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How To Market Your SaaS Business

Posted Fri Dec 08 2023 5 min read

There’s this belief among SaaS founders that “a great product will market itself”, but in reality, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Having a great product is half the battle won. Anyone can build a great product but few can build a great product and get it into the hands of paying customers.

If you’re anything like me, coming from a technical background, marketing can seem pretty intimidating. After all, the skills you gained from computer science don’t naturally align with marketing. They almost feel like complete opposites.

But here’s the thing, marketing isn’t as hard as it looks. I was able to learn it to market my business TrustUGC. In this blog post, I’m going to teach you everything I learned about marketing, so you successfully market your SaaS business.


Find What Works For You

Before going into depth on all the different marketing channels, I want to write a brief disclaimer that every business is different. What worked for my business, won’t necessarily work for yours.

You need to market based on your ideal customer. If you’re a B2C SaaS, you might find TikTok marketing very effective, whereas if you’re a B2B SaaS perhaps LinkedIn is better.

Another factor you’ll need to consider is your pricing model. If your product is only $10/m, you won’t be able to use certain marketing channels such as Paid Advertising or Cold Outreach (the cost is simply too high).

Let’s get into the different marketing channels now 👇


SaaS Marketing Channels

I’m going to cover the 4 marketing channels I believe every SaaS founder should start with. I used all 4 of these channels when marketing my SaaS, so I have direct experience with them. As my experience in marketing grows, I plan on updating this blog post with my new findings.

1. SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization is a tried and tested marketing channel for SaaS companies. When people have questions they go to Google. You want your company to rank when potential customers search for solutions you offer. For example, my company is a testimonial collection tool, so we aim to rank on the search term “Testimonial Collection Tool”.

SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. It can take months to see results with SEO. As Google starts trusting your domain more, you will start ranking higher.

Our SEO Strategy:

Our approach to SEO includes:

  • Publishing High-Quality Blog Posts: Regularly creating valuable, informative content for our target audience.
  • Developing Free Tools: As a developer, this can be your greatest SEO strategy. We create free tools for our target audience that serve as marketing for our main tool.

SEO Tips:

  • Optimize Landing Page Performance: Make sure that your landing page is server-side rendered and loads fast. This is important for SEO.
  • Earn High-Quality Backlinks: Google favors websites that have backlinks from reputable websites. Create good content that earns you backlinks.
  • Target Long-Tail Keywords Initially: Long-tail keywords are less competitive and therefore easier to rank. For example, ranking on “affordable project management software for small businesses” is easier to rank on than “project management software”.

Further Learning:

If you want a full guide on SEO, check out: Ahrefs SEO Guide.

2. Organic Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing

Organic social media marketing is where you post content on social media to provide value for your target audience, eventually directing them to your service. We used social media marketing to grow our business. We specifically used Twitter to engage & connect with our users.

Our Approach:

You can get a sense of how we utilized Twitter in our early days by checking out our account: @trustugc. Our focus was on engaging content that resonated with our audience, encouraging them to explore our service further. We also used TikTok & Instagram, but our results there weren’t as good as Twitter.

The “Build In Public” Trend

A popular form of organic social media marketing is the “build in public” trend you’ve probably seen. This is where SaaS founders share their journey on social media, to drive traffic to their service. There are a lot of great accounts that do this. Check out: @levelsio & @timb03.

3. Direct Outreach

Direct Outreach

If you’re just starting out, direct outreach is one of the best ways to acquire your first few customers. The direct outreach strategy is simple: find potential customers in your niche and reach out to them with a tailored pitch of your software. This is also a great way to get validation that the problem you’re solving is actually a problem.

Our Outreach Approach:

Outreach was the very first thing we did when we launched TrustUGC. We emailed our ideal customer, got on a call, and showed them a demo of what we were building. This hands-on approach got us paying customers before we even had the payment processing fully set up on our website!

As our business grew we eventually stopped doing direct outreach. Product demos are very time-consuming, and given our price of $10/month, it wasn't feasible for us to hire a sales team. This led us to pivot to other marketing channels that I mentioned in this post.

4. Paid Advertising

Paid Advertising

Paid advertising is an expensive way to drive traffic to your website quickly. This method works great for SaaS companies with a pricing model of $50/m+. However, even if your product is priced lower, paid advertising can still offer value, particularly in terms of product validation and gathering early user feedback.

Our Paid Advertising Approach:

We primarily used paid ads on Twitter and TikTok to target our ideal customer base. While we found that running the ads was too high to continue with, these campaigns provided us with the initial user base that we needed. The users helped give us feedback and shaped our product development.

Tips for Paid Advertising:

  • Importance of Content: The effectiveness of social media ads heavily relies on the creative used. If you advertise a boring creative, it will perform poorly and you won’t get any signups. We invested in a content creator who gave us a high-performing ad.
  • Platform Choice: We avoided Google Ads due to high competition and cost. We also found that there wasn’t enough search volume on Google Ads at the time. You need to advertise on a platform where your ideal customer is.

Which Channel Should I Use?

There’s only one way to find out which channel is best for you, and that’s by experimenting! Here’s an approach you can use:

  1. Experiment and Track: Test different channels. As you experiment, write down each outcome. Focus on key metrics such as link clicks, signups, and conversions.
  2. Analyze Your Results: After a period of testing, analyze your data. Which channels are giving the best results? Where are you seeing the highest return on your investment?
  3. Mix Short-Term and Long-Term Strategies: I suggest combining a short-term channel with a long-term one. For example, pair Organic Social Media Marketing – great for immediate engagement and feedback – with SEO, which pays dividends over time.

Conclusion

Marketing isn’t easy, but if you work on it every day you’ll eventually find what works for your SaaS. Every successful SaaS you see, once stood exactly where you are right now.

If you found this blog post useful, feel free to share it with others. I’m going to continue to update it over time with any new findings. In the meantime, I wish you the best with your SaaS!

About The Writer

My name is Ben and I’m the co-founder of TrustUGC, a tool that helps businesses collect and share testimonials. You can find my personal Twitter here: @ugcben.

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