Q: How should I create a B2B SaaS marketing strategy?
A: That’s a really big question, friend.
Sorry; that’s a little forward. We’re not really friends (yet – although if you want to chat about B2B SaaS marketing, the contact form is always open). But you are asking a big question.
According to Google, there are about 5,140,000 results for the search “B2B SaaS marketing strategy,” but the truth is that none of them mean anything unless you clarify what kind of B2B SaaS you’re marketing, and what kind of marketing strategy you’re looking for.
Because “marketing” and “strategy” are both really big words, and “B2B SaaS” is a really big industry.
All of this is to say that we won’t be able to outline the right strategy for every B2B SaaS business and every business goal here. But we can provide a few key considerations that should shape your B2B SaaS marketing strategy (and if you want more customized marketing advice, again, the contact form is always open).
With that in mind, here are two critical questions you need to answer before you create a marketing strategy.
What kind of B2B SaaS business are you marketing for?
The type of B2B SaaS business you’re marketing for will fundamentally shape your marketing strategy. You know this intuitively, but it’s helpful to codify things; doing so will help you to ideate, pitch, and execute your strategies.
93x (one of the leading B2B SaaS marketing agencies) has a nice synopsis of the most common types of B2B SaaS companies here. Chances are good that your company falls into one of these categories:
Almost-B2C B2B SaaS
Think Slack, Google Business Suite, or MailChimp. These software platforms are typically sold at low price points and marketed toward individuals (rather than buying groups). There isn’t really a sales team – marketing leads directly to the sale, usually through a self-guided free trial.
Enterprise B2B SaaS
This type of company is more in the vein of traditional B2B. It’s built on high-price-point sales and it’s marketed toward buying groups – think Oracle or Salesforce. There’s usually custom set up involved, and there’s definitely a sales team. Marketing’s job is to make connections, not to drive home the sale.
Hybrid B2B SaaS
This type of company is somewhere between a standalone software offering (i.e. almost-B2C) and a customized solution (i.e. enterprise). They build and customize their software, but they want to move toward a platform that’s customizable by clients. Marketing’s job here is… confusing. You should definitely clarify your objectives before setting your strategy.
The bottom line: As you set your B2B SaaS marketing strategy, make sure you know the role marketing is supposed to play for your company.
What are your marketing goals?
Your marketing goals will flow from the type of company you’re marketing for. And you absolutely need to be clear on what those goals are before you develop your strategy.
Building a strategy without goals is like trying to pick out building materials without having blueprints. It will lead to waste.
For more on goal setting in general, check out this article. For a quick start, some B2B SaaS marketing goals are:
Define and locate your audience. Outcomes of this would be buyer personas, documentation on your market (i.e. the number of target users / companies, and lists of channels to target.
Define your message. The outcome of this might be updated branding, clarified value propositions, or a brand story.
Bring your message to your audience. This is where you’d start to target numbers – you might set a goal to generate 500k impressions on your target audience, for example.
Convert new users. Goals in this would revolve around conversion rates and raw signup numbers – for instance, you might set a goal to drive 3,000 free trial signups in a quarter.
Retain existing users. Retention is key to a healthy SaaS business, and marketing can help to support it. Goals might be a certain percentage of monthly active users or a certain reconversion rate for cancelled subscriptions.
Once you’ve clarified your business and your objectives, then you can determine detailed strategies and tactics.
You’ll typically build your strategy using tactics like:
- Website Design & Optimization
- Social Media Planning
- Email Marketing
- Video Marketing
- Content Creation
- Search Engine Optimization
- Paid Media
- Google Adwords & Remarketing
- Paid Social Media Ads
- Event & PR Marketing
- Lead Scoring
- Email Nurturing
- Account-Based Marketing
- Collateral Design
- Tradeshow Marketing
When you’re ready to start putting it together, we can help.
Look, there’s no shame in asking big, strategic questions – that’s actually a good place to start. But if you’re struggling to home in on the details or are feeling overwhelmed by all of the tactics you’ve been told to try, it might be good to get some expert insight.
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 – and we’re confident we can help you, too.
Schedule a free consultation and let’s get into the specifics, so you can craft a B2B SaaS marketing strategy that sifts through the 5,140,000 options out there and finds what’s best for you.