Marketing Trends That Every SaaS Business Should Know About
Published on November 6th, 2023
20 min read
Published on November 6th, 2023
20 min read
The SaaS space is in constant motion, with customers switching between products at a staggering pace.
In fact, studies show that customer churn rates in the SaaS industry can be as high as 5-7% per month, highlighting the need for businesses to stay on top of their game. [Source]
But amidst this whirlwind of activity, there’s a silver lining—a massive window of opportunity. The cloud market is projected to grow an astonishing 21.7% to a total of $597.3 billion in 2023, up from $491 billion in 2022 [Source] – opening up a world of possibilities for SaaS companies to thrive and succeed.
However, capitalizing on this growth requires a well-defined and effective SaaS marketing strategy.
We’re halfway through the year, which gives us a great opportunity to reflect on the marketing trends that have made a splash, those that fell flat, and the ones that are here to stay.
Let’s take a peek into the crystal ball and see what the future holds for SaaS businesses in 2023.
So, which emerging SaaS trends are shaking things up in marketing? Let’s have a look.
One buzzworthy trend that’s reshaping the landscape is native advertising. It’s effortlessly blending in with the user experience and delivering content that feels like a natural fit.
The term “native” implies that these ads are designed to mimic the style and format of native content found on the platform, such as articles, videos, or social media posts, as opposed to traditional display advertisements.
The primary objective of native advertising is to offer a less intrusive and more engaging advertising experience for users.
It’s about seamlessly incorporating sponsored content into platforms and publications so it doesn’t disrupt the user’s flow.
You’ll find it in the form of sponsored articles, videos, or even social media posts that match the look and feel of the surrounding content. It’s like a skilled magician, seamlessly blending into the fabric of marketing, captivating your gaze with mesmerizing illusions that leave you spellbound, yet never revealing their secrets.
How to Use this SaaS Trend
How can SaaS businesses effectively harness the power of native advertising? Here are some expert tips to get you started:
Let’s talk about the undisputed ruler of the marketing world: short videos. These little gems have taken the crown and become the absolute monarch of marketing strategies. It’s no surprise considering the staggering data supporting their reign.
According to recent studies, short videos have taken the internet by storm, with billions of views every day. Platforms like TikTok, Instagram Reels, and YouTube Shorts have become breeding grounds for viral video content. Their popularity and engagement levels are off the charts, making them a prime choice for savvy marketers.
What makes short videos so powerful? Well, they offer a perfect blend of entertainment, storytelling, and brevity. In our fast-paced digital world, where attention spans are shorter than ever, short videos captivate viewers and deliver messages in bite-sized, easily digestible formats. Whether it’s a quick tutorial, a hilarious skit, or a product showcase, short videos grab attention and leave a lasting impact.
Not to mention, they’re incredibly shareable. People love sharing entertaining or informative videos with their friends and followers, exponentially increasing your content’s reach and potential impact.
How to Use this SaaS Trend
When it comes to creating short videos for your SaaS product, you want to grab your audience’s attention and leave a lasting impression. Here are some unique tips to help you achieve just that:
✅Start with a question or intriguing statement
✅Use humor or storytelling
✅Leverage visual effects and animations
✅Showcase real-life scenarios
✅Incorporate user-generated content
✅Include interactive elements
✅Optimize for social media platforms
Here’s the scoop: conversational marketing allows you to create personalized and interactive experiences for your potential customers. It’s all about having meaningful conversations, understanding their needs, and guiding them toward the right solution. And guess what? It’s immensely effective!
According to a recent study, companies that implement conversational marketing strategies see an average increase in qualified leads by a whopping 48%.
That’s a significant boost that can’t be ignored. By adopting conversational marketing, you’re not just reaching out to your audience but building relationships and fostering trust.
Now, let’s dive into some unique tips to use conversational marketing in the SaaS world effectively:
Product-led growth is the powerhouse strategy that has been turning heads in the SaaS world. It’s a game-changer that puts your product front and center, driving growth through its value and user experience.
Data tells a compelling story here. Research indicates that companies embracing a product-led growth approach experience higher revenue growth than their counterparts. In fact, product-led businesses have seen an average revenue growth of 57% over the past three years. That’s some serious growth potential!
Here’s what Padmaja Santhanam the Partner & Growth Manager of FirstPrinciples LLC Growth Advisory has shared:
So, how can you effectively implement product-led growth into your SaaS business? Here’s the expert take:
Hyper-personalization is the buzzword that has taken the marketing world by storm. It’s a strategy that aims to deliver highly tailored experiences to each customer.
