10 Successful Demand Generation Strategies For SaaS Businesses
Did you know that there are now around 30,000 SaaS businesses all over the world? Plus, more and more are being added to that number every year at an increasing rate.
That means competition is only going to get tougher and tougher for SaaS companies.
And if you’re one of them, you need to do everything you can possibly do to stand out from the rest and attract attention from your target audience.
One of the best ways to do that is through a successful demand generation strategy.
But what exactly is demand generation? And what are some effective demand generation strategies for SaaS businesses?
Keep reading to find out.
What Is Demand Generation?
Demand generation is the process of creating brand awareness and interest in a product or service, with the goal of generating leads and eventually winning them over as customers.
In other words, it’s all about getting people interested in what you have to offer so that they’ll want to buy from you.
Demand Generation VS Lead Generation
It’s important to note that demand generation is different from lead generation. Lead generation is all about finding people who might be interested in your SaaS product and have a high likelihood of buying it.
Demand generation, on the other hand, is about getting people interested in what you have to offer in the first place. Once you’ve done that, lead generation, qualification, and nurturing will become much easier.
Demand Generation In The SaaS Sales Funnel
The SaaS sales funnel typically has four stages: awareness, consideration, decision, and retention.
Demand generation strategies are usually implemented at the top of the funnel (TOFU), which usually includes the awareness stage.
At this stage, you’re targeting people who may not even know about your SaaS product yet. So your goal is to introduce them to your brand.
With a B2B demand generation strategy, you don’t necessarily have to promote your product aggressively right away.
In fact, with a SaaS audience, it’s better to provide value first, through content that’s relevant to their needs and pain points.
As you do this, they will eventually come to trust your brand enough that they would voluntarily provide their contact information. You will have captured them as leads.
From there, you can move them further down the sales funnel with lead nurturing strategies.
Now that we have an overview of what demand generation is, let’s take a look at some successful demand generation strategies for SaaS businesses.
1) Perform A Comprehensive Keyword Research
If you want a relevant digital marketing campaign that will effectively reach your target market, you need to start with keyword research.
Spoiler alert: we are going to talk about content marketing and pay-per-click (PPC) search ads further along this article. These two demand generation strategies are usually the main beneficiaries of keyword research.
But how do you actually find the right keywords and make the most out of them?
Here are some tips:
Use Long-Tail Keywords
Short-tail keywords are those that are just one or two words long, such as “SaaS” or “marketing automation.” These keywords generally have a high search volume but it most probably will be hard to rank for them because of the competition.
On the other hand, long-tail keywords are usually three to five words long and they’re more specific.
For example, “best marketing automation software for small businesses” is a long-tail keyword.
While short-tail keywords may get you more traffic, long-tail keywords are usually easier to rank for and they tend to convert better.
That’s because people who use long-tail keywords are usually further along in their buyer’s journey and they already know what they want.
Analyze Search Intent
When people use a certain keyword, they have a particular goal or intent in mind. And that’s what you need to figure out.
Are they looking for information? Are they trying to find a solution to a problem? Or are they ready to buy?
Depending on the answer, you will need to adjust your content accordingly.4
For example, if someone is just looking for information, an article or blog post will suffice. But if they’re already looking to buy a SaaS product, they might be more interested in going to your pricing page.
Find Out Your Competitors’ Target Keywords
If you want to get an idea of which keywords you should be targeting, take a look at your competitors.
The tool will show you their top-performing content pages and what keywords they are targeting. You can also take a look at their PPC ads to get an idea of which keywords they’re bidding on.
If you want, you may also assess whether or not you can compete against them for these particular keywords.
2) Create Relevant & Interesting Content
One of the best ways to generate interest and awareness for your SaaS product is through content marketing.
It helps your SaaS company become relevant and interesting to your target market by providing helpful information that can help them with their businesses or tasks.
But what kind of content can you create?
Here are some ideas:
Blogging has proven to be one of the most effective and most sustainable content marketing strategies for SaaS businesses.
For a B2B marketing strategy, you can use your blog posts to educate your target audience about various topics related to your SaaS product.
To make your blog posts more effective, make sure they’re well-researched, well-written, and keyword-optimized.
For a B2B demand generation campaign, it’s best to create informative evergreen content.
That way, it will continue to attract potential customers and provide value to them for many years with only a minimal need for updates.
If you want to make your content more visually appealing, try creating infographics. These are images that contain valuable information that’s easy to understand and digest.
