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SaaS Q&A: What are good, low-cost B2B marketing strategies for a startup?

So you’ve identified a problem, created a solution, and now you just need your future customers to know about it — without investing too much capital upfront. Here are some key concepts and strategies for your early-stage marketing.

They say that great products should sell themselves. Actually Peter Drucker said this: “The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.”

Your marketing should make your target customer base aware of your product, get an audience around it, so the product is able to sell itself with ease.

First step of any B2B marketing strategy

Any marketing strategies you choose should be guided by this key factor: are you selling to small companies or enterprise?

It’s important you identify which segment(s) of the market you’re targeting. The difference between small companies and enterprise determines a lot when it comes to your marketing strategy:

  • What the people at the business do
  • What their problems and pain points are
  • The product features they’ll value
  • The channels they hang out in, e.g. where you should market yourself

Thinking through all of these elements will help you develop your positioning in the market.

Possible next steps: marketing strategies to consider

Now for some low-cost marketing tactics for you, an early-stage B2B SaaS startup.

  1. Offer a free trial. This may seem like a no-brainer these days but is worth mentioning anyway. There are many variations of the “free trial,” so which type is up to you, but the main point is that it’s F-R-E-E. Potential customers don’t have to think long to decide whether they want to try it out. So you have acquired them into your funnel, they’ve onboarded, and all you need then is a strategy for converting them to paid customers. That part is key!
  2. Word of mouth. Never to be underestimated, it’s an invaluable form of marketing. People in your network and your company’s early adopters could turn into brand ambassadors, spreading personal recommendations. Of course this requires a great product and customer service to match. It may also require creating and expanding your network in the first place. And how to do that? Well, networking! Attend relevant events that are well-targeted to your customer base, and hustle, hustle, hustle.
  3. Demo video on your site. The buying decision process for SaaS products is very short. You have a few minutes to persuasively demonstrate how your service is not only the best solution for their problem, but also worth the cost. To prove its value. A very effective way to do this is to feature a short video, 2-3 minutes, on your website, explaining your product and how best to use it.
  4. SEO/SEM. Though a hot topic and widely recommended, this particular tactic comes with a caveat. It’s worth the cost if people out there are actively searching for a solution like the one you provide. Ie- If there are obvious traffic keyboards you can buy. But if your company is offering one of those solutions that people don’t yet know they need, then hold off on paid search marketing.
  5. Content Marketing. Your product is a service, so your content should be a service, too — it should be educational and useful, with an aim to inform and instruct. Provide information, commentary, and insights into your customers’ industry. Teach them ways to tackle their challenges and solve their problems — including, of course, how they can use your product to do so.
    1. It doesn’t all need to be in blog form, though that is usually a company’s content foundation. Many SaaS companies are venturing into video and podcasts, as well.
    2. Once you’ve identified these happy customers from #2, the ones who spread positive word-of-mouth about you, consider featuring their company as a customer testimonial. A customer case study. Write a story about their business journey and how they found success with your product.
    3. Participate in online communities that are relevant to your target customers. Where do they hang out online? Are they here on Quora? Go there and get in on conversations. Share your content where you can within those conversations. You’ll emerge as a trusted voice in the space and also expose your brand to new audiences.

Of course, a crucial part of any marketing strategy is to track and measure its effectiveness so that you can keep optimizing. That way you ensure you are investing your precious resources, like energy and cash, into the right channels in the right ways.

On a related note, you can also take a look at this to learn about customer acquisition strategies you can try from day one.


This answer was originally published on Quora. View the original thread here:

What are examples of good and low cost marketing strategies for a new b2b SaaS startup?

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