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A Complete Guide to Lead Generation for SaaS Companies

Zack Hanebrink
Zack Hanebrink 05 February 2021

Did you know that, according to SaaS and B2B writer James Anthony, B2B companies that have mature lead generation processes get 133% more revenue than companies that don’t have these processes?

If you want to improve your lead generation process so that your SaaS company can make more revenue, then you probably have questions about PPC for SaaS companies, SEO for Saas companies, and what a Buyer Journey is.

You might feel confused if you don’t understand these terms fully. You might also feel frustrated if you aren’t sure how to create a lead generation strategy. After all, the longer you wait, the more time you lose—and time lost means money lost.

That’s why we’ve put together this guide. Once you know how you can use lead generation most effectively for your SaaS company, you’ll have high-quality leads, more conversions, and more money. You’ll also get your Saas company on the map. Read on to learn more.

What is Lead Generation?

Before we review how SaaS marketing strategy works, we’ll go over what lead generation is. Once you understand how it works, it will be easier to apply the strategies we review here. When you’re using a lead generation strategy, basically, you’re collecting a list of people or organizations who are interested in your SaaS product.

By nurturing this list, you are able to convert the people and organizations on it to customers who buy your product.

To do this, you stay in touch with them via email, with phone calls, or on social media. When you contact them, it’s to either promote your brand or promote your products. Even if they aren’t going to buy your software now, they might do so later.

This is because you’ve informed and delighted them so far every time you’ve engaged with them.

They see you as an authority in your industry and have found you helpful in the past. So, once they’re ready to make a purchase, they’ll go with your company instead of with a competitor.

When it comes to lead generation for SaaS companies, you can use two types of marketing: outbound marketing and inbound marketing.

Outbound marketing consists of direct mail, online display advertising, print ads, TV and radio ads, and cold calling.

Even though outbound marketing can be effective, inbound marketing has become incredibly important because of how much time we spend online and the popularity of Google searches and social media. Let’s review inbound marketing now.

The Power of Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing is an important part of SaaS digital marketing. Examples of inbound marketing include creating content marketing materials such as eBooks and blog posts, hosting events and panels (even on Zoom), influencer outreach, engaging on social media, and using search engine optimization (SEO).

Basically, inbound marketing is when you’re putting your company out there in a form that isn’t intrusive to the people you’re targeting.

Instead of forcing them to answer the phone to learn about your newest product or showing up in an annoying pop-ad, you get their attention by giving them high quality, informational, interesting, and entertaining content.

Once you have their attention, you can get their contact information so that you can add them to the list of leads we covered in the last section of this article. When you get their contact information, you can do it in a way where they’re happy to give you that information.

For example, let’s say you sell a software that helps organizations hire employees more efficiently.

You could create an eBook that’s a guide that helps employers follow the right steps to hire the right people. If you give it to them for free in exchange for their email, then you’ve got your new lead.

To use strategies like this one most efficiently, you need to know how to create a SaaS marketing strategy around your ideal customer’s buyer persona and their buyer journey before implementing the right strategies. Let’s review those now.

Build A Buyer Persona

The first step when using digital marketing for SaaS companies is to build a buyer persona. If you’ve already created a buyer persona for other marketing reasons, you can skip this step. However, if you haven’t, then this is the essential beginning to creating a B2B SaaS marketing strategy.

A buyer persona is a fictionalized representation of someone who is your ideal customer. By creating it, you’ll know what type of inbound marketing content to create and when and where to share it.

To get started, you need to answer these questions with your ideal customer in mind:

- What are their demographic details, such as their age, location, gender, and salary?
- What job does my ideal customer have? In what industry?
- What are their responsibilities at the office? And at home?
- What are their career goals? What about personal goals?
- What are their problems? How does your product help them solve these problems?
- Where do they spend their time online? How are they most likely to find you?

After answering these questions, you can put together your buyer persona. By now, you should have an idea of what topics to cover in the inbound content you create that addresses their needs, problems, and personality.

Additionally, you’ll know where to find them online.

