The cloud has changed everything.  With unlimited storage capacity and the ability to handle even the most complex tasks without advanced hardware, it has changed the way businesses operate.

It’s also changed the way businesses market their products and services.  As we head into 2020, here are some of the Software as a Service (SaaS) marketing trends that are emerging.

Bypassing Ad Blockers With Native Ads & Content Marketing

Nearly 26 percent of internet users are using ad blockers on connected devices.  That may a convenient way for users to cut down on the amount of advertising clutter they see, but it makes it trickier for businesses to market.  Marketers are having to take different approaches to bypass the blockers and get the message out.

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For 2020, we see a growing dependence on native advertising and content marketing for SaaS marketing. This generally means a growing increase in forecast ads spend due to competition, without the same expected yield. This trend will potentially push smaller SaaS technology providers to augment their marketing efforts with a B2B SaaS Marketing Agency.

 

Native Ads

Native ads blend seamlessly with existing content to look like part of the editorial flow.  It’s less disruptive and takes on the tone and feel of the place it appears.  The use of native ads for mobile and social continue to grow.  To be effective, they can’t be overt advertising.  They must contain valuable content that engages users.

This strategy is used by adopting advertising strategies on the native platform you are promoting content on such as social media, sponsored media placements, and other industry engagements. Ultimately, using native ads to fuel their content marketing and lead nurturing strategies.

 

Content Marketing

Content marketing also takes on the style of the website where it appears.  By creating and distributing relevant content that is consistent with the editorial structure of the site, you are providing value to B2B customers with useful information.

Only 19% of B2B buyers want to connect with a salesperson during the initial stages of their buying process.  They are researching and considering products and services online first.  Nearly half of buyers will view 3-5 pieces of content before reaching out to a salesperson.  Content marketing helps establish your credibility and trustworthiness in the awareness stage.

 

Beyond Email

In case you haven’t looked at your inbox lately, there’s an over-saturation of email marketing campaigns.   The average workers see 121 a day and opens less than 16% of them.  While email can still work effectively, it’s getting harder to stand out.  Marketers are deploying other models such as push notifications, Chatbots, and other technology to combat the change in audience behavior.

Skillful marketers are moving away from traditional methods of capturing contact information. Are you using chatbots like Tawk.to, Hubspot or MobileMonkey to capture contact information through your website in innovative ways that engage the audience?

 

Artificial Intelligence

AI is playing a larger role than ever in SaaS marketing.  Expect an even heavier reliance on AI and predictive analytics in the future.

There are more than 300,000 business Chatbots on Facebook Messenger.  Consumers are getting used to interacting with them.   80% of businesses are expected to deploy Chatbots by 2020.   AI-enhanced Chatbots work for you 24/7 and provide quick answers to queries.  They can help engage visitors to your SaaS website and convert visitors to leads.

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Chatbots are also evolving to provide more personalized service.  This hyper-personalization can help drive buyers through the sales funnel.

Machine Learning is also making an impact.  ML allows applications to increase efficiency as more data is available.  For B2B marketers, this can lead to increased (and better) leads.

 

Self-Serve Options

One of the most common complaints we hear from website visitors is that they can’t quickly find the information they are looking for.  If they can’t find it fast, they’re likely to leave and head to a competitor.  That’s why it’s crucial to provide self-help options like never before.

In addition to Chatbots, Knowledge Bases, video libraries, product demos, and product explainers are generating leads.

 

Enhanced Use Of Social Media

Social media is generally far down the list for B2B sales organizations.  We’re seeing a greater increase in social efforts (and bigger budgets) to reach target audiences.  As Millennials and other young professional are moving into bigger B2B roles, social is playing a bigger role.

Social selling is responsible for more than 60% of revenue in most tech industries, including B2B SaaS marketing. Agile SaaS companies are staying ahead of the curve by adopting new social media platforms in addition to fueling the promotion of their content with native ads.

 

Video & Interactive Content

It’s been growing consistently for years, but video and interactive content is now mainstream.  Providing podcasts, webinars, chats, and video that is more accessible and easier to digest have become viable ways to market.

70% of B2B buyers watch videos during the buying process.  Videos about product features, how-to videos, and reviews are the most popular with B2B buyers.

When asked what type of content they most like to review from brands and businesses, video occupied two of the top 4 spots.

What kind of content do you want to see from a brand or business?
SOURCE:  Hubspot Content Trends Survey

  • 54%    Videos
  • 46%    Emails/Newsletters
  • 41%    Social Images
  • 34%    Social Videos
  • 18%    Blog Articles
  • 17%    Downloadable Content (Such as PDFs) to be read later

Marketing Automation

Beyond Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software and databases, SaaS marketers are utilizing robust marketing automation.  Marketing automation simplifies repetitive tasks such as email marketing, social media, and delivery of content marketing.  Automation helps customers through the sales funnel efficiently by providing the right content at the right time.

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B2B Marketing Automation has many uses for streamlining both your marketing processes as well as the execution. From production to publishing, streamlining marketing efforts keeps agile Saas Marketers freed up to look at the bigger picture.

  • Campaign creation
  • Nurturing leads
  • Lead scoring
  • Customer retention
  • Cross-selling and Up-selling

Free Trials & “Freemium” Offers

For SaaS, free trials are an effective way to market your products.  It gives customers a way to test-drive your software before purchasing.  While they are trying it out, they are doing two other important things:  Sharing their interest and contact information and becoming vested in your product.

Another growing strategy is the “Freemium” offer.  By offering a free version with limited features, you are building your user base with the opportunity to sell fully-blown versions.

 

Mobile-First For All Areas of Marketing

It’s time to truly focus on mobile-first.

More than 5 billion people worldwide have mobile devices.  The majority of searches done online are mobile.  If you’re not creating content and applications for mobile, you’re potentially missing out on the majority of B2B buyers. It’s not just enough to be formatted for mobile, but to have the features and functions to thrive there. While newer SaaS companies tend to adopt this early, other SaaS platforms with more robust features are in a constant race of development catch-up.

It’s easy to forget. Most marketing content is created on desktops. It all comes down to improved accessibility & versatility of your content. Not just your SaaS solution.

 

Focusing On Current Customers

Current customers today will (hopefully) be your future customers tomorrow.  It pays to keep them happy.

The cost of acquiring new customers is high.  The probability of making a sale to a new prospect is between 5% and 20%.  The chance of selling to an existing customer is between 60% and 70%.  Taking care of your current customers will lower your retention rate.

A commitment to providing an outstanding customer experience has been proven to result in an increase in customer retention rates up to 25%.

Marketing Trends 2020:  A Significant Opportunity

As we look ahead to SaaS marketing trends in 2020, there are significant opportunities for agile companies.  B2B SaaS marketing tech continues to grow. The global market is forecast to reach $157 billion.  By 2020, SaaS subscriptions will have nearly doubled from 2018.

Make sure your efforts stay on track in 2020 by taking advantage of these tech marketing trends.

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