Ask someone which brand really stands out to them on social media – and they probably won’t mention a SaaS company. Beauty, maybe. Fashion, likely. Usually, it’s the industries that ooze creativity that get front-of-stage on social.
Unfortunately for the software as a service sector, their main game has a rep for being somewhat duller than other types of services.
Although the industry is a relatively young – and thriving – one, it’s also highly saturated. The sector sees newbies regularly entering the game and trying to compete with the big dogs (HubSpot are practically royalty) to make a name for themselves as the newest, most seamless software service in town.
So, aside from providing a faultless and functional service, what else does a SaaS company need to be doing to attract new users? Clever marketing, of course. We get it; you’re thinking that no SaaS company can possibly kill it in terms of social media and their marketing strategy.
We’re here to tell you the tale of true marketing victories. That’s right; if you get creative with your inbound marketing strategy, good things will come your way. No matter how dry your industry may seem. Here are the five SaaS companies that are absolutely nailing their marketing strategies. Whether that be a strong social media presence or utilising word of mouth, they’re doing something right.
1 – Trello: the silent competitor
This completely FREE collaboration tool allows its users to organise projects and all sorts of work-related tasks. Proving itself to be an incredibly useful addition, it cleverly entices its users to switch from its free model to a premium plan. Marketing-wise, their approach is a pretty hard one to imitate, since they don’t actually have one.
Yep, that’s right – instead of investing money into digital marketing, the Trello developers focus on creating a quality, seamless software product that essentially speaks for itself.
Relying on the good old-fashioned power of word-of-mouth, the Trello team organically updates their social media profiles to keep their followers in the loop. They conversationally share productivity tips and even give their social community the opportunity to earn upgraded Trello access by simply sharing and engaging with social posts.
The result? Trello spends less of their time on promotion because quite frankly, the users do the marketing for them. With such a solid reputation driven by happy members across the board, the users just keep on coming.
2 – Hootsuite battles it out
Used to help businesses manage their social media channels, Hootsuite is a social media management platform, boasting 16 million users globally. Publishing hundreds of social and blog posts, the team constantly aim to entice and entertain readers with the content they produce, resonating with audiences across the world.
Back in 2014, they broke records with a video campaign based on the opening sequence of hit show, Game of Thrones.
Drawing a parallel between the uniting of warring kingdoms and what Hootsuite can offer your business, they created a video about uniting your social kingdoms, entitled, ‘Game of Social Thrones’. The animation portrays some of the biggest social networks as kingdoms, showing users that they can unite all their social channels together through one simple platform – Hootsuite.
Give the video a watch here:
Of course, fans loved their clever spin on things, and their social media and marketing approach continues to be a source of informative, thought-provoking and humorous content. Often going heavy on the ‘hack’ related posts on Facebook whilst focusing on customer stories and workplace culture throughout their Instagram, Hootsuite tailor every social strategy accordingly to each channel.
With plenty of social media shares and promotions, their customer acquisition cost (CAC) is pretty low – social media marketing done right.
3 – HubSpot: giving the people what they want!
A marketing, sales and service software focused solely on helping your business grow, HubSpot is virtually unbeatable, and in another league of its own. Firstly, they understand their audience. They know what their user wants, what they’re looking for, and exactly what they need before they even know they need it themselves.
As a business, HubSpot knows that the majority of its audience is on Facebook, which is why they strategically focus primarily on video content.
Why? Because around 47% consumers get their video content from Facebook, even pipping YouTube to the post. “Give the people what they want” we hear HubSpot marketers yelling through the screen – and we get it.
Since the main goal of Facebook is to please its audience, showing consumers what they want to see, when they want to see it, HubSpot continues to create premium quality content, every time. Just check out this video, ‘The Marvel Cinematic Universe, and What It Teaches Us About a Holistic Content Experience’.
HubSpot knows that Marvel has made billions in revenue and boasts millions of fans all over the world. So, what did they do? They took the Marvel brand, made a short ‘n’ sweet informative video for marketers and fans, gaining a massive 289k views.
Like we said, they give the people what they want.
No longer ‘just a SaaS platform’, HubSpot is often marketers first port of call when it comes to tips and tricks to completely nail your marketing strategy. Synonymous with innovative inbound marketing strategies, their Instagram bio even states “It’s not enough for businesses to grow. They need to #GrowBetter”.
HubSpot use both an engaging and educational tone of voice when speaking to their followers; a tell-tale sign that they know exactly what they’re talking about.
4 – Buffer and its story-telling magic
A social media management and scheduling tool boasting the classic rags to riches tale, Buffer allows businesses to schedule and analyse posts and performance, managing every social media account in just one place.
It does a similar thing to Hootsuite (and many social tools out there), so how does Buffer stand out?
They tell stories, and boy, do they tell them well!
Forget the fluff – they send out surveys and use their marketing intuition and expertise to write about topics people actually care about. Their engaging blog topics don’t just cover social media tips and tricks. Instead, they directly reach out to consumers by covering topics that users can truly resonate with.
From helpful life hacks, to useful multitasking tips as well as covering psychology, travelling and healthy eating, they cover ALL bases. One of their tactics? Working with guest bloggers from different industries, to reach an even wider audience.
Since Buffer sells software, they don’t exactly have an interesting product to photograph, unless of course you’re really into… um, software and social media dashboards – you catch our drift?
After strategic and creative consideration back in 2016, the team adopted a user-generated content strategy, and it worked like a treat. Posting beautiful, high-quality content to engage their followers, they now boast 44.2k followers, gaining lots of likes, comments and story views.
After switching up their content game, Buffer showed us they really do know how to appeal to their global audience. With 4 million registered users and an annual recurring revenue of $10 million, they’ve got their niche covered.
5 – Mailchimp: laughing all the way to the bank
Our final SaaS company that knows how to market their tool to its advantage is Mailchimp. This easy-to-use marketing automation platform enables its users to share emails and campaigns to large databases of customers, clients and other target audiences.
The Mailchimp difference? The web-based application embraces humour, and often.
For a number of B2B brands, their tone of voice and approach to marketing can be dull and a little – let’s just say it – boring. Mailchimp, however, has found the sweet spot.
Striking a faultless balance between colloquial and professional, they regularly provide their users with cultural references and funny innuendos. Focusing most of their posts on a cartoonish style aesthetic that matches their logo and branding, the content created and posted by Mailchimp appeals to its millennial followers and those who will be using their service.
When it comes to engaging the email marketers of the world with quirky one-liners and interesting industry insights, they nail it.
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No Such Thing as a Boring Industry
So that’s it, our top 5 SaaS companies that use a tailored and strategic marketing approach to gain a bigger following, more interest in their service and ultimately, more trust in what they do.
Gone are the days of monotonous salesy-style posts. In a world of overcrowded SaaS companies, learn from the best and begin crafting your own creative inbound marketing strategies to ensure you stand out amongst the best of ‘em.
Need some inspo’? Call the Impressive team on 1300 191 943 and we’d be happy to get nerdy with you about cool social strategies!