The Ultimate B2B SaaS Marketing Guide
Marketing is one of the core departments of any B2B SaaS company. As nobody goes to college to learn SaaS marketing, all of us look for resources to learn more.
This article is a compilation different credible resources for each and every part of your marketing strategy to make it easier for you to navigate through different resources and learn.
If you want to add a resource, you can send it via help center at the bottom of the website or send it to me at [email protected]
Demand generation is the core of B2B SaaS growth strategy.
While the focus on the channels may change from company to company, channels don’t change.
These are the primary demand generation channels that businesses can use for driving growth and demand generation.
Although it’s not sustainable in the long-term, paid growth is an essential part of B2B SaaS companies’ marketing plan. Most businesses struggle with the ROI of their paid ads, but with the right ads and price point, you can create ads that deliver good ROI for your SaaS.
Julian Shapiro’s Paid Growth Guide: This article outlines the benefits of Instagram/Facebook ads from a growth perspective, goes over each and every step to set up your ad, and gives tips to make it more successful.
Gripped’s Paid Media Strategy Guide: This article goes one step further and outlines the measurement of results and optimizing the paid growth strategy.
Affiliate programs are really attractive as you don’t need to sell the product yourself, instead, an affiliate partner sells it for you with a commission.
Although, affiliate programs usually don’t work for B2B SaaS, especially products that have a high-ticket price, there are a few SaaS companies that have made it work for them.
Events, offline and online, are a great way to make your marketing more “human.” Although, there is not a clear process to design and execute your events, there are a few awesome guides on event marketing.
Userpilot’s Event Marketing Strategy That Led To 2000+ Attendees by Emilia Korczynska, Head of Marketing at Userpilot
Inbound marketing is the core of marketing. With inbound marketing, you will be able to get in front of your customers exactly when they are searching for your product.
Content marketing is a part of your inbound marketing strategy. While inbound marketing refers to the to all methods taken to convert a potential lead into a customer, content marketing refers to only a part of it associated to creating content.
The most common and beneficial content types for B2B SaaS companies are:
- Product Pages
- Educational blog posts
- Product comparisons and reviews
SEO, search engine optimization, refers to the process of optimizing content to rank on the first page of search engines like Google.
SEO has a lot of different branches, such as technical SEO, On-page SEO, Off-page SEO, etc. At its core, SEO is about great content, awesome user experience, and a good understanding of search intent.
Top SEO Tools To Use:
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is integral for content distribution and demand generation, especially if you can find where your users are hanging out and help them.
LinkedIn is the most used channel for B2B SaaS marketing as it’s the biggest professional network with a wide reach.
You might have the best content out there, but if nobody sees it, it doesn’t matter at all.
Content distribution refers to the processes that marketing teams use to distribute their content on relevant channels with the relevant messaging to their target audience.
If you cannot measure how much your marketing activities actually contribute to your company’s revenue growth, you cannot optimize your marketing or know where to focus your budget and time on.
Marketing attribution refers to the models and processes that help companies understand what’s working and what’s not.
SaaS Marketing Funnels
Funnels allow marketers to understand where potential customers drop off and which parts of the website or strategy needs to be improved.
Marketing funnels are different than usual funnels. They usually have 6 steps:
- Awareness: Potential customer knows your brand and the problem you are solving.
- Interest: Potential customer is interested in the solution you are solving.
- Consideration: Potential customer considers your product for their problem.
- Intent: Potential customer wants to see your product in action- usually with a free trial or a demo.
- Evaluation: Potential customer considers buying your product.
- Purchase: Potential customer subscribes to your SaaS.
Outbound marketing is a marketing method that is seeking to push messaging to potential customers across different channels.
Contrary to inbound marketing, you don’t wait for your potential customers to find your blog post, new product landing page, or podcast, you approach them with cold emails, trade show, advertising, webinars, etc.
Marketo’s Outbound vs Inbound Marketing Guide: This article outlines each method’s advantages, disadvantages, and when to use them.
Rockcontent’s Outbound Marketing Guide: This guide goes one step further and details outbound marketing strategies that you can use for your SaaS.
