Inbound Marketing For B2B SaaS: Attracting And
Closing Leads The Organic Way
When you think about popular SaaS companies like HubSpot, Salesforce, and Monday.com, where did you first hear about them? Was it through social media? An e-book you downloaded? A blog they wrote?
If your answer is yes to any of the questions above, then you are a witness to how effective inbound marketing can be.
Inbound marketing has become increasingly popular in recent years, and it’s easy to see why. This is especially true for business-to-business (B2B) SaaS platforms.
In this article, we will talk about inbound marketing for B2B SaaS and how you can do it for your business.
What Is Inbound Marketing?
First, let’s define inbound marketing.
Inbound marketing is a marketing strategy in which companies create content that appeals to their target audience in order to generate leads and close sales.
In other words, inbound marketing focuses on attracting the right people to your business rather than going out and actively trying to get new customers.
Stages Of Inbound Marketing
Generally, inbound marketing has three stages: attract, convert, and close.
Attract: In the attract stage, the goal is to get your target audience’s attention through different marketing programs like content marketing, social media marketing, and others. We’ll talk more about those later.
Convert: In the convert stage, the goal is to turn those leads into customers through things like email marketing and landing pages.
Close: The goal of the close stage, from the name itself, is to seal the deal and make a sale.
Inbound Marketing VS Outbound Marketing
You may be curious, though. If there is INbound marketing, there is also OUTbound marketing, right?
Outbound marketing, in contrast, refers to the traditional marketing practices that are more proactive but sometimes more intrusive in nature. These practices include sales pitches, cold calling, cold emails, and other tactics in order to get people to buy your products or services.
The fact that outbound marketing is also called “interruption marketing” also says a lot about its effect on prospects. Since you’re reaching out to them without invitation, it may annoy them. And that’s something you don’t want.
But don’t get me wrong. Outbound marketing still has its uses in the SaaS industry. Have you ever heard of account-based marketing? It’s a type of outbound marketing in which businesses focus on selling to specific accounts or target companies.
Instead of trying to target a more general market or target audience, account-based marketing targets specific companies. This allows you to personalize your marketing strategy with pinpoint accuracy.
This type of outbound marketing can be really effective for B2B SaaS marketing, especially if you’re targeting big-ticket companies and enterprises.
But in general, inbound marketing is a less intrusive way to promote your B2B SaaS product. This is especially true if you’re targeting small businesses and startups.
Why Is Inbound Marketing Important?
As we’ve been discussing, inbound marketing is now widely used among SaaS businesses, compared to outbound marketing. But why, exactly?
Here are some benefits that you can get from doing inbound marketing for B2B SaaS.
It Generates High-Quality Leads Organically
One of the biggest problems in outbound marketing is that it doesn’t generate high-quality leads. And you can have a pretty low conversion rate.
That’s because, in outbound marketing, you’re just reaching out to people with the hopes that they’ll be interested in your product. There’s no guarantee that they are actually in need of your product or service.
In inbound marketing, on the other hand, you’re attracting people who are already somewhat interested in what you have to offer.
That’s because, in inbound marketing, you’re creating content that is relevant and interesting to your target audience. If they don’t have a need or problem that your SaaS platform can address, they won’t view your content in the first place.
When they see your content and find it valuable, they are more likely to want to know more about your business and what you can offer them.
This means that inbound marketing generates higher-quality leads than outbound marketing. Not only that, but inbound marketing also generates leads organically. In other words, you don’t have to buy lists of leads or do any cold-calling.
Another reason why inbound marketing is important is that it’s more cost-effective than outbound marketing.
This is because, in inbound marketing, you’re not buying lists of leads or doing any cold-calling. You’re also not paying for ads in traditional media like TV, radio, or print.
Instead, you’re investing in creating high-quality content that will attract your target audience to your website or blog. Once they’re there, you can then convert them into customers through lead capture and nurturing efforts.
But what if you don’t have the time or resources to create all that content?
That’s where inbound marketing agencies come in. An inbound marketing agency can help you create the content that you need to attract and convert leads into customers.
It Helps You Build Trust With Your Target Audience
Another reason why inbound marketing is important is that it helps you build trust with your target audience
In inbound marketing, you’re not just selling your product or service. You’re also providing valuable information to your target audience through blog posts, e-books, whitepapers, webinars, and other types of content.
By doing this, you’re establishing yourself as an authority in your industry. And when people see that you’re an expert in your field, they are more likely to trust you and do business with you.
