10 Key Demand Generation Objectives In SaaS (And How To Achieve Them)
According to HockeyStack, 61% of marketers say that generating leads and traffic is the biggest challenge when it comes to marketing and customer acquisition in general.
This is especially true for SaaS businesses, because some of your potential customers may not even know that their problems could be solved by a SaaS product.
So how do you get your target customers to know not only that they have a problem, but also that you’re the one who can solve it?
The answer is demand generation.
In this article, we’ll look at demand generation objectives, and some tips on achieving those objectives.
But first, let’s be on the same page on what demand generation is.
What Is Demand Generation?
Demand generation is the process of creating demand for a product or service through targeted marketing activities.
This involves creating awareness and educating prospects about their needs and pain points.
Demand Generation Through Inbound Marketing
The most successful demand generation campaigns are those that use inbound marketing tactics, such as content and social media.
Content is the cornerstone of demand generation marketing. It allows you to reach out to potential customers who might not even know they have an issue yet
Creating educational and entertaining content can capture your prospect’s attention and lead them down the SaaS sales funnel.
You can also use a combination of other marketing channels that bring attention to your brand and content, including the following:
- Content marketing
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Social media marketing
- Email marketing
- Pay-per-click ads
- Influencer marketing
- Live events
- Having a freemium model
- Word-of-mouth marketing
Demand Generation VS Lead Generation
Now, a lot of people often confuse demand generation with lead generation. Let’s clear the air once and for all.
Demand generation focuses on educating people about their needs and pain points.
With a demand gen strategy, you don’t even have to mention anything about your SaaS product yet. But you focus on helping people, providing value, and how a SaaS solution can potentially address their current pain points.
Lead generation, on the other hand, focuses on pointing people to your SaaS product and getting their contact information so that your sales team can get in touch with them.
For example, let’s take in the context of the content you use.
Your demand generation marketing strategy may focus on providing free-to-access blog posts and videos. But your lead generation campaign may involve some sort of gated content (like an eBook) that requires the prospect’s contact information before they can download it.
Another big difference is the audience.
With demand gen, you have a much bigger audience because you are targeting people who may not even know they need your product yet. But with lead generation, you are targeting people who have a need and they’re specifically looking for a solution.
While there is a distinct difference between demand generation and lead generation, they work hand-in-hand to generate high-quality leads and long-term customers.
SaaS Demand Generation Objectives
Now that we’re on the same page about what demand gen is, let’s move onto the different demand generation objectives you need to aim for.
1) Build Brand Awareness
This demand generation objective is all about getting your brand name out there. This means from creating social media campaigns to optimizing content for SEO and other online marketing campaigns.
Again, the overall goal of demand gen, is to provide value, not to aggressively promote your SaaS product. So the goal here is to get people to recognize your brand and create a positive association with it.
You can build brand awareness through the following tactics:
- Educational content: Create relevant and informative blog posts, videos, infographics, and even eBooks.
- Social media campaigns: Share content, host giveaways, and engage with followers.
- SEO: Use relevant keywords in your website content to appear higher in search engine results pages.
- Paid Ads: Run ads on Google, Facebook, or other channels to reach a wider audience.
2) Establish Topical Authority
When demand generation is done well, people will start to see you as an authority in your industry. This means they’ll come to you for answers or solutions related to their problems.
Establishing topical authority involves creating content that speaks directly to your target customers’ pains and challenges. It’s also important to stay up-to-date with industry trends and developments so you can provide valuable insights.
You can use some of the tactics mentioned above such as educational content, social media campaigns, SEO, paid ads, etc. But make sure that all of your content is highly relevant and provides clear actionable advice for your audience.
3) Reach The Right Audience
Demand generation is all about targeting the right people with the right content. So, you need to ensure that your demand generation efforts are reaching those who are likely to become leads and customers.
This means understanding your target audience’s needs and challenges, their buying process and preferences, as well as which channels they use. Use this information to create targeted campaigns across different channels such as email, social media, or display advertising.
The best way to do this is to create an ideal customer profile (ICP) and your buyer personas.
An ICP is made up of trends and attributes that identify the customers whose needs match well with your SaaS product.
In the B2B market, this typically includes firmographic data such as the size of the company, industry, location, revenue, and more.
Buyer personas are semi-fictional characters that represent people within your ICP. They include demographic and psychographic data such as job title, goals, challenges, pain points, and others.
You can have multiple buyer personas for different people and positions within your ICP. For example, you might have a “CTO” persona, a “manager” persona and an “end-user” persona.
Creating an ICP and buyer personas helps you better understand your target audience. This way, you can create B2B demand generation campaigns that are tailored to their needs and preferences.
4) Know The Right Marketing Channels To Use
Another objective you should keep in mind is knowing the marketing channels that would best reach your target audience.
There are a variety of marketing channels available. We’ve mentioned some of the popular ones already, such as content marketing and SEO.
But you can also use other channels such as email marketing, webinars, live conferences and events, affiliate or referral programs, or even account based marketing.