As almost every single market is saturated, it has been getting really hard to differentiate.
Without proper differentiation, SaaS marketing & sales teams lack confidence and miss possible opportunities.
As April Dunford says in Obviously Awesome, customers evaluate the market that you are in first then evaluate your product to understand how you differentiate yourself and what others do that you don’t.
Positioning outlines why your product is the best at what it does in your market. Positioning is integral for website copy, sales copy, marketing focus, and segmentation.
A go-to market strategy outlines how your company will reach its target audience better than others in the same market. It’s similar to a business plan, but it doesn’t require a focus on funding & budget.
Pricing might not be a part of marketing team’s daily tasks, but it is a huge factor that effects all the departments of a SaaS.
If your pricing is higher than your prospects are willing to pay, then you should change your prices, your target audience, or your product.
Profitwell’s Pricing Guide: Profitwell is one of the most well-known revenue tracking tools in SaaS market. Bonus: If you are trying to decide between Profitwell and Chartmogul, check out this comparison article.
Price Intelligently’s The Anatomy of SaaS Pricing Strategy: This e-book goes really in-depth on different pricing strategies, best practices, and things to avoid. Even if your current pricing works, you should check it out to see what a great pricing page looks like and why you shouldn’t A/B test your prices.
We try to launch at least one new thing at HockeyStack. You can do a similar thing too. For example, this month, we launched a free survey tool.
Platforms to launch:
- Product Hunt: Product Hunt is the most popular platform to launch a new project. The audience that hangs out on Product Hunt likes trying out new tools, checking out new projects, and giving feedback. Launching frequently on Product Hunt might be a great part of your SaaS marketing strategy.
- Indie Hackers: Indie hackers is a community of passionate & awesome makers, entrepreneurs, and marketers. Just like Product Hunt, Indie Hackers has a tech-savvy community that likes giving feedback.
Tip: Don’t forget to add “Launch IH” at the beginning of your post’s title to let everyone know you are launching something new. You can also create a company profile and add a milestone to boost your pageviews further.
- Hacker News: Hacker News is YCombinator’s forum. The community is very tech-savvy and like to give feedback, but most of the time, their feedback is negative. If you can get to the front page of Hacker News, you are guaranteed to get thousands of pageviews to your website in a single day.
Guide to launch on Hacker News: How to get 30,000 Hacker News visitors to your website
Reddit has a lot of different subreddits that you can launch your new product or marketing site. A couple subreddits:
Reddit’s community can be very mean if you try to use clickbait. Always focus on content that delivers value without clicking on a link or subscribing to your newsletter.
Also, make sure to check out the Subreddit’s rules before promoting yourself.
A strong brand is the core of differentiation for SaaS businesses. A great brand tells customers that:
- They will have a remarkable experience with the brand & product
- Price is justifiable
- Product will deliver its promises
How to build a brand from nothing by Hiten Shah: Most branding advice & guides are vague, but this gives you an overview of what a strong SaaS brand looks like with real examples, how it can be achieved, and the necessary steps to take.
Marketing Team Building
At the beginning, your marketing team will be really small, probably only one or two co-founders.
As your monthly recurring revenue increases, you will want to hire more people for your marketing team to scale even faster.
UserGuiding’s How to Structure an Ideal Marketing Team for SaaS Article: This guide outlines the structure of SaaS marketing teams.
HockeyStack’s Digital Marketing Team Building Article: This guide has everything from the structure of the marketing team to hiring the top talent.
Creating Engaging Visuals
Creating engaging visuals is a critical part of your paid growth strategy as you cannot stop the scroll, you cannot win that customer.
Your ads’ visuals must be thumb-stopping in order to engage the customer and get them interested in your SaaS product.
Canva’s 30 Advertisement Design Tips That Turn Heads Article: This guide has 30 different case studies that you can learn from to make your design thumb-stopping and engaging.
Facebook’s Best Practices To Make Your Ad More Engaging: Facebook’s own short and straightforward guide on the best practices to make your ad visuals engaging.
You can retarget your prospects who saw or engaged with your ads, but didn’t make a purchase. Retargeting works because prospects should have multiple touchpoints with your SaaS before making a purchase to establish trust and consider other options.
