SaaS social media marketing is little different to other types of marketing. And that’s really because SaaS products are a little different to most other products on the market.
A SaaS product has no actual, physical presence – it’s just a computer program remotely stored somewhere “in the cloud”. By its very nature, too, the SaaS product is also constantly changing, as agile developers continuously release updates – improving, refining and adding new features all the time.
What’s more, some SaaS solutions are developed to only be of use to a handful of B2B companies in a very niche corner of the market.
But, while these peculiarities of SaaS might seem at first to present a challenge for inbound marketing teams, there are in fact some underlying advantages – but it’s only a good SaaS marketing strategy that will unearth them.
Social Media Marketing is the Mainstay of B2B Marketers
Indeed, it is.
(Image source: contentmarketinginstitute.com)
The reason for this is because social media marketing works. A recent report by Hotwire and Vanson Bourne reveals that social media has become a very important part of the B2B decision-making process – and this has implications for your SaaS marketing efforts.
As professionals are making more and more use of social media in their working as well as private lives, decision-makers have come to increasingly regard the various platforms available as reliable sources of information.
However, there is something of a surprise in the research. Most B2B marketers consider LinkedIn and Twitter to be their “go-to” channels for digital B2B marketing. But when 1,000 decision-makers were asked which one social media channel they’d turn to for more information regarding a purchasing decision, 24% cited Facebook as their number one choice. This puts the platform ahead of LinkedIn (17%), and well ahead of Twitter, which was favoured by just 6% of decision-makers.
(Image source: hotwirepr.com)
The report suggests that the reason for this is that B2B decision-makers spend more time on Facebook (18 days a month) than they do on other platforms (13 days a month for both Twitter and LinkedIn).
Facebook has indeed become a truly business-friendly platform – and we must take note of this when planning our SaaS social media marketing strategies. Everyone takes their work home with them these days – perhaps, even, unwittingly. And since most of your B2B targets are frequenting Facebook more often than any other channel as part of their daily routines, it makes sense to focus a good proportion of your SaaS marketing efforts there.
Indeed, the report reveals that 51% of senior marketers and 39% of IT decision makers think they will be making more use of Facebook to help with making purchase decisions in the coming twelve months – so we can only expect this trend to continue.
5 SaaS Social Media Marketing Ideas that Increase Sales
Just having a social media presence, of course, is not enough the reap the full benefits of SaaS social media marketing.
To reach full potential, we need a SaaS marketing strategy, complete with plenty of ideas that we can test on our audiences as we strive for higher sales and more sign-ups. Here are five to get you started.
1. Choose the Right Platforms
We’ve seen from the Hotwire research that Facebook is often overlooked as a viable platform for B2B and SaaS marketing. However, we must be careful with our inferences. Yes, the largest number of decision-makers turn to Facebook as their first choice for gathering information about purchase decisions – but it was still less than 1 in 4 (24%).
As such, we can’t simply assume that Facebook will be the most fruitful platform for SaaS social media marketing purposes. Rather, we must do our research and make our decisions wisely.
Consider this chart from HubSpot’s State of Inbound 2017 report. While it somewhat contradicts the Hotwire findings (namely in the fact that LinkedIn is shown to be used by more professionals than Facebook), it nonetheless reveals where professionals like to hang out – be it for personal or business related activities.
(Image source: stateofinbound.com)
Consider your key demographics, work out what platforms they like to frequent at what times of day, and then target them with your SaaS marketing content accordingly.
[inline-form theme:orange title: Free eBook button:Download] How to Grow SaaS Revenues with Inbound [/inline-form]
2. Promote Your Free Trial
We started by saying that SaaS marketing was different, and here we see yet another example.
If you were a retailer selling physical merchandise, the last thing that you’d be doing was giving away free stuff to anyone and everyone who wanted to try it out.
However, in the world of SaaS marketing, that’s exactly what’s expected. The free trial is a standard SaaS marketing tactic, and should be used as a means to acquire new customers and as part of the onboarding process.
But you need a strategy – and this is where social media comes in.
There are many ways that you can use social media to promote your free trial. For starters, you should offer social sign-ups for free trial registrations – this will enable you to better retarget your free trial users once the period is coming to a close (or coax them back at a later time).
You should also think about offering something extra – such as an extended free trial period, access to your premium service, or even a discount – for those who share your free trial promotion on their social networks.
It’s also imperative that you list your free trial on every business page that you have across social media – especially Facebook and LinkedIn.
But, all that aside, you need to think about how long your free trial period lasts. The standard seems to be 30 days – though there are many commentators who deem this to be too long. The reason is that the majority of free trial users will have decided if they like your product after just three days – anyone who drops off after this point, probably won’t come back at all.
As such, SaaS company Close.io – which has done extensive research on the subject – recommends that “99% of B2B SaaS products should limit the trial to 14 days, max.”
(Image source: blog.close.io)
Remarketing is one of the most effective inbound marketing techniques – and it can really boost your sign-ups when it comes to SaaS marketing.
Anyone who has signed up for your free trial is a prime target for remarketing materials. And the great thing is that they will have already given you their contact information, which makes the process of locating them very simple indeed.
Hit these guys with extra free content – eBooks, video tutorials, emails, infographics. The idea is to start to make them feel like they’re already valued customers. Be sure, too, that your content is designed to help them get to grips with your SaaS product, and solves any pain points that might hinder the onboarding process.
But remarketing should also be used as a means to bring back those visitors who didn’t sign up – and you can target these people directly on social media.
Facebook, for instance, offers its own remarketing pixel, which means that you can serve your visitors targeted ads on Facebook once they’ve left your site, gently reminding them to come back and sign up.
Here’s an example from Pipedrive:
(Image source: aggregateblog.com)
This is a particularly good ad, for it shows the SaaS product in the image, and also includes social proof of the solution in the copy.
Great stuff. See our previous post ‘5 Examples of the Best Remarketing Banners’ for more ideas.
4. Use GIFs to Show Your SaaS Product in Action
This year, Facebook added support for GIF ads – though they still haven’t quite caught on as a trend yet.
So, make your SaaS social media marketing advertisements stand out on Facebook – be they for remarketing purposes, or general – and start experimenting with GIFs.
That’s what Autopilot were quick to do – check it out:
(Image source: aggregateblog.com)
The animated image of course draws the eye of anyone scrolling through their Facebook feed. But what’s so great about the GIF is that you can show your SaaS product in action and reveal to your audience how easy it is to use.
Get onboard with Facebook GIF ads before your competitors do.
Video marketing, of course, remains as one of the most important and most effective forms of marketing at your disposal.
Here are some stats from WordStream that we think hammer this point home:
- Marketers who use video grow revenue 49% faster than non-video users
- Social video generated 1200% more shares than text and images combined
- 51% of global marketing professionals name video as the type of content that delivers the best ROI
With video, you can take your SaaS social media marketing to new levels. From full explainers to behind the scenes, and from influencer interviews to plain old promos – video is the content of choice for huge swathes of social media users.
Back to You
When it comes to SaaS social media marketing, variety is key. Make sure you’re choosing the right platforms – and remember that Facebook is proving to be a great channel to exploit. Promote your free trial hard, and consider the fact that short trial periods will normally suffice. Build a remarketing strategy, and use GIFs and videos to stand out.
Do all this and you’ll have a strong SaaS social media marketing strategy that will increase sign ups and sales in no time.