If you’re a B2B SaaS marketer, you know that there’s no shortage of things to do. The good news? You can take a structured approach to put together your marketing plan and save yourself some time and stress.
In this blog post, we’ll walk you through the steps needed to make a successful B2B SaaS marketing plan, from defining your audience to developing effective channels and measuring ROI.
Let’s dive right in.
Step 1: Define your audience.
The first thing you need to do is to know and find your target audience. Who are they? What is their pain point? What is their goal? What job title do they hold, and what’s their age range? How much education do they have? Once you know these things about your target audience, devise an action plan for reaching them.
Don’t just throw spaghetti at the wall and see what sticks. The less you know about your target audience, the more likely it is that you’ll waste time and money on marketing efforts that don’t provide any significant ROI.
The main focus here is to create a persona for your target customer. For example, if you’re selling enterprise software, your audience is probably made up of business owners and managers.
The more granular your persona is, the easier it will be to design a marketing strategy that drives conversions. Instead of “business owners and managers,” you might have a few different ones based on industry or location. For example, maybe one persona is a midsize manufacturing company in the Midwest. Another might be an IT services firm in California.
The bottom line is to know your customers more than they know themselves.
Step 2: Make a list of your marketing goals and ways to measure them.
Now that you know your customers and have decided to take the plunge and start marketing your SaaS startup, it’s time to set some goals.
These goals would serve as benchmarks that will help guide your activities and tell you if they’re successful or not.
The goals you set must be specific and measurable.
For example, let’s say that you want to increase your website traffic by 100%. That’s a great goal, but it’s also not particularly actionable or measurable. You’re better off saying that you want to increase traffic by 25% in six months. That is a tangible number and an identifiable timeframe.
The same goes for saying that you want to build your social media following. How many followers do you want? What platforms are they on? What exactly do you want from your marketing campaign? You need to make that clear!
Now that you’ve gotten the hang of setting tangible goals, it’s time to think about why you need them in the first place.
If the answer is because you want to know when we’re successful, then congratulations! You have a goal. But don’t stop there—the key is finding ways to measure success so that your team can see progress as well.
If you’re struggling with how to measure success, start by asking yourself what you want to see happen as a result of your marketing efforts.
Your SaaS marketing goals should be specific, measurable objectives that move the company forward and ultimately make money.
Step 3: Select your top 1-3 marketing channels and focus on those.
Picking the right channels is one of the most crucial steps in executing a successful marketing plan.
If you have limited time and resources, focus on just 1-3 channels. If you have more time and money to work with, then feel free to expand your channel strategy by selecting up to 4 or 5 different channels that are appropriate for your business.
Don’t worry if all this looks daunting. We’ve got some tips to help you narrow down which ones would be best for your company’s goals and budget.
One of the best ways to figure out where your customers like spending their time online are through a competitive analysis.
Look at what your competitors are doing and see if they’re using any channels that you could also take advantage of.
While this may seem like common sense, it’s important that you understand not just which channels are working for your competitors but also why they’re working before you try anything new.
If a particular channel isn’t working well because you don’t have enough content or if it’s not getting any traction because there aren’t enough people on the platform who would be interested in what you’re offering, then it might not make sense for your company to invest in.
Another key element to keep in mind is content.
Step 4: Create content that gives your audience value.
It’s important to create and distribute content that is relevant to your audience, helps them learn more about your products and services, and fits into the goals of your marketing plan.
The best way to ensure this happens is by understanding what kind of content will be useful and interesting for your customers.
If you’re targeting companies, get to know the different types of businesses they serve. With the persona you created earlier, you’d be able to identify what content your target audience wants or needs from your marketing plan. This would help you create content that’s engaging to them.
Create content that speaks to the needs of your audience, not just what you think they want. This will help you learn more about them and guide their decision-making process.
Consistently sharing relevant content with your audience would also position you as the most trusted advisor and the logical solution to their problems.
Step 5: Measure, analyze, and improve.
Now that you have a marketing plan, you can use the data it generates to see how well the campaign is working.
Analytics allow you to monitor the performance of your marketing efforts and make adjustments as needed for future campaigns.
The best time to do this is after a campaign has been running for a month or two so that there’s enough data for analysis. For instance, you can find out:
- How many people clicked through from an email?
- What percentage of visitors converted into customers?
- How much revenue did each customer generate?
Analyze and improve upon the results of previous campaigns to inform future campaigns. Analyzing past results will help you understand what works well and what doesn’t work well in terms of copywriting, design elements (such as calls-to-action), targeting groups within social media platforms, etc.
That way, when it comes time again next year around this same time frame, those lessons learned will guide new decisions related specifically toward improving these verticals rather than starting from scratch again with no clue where things went wrong last time around.
As long as you know what your target customer’s pain points are, how to communicate with them, and have a product that solves those problems (or at least addresses them in some way), then we can say that you have solid marketing plan in place.
We know that it can sometimes feel overwhelming to make a marketing plan for your SaaS company. But remember that it really is simple—you just need the right tools and resources at your disposal.
Make sure you know who your target audience is, write down your goals and the way you’ll measure them, choose one or two channels that best fit your strategy, and create content that provides value for your customers. Finally, always measure, analyze and improve from month to month so all efforts are worthwhile!
Robb Fahrion is a Co-Founder and Partner of Flying V Group. He is passionate about helping businesses grow using the power of the internet. Robb graduated from Chapman University in Orange, CA, and currently resides in Costa Mesa, CA. Robb enjoys writing about digital marketing, helping his clients turn their dreams into reality, and he is a HUGE Mike Trout fan.