Five Ways to Drive Demand for SaaS

May 24, 2022

SaaS demand generation can be complicated, but there are many ways to get your product to the front of your potential customers’ minds. Here we’ll go over some SaaS lead generation techniques that you can use to increase sales and beat the competition.

In today’s market, it’s not enough to offer a quality SaaS product. The competition is fierce, and can’t just rely on having the best product. Many times the product that sells the most is not the best option available to customers, it’s simply better marketed.

 

Now, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t focus on making your SaaS product the best option. On the contrary, having the best product simplifies your marketing efforts as you can point to all the ways your product is superior.

 

So, product quality is important, but you also need to put in the effort to properly market your product to drive demand. SaaS demand generation can be complicated, but there are many ways to get your product to the front of your potential customers’ minds.

 

Here we’ll go over some SaaS lead generation techniques that you can use to increase sales and beat the competition.

 

1.    Targeted LinkedIn Ads

 

When it comes to social media marketing, LinkedIn is often overlooked in favor of Facebook and Instagram. This is a massive mistake, especially for SaaS products that are often geared toward organizations and professionals. That isn’t to say that you should avoid Facebook and Instagram, but LinkedIn is more of an untapped resource with enormous potential.

 

With LinkedIn ads, you can market generate leads for your SaaS product by targeting your campaigns to precisely the audience you want to reach. By adjusting the audience settings for your campaign, you can make your reach as broad or as narrow as you’d like.

Targeted LinkedIn Ads promoting content from SaaSMQL

 

LinkedIn offers many target audience options for your ad campaigns. You have the following categories available for targeting:

•   Location

•   Company

•   Demographics

•   Education

•   Job Experience

•   Interests and Traits

 

For a SaaS product, location may be less important as these are typically location-agnostic. Two of the most interesting categories to look at for driving demand for SaaS are company and job experience.

 

Targeting by Company

When you use the company targeting option, this doesn’t mean you target only users who work for a particular company, though that is certainly an option. The real power is in the ability to target all companies within a certain industry. If your SaaS product is centered around software development, for example, you can set your target audience to include all companies within that industry.

 

Taking it a step further, you can further narrow down that list of companies based on size. Maybe your data shows that your product doesn’t sell particularly well to companies with fewer than 2000 employees. In this case, you could set your ad campaign to target all companies within the software development industry with more than 2000 employees to reach your optimal market.

Targeting by Job Experience

If you want to target individuals based on their job function, years of experience, or seniority level, LinkedIn makes it easy with the job experience audience settings.

 

You can target users with a particular job function, for example. Going back to our example of a software development SaaS, you could set your target audience to include individuals with particular job titles, such as “Full-Stack Engineer.”

 

You can dig further into job experience, though, to get even better results. Lower to mid-level employees may not have any sway in decision making, so targeting them for your particular SaaS product may not provide results. Instead, you may want to go further to target only those in senior roles as those employees are likely to play a bigger role in purchasing decisions.

 

Regardless of the audience filtering options you find most relevant, there is a lot you can do with LinkedIn targeted ads to drive demand for your SaaS.

 

Integrated Direct Mail Program

In the digital age we live in, there is enormous power in focusing your marketing efforts online. However, this doesn’t mean that more traditional marketing methods should be thrown out the door. On the contrary, for high-ticket SaaS, a B2B direct mail program is a fantastic way to generate leads.

Effectiveness of Direct Mail

It’s easy to brush off direct mail as an antiquated approach. After all, it’s a strategy that has been around for decades. You may think email marketing is the more effective approach, so why put your time and resources into direct mail?

 

Not so fast. The data shows that B2B direct mail campaigns actually receive better response rates than email marketing campaigns. In fact, the difference is quite significant, with 4.4% of direct email campaigns receiving a response compared to just 0.12% for emails. These numbers show that direct mail is still a very viable and effective marketing method for B2B SaaS.

Integrate Multiple Channels

As effective as direct mail can be, we don’t want this to be your only marketing channel. The true power in direct mail marketing is the way it can be integrate with your additional marketing channels.

 

While running your direct mail program, you should still be focusing on your digital marketing efforts at the same time. These two can be tied together for the most effective way of generating leads for your SaaS.

 

Consider this scenario. You’re a high-level employee with decision making power at your company. You receive a direct mail offer for a SaaS product that is related to your industry. Over the next few weeks, you see several LinkedIn Ads for the same SaaS. This has you thinking quite a bit about the product.

 

This is all a result of the company blending together their digital and direct mail marketing efforts, and it is something you should consider doing in your own SaaS marketing efforts.

 

You just need to compile a strong list of leads for companies that could benefit from your product. Send out a batch of direct mail to those leads. While you wait for responses, target the same list of leads with your LinkedIn ad campaign. By putting your product in front of businesses in multiple channels, you greatly increase your likelihood of closing the sale.

