on reaching all buyers in your service or product category by utilizing both physical distribution channels and marketing communication tactics.
Your first goal should be to maximize reach, not frequency. Most sales happen the first time someone sees an ad (the idea that someone needs to see an ad 7 or 8 times before they buy is a myth), so start out by using your marketing budget to get in front of the most people possible, once.
After that, your frequency should be spaced out. It’s not the number of times someone sees your ad that compels them to buy. It’s if they see your ad when they’re ready to buy. This is where the myth of frequency comes from. Yes, some people will respond the 7th time they see your ad. But it’s not because they saw it 7 times. It’s because they’re finally ready to buy. The timing is what mattered.
This is why targeting the market continuously is important. You want to be in front of people when they’re ready to buy.
Growth comes from gaining more buyers – including those who may only purchase our services or products occasionally – so it’s important for companies to make sure they aren’t overlooking any potential clients.
A note on target audiences. Target audiences are helpful when you have a limited budget because they give you a place to focus your ad spend. In the long run, you will need to expand your target audience to include more people. But, in the short term, it can be good to focus on a specific demographic.
In addition to continuously targeting the whole market, you also need to take action that makes you stand out in the long term.
The best way to get noticed is by connecting with emotions rather than facts or figures. Tell a story with a video instead of listing off features.
Here’s one that’s stuck with me since I first saw it.
A good way to know if you’ve done a good job is asking, “Is this worth watching over and over?” The answer should be “yes.”
Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and be imaginative – the more visible your brand is, the more likely it will stand out and attract potential clients in a sea of competitors.
But make sure to stay on-brand. Put your logo right at the beginning of the video or in the corner of every image ad. Have similar tone, sounds, and moments in videos. Use your distinctive assets throughout (Geico’s gecko is an example of a great distinctive asset that stays on-brand).
Remember, in this phase it’s not just about conveying information – it’s about generating interest and excitement for your services.
Where Can This Methodology Be Seen In Action?
Asana is a SaaS company that has mastered the art of growth marketing, continuously targeting the whole market, and attracting attention through unique branding and interesting campaigns.
In addition to their visually pleasing website and user-friendly app that showcase the brand’s unique assets, Asana’s growth strategies also include extending their reach through a successful referral program and personalized onboarding process for new users. This focus on ease and convenience for customers has helped them attract a diverse range of buyers from small businesses to large enterprises.
Visiting Asana’s homepage and exploring navigation menus, it’s immediately clear that they are targeting specific uses rather than specific users. By doing so, they expand their audience and build memories and associations that resonate with the needs of the general public instead of just one subset of the population.
By constantly evaluating their SaaS strategies and optimizing their online purchase process (which requires just 4 clicks to register and make an account), Asana continues to experience sustained growth and success in the SaaS market.
Teamwork, another SaaS company in the project management space and a top competitor for Asana, also utilizes aspects of this 3-phase methodology in their growth marketing tactics.
While Asana focuses on creating a user-friendly experience that makes it easy for individual users to sign up and make purchases, Teamwork’s growth strategies center around continuously targeting the whole market (or extending reach) through partnerships with large companies like Microsoft and Adobe.
This grants exposure to employees in these organizations who might not visit Teamwork’s typical advertising channels and allows them to tap into new segments of potential clients and expand their reach globally.
In terms of brand memories, Teamwork’s branding is consistently recognizable by the use of pink and purple in visual assets and messaging. Like Asana, they also attract attention and build associations with specific uses through persuasive website copy that appeals to the needs of a large target audience – any companies or individuals looking for innovative solutions to improve team communication and productivity.
By continuously working to reach a diverse range of buyers and standing out through branding and campaigns, Teamwork has solidified its position as a leading SaaS competitor in the project management space.
From marketing campaigns that use unique imagery, shapes, and associations to strategic partnerships with other brands (think AT&T at the launch of the original iPhone), Apple consistently works to stand out in a crowded market and attract a diverse range of buyers.
