In financial services, the SaaS (Software as a Service) market continues to boom. According to Crunchbase, as of June 2020, there were over 15,000 SaaS companies in the US. With this growing competition, trying to appeal to the masses often means your platform gets lost in the clutter. This is why knowing yourself as a business and knowing your target market inside and out are key.
Start by asking yourself, What’s my unique differentiator? Once you know that, you’re able to pick the right business strategies to reach your ideal client.
As a SaaS company, your focus is on long-term client retention. You don’t operate on a transactional “one and done” basis, but are looking to build lasting relationships. Traditional marketing doesn’t always work with this model.
Here are four hyper-digital marketing strategies that you can align to your specific business goals.
Account-Based Marketing (ABM) is a unique growth strategy where your marketing and sales team collaborate to “create personalized buying experiences for a mutually identified set of high-value clients.” For SaaS companies with high-ticket platforms, this strategy is especially useful.
With ABM, you aren’t starting with lead generation. Instead, an ABM approach focuses less on getting a high number of leads and more on getting the right leads. This is done by identifying the best-fit potential clients for your company. This might mean focusing on local financial advisors or payroll companies that serve businesses with 50+ employees.
Once you’ve identified this target market, here are some ABM approaches to consider:
- Use an account planning template. This is a great way to make sure your marketing and sales teams are on the same page and the overall plan aligns with your business goals and initiatives. Hubspot offers free account planning templates for download.
- Attract high-quality clients. Since you aren’t appealing to the masses, this requires a different approach than traditional marketing. For example, instead of relying on email marketing, you might ask a leader from your ideal client’s company to be a special guest on a podcast, video series, or blog.
- Nurture relationships with prospects. This is an essential part of ABM and it will be done over a number of months, or potentially years. You’ll want to focus on providing personalized content and interaction. We suggest always communicating one-on-one when possible. This can be through email, texting, phone call, videocall, or in person.
With these, you’re creating digital ads geared toward your target market. The ads should use the keywords your ideal client is searching to make sure you’re reaching those quality leads. The goal of paid ads can vary from brand awareness to lead generation. Whatever the goal is, you need to drive traffic to a specific place such as the “Book a Phone Call” page on your site or a landing page to get an email address.
There are several different approaches you can take to do this:
- Social media ads. Unfortunately, studies have found organic content is no longer favored by the algorithms of platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Now is the time to capitalize on paid ads, as they tend to rank higher. To get the most out of your ads on social media, make sure to set the parameters such as demographics and interests. For example, if your target market is millennials who live in San Francisco and are business owners, make sure those are the people your ads are geared toward.
- Retargeting ads. These are intended to reach previous visitors to your site who did not take any action (such as booking a discovery call). When that person is on a different site, a relevant ad for your business will appear. It reminds them of your business without having them actively search for it. Platforms like Mailchimp and AdRoll are perfect for running retargeting ads.
- Pay-per-click (PPC). This approach to online advertising involves you paying only when a user clicks on your ad. These ads appear on search engines like Google when users type in keywords relevant to your business. An increasing number of businesses are leveraging PPC ads due to their success rate. According to WordLead, people who click on a PPC ad are 50% more likely to make a purchase when compared to people who click on an organic search result.
Regardless of the type of ad, remember that everything needs to be aligned back to your business’s strategic objectives.
Lead Generation Funnels
Creating a lead generation funnel is a key component of your overall marketing strategy.
This is your starting point for your interactions with most potential clients. It’s helpful that lead generation weaves into other strategies we’ve discussed, such as ABM or paid ads.
Right now, emails are the most valued currency in the digital marketing world. Your goal is to get the email address of potential clients with the hope of “funneling” them through to purchasing your platform.
As you start creating your own lead generation funnels, here are a few components to remember:
- Clear call-to-actions (CTAs). On your website and in your ad copy, these are written directives to encourage someone to take an action. Make sure all your CTAs are straightforward, such as “Start Your Free Trial Today” or “Subscribe Now.” They should clearly express what the person is doing while creating a sense of urgency.
- Lead magnets. These act as a way to attract ideal clients and move them through the funnel. In exchange for their email address, you’re offering something of value (a downloadable resource, free templates, how-to video, etc.). Just make sure your lead magnet addresses a specific pain point of your target market. For example, if you’re targeting insurance companies that are struggling to digitize their sales pipeline, you might create a download addressing that issue.
- Drip emails. Once you have the digital currency, your focus should shift to staying top-of-mind. Your potential client most likely won’t buy right away, but you want your business to be what they think of when they’re ready. A drip email campaign is a great way to do this because it provides a steady stream of valuable content to subscribers.
When you have a sales team, this strategy works extremely well. It involves your team coming together, looking at the annual calendar, and designing a sequence of touchpoints to align with major events, such as industry conferences. You will start with the very first interaction and plan out a sequence until the prospect hopefully becomes a client.
As you build your sales cadence, here are a few pieces to include:
- Plenty of touchpoints. Traditionally, experts have said it takes about eight touchpoints to make a sale. Between COVID-19 and an increasing digital landscape, we’ve seen the number rise to 10–12 or more. Each touchpoint allows you to build trust and credibility with a potential client and process them through the sales funnel.
- Variety of mediums. Your sales cadence should not just rely on one channel. Make sure your touchpoints come from different mediums, including paid ads, emails, and personal phone calls. Determine where your target market is most active and leverage those specific platforms throughout the process. If you target millennial financial advisors who communicate mostly through texting, make sure that’s a channel you include.
- Space out interactions. You never want to overwhelm a prospect by reaching out too often This is why aligning your sales process to a yearly calendar is a great starting point. For example, if you’re targeting local banks that are looking to harness the power of the cloud, you might start your sales cadence a week before a major industry conference. Then, the following touchpoints might be spaced like so:
- Day 1: Send a personalized email regarding the upcoming conference
- Day 12: Send an email that references the conference and pitches your platform
- Day 15: Send a follow-up email
- Day 20: Make a follow-up phone call and leave a voicemail if you aren’t able to speak to someone
With a proper sales cadence in place, you’re more likely to drive leads through the sales funnel.
As you implement these strategies, remember it all comes back to knowing yourself as a business and knowing who you’re trying to reach. Learn more about this from our previous blog post on the importance of target markets.