Kathy Floam-Greenspan is the President of Pomerantz Marketing, a full-service B2B agency supporting regional, national and global SMBs.
As many companies tighten their belts and conserve financial resources, some budget categories, including software and IT services, continue expanding. This trend has continued mostly unabated for over the past decade, soaring during the Covid-19 pandemic and continuing to escalate in the following years, totaling more than $783 billion in 2022.
Small software as a service (SaaS) companies looking to reach bigger audiences and broader verticals with their high-quality products and services can capitalize on this trend. However, a significant gap often exists between ambition and new customer acquisition, requiring companies to take strategic steps to grow and expand at scale.
While a haphazard expansion can cause growth companies to stall out, a well-planned rollout can provide fertile ground for small SaaS companies to grow.
Here is our proven marketing blueprint for taking a SaaS business to the next level.
1. Research & Test Vertical Markets
Taking a SaaS small business to the next level requires a better understanding of your existing customers and the vertical markets where you want to expand. Penetrating these markets requires a blend of data-driven insights and customer understanding.
Start by defining potential verticals that resonate with your product. This involves a comprehensive market analysis to pinpoint niches that have unmet needs your SaaS solution can address. For instance, if your software aids in project management, verticals could include creative agencies, construction firms or educational institutions.
At the same time, dive deep into customer analytics and feedback. Know what they love about your product and what they believe needs improvement. Similarly, within your existing customer base, identify patterns of use and industries that gravitate toward your product. Are certain business types or industries more prevalent? These patterns can guide where to expand.
Equipped with this information, continue to iterate your products, enhancing the software’s usability for different verticals, adding features based on demand, and improving performance across the board.
Research is the North Star of SaaS expansion, guiding everyone’s efforts and allowing companies to grow effectively, strategically and efficiently.
2. Refresh Your Website To Reflect Expanded Market Availability
As your SaaS company grows and aims to penetrate new markets, your website becomes a pivotal touchpoint for existing and potential customers.
Critically, don’t skimp on the web redesign. Refreshing your website should emphasize quality over quantity. Since the average website visitor spends just 54 seconds on a website, a high-quality experience is vital to lead generation and customer conversion.
A website refresh doesn’t necessarily mean starting over, but it should include:
• Expanded accessibility to account for company expansion.
• Updated messaging reflecting new or expanded offerings.
• SEO optimization for relevant target audiences.
• Segmented navigation and UX (ensuring people from different verticals can quickly and easily find what they need).
• Relevant marketing and sales collateral.
A well-structured, highly functional website is critical for identifying B2B leads and converting potential customers into repeat buyers.
3. Establish Strategic Partnerships
SaaS companies should consider forging strategic partnerships to propel growth and market reach. Leveraging partnership marketing avenues such as premier event sponsorships can heighten brand visibility while targeted email marketing campaigns introduce products to a broader audience. Furthermore, amplifying the partnership through social media provides added exposure, helping to solidify the company’s presence in new and existing markets.
To establish strategic partnerships, SaaS companies must first identify mutual objectives, guiding them to suitable allies that complement their offerings. Initiating dialogue with potential partners is crucial, followed by drafting a clear agreement detailing roles, responsibilities and terms. Upon agreement, the companies should kick-start co-marketing initiatives, harnessing digital platforms for maximum visibility.
Regularly reviewing the partnership’s performance, celebrating mutual achievements, and maintaining transparent communication ensures its success. As the market evolves, being adaptable and open to revising partnership strategies or embracing new collaborations can further fuel growth and reach.
4. Conduct A Lead Generation Campaign
To amplify customer acquisition efforts, SaaS companies should embark on a comprehensive lead generation campaign. The company can enhance online visibility by incorporating strategies like paid search and directory listings. Email marketing campaigns and organic social media initiatives foster engagement, while paid social ads target specific audience segments.
Hosting events and webinars and leveraging sponsorships further establish authority, and efforts in content syndication, article placements and public relations solidify the brand’s reputation and reach in the market.
Navigating The SaaS Expansion Path
In a dynamic digital landscape, small SaaS companies stand at the cusp of exponential growth opportunities, especially with the ongoing surge in software and IT service demands. Even so, merely recognizing the potential isn’t enough; proactive and strategic steps are essential.
You can bridge the gap between ambition and tangible growth by homing in on specific vertical markets, rejuvenating their digital front to match the expanded market reach, fostering strategic alliances, and executing robust lead generation campaigns.