As it turns out the biggest hurdle B2B and SaaS companies, marketing their products or services, must clear is not the number of leads generated. Yes, you read that right.
According to the results of a recent GetApp Lab study, business-to-business and software-as-a-service marketers found it most difficult to capture high-quality leads. Nearly 30% of respondents cited this as their greatest challenge.
Generating the right type of leads is especially important for SaaS companies, whose products are typically designed to meet very specific needs. SaaS is also, by its very nature, an offering that requires an elevated level of understanding. The last thing you want is your salespeople wasting time fielding questions from unqualified leads that will never convert into sales.
Not all lead generation strategies are well suited for B2B businesses, particularly SaaS companies. It is critical to utilize those that are most beneficial in order to avoid wasting marketing dollars and precious time. Below are four rock-solid B2B strategies proven to work wonders for SaaS lead generation.
1. Tell Your Story
While SaaS is relatively new compared to other types of products and services, several traditional lead generation strategies can produce results. One of these tactics revolves around the About page on your company’s website.
Think about it: the About page offers a prime opportunity to tell the story of your software and how it can help solve your target audience’s problems. Naturally, prospects are going to use it as a resource when they are researching products. Yet too many companies exert a minimal amount of effort on this page, or they make the mistake of filling it with information that does not offer any lead generation benefits.
For example, including a brief history that highlights the company’s “wins” in a way that underscores the value of the product? Very good for lead generation. Taking a deep dive into the history with nitty-gritty details that are not of interest to your audience? A glaring error that could cost you potential leads.
Use the About page on your website to sell your SaaS. Include a few bullet points outlining the pain points you created it to solve. You could even include a compelling case study. Whatever you do, make sure you do not overload page visitors with extraneous information and make sure the information you do include is lead generation friendly.
2. LinkedIn: Not Just for Networking
Yes, it is very important to establish a presence on social media. Yes, Twitter and Instagram are solid platforms for B2C companies. When it comes to B2B companies, however, LinkedIn Pulse outranks both big time for generating leads.
The very concept of LinkedIn lends itself to B2B marketing; it is focused entirely on business networking. And this is one reason why it is such a good lead generation tool. Publishing content is the most important action to take on the social network, of course. But it does not stop there. You can actively search out people who act as decision-makers and request them as connections.
Make sure that as you build this network, you post content that offers value to your connections. This is not the time to skimp on quality. You want them to consider your content worth their time and you want to make it engaging. Do not simply regurgitate copy, videos, infographics or charts from your website. Create new, compelling copy that is highly relevant to your audience.
When adding your company’s own unique content on LinkedIn Pulse – for example, a blog post – you should always select “Write an article.” On the other hand, if you are sharing content from a third party such as a link to results of a study, “Share an idea” is the appropriate option.
3. The Power of Q&A
Much like LinkedIn, Quora – a website on which consumers can ask questions and companies can answer them – suits B2B businesses very well. It gives you the chance to demonstrate your expertise and gain credibility, thereby establishing you as a thought leader.
Furthermore, Quora allows you to interact with prospects in an informal setting that can feel personal. It is akin to holding a conversation with someone on the floor of an industry trade show. But it is even better in a way, because neither party has to spend the time or money to travel. All that is required is a computer, tablet or smartphone. And you can answer questions any time of the day or night that is convenient, even if your schedule is packed.
In order to take full advantage of Quora, you should create a profile on the website that is laden with social proof – evidence that your tactics have been successful in the past. It is important to note that social proof involves your own achievements as an individual, not your company’s “wins.” Examples include subjects in which you are especially knowledgeable, accolades you have received and popular websites or social media accounts that have mentioned or published your work.
4. Be Our Guest...Blogger
Frequent blogging is the lifeblood of any effective content marketing strategy. However, it should not end at your company’s own blog. The market is saturated with blogs, and if you want to increase your chances of making your voice heard, you need to branch out.
This is where guest blogging comes into play. In simple terms, guest blogging involves convincing influencers in your industry – including well-known bloggers – to feature content from your company. Typically, a guest post includes a bio with information about your company and yourself. The bio and the content you provide creates awareness among the influencer’s audience of your expertise and your company’s services.
Do not fret if writing is not one of your strengths. Regardless of whether it is your company’s blog or an offsite blog, you can enlist the help of a ghostwriter. This is a very common practice in the business world. A writer will interview you, write the piece as if they are you and the blog post will run with your byline.
Neil Patel, considered one of the best marketers in the world, wrote an informative guide that is helpful both for those who are new to guest blogging and those who want to improve their success rate.
Information is Power
When it comes to marketing for SaaS, the features and benefits of your service are your greatest asset, since software as a service products do not have a physical presence.
At Tag Marketing, we leverage the most effective B2B strategies such as content creation, multichannel distribution, reputation management, lead converting landing pages and CRM automation to capture and hold the attention of your target audience. In addition to increasing and maintaining engagement levels, we educate prospects on why your solution will most effectively solve their problems and address their needs.
As mentioned at the beginning, the only types of leads that matter are marketing qualified leads (MQLs) and sales qualified leads (SQLs).
Don't take our word for it, see real results from a twelve month case study we did for one of our SaaS clients seeking rapid growth. Part of the work we did for this B2B software-as-a-service company involved building a website from the ground up that clearly laid out attractive features and benefits of their product in a way that ushered leads through the sales funnel.
As a direct result of our efforts – which included organic SEO, lead nurturing CRM, online marketing and other strategies – the business experienced an impressive 434% increase in qualified leads. We also expanded brand awareness across all 52 states and in 3,006 cities which spurred a 10% month-over-month growth. This meant, that for every $1 they gave us for marketing services, we returned $41 back to them.
"I wanted to give a shout out to Tag Marketing for creating our website! You all did an amazing job! THANK YOU!"
- Gregg Owen, CEO/General Counsel at Text2Drive
Our Beginner’s Guide to B2B Lead Generation is perfect for novices who need to start somewhere. You will discover the best lead generation channels, how to maximize and optimize content, how to make social media work for you, industry best practices and even get some free tools.
If you are ready to kick it into a higher gear, give us a call at 773-680-6952 to schedule a free consultation.