Apple is so great at building memories and unique associations, users don’t even realize they’re helping the company do it. For example, every single one of their devices displays a large, central image of Apple’s logo on the back of the device.
The result is that every time a user interacts with a device, Apple can passively advertise its products to anyone walking by.
Techniques like this manage to kill two birds with one stone. Aside from building memories, this subtle marketing strategy also extends the company’s reach. It doesn’t matter where potential leads are spending their time – if there’s an Apple user nearby, everyone has a chance of being exposed to the Apple logo. This way, the company can extend its advertising and user base beyond just the demographics they think are most likely to use its products.
Next time you’re enjoying your favorite Apple product, take a moment to appreciate their careful consideration and teamwork behind the scenes. Apple’s growth strategies aren’t always the most obvious topic of discussion due to their subtlety, but their tactics for building memories, maximizing availability, and extending reach are absolutely worth acknowledging.
What Low-Cost SaaS Techniques Use This Methodology?
Techniques To Build Memories
Below are some specific techniques that SaaS marketers can use to effectively build memories and unique brand associations. Mixing and matching these techniques along with any other creative memory-building strategies your team comes up with will help establish your brand as a known provider of SaaS solutions.
There are several different ways to build memories using design elements alone. Experiment with various logo designs, color palettes, and fonts until you find a combination that makes a strong statement. Along the same lines, test different writing styles and tones for your marketing content, or try different slogans until you find the perfect blend between clear and catchy messaging.
2) Email Marketing
Email marketing comes with many advantages and is a relatively low-cost way to re-engage large numbers of potential clients quickly and directly. Every time someone opens a message, they’re exposed to your company’s distinctive design elements. Sending marketing content and updates regularly via email keeps your company fresh in the minds of those on your mailing list, which means they’re more likely to remember your company at critical moments (for example, when making a purchase).
3) Social Media
The image-centric nature of social media makes it a great medium for leveraging distinctive elements of design and messaging. Unlike email, social media gives companies the added benefit of providing access to a virtually unlimited number of new users. Tools like hashtags are great for gaining organic traffic based on trends and search tendencies from user bases who may not otherwise find your brand. This would also put social media in the “Maximize Availability” and “Reach The Market” categories, depending on how the hashtags are used.
Techniques To Maximize Availability
Looking for effective ways to maximize availability for your company’s product or service? Here are 4 useful techniques your company can use to ensure that your SaaS solution is available both where and when people are looking for it. Companies can practice these techniques to compete better against other brands with similar offerings. When used correctly, you are more likely to persuade customers who might go with the competition to choose your company instead
It takes time to build quality content for SEO, but once obtained, the advantages are massive. SEO is the only technique on the list that is 100% free to implement, and a quality piece of content can result in thousands of quality leads. Optimization isn’t easy, but there are tools available to help companies ensure they’re producing excellent content that balances search engine requirements with information that users find useful and engaging.
2) Running Search Ads
Search ads are great for delivering punchy, targeted SaaS advertisements to people who are already searching for your company’s products or services. The beauty of search ads is that they allow companies to start advertising on a small scale while permitting them to scale as needed.
3) Getting On Lists And Directories
One often overlooked SaaS growth strategy is the power of being listed on top-10 lists and directories.
In addition to potentially bringing in organic traffic through these listings (which tend to rank well on search engines), they can also be a powerful tool for social proof. By showcasing awards and rankings from industry leaders, potential clients see that your company is already highly respected within your industry.
These lists and directories often have their own dedicated followings of SaaS enthusiasts constantly searching for new products and services to try out. Being listed on a reputable directory can bring in a steady stream of highly-targeted leads that are already interested in the types of products and services your company has to offer.
4) Staying Physically & Digitally Available
Placing your products or services wherever people usually look for them is a simple SaaS growth marketing strategy, but its effectiveness shouldn’t be underestimated. By placing your products or services in as many places as possible, you maximize physical and digital availability and make it easier for potential clients (who may be shopping for a competitor’s similar product) to find and choose them.