This is in contrast to outbound marketing, where you’re just trying to sell your product without really providing any value.
It Helps You Nurture Leads
In inbound marketing, you’re not just attracting leads. You’re also nurturing them until they’re ready to buy.
You can do this through lead nurturing campaigns, in which you send targeted content to leads at different stages of the buyer’s journey.
For example, you might send an email course to someone who just subscribed to your blog.
But if someone has already downloaded a white paper from your website, you might send them a case study or an offer for a live demo.
By doing this, you’re providing valuable information to your leads in order to help them make the best buying decision. And in doing so, you’re also nurturing those leads and making sure that they’re more likely to become customers in the long run.
Most Common B2B SaaS Inbound Marketing Strategies
Remember that there are specific strategies that especially work with a B2B audience.
Businessmen and professionals tend to put in a lot of research on the SaaS products they want to purchase.
What’s more, their motivations for buying are more intellectual rather than emotional. They are looking for a return on investment (ROI) rather than mere convenience.
So you need to keep that in mind as you build a B2B inbound marketing strategy.
There are many practices that fall under this category.
But some tactics and SaaS marketing programs have proven themselves to be effective at attracting B2B prospects, nurturing them as leads, and converting them into customers.
Here are some of them:
One of the most popular inbound marketing strategies in SaaS businesses is content marketing. In fact, when you talk about inbound marketing, it’s hard not to talk about content marketing as well.
Content marketing involves creating and publishing a variety of relevant, high-quality content that helps you attract leads to your business.
By publishing this content on your website and promoting it through social media or email campaigns, you can generate inbound traffic to your website. You can convert those visitors into leads and, eventually, customers for your business.
But even B2B content marketing itself is a complex beast. It can have a pretty wide scope and can be used in many ways.
That’s why you also need specific B2B content marketing strategies to maximize their impact on your inbound marketing efforts.
Want to learn some of them? Let’s talk about them below.
Utilize Multiple Content Types: Content marketing can come in many forms. For example, you might create a blog post in order to drive inbound traffic to your website.
But in addition to that, you can also create infographics, e-books, podcasts, videos, and other types of content in order to cast a wider net in capturing potential customers.
By utilizing multiple content types in your inbound marketing strategy, you’ll be able to attract more leads and convert them into customers.
Mixing and matching different content types with each other can also do wonders in making them more engaging.
For example, you can add infographics and videos to your blog posts. Not only does it make your blog post more aesthetically pleasing. They will also communicate your message more concisely and effectively.
What’s more, you can repurpose different content types. For example, you can take an old blog post and repurpose it for a podcast episode or a video.
Run A Content Marketing Funnel: One of the great things about content marketing is that it can be effective in every part of the SaaS sales funnel or marketing funnel.
In order to make sure that your content marketing is fully optimized, you need to design a full-fledged content marketing funnel in order to cover all those bases.
So how does it work? It involves using your different types of content that help with each stage of the SaaS customer journey.
For example, at the top of the funnel (TOFU), you have potential customers who aren’t even aware of your SaaS product yet. One way you can make an introduction to your brand is to create educational content.
This could be in the form of blog posts, videos, or podcasts that seek to inform prospects about certain concepts related to your niche.
These content pieces don’t even have to mention your product yet. You just provide reliable and relevant information, which would hopefully earn the reader’s trust in your blog site.
Having a content marketing funnel means having content meant for other stages of the sales funnel too.
For example, in the middle of the funnel (MOFU), your leads are looking for a SaaS product for their pain point. But they haven’t decided on which one to buy yet.
For this stage, you could have content like buyers’ guides and product comparisons to help them with the decision.
By using a variety of content, you can improve your conversion rates at every stage of the SaaS sales funnel.
Use The Skyscraper Technique: One content marketing strategy that is well-known in the SaaS inbound marketing community is the Skyscraper Technique.
This content marketing strategy involves creating content that surpasses the quality of competing content pieces in your niche. And doing so can help you stand out from your competition and attract more leads to your business.
To apply this content marketing strategy effectively, use a variety of tools like Semrush or Ahrefs to do your keyword research and search engine optimization (SEO) competitor analysis.
With the tools mentioned, you find out which keywords your competitors are using for their content. Once you do, you create content that is slightly better than their existing online content.
For example, let’s say you have a competitor that has a 2000-word blog post with the keyword “best CRM software”. Through your SEO competitor analysis, you find out that this blog post has a high ranking in Google’s search results.
