January 06, 2016
With global revenues for SaaS software predicted to reach $106 billion in 2016, there’s no question that this space is experiencing unprecedented growth and opportunity. As such, it’s critical that B2B SaaS companies take advantage of the industry’s gains now, to avoid being edged out by the competition. This requires acquiring as many high-quality leads, users, and customers as possible – which can be accomplished by focusing on and improving your demand generation efforts.
At the core, demand generation is about driving awareness and interest to your company’s offerings. And, when done correctly, it can fill your pipeline with qualified prospects, drive revenue, acquire new customers, and ensure your company’s long-term profitability.
Here’s how to get started:
1. Develop buyer personas to improve your targeting efforts. Buyer personas are representations of your ideal customers based on the research and data you have about your current buyers. Stronger B2B buyer personas lead to optimal targeting and superior content because they ensure that your messaging resonates with your audience. To get started creating these personas, you’ll want to collect demographics, title/role, pain points, challenges, and goals for the various “types” of customers you most frequently sell to. To gather this information, we recommend talking to your existing customers and sales team to get an idea of what motivates your target audience to make a purchase. From there, name each buyer persona and create messaging points, FAQs, and high-level content designed to meet their unique needs.
2. Create high-quality gated content. Gated content is a piece of premium, branded content that visitors can only access if they fill out a form and provide their contact information, job title, location, company name, etc. Once the visitor gains access to the content, your company can use their provided information to nurture them with targeted communications designed with their interests and pain points in mind. This is a critical step for B2B SaaS companies in particular, because B2B buyers tend to take their time researching and considering their options before making a purchasing decision. Your content can help them through this process, while positioning your company as a trusted partner and advisor.
Valuable, well-designed content is core to results-driven SaaS marketing campaigns--content like an e-book, webinar, datasheet, white paper, or case study. From there, make it shareable via social media, enlist your advocates and influencers to spread the word, and feature it prominently in your newsletters and on your website to make sure your target market knows this content is available.
3. Communicate the benefits and value of your service. Unlike other consumers, B2B buyers rarely make impulse purchases. Rather, there’s quite a bit of research involved. As such, it’s important to have all the information leads need to make a purchasing decision right on your website. Using compelling language, tell buyers exactly how your service will solve their problems. What do you offer that sets you apart from the competition? How will your customers benefit from your service? Get prospects excited about the ways your offering can help them achieve their business objectives, and you’ll inevitably increase the number of quality leads in your pipeline.
4. Use marketing data to guide your content creation. To ensure your content is resonating with your target audience, you need to figure out what messaging is most effective. That’s where marketing data comes in to play. To get started, measure clicks, cost-per-lead, cost-per-opportunity, and return on investment. Evaluate all of these metrics as a whole to determine what content is helping your bottom line the most. For example, you may find that even though a particular keyword has a higher cost per lead, it converts more effectively than the others, thus resulting in increased revenue and a better return on your investment. Information like this is invaluable because it allows you to make data-backed decisions and improvements moving forward.
5. Invest in nurturing leads that aren’t yet ready to buy. With a strong lead nurturing strategy, you can avoid wasting valuable, high-quality leads simply because they aren’t quite ready to make a purchasing decision. With lead nurturing, leads who aren’t ready to buy are not directed to sales or sent generic email messages. Rather, they are nurtured with relevant content that is designed to build the relationship, provide them with value, and ensure that when they are ready to buy, your company wins their business. To do this effectively, you’ll need to track your leads’ behavior, web activity, and demographics, as well as segment them for targeted email marketing and content campaigns that are designed with their specific goals, challenges, and pain points in mind.
Forbes, Roundup of Cloud Computing Forecasts And Market Estimates, 2015, https://www.forbes.com/sites/louiscolumbus/2015/01/24/roundup-of-cloud-computing-forecasts-and-market-estimates-2015/
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