Techniques To Reach The Market
The techniques that follow are useful for getting in front of people who may (or may not) be searching for your company’s services at the present moment. Because 50% of revenue comes from light buyers, it’s extremely important for companies to expand their target audience over time rather instead of focusing on more specific subsets of users. These techniques place your brand in front of as many people as possible.
1) Display Ads
Display Ads are a crucial part of growth marketing strategies for SaaS companies. They allow you to target the entire market and extend your reach beyond just organic search traffic or word of mouth.
By placing ads on websites that are related to your industry or have an audience that would be interested in your products and services, you can greatly increase the number of potential customers who see your brand. And because these individuals are already interested in products and services that are similar to what you offer, they are more likely to convert into paying customers.
Not only do display ads increase brand awareness and attract new leads, but they also allow for retargeting – targeting individuals who have previously interacted with your website or shown interest in your products. This means that you can actively nurture existing leads and turn them into paying customers.
Overall, utilizing display ads as part of your SaaS growth strategies is a great way to effectively reach the market and drive more conversions.
2) Facebook & Instagram Ads
One specific advantage of using ads on social media platforms like Facebook is the ability to target specific audiences based on interests. This level of targeting ensures that your ads are reaching the individuals who are likely to be interested in your SaaS products or services.
Additionally, running Facebook ads consistently helps establish brand awareness and familiarity with your company. By continually putting your brand in front of potential leads, they are more likely to remember and recognize you when they are in need of a SaaS solution.
In sum, Facebook ads are similar to display ads in the way they allow for targeted and personalized advertising, but they also make it possible to hone in on audiences based on specific uses that relate to user interests. They also increase brand recognition and provide additional exposure to your company’s unique branding elements to continuously builds memories at the same time.
3) Affiliate Programs
Affiliate and referral programs are some of the most valuable techniques to use in SaaS growth marketing strategies. By partnering with influencers or affiliates who have already established an audience, you’re able to expand your reach and target a larger audience that may not otherwise find your company. These partnerships can also increase trust and credibility for your brand because the affiliate is effectively endorsing your product or service.
However, selecting the right affiliates and creating a successful program takes effort and strategy.
It’s important to prioritize quality over quantity when choosing affiliates, as having a small number of dedicated and successful partners is more beneficial in the long run than a large network of unengaged affiliates.
Additionally, offering enticing incentives and regularly communicating with your affiliates will help foster strong relationships and drive more conversions.
4) Paid PR
Paying to have articles, advertisements, and press releases featured in publications like magazines, newspapers, press releases, and online as well as in digital sources like online newsletters and press releases is a reliable way to place your offering in front of diverse audiences.
To find paid PR opportunities, first create a list of publications where your content is more likely to be seen. Ask yourself why people use your product or service. What are their interests? Next, find publications that reflect those interests and reach out about paid media opportunities.
8 Tools For Creating Effective SaaS Marketing Campaigns
1) Google Ads Suite
Google Ads Suite is one of the most popular general use toolsets SaaS companies use to add leverage to their marketing strategies. Google Ads Suite allows you to place saearcg and display ads on partner websites and apps, targeting audiences across more than 2 million websites within Google’s advertising network based on their interests. This targeted approach can boost campaign success by connecting potential customers already interested in related products or services with your company.
Some SaaS companies that have effectively utilized Google Ads Suite in their affiliate marketing strategies include DocuSign, Dropbox, and Wistia.
These companies have all built strong affiliate programs by offering incentives such as commissions for sales and free service for referring new customers.
By leveraging Google Ads Suite to broadcast these characteristics, they’ve been able to increase their reach and drive more conversions.
PartnerStack is a platform that connects SaaS companies to affiliate partners within their network.
It offers access to thousands of potential affiliates, making it a highly effective way for SaaS businesses to expand their reach through partnerships.
