The world is shifting towards SaaS, with the global SaaS market estimated to reach $223.7 billion by 2022 and over $571.9 billion by 2027.
But here’s a hard-hitting truth – having the best SaaS product in your niche will not automatically convince prospects to click your site’s “Subscribe” button.
That’s why focusing on demand generation is crucial. You must keep spreading awareness about your product and ensure you stand out from your competitors.
In this article, we’ll share everything about demand generation and how you can scale your B2B SaaS business without burning a lot of cash or wasting time.
What We'll Cover:
What is B2B Demand Generation?
B2B demand generation involves the creation of content and marketing campaigns to generate interest and awareness about the product and the problem it solves.
For example, when Slack creates an article like “Why do businesses need a communication tool?,” this content is part of the company’s demand generation strategy. It’s designed to target the audience who want an answer to this question and position Slack as the best solution.
While lead generation focuses on collecting contact details of prospects, demand generation is catered towards educating people and spreading awareness about your tool.
Why Do All SaaS Companies Need Demand Generation?
Here are three key reasons SaaS companies should adopt demand-generation strategies:
- A simpler alternative to cold outreach: Demand generation often involves broadcasting your message instead of reaching out to individual customers. This saves time and money.
- Increases organic traffic: When you generate awareness about your tool, more people will visit your website.
- Generates qualified marketing leads: Demand generation strategies help you bring qualified traffic that resonates with your brand and is easier to convert.
What are the Stages of a SaaS Demand Generation Funnel?
The six stages of a SaaS demand generation funnel are:
Stage 1: Awareness
At this stage, your target audience becomes aware of your tool, the problem it solves, or the benefits you can bring to their work.
This could happen in many ways, like they come across your article, hop on your social media page, see your video on YouTube, etc.
For example, you created an article on “7 ways to get productive at work.” You subtly introduce your productivity tool as a solution. When someone searches for ways to get productive and comes across your article, they are gently introduced to your SaaS brand and tool.
Stage 2: Consideration
This stage is where potential customers start considering how to solve their problems. Note here that they are not ideally searching for a tool. They could also be searching for strategies or hacks.
For example, they want to increase their productivity. They could either adopt certain productivity hacks like following a routine or dealing with context switching. Or they could subscribe to Pomodoro tools or task management tools.
The key is to gently nudge your prospects to consider your tool as a prominent solution. You could do this by offering valuable lead magnets, customer stories that resonate with them, etc.
Stage 3: Decision
The prospect makes a decision at this stage.
They would most likely be considering different tools at this stage. For example, should they subscribe to a Pomodoro tool like Focus Booster or adopt a to-do list tool like Todoist?
At this stage, you should offer them comparison articles that help them make a choice. Many SaaS companies now do this by creating separate landing pages for these comparisons and putting them on the website's footer.
Stage 4: Activation
Congratulations! They have subscribed to your free trial or paid plan.
But should you stop here? The best SaaS companies don’t.
They help users reach their activation point early in the onboarding journey. For example, if someone subscribed to Todoist to create their daily to-do lists, the company would try to show the user how to achieve their daily productivity goals and congratulate them when they achieve mini-wins through the app.
When customers succeed with your product, they are likely to stick with you for a long time.
Stage 5: Expansion
Now that your user has reached its activation point, the goal should be to upsell your paid plans to them.
For example, if they are utilizing your free trial, send them an email on what they have achieved so far with your tool and what benefits they are missing out on by not subscribing to your paid plan.
Here’s a great email that checks all the points from Zapier.
Ensure you are spot-on with your timing for this communication so it doesn’t feel too pushy.
Stage 6: Promotion
Your upselling initiative is now successful!
What do you do next?
Encourage customers to promote your tool because they are happy with the results they are getting.
Many SaaS businesses have also created referral programs where customers can get discounts or incentives when they recommend their business to others.
If you don’t want to jump into that, stay tuned to your loyal customers and pick the right moment to persuade them to promote your tool.
What are Some Ways to Create Effective B2B SaaS Demand Generation?
SaaS demand generation can be tricky to get right. Here are some tips that will help you create the perfect strategies.
Define Your Target Market
As a B2B SaaS business, you don’t want to spend time targeting every buyer persona.
The more targeted your content is, the higher chance you'll attract the right people to your business. And guess what? This helps your team convert leads easily.
To define your target market, here are some starter questions you can ask:
- What is my audience interested in?
- What content does my audience read?
- What website does my audience visit?
- What apps might my audience have installed?
- What products does my audience buy?
You can even get in touch with your customer-facing teams or product development team, as these teams have a good idea about your ideal customer.
Research Your Competition
Testing different strategies is a great starting point. But it could also take up a lot of your time.
Instead, one way is to perform competitor research. You can include your direct competitors and find those who do not offer similar solutions but cater to a similar niche.
Here are some initial research criteria you can get started with:
- On which platforms are they actively creating content?
- Where do they get the most engagement?
- What kind of content are they creating?
- Which are the top-ranking pages that are getting them the most traffic?
Based on these insights, you can create laser-focused demand-generation strategies.
Create a Buyer Persona
Most SaaS companies cater to multiple target segments.
For example, if you have a project management tool, you’ll cater to different industries like construction, IT, marketing agencies, healthcare, etc.
