Though the history of software as a service (SaaS) dates back to the 1960s, it wasn’t until the ’90s dot-com boom when the industry truly began surging. Now, projected to reach $278 billion in revenue by 2021, SaaS is growing faster than ever.
And with more competition entering an already crowded digital landscape every day, SaaS companies have learned to get creative to reach their customers. Yet compared to traditional businesses like Coca-Cola and Nike, SaaS companies don’t often get the credit they deserve for effective marketing strategies.
Need some ideas to jumpstart your own SaaS company’s growth? Check out these six brilliant examples of effective SaaS marketing tactics below for some inspiration.
1. Monday.com’s customer-focused video marketing
Monday.com is a project management tool established on one simple goal: to help individuals and teams “work better.” Arguably, competitor tools want users to experience the same thing, but Monday.com stands out as an effective SaaS marketing example by clearly promoting this promise in the form of customer-focused videos.
Visit Monday.com’s product page for an example. There, it offers a quick video overview, “Monday.com in 60 sec,” that true to its word, demonstrates the tool’s simplicity and ease of use in less than a minute.
This quick watch is far more effective than a text-based guide or tutorial alone, but that’s not all. Below the video, Monday includes four brief steps about its software, each of which is paired with a looped video for more visual clarity.
What’s more, Monday.com shows off its customer successes through video in its Stories Worth Telling series on YouTube.
The video series features real customers and their productivity wins using Monday.com, living up to the brand’s message of helping customers work better, not harder.
2. HubSpot’s SEO-friendly blog
With over 68,000 customers and one of the most recognizable brand names in digital marketing, HubSpot is an undeniable SaaS champion.
The sales and marketing software lands on best SaaS marketing campaigns lists time and time again because of its commitment to solving marketers’ burning questions through search engine optimization (SEO) and quality content.
Specifically, HubSpot amplifies its blog by:
- Creating content aimed at satisfying readers first, and Google’s ever-changing search algorithm second
- Establishing “pillar pages” that serve as foundations to link to supplemental blog articles
- Only publishing in-depth guides and how-to pieces that are relevant to its readers
- Compressing blog images to avoid slow load times
- Linking internally so that readers can dive further into a topic
Novice digital marketers mistake SEO with keyword stuffing in the attempt to rank their web pages more highly. But HubSpot’s experts focus on their customers instead, making it difficult to find any blog post of theirs that doesn’t rank on the first page of a Google search related to marketing.
3. Pandora’s voice recognition advertising strategy
Over 66 million Americans—more than a quarter of the U.S.’s adult population—owned a smart speaker like Google Home or Amazon Echo with Alexa in 2019.
What does this mean for marketing? A new way to engage users.
If you own a smart speaker yourself, then the growing popularity of voice-enabled searches and interactions may come as no surprise to you. And while still a relatively new consumer trend, voice advertising represents the next, up-and-coming medium for reaching customers.
Among the few businesses venturing into this new territory is music streaming and recommendation service Pandora.
In late 2019, Pandora began testing interactive voice ads—a new type of advertising format in which users respond to a question asked by an ad. The ad then provides customized messages based on the user’s response. Though only in its early testing phase, Pandora’s innovative foray into voice advertising is brilliant for two reasons:
- Voice ads provide a more direct means of measuring user interest compared to traditional ads on the radio. Because users actually interact with these ads through speech, this new form of advertising is an even stronger indicator of customer engagement and marketing success than a simple click on a banner.
- Keeping up with consumer digital trends, Pandora understands it must evolve to continue meeting customer needs—as all SaaS companies should.
4. Loom’s simple and personalized email marketing
If you think email marketing feels like old news in 2020, rest assured it’s still one of the most effective SaaS marketing strategies out there. To make your email marketing stand out, check out screen recording software company Loom’s simple but straightforward messages.
Loom embodies successful email marketing by keeping messages short but personalized, a key ingredient to making customers feel important. It also doesn’t hurt that Loom’s friendly, casual messages are signed off by co-founder Joe Thomas.
Moreover, Loom’s emails are nice and clean, lacking the visual clutter common across other brands. The reader barely has to scroll, and its bright CTA button is front and center, ready to be clicked.
5. Zoom’s social media community
It’s easy to forget that social media is more than a channel for merely promoting your product. Besides simply increasing brand awareness, social media is about building an online community.
Cloud-based video conferencing developer Zoom is a prime example of social media marketing done right.
Check out its Twitter feed to see for yourself. While Zoom occasionally shares a product announcement and self-promotional tweet from time to time, it more often relies on its happy customers to do the talking. The brand carefully curates positive retweets to showcase its effectiveness in meeting users’ needs.
The benefits of this are twofold. First, Zoom receives free product promotion through its pleased customer testimonials. Second, its retweets make customers feel engaged, valued, and a direct contributor to the company’s success. Perhaps it’s no wonder Zoom finds itself consistently lauded as one of the most popular video meeting apps.
6. Grammarly’s engaging use of analytics data
Grammarly develops online language processing tools that help users improve their writing accuracy. While a grammar or plagiarism checker might not seem like a customer data gold mine, Grammarly shows other SaaS companies how to think outside the box when it comes to analytics.
Rather than analyzing data solely for growth purposes, Grammarly entices customers with stats and figures by sharing weekly usage reports. These reports, or “Grammarly Insights,” provide an at-a-glance update on the number of words checked and accuracy compared to other Grammarly users.
(Image credit: Grammarly)
Reach a certain achievement, and you can even earn a badge to reinforce better writing habits. It’s a simple incentive that makes readers look forward to improving their writing as well as using Grammarly.
Digital marketing experts are quick to prescribe all kinds of strategies and techniques—but with so many pulling you in different directions, where do you even begin? Fortunately, these examples of effective SaaS marketing can ease the burden when you don’t know where to start.
No matter the software and no matter the industry, companies have plenty to learn from the SaaS leaders above. Whether your company is just getting started or ready to try something new, be sure to draw inspiration from these SaaS marketing examples to bust through the competition.