Applying the Skyscraper technique would mean writing a slightly longer blog post (around 2500 to 3000 words) and adding in more valuable information. And hopefully, that would make your newer blog post surpass your competitor’s existing one.
Your goal is to make your blog post the go-to resource for your target keyword. By doing so, you’ll be able to attract more leads and get them to convert into customers.
Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is another inbound marketing strategy that can help you attract more leads and boost your conversions.
By optimizing your content for search engines, you’ll be able to rank higher in the search rankings. And in turn, you can get more traffic to your website.
There are a variety of tactics that you can use in order to improve the SEO of your website.
These SEO tactics include the following:
Do Your Keyword Research: Adding relevant keywords to your content is one of the best ways to improve your SEO.
You can include them in your web page titles, headings, and content paragraphs in order to boost their ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs).
However, be careful not to overdo it. Search engines will penalize you if they think you’re keyword stuffing your content. So, a few strategically-placed keywords should do the trick.
Adding Strategic Meta Titles And Descriptions: Meta titles and descriptions are crucial for SEO. They make up the link and description that appear in your search engine results.
When a potential customer is searching for information on a relevant topic, the first things they will see about your page are your meta title and meta description.
So, in order to optimize these elements of your website to increase your chances of getting clicks in the search results, make sure that you use targeted keywords in them.
What’s more, you also need to make sure they are within the proper word counts. Meta titles usually don’t go beyond 60 characters. While meta descriptions should be 155 to 160 characters long.
If you go beyond those recommended character counts, you might find them cut short when they appear in the SERPs, which won’t be appealing to your potential customers.
Most importantly, make sure that these meta titles and descriptions can pique people’s interest.
Remember that they are the first things that people will see in the SERPs. In a way, your meta titles and descriptions will affect people’s first impressions of your brand.
So make them count.
Creating Backlinks To Your Website: Another important tactic in improving your SEO is getting backlinks to your website, which is also called link building.
Backlinks are links that come from other authoritative websites in your industry, which helps improve the trustworthiness of your site in Google’s eyes. This in turn helps you rank higher in the SERPs.
Of course, the best and most organic way to get other websites to link to your site is to create reliable, and relevant content. If you produce content pieces of such quality, other sites will naturally use it as a reference to their own content.
But there are different ways you can expedite the process. One is to guest write on other blogs. Another is to form partnerships with other content producers.
Optimizing Your Site For Mobile: In today’s world where everyone is on their mobile devices, it’s important that you optimize for those users too. You can start by ensuring that your website is responsive and loads quickly on mobile screens.
This in turn will help you increase your conversions in two ways. It will reduce the bounce rate of visitors viewing your site from their mobile devices. And it will give them a better user experience while they are on your website.
Social Media Marketing
Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are also powerful SaaS inbound marketing tools that you can use in order to attract more leads.
Here are some ways in which you can use social media for B2B inbound marketing:
Focus On The Right Social Media Platforms: Not all social media platforms are created equal in terms of their inbound marketing potential. What’s more, different platforms also attract different audiences.
For example, Facebook generally has people from all walks of life. But if you’re especially targeting a younger audience, Instagram, Twitter, or even TikTok might be the way to go.
However, if you’re targeting professionals and businessmen, LinkedIn might be your best bet. And since we’re talking about B2B inbound marketing here, this platform is a must when it comes to your social media marketing efforts.
Use Relevant Hashtags: By using relevant hashtags on social media, you’ll be able to reach a larger audience and in turn, attract more leads.
But be careful not to use too many hashtags as that will make your posts look spammy. A few strategically-placed hashtags should suffice.
Post Relevant And Engaging Content: It’s not enough to simply post any content on social media. Your posts should be relevant to your target audience in order to attract them in the first place.
In addition, aim to post content that is engaging and interactive in order to encourage people to share it with their followers.
This in turn will help you reach a wider audience and boost your brand awareness in your industry.
Respond To Comments: Social media marketing isn’t just about posting according to schedule. It’s about building relationships with your followers.
So make sure that you’re always responsive when people leave comments on your posts in order to show them that you care about what they have to say about your brand.
Use Social Listening Tools: Since inbound marketing is about attracting potential customers, knowing what gets their attention is half the battle.
One way in which you can do this is by using social listening tools to monitor and respond to the conversations in your industry. The most popular social listening platforms include Sprout Social and Hootsuite.
Not only does social listening help you detect when someone mentions your brand on social media. It also helps you identify what topics are trending among your target audience.