The features and campaigns that resonate with a healthcare firm won’t work with a construction company.
That’s why creating buyer personas is important. You can gather data about each buyer persona by conducting customer interviews, accessing historical data, conducting surveys, etc.
Once you create these buyer personas, update them regularly to create relevant campaigns.
Develop a Content Strategy
Which content will appeal to your target market? What does your target market usually search for, and how can you create content for those keywords? Which SaaS content will likely generate more demand?
These are some questions you can ask yourself to craft your content strategy.
Ensure that you use different content formats to access a wider audience. For example, not everyone likes to read long-form content like ebooks and blog articles. You can then include short-form video content like Instagram reels or create videos on YouTube.
Many SaaS companies like Canva often use reels to reach their audience.
Have an Effective Content Distribution Plan
Just creating great content isn’t enough. You need to draw eyes to your content to get more leads and, ultimately, more conversions.
Here are four ways you can distribute your content:
- Promote it in your email newsletter. Give your subscribers a reason to click on your content.
- Repurpose it for social media. Adhere to the best practices of each platform to reach a wider audience.
- Utilize paid advertising channels like Google ads, Facebook ads, etc.
- Get backlinks to your article. A higher-quality source can get you a lot of traffic to your content.
Use Lead Capture Forms on Structured Website
Lead magnets are a great way to get your visitor’s information and keep nurturing them toward conversion.
There are many ways to use this form. For example, you can offer an ebook or exclusive report in exchange for their email address. Or you can have them sign up for a demo or a free trial.
One SaaS company that often uses lead magnets is HubSpot. They often use them as a CTA in their articles.
Their demo page also serves as a lead-capture form that captures all the important details the company would need to send targeted communication.
Nurture Leads with Targeted Content
Now that you have your lead’s information, you can start nurturing them with relevant content.
The content you send should be geared at moving the customer down the funnel. Here are content types for each stage of the marketing funnel.
If you cater to different industries, you can also share content geared towards those industries to get higher conversions.
Leverage Your SaaS Website
Investing in on-page SEO can help you rank higher and generate more demand for your business.
Here are some points you should consider and track:
- Use keyword-rich text on your website but don’t overstuff keywords.
- Ensure your content is crawlable and indexable
- Remove duplicate content or use canonical tags
- Optimize meta tags
- Create a good site architecture and internal linking plan
- Focus on page speed and other core web vitals
- Make your website responsive
- Focus on accessibility and readability
Ensure you check all these factors regularly so your website stays search-engine friendly.
Invest in and Execute SEO
The three important SEO factors that play a key role in demand generation are:
Technical SEO involves optimizing the technical aspects of your website to increase the ranking of your pages on search engines.
Here are three elements you should prioritize for demand generation:
- Decrease website crawl errors: When these errors add up, it could make your content less discoverable on search engines. Resolve or reduce them as much as possible.
- Increase page-level topical relevance: Your page should match the search intent to rank higher on SERPs.
- Have an XML sitemap: With a proper XML sitemap, search engines won’t miss any important content on your website.
Read our detailed guide on technical SEO to incorporate all the necessary fundamentals.
Content marketing is undoubtedly the most important pillar of your demand generation strategy. Here are four tips that can help you get it right:
- Consolidate relevant pages: By combining relevant pages and content, you can offer in-depth content for a particular keyword, which search engines consider a plus.
- Focus on internal linking: Help users find related content when they read your article to focus on link equity and make visitors spend more time on your website.
- Remove outdated content: This makes your website look lean, and users won’t hop on to irrelevant content.
- Focus on content refresh: Updated content is a relevant search ranking factor and also provides users with up-to-date content.
Link building helps your brand get in front of more people.
While conducting SEO outreach, ensure you send personalized emails instead of generic ones. Include what they gain by partnering with you or why your content asset is unique and important for their readers.
You can also use tools like Ahrefs to get notifications whenever someone mentions your brand so you can contact them for a backlink.
Drive PPC Traffic
When you create Google Ad campaigns, start with targeting terms or phrases that have a high-buying intent. This helps you generate more ROI by driving traffic that can easily be converted.
If you’re unsure of how to create Google Ad campaigns, reach out to our PPC experts that can help you create the right campaigns.
How did MADX Digital Help Postalytics Create B2B Demand Generation?
In just a year, MADX’s team helped Postalytics, an automated direct mail platform, to increase organic traffic by 28 times. Their SaaS business started getting 81K monthly visitors, and their demand generation graph saw an upward trajectory.
How did we make this possible?
- Crafting a search engine optimization strategy
- Creating landing pages and blogs
- Technical upgrades and page optimization
- Link building, promotion, press releases, and product launches
- Strategic discovery campaigns
Not only did we focus on content creation, but we gave equal importance to content promotion so their content reaches the masses.
The Future of B2B SaaS Demand Generation
With the emergence of artificial intelligence in every field, the future of SaaS demand generation will constantly evolve. We will see AI help businesses personalize their demand generation campaigns and automation take over the repetitive tasks that often plague marketers.
This introduces an exciting era for SaaS where companies that stay up-to-date with the latest strategies and advancements will win the game.
If you want to set the stage for your SaaS demand generation strategies and not waste your resources on experimentation, reach out to our experts at MADX.