It’s best to have a combination of both organic and paid demand generation strategies across different channels to boost both short-term and long-term results.
So think about which of these channels would best reach your target audience and create demand generation campaigns that are tailored to each channel. This way you can effectively reach new audiences as well as engage existing ones.
You shouldn’t treat all customers the same. Different segments demand different strategies and content to engage them
So, you need to focus your B2B demand generation efforts on segmenting your audience based on their needs, preferences, and behavior.
This will help you create more targeted campaigns that reach the right people at the right time with the right message.
For example, if one segment of your audience is more interested in webinars than emails, then you should focus more of your demand generation efforts on creating webinar-related campaigns instead of email campaigns.
By taking a segmented approach, you can also track KPIs such as open rates or conversion rates for each segment so you know what’s working and what needs to be improved.
6) Make Your Brand Stay Top Of Mind
The bitter reality is that your potential customers may not remember your SaaS brand right after their first encounter with it.
So, one demand gen objective should be to make sure your SaaS product stays top of mind for potential customers. You can achieve that by consistently creating content that engages your target audience and providing them with value.
Here are some other tips to help make your brand stay top of mind:
- Build a content funnel: A content funnel is a series of content pieces that are designed to engage customers at each stage of their buyer’s journey. For the top of the funnel (TOFU) stages, you would mostly be providing purely educational content. As customers move down the funnel, you can start introducing promotional content that presents your SaaS solution as the solution.
- Run retargeting ads: Retargeting ads are a great way to reconnect with potential customers who have already interacted with your brand before. These ads work by tracking the actions of website visitors and showing them targeted ads on other websites they visit.
- Be active on social media: Utilize social media content such as images, videos or live streaming to keep your brand top of mind with potential customers. Think about creative ways to promote your brand without coming off too ‘salesy’ or spamming people’s feeds.
- Create drip email campaigns: Drip email campaigns are a great way to keep your brand top of mind by automatically sending a series of educational content and offers that may be helpful or relevant to them.
By consistently making sure your SaaS product stays top of mind with potential customers, you’ll have a better chance at generating demand for your SaaS product in the long run.
7) Increase High-Quality Leads
One thing you should know about leads is that not all of them may be considered as high-quality leads.
A high-quality lead, or a qualified lead, is a customer who shows a high level of interest in your SaaS product. As a result, they can go further along the sales cycle and are more likely to purchase from you.
Now, if you source your leads by purchasing them on a database or other outbound methods, there’s a good chance the leads may not be very interested in what you have to offer.
There may be some that may end up being a good fit for it, but more likely than not, the leads may not be of very high quality.
However, with demand generation marketing, potential customers already have had multiple interactions with your brand, either through your content or other demand generation activities.
This means that by the time they become a lead and your sales team talks to them, they’re more likely to be interested in what you have to offer.
8) Minimize Possible Objections
In SaaS sales, one of the main reasons for a deal to fall through the cracks is due to objections.
Objections can be anything from the potential customer not seeing enough value in the product, having budget concerns, or simply being too busy to make a decision
By employing a demand generation campaign , you can minimize possible objections by providing potential customers with the information they need upfront to make an informed decision.
For instance, your demand generation activities could include helping potential customers understand how your SaaS product will help them save time or money.
You could also use content pieces to educate them on upcoming features that are coming soon or provide guidance on pricing structures that may fit their budget better.
The goal is for your demand generation campaign to equip potential customers with the knowledge they need to make an informed decision, and thus minimize potential objections.
9) Increase Conversion Rates
The ultimate objective of any customer acquisition strategy is to increase conversions from strangers to leads, then leads to customers.
In other words, you need to ensure that the demand generation efforts that you’ve put in are resulting in paying customers for your SaaS product.
This comes as a result of some of the other demand generation objectives we have discussed above.
The more you build brand awareness and topical authority, the more high-quality leads you will attract. And the higher the quality of your leads, the higher the chances of them converting into paying customers.
10) Increase Customer Retention Rates
With a SaaS business model, the focus of your success as a business isn’t only measured in how many customers you get. But also in how many of them will stick around.
In its long-term effects, a successful demand generation strategy also plays a big role in improving your customer retention.
If you’re consistently providing valuable content and building your authority, more and more people are going to trust you and your brand. This will make them more likely to stick around and stay as customers for the longer term.
And of course, demand generation also has a hand in customer retention through upsells and cross-sells.
By keeping customers engaged with your brand through demand generation activities, you’re more likely to be able to reach out to them when it’s time to offer an upgrade to a more advanced plan or another product they may be interested in.
Final Thoughts About Demand Generation Objectives for SaaS
It’s clear that demand generation marketing plays an important role in customer acquisition for SaaS products.
It’s not only important to have an effective demand generation strategy. But it’s also vital to ensure that you understand the main demand generation objectives and how they can help your SaaS business grow.
By focusing on demand generation objectives along with measuring the right metrics, you can ensure that you’re on the right track generating demand (and eventually leads) for your SaaS business.
Looking for more guides to get your SaaS business to the next level? Check out our blog here.