The 3 Most Important Aspects of a Winning SAAS Marketing Plan

  In Inbound Marketing

SaaS companies must learn how to thrive in one of the most competitive existing industries. Even SaaS businesses that grow 20% a year in this environment still have a 92% change of disappearing in a few years. In addition to a strong product that solves a problem, SaaS organizations must have a solid, holistic marketing strategy that focuses on continuous, fast growth.

This article covers three crucial aspects of a winning marketing plan, as well as several tools to help you achieve excellence in developing and optimizing them.

Define your customer: Build strong, data-driven customer personas

Detailed customer personas are essential for a business in the services industry. Diverse personas that reflect multiple target groups can offer a competitive advantage in presenting and selling tailored solutions to different customers. Below is a very effective way of using Facebook Audience Insights to research and compile more information about your potential customers.

While most marketers use Audience Insights to create granular targets for their Facebook Ads, smart companies use the information proactively to build buyer personas based on customer preferences, interests, and demographics. By selecting specific traits, Facebook will show you a detailed report of the characteristics of your selected audience.

The screen below shows an example of how an SEO SaaS business can benefit from a more detailed breakdown of Facebook’s audience interested in Search Engine Optimization.

As it can be seen, jobs directly related to computation, IT and technical services rank way below jobs related to management, sales, and administrative services. This shows that, despite offering a technical service, SEO SaaS companies must focus on creating an elevator’s pitch that focuses on management problem-solving and presents the service in a less technical way.

In addition, Facebook IQ Audience Insights provides the possibility of creating Facebook Lookalike Audiences based on customer data from several sources (the followers of your Facebook page, the data from your emails, the profile of people who visited your website, among others). This not only expands your target market within Facebook but it also allows you to integrate insights from customers at different points in your sales cycle.

Build your brand: Focus on building a strong online reputation

A strong online reputation, normally reflected in positive ratings, active social network profiles, and high trust, is directly associated with higher business profits. This is why including practical steps for building a strong online presence is essential for your SaaS business.

The three most important online destinations your marketing plan should focus on are:

  • Social media profiles: Actively interacting with your customers across all your social media profiles raises the trustworthiness of your business through personal engagement. Your customers become aware of your availability and willingness to connect to and communicate with them one on one.
  • SaaS-review websites: Industry-specific review websites such as G2 Crowd are incredibly relevant for SaaS businesses. Many prospects will visit these websites looking for peer reviews, company profiles, and product comparisons.
  • Online influencers: Comparitech and PcMag are two great examples of online influencers in the field of tech services. Having your SaaS products described and reviewed by such websites adds great value to your online reputation.

Measure your performance: Implement S.M.A.R.T. KPIs

The nature of SaaS businesses is rooted in data. While this offers countless opportunities to continuously measure success, it’s possible that businesses and individuals get lost in so much information. Therefore, analyzing your online performance requires a well-defined set of KPIs. When choosing which metrics to consider, the S.M.A.R.T. framework offers a comprehensive set of standards to benchmark the quality of your KPIs. The acronym stands for:

  • Specific: Define what you want to measure with the KPI and how your SaaS business will use it in the future.
  • Measurable: Define a standard benchmark, a desired goal, and a numerical scale to measure your KPIs.
  • Achievable: Ponder whether it is possible to reasonably meet your goal from cost, time, and return perspectives.
  • Relevant: Consider whether the KPI is relevant for your general business and marketing strategies.
  • Time-bound: Be consistent and realistic regarding the time span for the measurement of your KPIs.

Final words

This quick overview presents many fundamental elements of a winning marketing plan. It is important to ponder how each one is best implemented in your company context. The high variation in the SaaS industry gives room to an extensive degree of customization for marketing plans, but you should make sure to include these three elements if your company is serious about succeeding in the long term.

If you want to read more about the topic, Hubspot provides a detailed review of the process of creating a marketing plan for SaaS businesses. Revising your marketing plan to include these elements will not only make you more competitive but also increase your revenues in both the short and the long run!

mike@marccx.com
Michael Peggs is the founder of Marccx Media, a digital marketing agency specializing in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM). Before Marcxx, Peggs worked at Google in business development, forming digital media and advertising partnerships in the United States and Asia. He is also a contributor to The Huffington Post, FastCompany and Business Insider as well as and podcaster, hosting the iTunes Top 10 New & Noteworthy Podcast You University.
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