Now, what’s the big deal about hyper-personalization?
Well, it’s all about meeting customers’ increasing expectations for personalized experiences. In a world where we’re bombarded with generic marketing messages, hyper-personalization stands out.
It shows your customers that you truly understand their needs, preferences, and pain points, creating a deeper connection and boosting engagement.
Utilize behavioral tracking: Leverage tracking tools to understand how users interact with your website and product. Analyze their behaviors, such as pages visited, features used, and time spent, to personalize their journey.
Segment your audience: Break down your customer base into distinct segments based on common characteristics or behaviors. This allows you to create targeted marketing campaigns and deliver personalized messages that resonate with each segment.
Personalize communication: Customize your messaging to speak directly to each individual. Use their name, reference their specific needs or challenges, and offer tailored solutions. Make them feel like you’re speaking directly to them, not just another faceless entity.
Dynamic content customization: Create dynamic content that adapts to each user’s preferences. Show personalized product recommendations, content suggestions, and pricing options based on their specific needs and interests.
Contextual messaging: Deliver personalized messages that align with the user’s context. For example, sending a targeted email based on their recent actions or providing in-app notifications related to their current stage in the user journey.
Predictive analytics: Use predictive analytics to anticipate customer needs and proactively offer relevant solutions. By analyzing historical data, you can make intelligent recommendations and address potential pain points before they even arise.
Netflix is an excellent example of a SaaS brand that has embraced hyper-personalization to create a seamless and enjoyable user journey, setting the bar high for others in the industry.
Netflix analyzes user behavior extensively to recommend content that matches individual preferences. Their recommendation engine considers factors such as viewing history, genres, ratings, and even the time of day when users are most likely to watch.
This level of hyper-personalization ensures that users are consistently presented with content that aligns with their interests, leading to increased engagement and customer satisfaction.
Moreover, Netflix goes beyond personalized recommendations by customizing the entire user interface. Each user sees a unique home screen layout based on their viewing habits and preferences. The content carousel, featuring personalized categories and recommendations, is positioned prominently to grab users’ attention and drive discovery.
Pro Tip: The key to successful hyper-personalization is finding the right balance. It’s crucial to respect customers’ privacy and avoid crossing the line into intrusiveness.
It’s a strategy that highlights the unique features of your SaaS product to attract customers and drive conversions.
Feature marketing is all about showcasing the bells and whistles of your product, highlighting the specific functionalities and capabilities that set it apart from the competition. It’s like waving a flag and saying, “Hey, look at what we’ve got!”
In feature marketing, SaaS companies often create similar products that offer added value to the same audience but operate independently from their main product.
This approach allows businesses to cater to different market segments and attract new customers with specific needs or preferences.
Moreover, another advantage of feature marketing is the opportunity to generate additional content for your website. Each new feature can be showcased and explained through blog posts, tutorials, case studies, or videos.
This fresh content not only enhances your website’s search engine optimization (SEO) but also attracts more traffic, leading to increased customer acquisition.
Also, feature marketing is crucial in converting free-trial users into paying customers. By introducing new features during the trial period, SaaS businesses provide users with a compelling reason to upgrade and continue their journey with the premium version of the product.
Pro Tip: Strike a balance with feature marketing. While highlighting the features is important, you don’t want to overwhelm your audience with a laundry list of technical details. Instead, focus on showcasing the benefits and outcomes that these features bring to your customers’ lives. Paint a vivid picture of how your product can solve their problems or make their lives easier.
These trends have been making waves in the digital marketing world and for good reason. First, let’s talk about voice search. With the increasing prevalence of voice assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant, more and more people are using their voices to search for information online.
In fact, it is estimated that by 2024, over 50% of all searches will be voice-based. Voice search’s convenience and hands-free nature have contributed to its growing popularity.
Visual search optimization, on the other hand, is all about using images as the input for search queries. It allows users to snap photos or upload images to find visually similar products or relevant information. Visual search is gaining traction as it provides a more intuitive and visually-driven search experience.
So, why all the hype about these trends?
Product unbundling refers to the practice of breaking down a comprehensive SaaS product into smaller, standalone offerings. Instead of offering a one-size-fits-all solution, companies unbundle their product to cater to specific customer needs.
This approach allows customers to choose and pay for only the features they require, providing a more personalized and cost-effective experience.
As the SaaS market grows and evolves, customers are becoming more demanding and seeking tailored solutions. They don’t want to pay for features they don’t need or use. Product unbundling addresses this demand by offering flexibility and customization, empowering customers to build their unique stack of SaaS tools.
