SaaS Marketing 101: How Effective Marketing Builds Brands

Geri Mileva on SaaS Marketing

Marketing plays a vital role in the growth of any Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) business. It grows the product's market by spreading awareness of its existence. More than that, additional information about its promising and value-adding solutions will strongly encourage customers to consider using it.

Digital marketing is more affordable and powerful than traditional marketing channels. With over four billion people using the Internet, SaaS brands can gain great visibility with a good marketing campaign. However, brand awareness is just the start.

Aside from improving your visibility and increasing your number of customers, a good digital campaign will build your SaaS brand's reputation in the industry. Brand identity is important because customers need a name and entity to attach to their experiences with a product. Having a solid brand identity helps companies build trust with their customers.

Marketing Can Create Positive Customer Experiences

A unique customer experience can be entertaining, rewarding, productive, and more. Some successful SaaS companies provided a unique customer experience as early as during their initial marketing campaigns.

For example, Dropbox is a free cloud-storage service. Customers get at least 2GB when they begin using the product.

The SaaS company introduced the convenience of wirelessly accessing your files from any computer. They gave their users a unique, memorable, and value-adding experience.

Despite this initial success, Dropbox made the customer experience even better. They introduced a referral program where customers gained free 2GB for each referral, maxing out at 8GB.

With the combination of a good product-market fit, cost-effective marketing, and strong brand development, Dropbox rose to great heights. Within 15 months, its user base grew about 3900%.

Of course, the SaaS company faced and is still facing numerous hardships in providing its services. However, a combination of great customer success objectives and product quality improvements has helped it see success and have its own IPO.

Dropbox built its brand as a simple and convenient cloud-storage service. The "convenience" aspect of the SaaS brand contributes to a positive customer experience. Today, it remains to be a household name in the cloud storage industry and the entire digital sphere.

It Educates Customers and Adds Product Value

Most marketing frameworks use a sales funnel model comprised of five stages where the number of customers becomes fewer at each one. These are:

  1. Awareness: At this stage, the customer is interested in the SaaS product.
  2. Consideration: Seeing more evidence of the product's effectiveness through data and content, the customer strongly considers purchasing the product.
  3. Conversion: The customer decides to subscribe to the SaaS product.
  4. Loyalty: By continuously improving product value, the brand encourages customer loyalty.
  5. Advocacy: When the customer finds the product to be an important part of their daily activities, they will then recommend it to others.

Content plays a huge role in any campaign. It capitalizes on research results and data to convince customers that a product is a viable solution. Data-driven marketing strategies will work effectively for SaaS brands because they prove the product’s effectiveness in resolving a customer's problem.

You created your SaaS product because you wanted to solve a particular problem. Your team has conducted years of research and experimentation to create the finest product that creates consistently effective results. Your initial advertising helped customers become aware of your brand.

However, they have yet to understand how your SaaS product works.

Content marketing allows you to explain the product's features and functions in detail. Research data will supplement your presentation of the product's claimed problem-solving features. Faced with the evidence supporting the product's actual performance, customers will definitely want to try it out.

Content marketing continues to be efficient long after the customer becomes a loyal advocate. It retains its role as an educational resource. But this time, it focuses on adding value to your product.

The content will focus on helping current users maximize the product’s functions and features. By continuously providing helpful content, customers perceive the company as a brand that is dedicated to and genuinely supportive of its user community.  

It Makes You an Industry Authority

Content marketing is more than just a tool to urge customers to sign up and use your SaaS product. Your product research and market research make you an authority in your particular industry.

Your content contains valuable information that helps solve many industry-related problems. The continuous research you perform to improve your product is in anticipation of future industry issues.

By publishing this data as content, you continuously establish your role as an authority in solving many current and upcoming industry problems. In the process, the effectiveness of your SaaS product becomes proof that your research is credible and trustworthy.

It Reveals an Empathic Brand Persona That Listens

Discussing topics with your community through public channels shows transparency. Most consumers trust a brand that is honest and upfront with its customers.

One example of public discussions is through blog updates. On your public blog, you can indicate the upcoming changes included in the next update of your SaaS product.

Brands update their products not just to make sure they continue to work as is. With each release, they have the ability to remedy the areas that are causing negative user experiences.

Openly talking about your product’s flaws and how you are addressing them will show customers that your brand cares and empathizes with the issues they face using your product. In addition, it contributes greatly to improving the rate of customer success.

In this train of thought, customer feedback is never a negative for any SaaS business. In fact, it is a gold mine of insights that you can use to your benefit.

Marketing allows brands to set their customers’ expectations. The fulfillment of these expectations encourages loyalty and continuous product use. Brands cannot please every customer, but luckily, most customers will want to provide feedback about their experience.

Many customers will state what they found different between the marketing's promises and the product’s actual functions. The customer success department is responsible for identifying useful feedback.

This department's role is to ensure that all customers achieve their desired results from using the SaaS product. That begins with the useful feedback they collect.

Feedback from product use helps businesses make tough decisions when it comes to product improvement. Being transparent about these decisions shows customers that you listen to their needs and you care about their satisfaction.

It builds trust and strengthens your relationship with them.

It Drives Continuous Profit with Lower Churn Rates

Effective marketing fosters continuous product awareness, which will drive more prospective customers to take interest in using the product. As we’ve seen from Dropbox, its strong referral marketing strategy and perfect product-market fit helped it gain more interested customers and conversions over time.

In addition, a good marketing strategy lowers churn rates, or the number of inactive users over a set period of time. Through strategic content and email marketing, for example, you can remind users of the value and unique experience that your SaaS product offers.

As you successfully win back at-risk subscribers, you demonstrate that you are a brand that values its customers.

Summary

  • Marketing helps customers become aware of the brand.
  • Further content marketing helps urge customers to make a purchase.
  • A brand that engages with customers builds trust and loyalty.
  • Effective marketing is cost-effective because it reduces churn rates.