 

Event Marketing

Sponsoring an industry event can be an incredibly effective way to drive demand for SaaS. After all, what better way to drive home the value your SaaS provides than with face-to-face interactions with your target audience?

 

When you give yourself the opportunity to have a real-time, in-person interaction it opens up your ability to gain immediate feedback. For example, if your prospective clients hesitate to invest in your SaaS because of some particular concern about its capabilities, an in-person conversation presents the opportunity to hear these concerns and address them immediately.

 

 

The Human Connection and Experiences

While traditional and online marketing programs can be highly effective, there’s something to be said about the power of creating a human connection with your potential customers. It’s easy to see a company as a faceless entity when you’re seeing marketing materials. With event marketing, customers are able to view your company and—by extension—its products in a new light.

Humans are also highly-affected by experiences. It’s easy to forget about ad copy you’ve read or even interesting infographics, but an experience is far more memorable. Sponsoring an event can put your SaaS at the front of mind to a significant segment of your target customer base.

Direct Mail Marketing Tie-In

Sponsored events are another great way to drive demand for your SaaS when you tie them together with your direct mail program. Prior to the event you are hosting, you can use your direct mail program to send out a well-designed, memorable event innovation to your leads.

 

If you have the list of companies attending the event, you can send out a personalized invitation to stop by your booth for a free gift. This can immediately increase the face-to-face interactions with your top target customers.

 

 

 

Podcasting: Hosting and Sponsoring

Podcasts are increasing in popularity each year. There are thousands of podcasts out there, on just about any topic you can imagine. Some are for entertainment, some for education, while still others are intended as tools for discussing different industry trends. There are two avenues to consider for podcasting as a marketing tool.

Podcast Hosting

This is the more time-consuming method of podcast marketing and requires the most commitment. It takes time to build up an audience and the production process can be a lot of work. However, hosting a podcast gives you a more direct line to potential customers.

 

When hosting a podcast to market your SaaS, you don’t have to talk just about your product. In fact, the better tactic is to center your podcast around the industry you serve. Have discussions about anything and everything to do with the industry, and if possible interview industry experts as guests. Bonus points if your interviewees are current users of your SaaS, so you can slip in some plugs for your product.

 

At SaaSMQL we launched our Demand Generation Club podcast back in 2020. It has been a great channel to meet B2B marketing leaders, exchange ideas, learn new strategies, but also connect with many potential customers in a more informal way.

 

Podcast Sponsoring

Many podcasts make their money based on sponsorships. You can promote your SaaS by sponsoring a podcast relevant to your industry. This method takes more financial investment, but you can reach more potential customers by sponsoring multiple podcasts in your industry than you could by only having your own podcast. It’s also less of a time commitment and is relatively labor-free.

 

This is, of course, dependent on your industry. Some products lend themselves better to podcast marketing than others. Reaching back to our software development example from earlier, this is a prime industry for podcast marketing. There are many popular podcasts centered around different types of development, and the biggest ones have some relatively big name SaaS sponsors.

 

 

Create a Content Engine

Content is king. Yes, it’s a cliche’, but it is one for a good reason.

 

Creating a content engine doesn’t just mean posting to a blog with strong SEO, though this is important too. Sure, your website is likely the primary component to the “engine” that drives inbound leads, but you need to fuel the engine with leads outside of just google searches. The reality is that SEO is critical, but keyword competition is fierce so this cannot be your only strategy for directing leads to your content engine.

Paid Ads

Your website is where you want to drive traffic, and you can give this a boost with paid ads. This could be any combination of social media ads, Google ads, or any other advertising network. The key is to not just link to your website’s homepage, but to drive traffic to the content on your website.

 

Getting potential leads to your home page is great, but it can be even more effective to direct leads to high-quality content pages on your site, such as a blog post that addresses issues pertinent to your target audience. Your ad should act as a teaser for the content on the page.

Social Media

We’re separating this out from social media advertising as this is completely different. Here we aren’t talking about paying for ads. We’re talking about building awareness of your brand to your audience on social media, and promoting your content here. As with ads, you can write a short social media post about the topic of your content as a teaser, and link back to the full post on your website. Ideally, the content contains at least a couple of links to either other content on your website or to your sales page.

Don’t Skimp on Graphics

When you think content, you’re probably thinking about blog posts and other resource pages. However, graphics are also a part of your content. Including imagery as part of your content engine can be highly effective. After all, many potential leads may find content much more appealing when presented in the form of charts, graphs, and infographics rather than long-form content.

 

Bottom Line: Diversify Your Marketing Strategies

Whether you use direct mail, LinkedIn Ads, or any other specific marketing strategies, the important takeaway is to diversify your marketing campaigns. A strategy that works to bring in one lead may prove completely ineffective for another prospective customer.

 

By maintaining a blending of digital marketing techniques—both inbound and outbound—together with traditional marketing campaigns, you’re more likely to maximize your reach. You’ll also increase the effectiveness of your campaigns by integrating them, such as the direct mail and LinkedIn Ad example.

 

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