Normally, SaaS sales and marketing teams have depended on industry trade shows to network, connect, and convert. COVID-19 has thrown a wrench into all of that, but it’s still very possible to adapt and create a new, robust SaaS marketing strategy.
Developing a SaaS Marketing Strategy for a COVID World
While no industry has been untouched by the COVID-19 pandemic, there are some fields that have felt the strain more acutely. A good example of this is the SaaS niche, which has historically relied very heavily on industry trade shows to close sales. Obviously, as the pandemic unfolds, these gatherings have been put on hold, depriving SaaS sales professionals of their opportunities to network, connect, and convert.
There’s really no telling how long it will be before the world returns to some semblance of normalcy, or indeed if we’ll see a return to the way things were before the virus. As such, it’s prudent for SaaS businesses to start working on new methods and solutions.
In this article, we’ll outline some general guidelines and best practices for a SaaS marketing strategy, one designed specifically for the world as we know it today.
The Best Practices for Your SaaS Marketing Strategy
1) Attend a virtual trade show.
While in-person gatherings and big industry events have all been suspended indefinitely, there are still many opportunities for industry peers to gather, to network, and to show off the latest innovations, technology, and software solutions. Specifically, virtual trade shows provide an opportunity to SaaS sales pros to showcase their wares in a safe, online setting.
We would recommend attending these virtual trade shows, for a few reasons. One, it’s important to remain visible within your industry, and to ensure your brand is top-of-mind among your target audience members. Additionally, virtual trade shows may actually provide better environments for you to demo products, as you’ll already have a captive audience gathered around their computer screen.
Do a search for upcoming trade shows in your field, and keep your eyes peeled for other opportunities to show off your products in a virtual format.
2) Host your own webinar.
It’s good to show up for as many virtual events as possible… and if you can’t find very many, we’d recommend hosting one of your own.
We’ve seen more and more SaaS brands doing this, often to amazing effect. By hosting your own webinar, you can connect with folks in your industry, offering them something of value. You can highlight your knowledge and expertise. And you can potentially generate some leads.
Your webinar can be focused on a new product offering, or you can make it more generally about trends within your chosen industry.
Make sure you collect contact information from attendees. If possible, send a follow-up to everyone. Also, consider making the content of your webinar available to the general public, after the fact. You can do this by putting the whole thing on YouTube, or even by condensing the content into a good company blog post and then sharing it on social media.
The bottom line: Hosting your own webinar can be a powerful way to kickstart your SaaS marketing strategy.
3) Increase your search marketing activities.
Something else we’d recommend? Take the budget you’d normally use for traveling around to different trade shows, and instead apply it to an increase in your search marketing activity. When we talk about search marketing, we’re specifically talking about SEO and paid ads.
Search engines play an increasingly major role in guiding decision-makers as they think about investing in SaaS products. And, with trade shows out of the picture, the importance of search engines is only going to rise. Simply put, the best way for anyone to discover new technologies is to conduct a Google or Bing search… so, make sure your products are visible throughout the search process.
A robust search marketing strategy is essential for generating new SaaS sales. Of course, if you have specific questions about this, you’re more than welcome to reach out to us at Sefati & Co, where search marketing is very much in our wheelhouse.
4) Embrace remarketing.
Another online marketing strategy that we’d recommend is remarketing.
Through remarketing, you can target users who have already visited your website, interacted with your ads, or shown some form of interest in your products.
In other words, remarketing can allow you to precisely target “warm” leads, folks who are familiar with your brand but haven’t yet reached the point of making a purchase.
Here at Sefati & Co, we’ve generally found Google and LinkedIn to be your best bets for remarketing, though we’ve also had some clients find success remarketing on Facebook.
5) Invest in target marketing and programmatic ads.
Another potential component of your SaaS marketing strategy is target marketing/programmatic ad-buying.
This is a little bit more advanced, but if you have a list of users you’d like to target with your messaging, a disciplined programmatic ad buy can ensure your brand remains top-of-mind for them, with carefully-calibrated ads showing up across their devices and platforms, covering all aspects of their online search experience.
Again, this is something we’re proficient in here at Sefati & Co, so feel free to reach out to us with any questions.
6) Exhibit thought leadership.
Finally, we’d recommend that SaaS providers use every available opportunity to showcase their thought leadership, branding themselves as true subject-matter experts, and earning the trust of their potential clients.
There are plenty of ways of doing this, including a few options we’ve touched on already: Blogs, video content, webinars, etc.
Our advice here is to use a mixture of gated and ungated content. That is, provide resources that people can view easily and without having to input their information, but also some resources that require some kind of sign-up. The latter type of content will help you glean more contact information that you can use in your targeted messaging.
Learn More About SaaS Marketing in the COVID Age
For the SaaS industry, COVID-19 has been incredibly disruptive. Thankfully, there are still some avenues for expanding your sales footprint. Start by developing a robust SaaS marketing strategy, incorporating the six points we’ve listed here. If you have additional questions, reach out to us at any time.