Tips for implementing product unbundling in your SaaS marketing strategy:
Now, let’s look at an example of a SaaS brand that has successfully implemented product unbundling. Mailchimp, the popular email marketing platform, unbundled its product by creating standalone offerings for different customer journey stages.
They introduced Mailchimp Essentials for beginners, Mailchimp Standard for growing businesses, and Mailchimp Premium for advanced users.
This approach lets customers choose the features and functionalities that best suit their needs, providing a more tailored experience.
Let’s unravel the mysteries of SaaS marketing and discover what makes it so distinct from other industries.
Unlike traditional industries that sell physical products, SaaS marketers have the challenge of explaining the awesomeness of intangible software. It’s like describing the taste of your favorite ice cream without actually giving you a scoop. Tricky but definitely exciting!
Complex Customer Journey
The SaaS customer journey is a labyrinthine maze that requires careful navigation.
One of the reasons behind this complexity is the need for SaaS companies to cater to customers at various stages of awareness. Imagine you’re marketing an SEO tool. Some potential customers may be unfamiliar with the concept of SEO altogether, while others might be comparing your product to similar tools in the market.
Meanwhile, there could be prospects who are ready to jump straight into a trial. This diversity in customer knowledge and readiness requires SaaS marketers to create and promote a wide range of content and marketing materials tailored to each customer journey stage.
A Delicate Balancing Act
Interestingly, Gartner recently pointed out that the average buyer in the SaaS B2B marketing space is bombarded with an overwhelming amount of information.
This presents a delicate balancing act for SaaS marketers. On the one hand, they need to educate their audience and provide valuable insights.
On the other hand, they must avoid overwhelming potential customers with excessive information, ensuring they remain engaged and receptive to their message.
It’s crucial to recognize that the SaaS space is fiercely competitive.
The SaaS industry is set to grow 20.7% to a total of $591.8 billion in 2023.
The SaaS industry in the United States has a market value of $108.4 billion.
With countless companies vying for attention, standing out from the crowd becomes challenging. SaaS marketers must find innovative ways to differentiate their offerings, emphasize unique value propositions, and capture the attention of their target audience amidst the noise.
To succeed in this crowded landscape, SaaS companies must invest in refined content strategies that address their prospects’ varying needs and knowledge levels.
Subscription-Based Business Model
Another aspect that sets SaaS marketing apart is the subscription-based business model. Instead of a one-time purchase, SaaS companies rely on recurring revenue streams. This subscription model requires a shift in marketing strategies compared to industries focusing on individual sales.
SaaS marketers need to emphasize the ongoing value and benefits customers will receive throughout their subscription journey. It’s all about building long-term relationships, demonstrating continuous value, and nurturing customer loyalty.
SaaS marketing is a world of constant innovation and technological wonders. It’s like being at the forefront of a tech revolution, where new tools and features are introduced faster than you can say “artificial intelligence.” SaaS marketers need to keep up with the latest trends, embrace cutting-edge technologies, and ride the wave of digital transformation. It’s like being on a rollercoaster ride.
SaaS marketing thrives on the foundation of customer success and satisfaction. With subscription-based models, customer retention is paramount. SaaS marketers prioritize not just the acquisition of new customers but also the ongoing success and satisfaction of existing ones.
This involves implementing customer-centric strategies, providing exceptional support, and fostering a sense of community to nurture long-term relationships.
Moreover, SaaS marketing heavily relies on data-driven decision-making. The abundance of data generated by SaaS products and customer interactions provides a treasure trove of insights. Successful SaaS marketers leverage this data to understand:
In a nutshell, navigating this dynamic landscape requires a unique blend of strategic thinking, adaptability, and customer-centricity.
There is no shortage of interactive content on the internet. And it has risen in popularity as more brands strive for customers’ attention in the highly competitive SaaS industry. Marketers are bidding goodbye to passive consumption and static posts to develop dynamic experiences.
Also, with Google’s announcement of the continuous scrolling feature for search on desktops in December 2022, SaaS companies are spending more time and effort on rich snippets.
As a result, more brands will clamor for higher ranks with Google’s elimination of pagination within search results. Brands will shift their focus on ranking their content on the highly visible sections of the search result page, like the People Also Ask Section, to capture consumers’ attention.
I tweak my ideas and thoughts to create creative & narrative SaaS content. At FPGrowth, as Lead Content Writer, I underpin solutions into words, and put the assessments into threaded paragraphs to solve the readers' pain points. When not on my table, you can find me roaming around nature with the shutter on or having an insightful conversation over a cup of Latte!!