This will help you get a better understanding of what your potential customers are looking for and how you can provide that in order to attract them in the first place.
Time and time again, email marketing has proven itself to be an effective way to promote SaaS products.
Not only does it allow you to directly reach your target audience in a personalized way, but it also allows you to track and measure results in real-time.
Here are some ways in which you can use email marketing effectively in order to attract more leads:
Create A Lead Magnet: Before you can even send emails, you first need to build your email list. Otherwise, who will you send your emails to?
But remember that this is inbound marketing, not outbound. Cold emails are off the table.
So the first step for this kind of email marketing is to find people who are willing to receive your emails. Then you get them to willingly give their email addresses.
That’s where lead magnets come in.
Lead magnets are a great way to get people to sign up for your email list. They offer something of value in exchange for an email address.
So what kind of lead magnet should you create?
It really depends on your business and target audience. But some ideas include ebooks, cheat sheets, templates, courses, or even just a simple PDF guide.
The important thing is that it’s something that your target audience will actually find valuable and be willing to give their email address for.
Segment Your Email List: Once you have built up your email list, it’s important to segment it in order to make sure that you’re sending relevant emails to the right people.
After all, not everyone on your email list is in the same stage of their buyer’s journey. Nor do they have the same exact pain points and interests.
For example, they might not need in-depth information about your product just yet. But you can still keep them in the loop by sending them regular updates on new features and developments in your industry.
Use Engaging CTAs: The main purpose of email marketing is to get people to take action. And one way in which you can do this is by including engaging calls-to-action in your emails that are designed to boost engagement as well as conversions.
This could be anything from asking recipients to download a free trial or whitepaper, register for an upcoming webinar, or even sign up for a newsletter subscription.
If you want subscribers to complete these actions, make sure that your CTAs stand out in their inboxes in order to grab their attention and not get lost in the clutter.
Automate And Personalize Your Emails: In order to scale your inbound marketing efforts, email automation is a must.
Email automation allows you to send emails to leads automatically based on certain criteria or triggers that you set.
For example, you can set up an automated drip email campaign that sends a welcome email to new subscribers. Or it could be a discount code for people who are taking too long to decide whether or not to subscribe to your SaaS product.
But in order for email automation to be effective, it’s important to strike the right balance between personalization and automation.
Your leads should still feel like they are receiving personalized communications from you and not just generic messages that have been sent out to everyone on your email list.
The best way to do this is by using merge tags in your email templates. Merge tags allow you to insert specific information into your emails, such as the recipient’s name or even their location.
By using inbound marketing strategies in conjunction with email automation, you can attract and convert more leads in an effective and targeted way.
Leveraging User Reviews For Social Proof
User reviews are a valuable inbound marketing asset for any business, but they are especially useful for B2B SaaS companies.
This is because potential customers often want to see what other customers in their industry think of your product before they make a purchase decision.
That’s why it’s important to showcase user reviews prominently on your website and in your B2B marketing materials.
There are a few different ways that you can do this.
One way is to add testimonials from satisfied customers to your website. Another way is to include quotes from user reviews in blog posts or social media posts.
You can also create case studies that highlight how your product has helped solve specific problems for businesses in your industry.
Including user reviews in your inbound marketing strategy can help to build credibility and trust with potential customers, which in turn increases your chances of closing a sale.
Referral marketing is another inbound marketing strategy that can be especially effective for B2B SaaS companies.
This is because businesses are more likely to trust a recommendation from a friend or colleague than an advertisement.
The best way to tap into referral marketing is by creating a referral program.
A referral program is a system in which customers are rewarded for getting new customers to sign up for your SaaS platform.
For example, you could offer a discount code or a free temporary upgrade to customers who refer someone new to your business.
You can promote your referral program on your website and in your email communications with customers.
You can also encourage current users to spread the word about your business by including social media sharing buttons in your emails and on your website.
Final Thoughts About Inbound Marketing For B2B SaaS Businesses
Inbound marketing can be an extremely effective way to attract and convert leads for a B2B SaaS company.
As more and more businesses adopt inbound marketing strategies, it’s crucial that you do the same in order to stay competitive.
Remember to focus on creating valuable content that will help solve your potential customer’s problems more effectively.
And don’t forget to promote your content in a variety of ways in order to reach the widest possible audience.
If you do it right, it will work wonders in building trust and credibility with your potential customers, which will ultimately lead to more sales.
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