Software as a service (SaaS) has sky-rocketed in popularity over the last decade, particularly as a result of the shift towards remote working in the post-Covid era.
In fact, in 2020, the SaaS sector was estimated to be worth approximately €7.5 billion (equivalent to roughly £6.4 billion), and this is expected to double by 2025 as the SaaS market continues to grow.
This is unsurprising; from Zendesk and Google Workspace to Shopify and DocuSign, there are so many incredible softwares out there that are used by millions of people every day.
While all of this is great news for innovative SaaS startups, it’s first important to build the brand and get your name out there as you would with any new business venture. Plus, the booming SaaS market does mean that the competition is getting tougher.
So, if you’re a SaaS startup hoping to make an impact this year, you need to do all you can to stand out. Check out our guide below on some of the best marketing channels you can use to boost your sales and become a success.
1. Content marketing
Content marketing is a great way to share helpful resources, engage your target audience and build trust around your brand. It is also the perfect way to drive traffic to your SaaS website, increasing the chance of securing a sale.
And the great news is, you can get started with content marketing right away. You can use your own website and blog to post content, along with sharing guest posts and information with other relevant brands.
That being said, in the early stages of your startup, you need to focus on quality over quantity. This means creating some genuinely interesting and useful resources, for example, how-to guides, testimonials and engaging infographics.
No matter how you choose to create and share this content, it needs to be relevant to the services you offer or the industry you operate in. You might wish to share case studies from existing clients to act as social proof, you could also talk about news or hot topics in the industry, using this as an opportunity to link back to your own products and content.
By selecting the most appropriate keywords for your content, you can start driving traffic to your website right away, and there are lots of useful tools out there to help you with this.
2. Video marketing
Video is one of the most popular forms of content nowadays, largely thanks to platforms like YouTube and TikTok. In fact, YouTube is often recognized as the second most visited search engine in the world.
But that doesn’t just mean that videos are only for social media platforms and as a startup, you should use visual content like this to your advantage as much as possible. Some of the top ways you can do this include:
- Creating ‘Meet the Team’ videos
- Filming testimonials or case studies from existing or past customers
- Generating tutorials and ‘how-to’ videos for how to use your services
- Sharing FAQs or other helpful advice for customers and prospects
- Fun sneak-peaks behind the scenes of your offices or startup
These videos don’t have to be long or involve any fancy camera work. Simply creating fun and informative video content in this way is enough to really start building your brand and marketing your services.
You can share these on your website or blog, with other relevant partners and on your own social media platforms. More on this in the next section.
3. Social media marketing
One of the greatest things about social media, apart from the huge audience and endless possibilities, is the fact that in most cases, it’s free to set up. This makes it ideal for startups, particularly those with smaller marketing budgets.
Not only that, but as these platforms rely on a lot of visual content like videos, infographics, photos and quotations, it’s a great place to showcase your software and services.
As of this year, there are an estimated 4.9 billion people using social media across the world. This is a huge audience and one you can’t afford to miss. Of course, that doesn’t mean signing up for every platform going. You need to be selective and make sure to choose the platforms that are most relevant for your target audience.
You should also create and share engaging and useful content, being sure to make proper use of hashtags, geotags and more to strengthen your content and generate leads.
If you’ve got the budget, you can even run paid social media ad campaigns to get your name and services out there and in front of more prospective customers.
4. Influencer marketing
With the rising tide of online influencers comes a whole range of exciting marketing opportunities. Depending on the nature of your SaaS startup, you may wish to partner with influencers in your industry, getting them to promote your services.
This typically relies on paid sponsorship agreements. However, some influencers may be prepared to work with your brand for lower fees or even for free if they gain access to your services and genuinely love them.
If you choose to work with influencers, make sure you choose relevant accounts. In the earlier stages, you might be more successful in partnering with those who have a smaller but still impressive following.
Of course, you have to ensure that your services can be easily demonstrated or reviewed via social media content when you don’t have a physical product to showcase. Otherwise, influencers may struggle to make and share meaningful insights about your brand and offering.
5. Event marketing
Finally, event marketing is a great way for you to generate new leads and network with other professionals and businesses in your industry.
This can be done in a number of ways, by attending, running or exhibiting at industry events. There are lots of events that make way for startups and others that are aimed specifically at SaaS organisations.
So be sure to choose them wisely and make sure you take plenty of relevant marketing materials and information with you, to generate leads and get your name out there.
You could even run competitions at these events (or possibly through social media) offering discounts or free access to those who participate and engage with your brand.