People love infographics because they’re generally easy on the eyes and easy to consume. They’re also great for social media, as they tend to get shared a lot.
What’s more, you could mix these infographics with your blog posts to break up the text and make your content more enjoyable to read.
Another great way to generate interest and awareness for your SaaS product is through video content.
You could create educational content in the form of YouTube videos. This will be a great way to reach people who prefer watching rather than reading blog posts.
What’s more, you can repurpose some of your old blog posts and turn them into videos. This is a great way to breathe new life into your content and reach a whole new audience.
3) Improve Visibility & Drive Traffic Through SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing your website and content to rank higher in search engines like Google.
The higher you rank, the more visible you will be to potential customers who are searching for keywords related to your business.
Here are some SEO tips to help you improve your content’s visibility:
Use Keywords Strategically
When creating content, make sure to include relevant keywords in your title, meta tags, and throughout the body of your content.
But don’t stuff your keywords in there. This will do more bad than good to your SEO efforts.
As much as possible, mention your primary keyword at the first 100 words of your blog post then sprinkle it as evenly as you can all throughout the content piece.
Don’t forget about your secondary keywords. You should also use them in your content to make it more comprehensive and keyword-rich. And if possible, use them on your subheadings.
Link building is the process of getting other websites to link to your content. This is important because it counts as a vote of confidence that your content is reliable.
Not only will it bring some of their visitors to your website. But search engines also recognize that vote of confidence and add to your website’s authoritativeness.
There are a number of ways to build links, such as guest blogging, broken link building, and creating linkable assets.
Optimize Your Website Structure
The technical side of SEO is all about making it easier for search engines’ web crawlers to go through your website and index your content.
And one of the most effective ways to do this is having a website structure that’s easy to follow. This means having a clear hierarchy, using proper tag nesting, and using descriptive URLs.
The most recommended website structure for SEO is a silo structure. This is where you group your website’s pages into categories and subcategories.
4) Invest In PPC Ads
PPC or pay-per-click advertising can also be a great demand gen strategy. It’s an effective way to expand your reach and even generate leads for your SaaS business.
These are ads that you create and pay for every time someone clicks on them.
The most popular PPC platform is Google Ads, where you can create text, image, or video ads. These ads may be placed on search engines, websites, or apps.
PPC ads are a great way to get in front of potential customers who are actively searching for keywords related to your business.
And since you’re only paying for the ads when someone clicks on them, it can be a cost-effective demand generation marketing strategy.
5) Use Social Media To Reach A Wider Audience
There are two ways you can use social media for demand gen: organic social media marketing and social media ads.
Organic Social Media Marketing
Organic social media marketing is the process of creating and sharing content on social media in order to build brand awareness, grow your audience, and generate leads.
You can use this strategy in conjunction with your content marketing and other inbound marketing campaigns.
For example, you can share your blog posts and infographics on social media to drive traffic back to your website.
Make sure to post regularly and mix up the types of content you share so that your target audience doesn’t get bored.
You can also facilitate conversations and discussions to engage with your followers.
Social Media Ads
Social media ads are paid advertisements that you can use to promote your content and reach a wider audience.
The great thing about social media ads is that you can target specific demographics, interests, and even behaviors. This ensures that your ads are being shown to people who are more likely to be interested in your SaaS product.
6) Make The Most Out Of Events & Trade Shows
Events and trade shows can be a great way to meet potential customers in person and tell them all about your SaaS product.
When you attend events, make sure to have plenty of business cards on hand so that you can exchange contact information with people you meet.
You can also use this opportunity to promote your content marketing channels, such as your blog site and YouTube channel.
If you’re exhibiting at a trade show, make sure your booth is eye-catching and inviting.
What’s more, a smooth transition from demand generation to lead generation is always a good thing.
So you should also have some sort of a lead capture system in place so that you can collect the contact information of people who are interested in your product.
7) Leverage Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is a form of marketing that involves working with influencers to promote your content.
An influencer is someone with a large following on social media or another platform. B2B influencers may even be regularly speaking at events and trade shows.
Whatever their platforms are, these people can help you reach a wider audience and further build brand awareness.
How do you make the most out of influencers in your industry?
Find Influencers Whose Audiences Match Your Target Audience
The key to successful influencer marketing is to find influencers who are relevant to your target market and who have engaged audiences.
For example, if your SaaS product is in the digital marketing space, you’ll want to find influencers who talk about that niche. They must also have a proven track record in digital marketing.