Your initial ad is just the first touchpoint that they had with your SaaS brand. With retargeting, you can add more touchpoints and create trust.
Adroll’s Retargeting Guide: Adroll answers all frequently asked questions and outlines retargeting in a simple language.
Isaac Rudansky’s more technical guide on how retargeting works: A video about retargeting process. It goes a little bit technical too.
There are a lot of events, podcasts, newsletters, Youtube channels, etc. dedicated to SaaS.
You can sponsor them for your brand’s awareness and get in front of decision makers.
SaaStr: Largest annual SaaS event.
Saasclub: The SaaS Podcast provides in-depth interviews with proven SaaS founders, entrepreneurs, and industry experts.
SaaStock: SaaStock is a community that organizes local meetups, conferences, and more to help SaaS founders grow their businesses.
Top 22 Must-Attend SaaS Conferences in 2021 by SmartKarrot: SmartKarrot’s list of 22 SaaS conferences that you should attend.
Email marketing is one of the oldest methods in marketing. Although it has changed with behavioral triggers, automated email sequences, and bulk personalization in recent years, fundamentals are still the same.
Skale’s 7 Email Marketing Strategies Article: Skale gives you an overview of how you can use behavioral triggers, NPS emails, onboarding sequences and more for outstanding email marketing campaigns.
6 Outstanding Email Marketing Strategies by Incredo: This article is perfect for getting inspired before working on your email marketing campaigns. It gives 6 different email marketing campaigns with images and takeaways.
Product marketing is the bridge between product, marketing, sales, and customer success teams. Product marketers typically owns the messaging, positioning, and go-to market strategies before launches. After the launch, they help the sales team and customer success team.
Drift’s Must-read Comprehensive Product Marketing Guide: This article is probably the most detailed guide on product marketing you can ever find. Drift outlines product marketing’s role with real examples from company’s employees, continues with strategies that you can deploy, and ends with measurement & great campaigns to get inspired from.
Product Marketing Strategy: The Definitive Guide – Examples, Templates & Strategies by RingCentral: This article defines product marketing, tells how you can create a product marketing strategy using the marketing mix, and gives proven templates to deploy for your next campaign.
Acquiring new customers is around 5-6x more expensive than retaining current customers. On top of that, happy customers are very likely to recommend your product to their friends.
Customer marketing refers to marketing activities on your current customers. The goal of customer marketing is increasing brand loyalty, getting referrals, decreasing churn rate, and improving the customer experience.
Things you can do for an effective customer marketing campaign:
- Collect reviews on platforms like Capterra and G2
- Create loyalty programs
- Track NPS scores
- Host customer events
- Highlight customer success stories
- Have a newsletter or a podcast for your customers, where you can send guides and success stories
G2’s article for a strong customer marketing strategy: An overview of strong customer marketing strategy building and best practices.
Loomly’s Customer Marketing: Your Brand’s Most Overlooked Growth Potential Article: A comprehensive guide with example customer marketing campaigns from Zapier, Starbucks, and more.
Sales enablement is, in simplest terms, giving the necessary tools to your sales team so they can close more deals.
Marketing can provide content, copy, knowledge, leads, data, etc. to your SaaS sales team to help them close more deals.
Sales Hacker’s Demystifying Sales Enablement: What It Is, Why It Matters, And How To Do It Right Guide by Roderick Jefferson: This guide outlines the sales enablement process in 5 steps, gives you important benchmarks to track, and tools to use during the process.
Spotio’s 73 High-Impact Sales Enablement Tools For 2021 (By Category): This article compares 73 different tools you can use for your SaaS’s sales enablement.
Sales and Marketing Alignment
It’s critical for your sales and marketing teams to be on the same page as they are the two core teams that drive revenue for your business.
By nature marketing and sales teams are not aligned as they operate in different silos for the same end goal: revenue.
As they use completely different tools, they cannot share information in real time, which makes it difficult to know what the other team is doing for them.
Marketing’s role is generating sales-ready leads for the sales team so they can close more deals and increase revenue.
