As the New Year beds in, it’s time to start forming your SaaS marketing strategy for 2018.

The SaaS industry is now truly massive, which also means that it’s highly competitive. Indeed, there are very few SaaS companies out there with truly unique solutions – and even if there are, such is the nature of the industry that the likelihood of another subscription-based startup offering a similar service suddenly emerging is always high.

As such, nothing ever sits still in the world of SaaS marketing. In such a tightly-fought industry, often the only true differentiator between one company and another is its ability to market itself more effectively.

And so, as we head now into the unknown realms of 2018, it won’t do to simply dust off your 2017 SaaS marketing strategy and put it to work again in the hope that it will continue to achieve favourable results. You always need something new in the SaaS marketing game.

Indeed, if 2017 was a success for your business, you’ll likely have an expanding client-base, with increased revenues to boot. But now you’ll need a SaaS marketing strategy that will help you maintain that momentum – that means doing everything you can to acquire new customers, whilst executing plenty of customer retention tactics to keep your existing ones happy and engaged as you go along.

Here are some important things to consider as you plan your SaaS marketing strategy for 2018.

SaaS Marketing in 2018

Greater Emphasis on Storytelling and Education

Today, the SaaS market is absolutely saturated – and that’s no overstatement.

In the marketing technology space alone there are now nearly 5,000 companies all vying for attention from B2B customers – up from just 150 in 2011 – as the infographic from MarTech Today shows below.

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(Image source: martechtoday.com)

And it’s not just the marketing tech landscape that’s saturated. Think of all the FinTech, FemTech, FoodTech, SalesTech, HRTech, SecurityTech and the numerous other segments out there that are all trying to market and sell their SaaS solutions in the digital universe.

It’s mind-blowing to say the least.

So how do you develop a SaaS marketing plan that overcomes this saturation?

Well, the first thing we all need to bear in mind as we develop our strategies for 2018 is the fact that in an overcrowded digital market like SaaS, it will be the brands that can deliver the most human touches that will win the trust of consumers and B2B buyers.

What this means is that our SaaS marketing strategies need now – more than ever – to deliver personalisation to every prospect that comes by way of our websites. We need strategies that aim to treat sales leads like real people.

In 2018, SaaS marketing should focus more on storytelling and education in an effort to build trust in consumers and stand out from the crowd. Content will continue to play a big role in this, of course – but you’ll need to start thinking beyond the blog, and consider video marketing, podcasts, infographics, webinars and more if you want to continue to engage the modern audience.

More Immediacy – Messenger Apps and Chatbots

Gated content will always play a critical role in SaaS marketing efforts – particularly in the B2B space. But in 2018, it will be time to build some more immediacy into the proceedings.

Providing customers and website visitors with high-value downloadable content will of course continue to be one of the most important ways of capturing contact information and generating leads.

However, increasingly, customers don’t want to just fill out a form, access a download and wait around in the hope that someone will eventually get in touch. They want to engage with your brand right here and now, and learn all they can in an instant.

As such, it’s no surprise that messaging apps and chatbots have been steadily on the rise in 2017 – this will no doubt continue this year.

saas2.png(Image source: blog.drift.com)

When a potential customer wants to engage with a SaaS company, they don’t want to hang around. They want answers now – this is why messaging apps and chatbots should form a big part of your SaaS marketing strategy in 2018.

Indeed, recent research from myclever reveals that customers are by now more than comfortable conversing with chatbots – they find them convenient, useful and the good ones able to answer their questions.

Below is an image taken from the research that shows some predicted uses of chatbots going forward – plenty for us to think about in 2018. See our post ‘5 Tools that Help You Create Chatbots for Your Inbound Marketing’ for some great advice on how to start building chatbots into your SaaS marketing plan next year.   

saas3.png(Image source: mycleveragency.com)

 

Feature Marketing

One of the beauties of SaaS products is that they’re in a constant state of beta. A SaaS company will release a minimum viable product (MVP) to get to market quickly and from there continue to add more tools, layers, widgets and features as time goes on.

And this is great news for the SaaS marketing team. When new features are released, there becomes great opportunity to create new campaigns that will please and engage existing customers and attract new ones.

But there’s nothing to stop you from beginning a feature marketing campaign right now. Breaking down your product into its core features and creating campaigns for each is a great way to get more content in front of more people. In fact, when you embark upon feature marketing, you can present added value to targeted personas. Indeed, some of your personas will appreciate certain features more than others, so target your feature campaigns at the right people and you’ll enjoy a lot more engagement right across the board.

Here’s email marketing company MailChimp, for example, with a landing page dedicated entirely not to its core product, but to its new Facebook Ad Campaigns feature. Complete with an explainer video, lots of images and examples, this is feature marketing at its best – and it should definitely be on your agenda for 2018.

saas4.png(Image source: mailchimp.com) 

Over to You

In 2018, SaaS companies should leverage these SaaS marketing tactics to achieve their objectives. As always, you will need to test your methods to see what produces the best results for your business; from there you can continuously optimise your SaaS marketing strategy going forward.

If you need help developing your SaaS marketing strategy for 2018, get in touch with the growth experts here at Incisive Edge today.

 

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