Today, 99% of businesses use at least one or more SaaS solutions, making it a lucrative opportunity for budding SaaS businesses.
What’s more, the SaaS industry is now estimated to be valued at over $145 billion.
But one thing you need to know about this industry is that there are now multiple solutions that address various customer needs. To stand out, you will need to look for ways to differentiate your brands from other competitors.
SaaS as an industry has significantly grown and evolved, and so have its product marketing strategies. Naturally, growing businesses should constantly monitor and stay abreast of the recent product marketing trends to ensure growth and better performance.
Here are a few SaaS product marketing trends that you should consider and implement, going into 2023:
With the advent of the SaaS industry came hoards of companies offering software solutions that would have applications across industries. And they worked — for a very long time.
But the new buzzword that is transforming the SaaS industry is Vertical SaaS — a branch of SaaS specifically catering to niche industries. These SaaS solutions can be a highly specific tool or a comprehensive set of solutions tailored to a narrow market.
Now, Veeva is a great example of a Vertical SaaS application. It is a cloud-computing solution that specifically caters to the pharmaceutical and life sciences industries. So, the product has been developed to offer features that can be marketed effectively to companies in this specific industry.
Due to their specificity, Vertical SaaS solutions generally support extensive customizations and are highly flexible, based on changing industrial trends. The biggest advantage of Vertical SaaS is that it can limit your competition and increase your customer acquisition.
Having detailed and effective walkthroughs is crucial to the success of SaaS companies. Since their product is a software solution, the most effective way to affirm its credibility is to sell its features right. Having great demos to support your product is the ideal way to do that.
You may wonder why demos are suddenly trending now since they have been around for a long time. And you would be right. Except, those traditional demos have now evolved.
The virtual nature of demos has boosted videos as a viable option. Moreover emerging technologies, such as Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) are making them more effective. Such demos can highlight the value that your product is likely to add, for your customers more effectively. Here is a great example of a video demo by SurveyMonkey:
Needless to say, when it comes to promoting and selling digital products, additional information and updates through videos will always prove to be a good idea. Highlighting such videos and VR demos on the home page and landing page is necessary to stand out from the cut-throat competition in the SaaS industry.
When you have a SaaS business that promises excellence to customers, you have to cover all the bases. Right from having a stellar product to providing effective customer support, you have quite a few processes to regulate.
The good news here is that providing customer support has gotten easier through automation. Moreover, customer success deals with developing the customer’s ability to understand and add value to your business. Automated processes for customer success mean that acquisition and retention of customers become easier.
Some SaaS brands are even taking customer support to the next level by enabling self-service. Herein, customers are equipped with the tools and resources necessary to deal with certain issues and find resolutions on their own. And it is more prevalent than you think.
A study by Microsoft found that more than 77% of consumers have already used a self-service online portal for their queries. Take a look at how Kommunicate enables customer self-service with the help of chatbots.
Remember that the success of your product depends on how well your customer can use it to achieve their goals. And 75% of customers expect to get help on their queries within five minutes. Automated answers to customer queries and questions can ensure faster turnaround times and increased satisfaction among customers.
Today, data is more valuable than any other asset that businesses can buy or set up. If you have been running a SaaS business for some time, many customers would have stayed with your company and many would have left. Regardless, you will have a lot of customer data to work with.
This data can help you acquire new and retain existing customers. Moreover, you should be trying to get insights into your customer behavior by collecting website data. When put together, such a comprehensive set of data can help your business create better strategies.
Having a data enrichment strategy in place gives you plenty of data points you can use to create customer profiles. You can also outline any existing data mapping and fallback strategies required for your SaaS businesses using data enrichment.
More importantly, customer data can help you personalize your products and processes more effectively. Why personalization? Well, over 89% of businesses choose SaaS companies that allow or offer personalization.
So far, you may have heard extensively of SaaS companies using emails and marketing campaigns around it to target customers.
Don’t get us wrong, this process still works, but your customers today are mostly mobile. Even the ones that do not have lower attention spans. You would miss out on an enormous opportunity if you do not effectively tap into this audience.
As a SaaS business, you should be looking at making the best of any opportunity to use your content for marketing your product.
When we are talking about push notifications, it is hard not to mention Netflix. Netflix practically thrives on push notifications. Users can set reminders for upcoming shows that they are interested in watching and even receive notifications about show recommendations. These notifications are highly effective because they are tailored to individual users.
Push notifications are not only more convenient, but they also increase the odds of getting noticed and having your message read by your customers. Push notifications are also a great alternative to long emails that may otherwise get ignored or go unread.