The Complete Guide to Sales and Marketing Alignment by Sopro: The article outlines the general steps to take for aligned sales and marketing teams, showcases different case studies, and gives 9 tips.
Why Marketing & Sales Alignment Is Not Enough by DemandGen: This article talks about the steps to take beyond marketing & sales alignment and why alignment is not enough on its own.
5 Tools for Sales and Marketing Alignment by People.ai: Tools that you can use for a better marketing & sales alignment.
25 Of The Best Sales And Marketing Alignment Statistics: Interesting statistics that shows how important marketing and sales alignment for SaaS businesses. An example: An estimated $1 trillion dollars a year are lost due to a lack of sales and marketing coordination in the US alone. Source: LinkedIn Art of Winning Report
How Sales and Marketing Alignment Resulted in 34% more revenue by SuperOffice: This is a branded case study that highlights how sales and marketing alignment affected a company’s revenue operations.
Communities make marketing more natural and allows people to engage with the brand. Moreover, as time passes, users start answering each others’ questions about the product, request new features, and give feedback.
Your landing page is your best salesperson that allows you to win customers in your sleep, and it needs to have a good design, UX, copy, and optimized for high conversion rates.
Julian Shapiro’s Ultimate Guide For Landing Pages: This page has everything you need to know to structure an awesome landing page that converts.
SaaS Pages: Hundreds of landing page examples from top companies.
SaaS landing page examples by Cruip: Discover the best 600 landing page examples created by top-class SaaS companies, and get ideas and inspiration for your next design project.
High Converting Landing Page Templates by Unbounce: These are ready-to-use templates designed by Unbounce.
Landing Page Copy
Landing page copywriting is crucial for messaging, positioning, and conversion rate optimization.
Stripe Atlas Landing Page Copywriting Guide: This is a starter guide that will inspire your landing page copy. I liked the usage of images throughout the article to better convey the message.
How to write great landing page copy + formulas to help you get started by ConvertKit: ConvertKit’s article gives an outline of a great landing page copy and also proven formulas to help you get started.
Landing Page Optimization
You will need to iterate your landing page to maximize conversion rates. By measuring the right conversion goals, metrics, and A/B testing different elements on your landing page, you can optimize it.
Landing Page Optimization Tools To Use by HockeyStack: This is our list of the best landing page optimization tools you can use to maximize your conversion rate.
A 9-step guide to increase your landing page conversion rate by MarTech: This is a 9-step guide you can follow to increase your conversion rate.
CXL’s Landing Page Optimization Guide: CXL is the market leader when it comes to teaching optimization and testing. This article provides a really well-written guide.
Micro conversions are common actions potential customers do before converting into a paying customer. Example micro conversions:
- Video Views
- Newsletter Signups
- Downloading an e-book
- Viewing pricing page
- Clicking on an ad
SaleCycle’s Micro Conversion Guide: This article has everything from a comparison between micro and macro conversions to the example conversions you should be tracking.
While demand generation focuses more on brand awareness, lead generation’s focus is on turning leads into sales-ready leads.
As marketing’s main responsibility is generating sales-ready leads, lead generation is integral for every marketing plan.
LinkedIn’s Demand generation vs lead generation for B2B marketing guide: This guide gives a lot of different lead generation tactics to use and compares lead generation with demand generation.
New Breed’s 13 SaaS Marketing Pros Reveal Their Lead Generation Strategies article: In this article, 13 marketing managers from different companies, such as Wishpond, talks about their lead generation strategies.
Leadfeeder’s 5 Timeless B2B SaaS Lead Generation Strategies Article: This article gives lead generation best practices that are here to stay.
Not all leads are equal.
Some are at the top of the funnel some are at the bottom, and you need to treat them based on their current stage.
If they are at the top, then you can nurture them so they can get to middle.
Refiner’s How to Build a Lead Scoring Model Article: This article outlines the definition of lead scoring.
Best Lead Generation Tools According to G2: This is a list of different lead scoring tools compared by real user feedback on G2.
Lead nurturing refers to the process of developing relationships with leads to move them to the next funnel stage in their sales journey.