Additionally, PartnerStack provides tools for managing these relationships including conversion tracking and communication resources. They also offer useful insights about factors like reach and follower count for each affiliate so that you can get as many eyes as possible on your products and services.
3) Meta Ad Suite
Meta Ad Suite is a platform for creating and managing advertising campaigns on Facebook, Instagram, Audience Network, and Messenger.
SaaS companies can use this tool for high-level targeting of potential customers based on demographics, interests, and behaviors. Additionally, SaaS businesses can leverage the platform’s A/B testing feature to optimize ad performance and maximize ROI.
In addition to its CRM and sales capabilities, HubSpot’s marketing suite offers SaaS companies a range of valuable tools that enhance your affiliate and referral programs.
One such tool is the ability to track partner performance through custom affiliate links.
This allows SaaS businesses to monitor conversions and optimize their partnerships by identifying successful affiliates and targeting similar demographics in future recruiting efforts.
HubSpot also offers features for creating customized landing pages and calls-to-action for partners to use in their promotions, as well as tools for managing communication with partners through personalized email templates.
5) Yoast SEO
As a SaaS company, the visibility and searchability of your brand online is crucial for driving conversions. Yoast SEO is a WordPress plugin that can help optimize your website’s search engine rankings by analyzing factors such as keyword use and readability.
By utilizing Yoast SEO to improve your website’s overall searchability, you make it easier for potential customers and affiliates to find and engage with your brand through organic search, ultimately boosting the success of both your referral and affiliate programs.
6) Crazy Egg Heat Maps
To effectively promote SaaS products through affiliates and referrals, it’s important to understand how potential customers interact with your website. Crazy Egg’s heat map feature allows SaaS companies to visually track user behavior on their website, providing valuable insights for growth marketing strategies.
Heat maps can show where users are clicking, scrolling, and spending the most time on a website, helping SaaS companies optimize their website layout and design. This can result in increased conversions and improved user experience.
In addition to website optimization, Crazy Egg’s heat maps provide SaaS companies with valuable information for A/B testing and growth strategies. By identifying user behavior patterns, SaaS companies can make data-driven decisions to improve their overall growth and success.
SEMRush offers a range of features for improving online visibility and search engine rankings, making it a valuable asset for growth marketing strategies when it comes to maximizing availability.
One key feature of SEMRush is its keyword research tool, which allows SaaS companies to identify high-traffic keywords and optimize their website content for better search engine rankings.
SEMRush also offers technical SEO analysis, allowing SaaS businesses to identify and fix potential issues that could be hindering their search engine performance.
In addition, SEMRush offers SaaS companies comperehensive tools to monitor their competitors’ search engine strategies, providing valuable insights that help you remain at the top of your industry.
As a SaaS marketer, managing various software and platforms can become overwhelming. This is where Zapier comes in as a valuable tool for streamlining SaaS marketing processes. And in addition to saving time and increasing efficiency, Zapier’s automation capabilities can also help eliminate human error.
Zapier allows users to connect and automate tons of different software, making it easier to manage tasks like data entry, lead generation, and email marketing.
For example, SaaS businesses can set up a “zap” that automatically adds new leads from an online form to their CRM or sends a personalized email to each new subscriber on their email list, which lets your marketing team apply their time and effort where needed most.
Access Effective Marketing Strategies With ClearBrand
Every company must continuously target the whole market and take actions that make them stand out in the long term in order to reach potential clients and convert them into paying customers.
This can be done through creative marketing tactics such as unique branding or unique advertising campaigns. It’s also important to focus on creating a strong customer experience.
From the moment a potential client first hears about your brand to when they become a satisfied customer, their interactions with your company should be positive and seamless.
If you’re looking for expert guidance on SaaS growth strategies, consider working with ClearBrand. Our team has years of experience helping SaaS companies reach their potential and grow their businesses. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist in your SaaS growth journey.