These influencers will have audiences that are more likely to be interested in what you have to offer.
Build A Rapport With Your Potential Influencers
Once you’ve found the right influencers, you need to build relationships with them. You can do this by interacting with their content, commenting on their posts, and sharing their content.
You can also collaborate with them on projects, such as creating joint blog posts or promoting each other’s content.
The goal here is to foster a relationship of mutual respect so that they’re more likely to want to work with you. So when you finally send them an email pitching your idea for a partnership, they’ll be more likely to respond favorably.
Provide Value To Your Influencers
When you’re reaching out to influencers, it’s important to offer them something of value.
This could be an exclusive discount for their audience, early access to your product, or a temporary free upgrade.
Whatever you offer, make sure it’s something that they’ll find valuable and that their audience will appreciate.
8) Foster Word-Of-Mouth Marketing
Word-of-mouth marketing is one of the most powerful forms of demand generation marketing. After all, people are more likely to buy a product if they’ve heard about it from a friend or colleague.
So how do you encourage word-of-mouth marketing?
Create An Awesome SaaS Product
Of course, the non-negotiable requirement for word-of-mouth marketing is having a truly remarkable product.
Your product needs to be high quality and offer unique value that people can’t find anywhere else. If it’s not, then people won’t bother talking about it.
Have A Freemium Model
Another way to generate word-of-mouth marketing is to have a freemium model. With this type of pricing model, you offer a basic version of your product for free and then charge for premium features.
Remember when Zoom first came out and it got so much hype?
That’s because it was free to use for the most part. And people loved it so much that they started talking about it to their friends and colleagues.
And before we knew it, Zoom had overtaken bigger brands, like Skype, in the world of video conferencing.
If you want people to talk about your product, you need to make it easy for them to do so.
This means having something in your SaaS platform that they can share. It can be achievements, badges, or even just a funny message that pops up whenever they use your product.
Social sharing buttons can also help by making it easy for people to post about your product on social media.
What’s more, you can create referral programs that give customers an incentive to spread the word about your SaaS solution.
Join Communities & Foster Relationships
Finally, you can also leverage word-of-mouth marketing by joining relevant online communities and fostering relationships with other members.
By becoming an active member of these communities, you can build relationships with other members.
And when you have a SaaS product that’s relevant to them, they’re more likely to talk about it within the group.
And guess what—some of the group members might also belong to other communities, so they may start to talk about your product there. Before you know it, more and more people would have heard about your SaaS product.
Fair warning about community marketing, though: be ready to receive some honest feedback about your SaaS solution.
But if you can take it on the chin and use it to improve your SaaS product, then it’ll be worth it in the end. After all, B2B buyers love SaaS providers that listen to their customers.
9) Use Personalized & Account-Based Marketing
Account based marketing (ABM) is a highly targeted B2B marketing strategy that focuses on building brand awareness and generating leads within specific accounts.
In this context, an “account” is a company that you’re targeting. And your goal is to create personalized campaigns that speak directly to the needs of that company.
ABM is an effective way to generate leads for a SaaS business because it allows you to focus your resources on accounts that are more likely to convert.
To get started with ABM, you need to identify the companies that you want to target. Once you’ve done that, you can create targeted content and campaigns specifically for those businesses.
For example, you can create blog posts, eBooks, and webinars that address the specific challenges faced by those companies. You can also send targeted emails and run ads that are specifically designed for them.
The key here is to personalize your content and campaigns as much as possible so that they speak directly to the needs of your target accounts.
10) Leverage User-Generated Content
User-generated content (UGC) is a powerful marketing tool that you can use to build your reputation as a SaaS brand.
UGC is any type of content that’s created by users, such as reviews, testimonials, or social media posts.
One of the benefits of UGC is that it helps build social proof and credibility for your brand.
When a potential customer sees that other people are using and enjoying your product, they’re more likely to want to try it out for themselves.
The thing about UCG is that you may need to give out an incentive for your users to take part in it.
You could give them temporary free upgrades or a limited-time discount. It’s up to you to make it worth their while.
Final Thoughts About Demand Generation Strategies
As you can see, there are a number of demand generation strategies that you can use to boost your brand awareness and eventually generate leads for your SaaS business.
And one key demand gen strategy is to use the right mix of these strategies.
That way, you can reach potential customers through various channels and increase your chances of attracting the right customers for your SaaS business.
But at the end of the day, the most important thing is to focus on providing value.
If you can effectively provide value to your target market, then the leads will inevitably follow.
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