You can nurture your leads with a lot of different methods, such as:
- Product launches
- Email marketing
SendPulse’s What’s Lead Nurturing Article: This article gives you a starting point with basic definitions.
Albacross’s Lead Nurturing Definitive Guide: This article has everything you need to know to learn more about lead nurturing and start your own process.
20 Lead Nurturing Statistics & Charts for 2021: This article gives different inspiring lead nurturing statistics to better understand its effect.
After you create your marketing strategy, it’s time for budget planning so you won’t harm your business while trying to grow it.
FirstPageSage’s Marketing Budget Article: This article tells how you can better allocate your marketing budget for growth with example charts and budgets.
As with everything else, if you cannot measure your marketing campaigns’ contribution to revenue, you cannot improve them.
There are a lot of different benchmarks when it comes to SaaS marketing, such as:
- Sales Accepted Leads
- Organic website traffic (excluding branded searches)
- Conversion rate
- Website visit to demo rate
- Bounce rate
- Referral Traffic
HockeyStack’s Top 21 SaaS Marketing Metrics Article: Our article gives you all the marketing metrics that you should be tracking with your analytics tool to improve your marketing.
SaaS Marketing Books
Books are essential to learn any topic. Here are the most influential SaaS marketing books that you can read:
Best SaaS Marketing Communities
Community makes everything better. Members motivate each other, answer questions, and give their best practices.
There are awesome SaaS marketing communities that you can mostly join for free.
CXL Facebook Community
CXL’s Facebook community is full of CRO & SEO pros looking to learn from each other. Founders of CXL regularly post too.
- Price: Free
- Audience: CRO people, growth marketers, marekters, analysts, and SEOs.
GrowthHackers is a growth marketing community that has events, topics, AMAs, discussions, articles, and premium rooms.
- Price: Free
- Audience: Growth marketers
Founded by Julian Shapiro, Justin Setzer, and Neal O’Grady, Demand Curve is a special community for growth marketers.
- Price: Free, but there is a long process
- Audience: Growth marketers
SaaS Founders – Build & Scale by UserActive
Created by the UI/UX agency UserActive, SaaS Founders group is an active group with 10.4K members.
- Price: Free
- Audience: SaaS founders and executives
Fat Graph Content Ops (SEO & Content Marketing)
Founded by ContentDistribution, Fat Graph Content Ops is a SaaS marketing & SEO group that hosts unique AMAs with the best SEOs and content marketers around the world.
- Price: Free
- Audience: SaaS marketers and SEOs
Top Marketing Software and Tools That You Should Be Using
HockeyStack is a no-code SaaS analytics tool that helps you find the highest converting marketing channels with the best LTV and product engagement, optimize your conversion rate, and decrease churn.
You can also create funnels, define conversion goals, use attribution models, set up surveys, and more without code.
- Pricing: Starts from $39
- Free trial: Available for 14 days
- Free plan: Available (1K pageviews)
Google Optimize is Google’s free no-code A/B testing tool that you can use to test different variants of your landing page, pricing page, and more.
You can also integrate your new testing variations with Google Ads, Firebase, etc. to see direct results.
- Pricing: Free
Hubspot is a marketing and sales platform that you can use to build dashboards and track your marketing & sales teams’ performance.
- Pricing: Starting from $50
- Free trial: Available for 14 days
- Free plan: Available
Zapier is a no-code automation platform that you can use to automate your marketing activities. It integrates with thousands of different web apps.
- Pricing: Starts from $19.99
- Free trial: Available
- Free plan: Available for 100 Tasks /mo
ActiveCampaign is a customer experience automation platform that has email marketing, CRM, and marketing automation features.
- Pricing: Starts from $9
- Free trial: Not available
- Free plan: Not available
SparkToro is an audience intelligence tool that helps you find out what your audience talks about on social media, their demographics, and much more.
- Pricing: Starting from $50
- Free trial: Not available
- Free plan: Available (5 searches/month)
You can market your SaaS product by using content marketing, inbound & outbound marketing, using email outreach, and working on your branding.
B2B SaaS, Business to Business Software as a Service, refers to the cloud-based software providing companies who sell their products to other businesses.