Want to run an effective B2B SaaS marketing campaign? Here are four pro tips to help.
1. Set good goals.
“Yeah, yeah, I get it,” you’re thinking. “Set good goals – everyone knows that.”
Maybe so, but the truth is that an uncomfortable number of B2B SaaS marketing campaigns are built to hit goals that make no sense. Marketing only works if it’s directed toward the right ends. Otherwise, it’s a waste of time.
You can aim for the right ends by setting SMART goals – objectives that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. This is worn out wisdom, of course, and most businesses (B2B SaaS firms included) have an easy time ensuring that goals hit three out of the five SMART characteristics; it’s rare to find goals that are unspecific, not measurable, or not timely.
But it can be surprisingly difficult to determine if a proposed goal is attainable.
Let’s say, for example, that you sell a new CRM for small businesses, and you set a goal to rank on the first page of Google for the keyword “small business CRM” by the end of the quarter. This is specific, measurable, almost certainly relevant, and definitely timely – but unless you’ve done a good bit of digging, you probably have no idea what it will take to actually make it happen.
How much content will you need to write? Will you need to technically revamp your site? What kind of backlink building will you need to do? Can you fit everything in your budget?
Depending on the answers to those questions, this goal might not be attainable – and that would make it a bad goal. It’s good to have ambitious goals. But it’s bad to set goals that you’ll never hit. If you use up a ton of budget and only make it to the third page of search results for “small business CRM,” you won’t have any ROI to show for it.
To determine whether a goal is attainable, look at historical benchmarks from your previous marketing campaigns. If you’re trying a new tactic, dig into industry data.
2. Measure your progress so you know what works.
This is another common-sense tip that many companies still get wrong.
The great thing about B2B SaaS marketing is that it tends to be quantifiable. But having data isn’t the same thing as having insight into what works. Most B2B SaaS companies are drowning in data. For data to have any benefit, you need to capture the right metrics, and you need to know how to interpret them.
This starts with documenting all of the variables in play, then isolating different ones to determine which changes have the biggest impacts on results.
To make it tangible: Let’s say you’re running an ABM campaign, and part of the campaign involves sending a five-part email series to a list of contacts captured from trade shows. You get incredible results (opens, click-throughs, leads, customers). Later, you run the same five-part email series to a cold list and get poor results.
The issue with the second send was clearly the quality of the list. But without data from your previous send, you wouldn’t know whether to attribute performance to the list, or to your email content, or to your sending times, or to any other number of factors.
Measuring progress lets you capture insight from data – and that lets you improve your marketing results over time.
3. Fish in the right ponds.
The truth is that you can use most channels to get some results. But you’ll get the best results by fishing in the right ponds.
Understanding where your audience goes to purchase software like yours is one of the biggest keys to marketing effectively. There are two ways to develop this understanding.
The first is to do your own customer research. This can take a good bit of work, but there’s the potential that you’ll find your own fishing hole.
The second is to evaluate what your successful competitors are doing. This is cost-efficient, but you’ll end up in a crowded marketing field.
If you can, do both. If you’re confined by budget, do the second, and focus on developing strong USPs to stand out from your competition.
4. Make sure there aren’t any clogs in the funnel.
This final tip is perhaps the most practical. There are three key funnel phases to get right:
1. Awareness. You need enough of the right people to know about your software.
Clogs happen here when you fish in the wrong pond or simply don’t have the budget / resources to get in front of enough people to create a healthy funnel.
2. Conversion. You need people who hit your site to fill out a form and become a contact.
Clogs happen here when value isn’t clearly communicated or when CTAs have too much friction. For example, if someone hits your page and it’s not immediately clear what your software actually does, they probably won’t try a demo. Or, if you require a credit card to sign up for a free trial, you’re probably losing a bunch of would-be contacts.
3. Customer. Some of the people that fill out your forms should become customers.
Clogs happen here when your software doesn’t match the promise that made someone become a contact. For example, if someone tries a 14-day trial and quits, it’s likely due to unmet expectations. While marketing’s role may not extend to product development, accurate communication of features and core value propositions can unclog this stage of the funnel.
Want more B2B SaaS marketing help?
At New North, we’re one of the top B2B marketing agencies in the US. We’ve helped B2B SaaS firms to build user bases, drive more sales, and grow using the right marketing channels – and we’re confident we can help you, too.
Schedule a free consultation and let’s get into the specific tips that will work for you, so you can craft a B2B SaaS marketing strategy that stands out from the pack and gets you the results you’re looking for.