According to a study by HubSpot in 2018, over 54% of consumers watched videos online every week. This number has only increased because of the COVID-19 lockdowns imposed globally.
Considering the power of videos, it is no surprise that the SaaS industry heavily relies on them. After all, visitors do spend 260% more time on web pages that have videos on them. SaaS marketers can choose from a wide range of video types to fulfil their goals.
Of course, when we are discussing videos, we have to look at the importance of demo or explainer videos. Did you know 4 in 5 buyers find demo videos quite crucial? Other than these, you can also consider investing in videos for your social media, presenting case studies and testimonials, and knowledge sharing.
A popular way of leveraging videos for SaaS product marketing is using how-to videos. They tend to get a lot of views, and they promote product features along with educating customers. Hootsuite, the popular social media management tool, knows how to do this very well. Here is an example:
Having a diverse range of effective videos associated with your SaaS brand will add more credibility and visibility to it.
In the competitive landscape of the SaaS industry, sticking to a specific channel for marketing and selling your product just doesn’t cut it anymore. In fact, every growing industry today needs to consider multiple channels for promoting and selling its products.
When multiple channels synergize and work to provide customers with the right support, the response rate goes up. Moreover, you will have the opportunity to fine-tune some of these channels for efficiency, which can in turn help you scale up faster. What’s more, utilizing multiple channels can be a great way to improve your post-sales processes as well.
Nearly 93% of marketers agree that having a multichannel strategy is important, however, only 73% of them actually have such a strategy in place.
Spotify is one of the best examples of brands leveraging multiple channels for marketing products. Apart from its website and application, Spotify is active on popular social media channels such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook with millions of followers. Apart from digital advertisements across different platforms, Spotify also seamlessly integrates the traditional billboard advertisements to its advantage.
The result? Higher brand awareness among potential customers, and higher engagement among existing customers who can relate to quirky brand copies.
Of course, it would be important to have enough time and resources to run campaigns on multiple channels.
Let’s face it: a SaaS product is only as successful as its features.
With over 70% of CIOs being attracted to SaaS solutions for their scalability and agility, consistently adding new features is not optional.
And if you are adding new features to strengthen your product, it goes without saying that you should actively promote them. This strategy of marketing the addition of new features to the product is also known as feature marketing.
For instance, you have just launched an array of new features to your SaaS product aimed at making remote work easier. A full-fledged feature marketing campaign will allow you to highlight these new features to your existing customers and even target new ones who are looking for such features.
Zoom uses feature marketing effectively on its website by creating a software roadmap for the users. The foremost step that the brand takes to ensure its effectiveness is urging customers to download the latest version so that users can have all the latest updates and features.
Promoting features is easier considering their value will resonate with the customers more than anything you can offer. After all, your customers are with you for that very reason, aren’t they?
Native Advertising is quickly emerging as one of the proven advertising strategies for SaaS companies. In this advertising strategy, the ads are placed in a highly cohesive manner with the platform and the content of the page on which it is posted.
What’s more, native advertising is not some newly emerging trend. In fact, native ads are already proven to deliver 3x higher returns than display banner ads.
Say, your SaaS product is a highly effective payroll solution. What do you think would prove more effective? Placing ads on random websites that have little to do with your niche, or on a webpage that is talking about payroll challenges or software? Of course, the latter.
While creating native ads, focus extensively on the quality and “catchiness” of the copy, and keep the design as creative and unique as possible. SEMrush, like many other things, gets native advertisements quite right. Here is an example:
Simple, catchy and effective — just the way it should be, right?
Remember, the right kind of native ads for your SaaS business can reward you with higher conversion rates, as well as visibility online.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) may still be considered advanced technologies, but they are making great strides in creating marketing strategies that work for SaaS businesses.
87% of SaaS companies have reported an increased growth rate when they deploy personalization.
WalkMe, a well-known digital adoption platform, leveraged AI to implement a predictive scoring system. This system improved their ability to measure the success of campaigns, as well as align marketing and sales strategies around specific leads that displayed the most potential.
Indeed, using technologies like AI and ML, you can tweak your product offering and sales pitches at a granular level and achieve greater conversion rates. What’s more, you can also optimize your marketing messages and tailor them according to what your readers would like to read or know about.
Contrary to popular belief, less is sometimes better than more. Having a quality product does not mean that it has to solve every problem that a business faces.
Many SaaS companies strike out by offering magnanimous products to customers who are really looking for a specific solution to their problems. This is the philosophy behind an unbundling strategy.
The unbundling strategy has worked effectively for many SaaS companies that have been able to offer their customers the perfect solution in the form of an API and a small suite of tools. Thus, breaking free from the pressure of building a “comprehensive suite” of solutions.
Let us take Moz, for example. If you have dabbled in content marketing and SEO, you probably know the wonders that Moz can work for your strategy. Moz offers comprehensive paid plans that grant access to all the modules and tools that the company has to offer. Additionally, Moz unbundles this comprehensive paid plan into small modules for companies that are looking for guidance in specific areas of their strategy.
The advantage? Brands can explore individual modules and then upgrade to the comprehensive paid plan as they scale up. Implementing this strategy gives your SaaS business more control over pricing and allows you to target a wide range of customers.
Branding is a tricky concept to wrap your head around, especially when you are a SaaS business.
It is no more enough to have a user-centric product as your branding (which defines your brand identity after all) needs to reflect the philosophy. When you adopt user-centricity, everything, starting from your design, communication, and marketing strategy, needs to reflect it.
In the context of product marketing for SaaS businesses, this would mean adding features, and tweaking designs based on the users’ needs.
Let us look at an example to understand this better, shall we?
Trello is a free collaboration tool that helps teams organize their processes and tasks with the help of an easy-to-use dashboard. Now here is the thing — Trello invests extensively in making its product design as user-friendly as possible.
The result? Minimal, if any, spend on marketing.
Countless blogs and publications rave about the usefulness of Trello and how it has added value to their processes. There is ample social proof to designate Trello as one of the best collaboration tools out there. All because the company went full throttle with the philosophy of user-centricity.
Ask any SaaS customer why they chose a particular solution over the other and “flexibility” would always be on that list. Most industries are unable to offer pricing plans that can cater to different kinds of customers and clients, but not SaaS. That’s the beauty of this industry.
Most SaaS businesses offer quite a range of pricing plans, to fit different kinds of customers’ needs. Pick any SaaS business and you would see that either they offer a freemium model or a range of subscription models that let customers prioritize their needs.
This is something that Ahrefs reflects in its pricing plans quite beautifully.
Every pricing plan offers a set of features that will suit businesses of different sizes and kinds. So, customers can choose a plan that would tailor to their needs.
Such pricing models also allow you to upsell your features and decide on profitable unit-based pricing. Regardless of the model you choose, it is important to base your pricing strategy based on balancing your revenue and growth.
For the uninitiated, optimizing customer retention can quickly become a nightmare. But equipped with the right strategies and tools, customer retention optimization can actually be a great way to boost your SaaS organization’s growth.
According to a popular study, the likelihood of selling your product or service to an existing customer is 60-70%. So companies today need a strong customer retention strategy in order to achieve and benefit from the actual customer lifetime value.
An effective customer retention strategy requires you to have a great understanding of your users’ behavior and actively seek feedback from them. SaaS companies that want to optimize customer retention need to improve customer experience with the help of relevant messaging and communication.
Creating a perfect brand experience is a highly underrated process that requires companies to be proactive and creative. Establishing a unique brand identity is a great starting point for setting up a strong brand experience.
Right from setting a strong brand purpose to taking a storytelling approach for your brand can help in shaping an effective experience. For growing SaaS companies, it is also important to constantly adapt, evolve and improve customer engagement. Additionally, assigning more importance to customer experience over sales revenue is equally crucial.
When we talk about brand experiences, it is hard to not talk about Netflix — a brand that is devoted to offering excellent brand and entertainment experiences to its customers. The brand started with a mission — to entertain everyone. Netflix built a strong interface that curates suggestions based on what the customer is watching or has watched in the past, providing a superior experience that overtook other streaming platforms.
Brand experience is born when you use the right balance of creativity and strategic thinking to establish a strong identity in the SaaS market.
SaaS brands thrive on the basis of their content quality and the role it plays in their marketing strategy. Interactive infographics are a great way to elevate the brand identity and creativity. It is a content format that is compulsively shareable, and highly engaging. Not to forget, they offer significant SEO benefits to SaaS enterprises.
When paired with other interactive elements such as quizzes, surveys, and heatmaps, infographic content can be highly result-driven for SaaS companies. 85% of B2B marketers are already using interactive infographics for their strategy.
Remember: infographic content can effectively increase your SaaS brand’s visibility and awareness. Sharing highlights of your SaaS product through infographics can be a strong part of your marketing strategy.
SaaS is a rapidly growing industry with as much competition as there is customer demand. With that in mind, Saas companies must aim to stay ahead of the rest and keep innovating the way they do business. The marketing strategies that worked for your company a few years ago may not anymore — and you may just need to take a good hard look at what you can change. Stay abreast of these product marketing trends to give that extra boost to your marketing strategy.