This means you can post on the right social media or professional platforms (such as LinkedIn) so that they discover your SaaS company.

Follow the Buyer’s Journey

Another element of SaaS lead generation strategies is knowing how the Buyer’s Journey works. By following your ideal customer through the different stages they take when deciding whether or not to purchase your software, you can stay in touch with them every stage of the way.

This does two things. The first is that it ensures that your potential customer becomes aware of your brand.

Additionally, it will help you nurture your leads if you’re with them every step of the way.

The Awareness Stage

The first stage of the Buyer’s Journey is the Awareness Stage. It’s exactly what it sounds like. This is when your potential customer becomes aware of their problem or need. They start doing research—usually online—so that they know exactly what that problem or need is and what might be causing it.

Let’s use our example from above, using the CEO who has trouble hiring quality employees.

If you have a lot of content on your website and social media pages about the reasons why many companies can’t hire high-quality employees, they might stumble across this content.

The Consideration Stage

The next stage is the Consideration Stage. In this stage, your potential customer researches solutions for their problem or need. You might provide them with some solutions in a free eBook, as mentioned before, which you can offer them in exchange for contact information.

Additionally, you can provide free resources in exchange for nothing—but you can still get their information by using a CTA, which we’ll cover in just a moment.

The Decision Stage

The last stage of the Buyer Journey is the Decision Stage. In this stage, your potential customer knows what type of solution they want to use. They’ll also have put together a list of the different companies that can provide them these solutions—including you.

Making Your Site Visitor a Lead

During all of these stages, you have the opportunity to make your site visitor a lead. By using strategies such as PPC, SEO, and social media optimization (which we’ll cover next), they’ll end up on your page while doing research during any of these stages.

You’ve done your job by providing them with the content they need during these stages.

Whatever content they’re looking at, whether it’s a blog post, video, or infographic, you need to make it easy for them to take an action once they’ve finished looking at it. This is called a Call to Action, or CTA. It might be a link to your landing page or an invitation to join an email newsletter.

Any SaaS digital marketing agency will tell you that by the end of their site visit, your visitor should have given you their contact information.

This can be done on your landing page or in the invitation to join the email newsletter.

You can use a free offering, also known as a lead magnet, in exchange. This can be an eBook or any other type of helpful information or product. When it comes to how to improve landing page conversions, lead magnets are powerful.

PPC for SaaS Companies

Now that we’ve reviewed how you can generate leads, we’ll review the strategies you can use to get your potential customers onto your website so you can make them leads in the first place. Sure, you’ve got that great content, but how do you get them to find them?

One of these ways is by using PPC (or pay-per-click) advertising. This is when you pay advertisers every time someone clicks on your advertisement.

Usually, this is done on Google. If you’ve ever seen the paid results that show up at the top of a Google search, that's what you’re seeing. All you have to do is set this up through Google Ads (which used to be called Google Adwords). This is a big part of a strong B2B marketing strategy.

If you aren’t sure where to start, you should consider paying for AdWords management services.

SEO for SaaS Companies

SEO for SaaS companies is also an important part of SaaS marketing services. SEO stands for “search engine optimization,” and it’s a free way of getting your website’s content to rank higher in a Google search.

By using the right SEO strategies, such as using the keywords your customers are likely to search for in your content, you can get more website traffic. Additional SEO strategies include optimizing your website for mobile and making its loading speed fast.

To see if your website’s loading speed is optimal, use Google’s free PageSpeed Insights tool.

Social Media for SaaS Companies

Another part of SaaS digital marketing strategy is using social media. By posting your content on social media channels, your customers are more likely to find your website and spend time on it. With CTAs put in place correctly, you can build your leads list fast.

Additionally, when it comes to marketing for tech companies or B2B for SaaS, you might benefit from sharing your company’s content on LinkedIn.

If you want to reach industry professionals and businesses who will end up using your business’s software, LinkedIn is a powerful tool.

Need More Information?

Do you need more information about digital marketing, lead generation strategy, or elements of strategy such as PPC for SaaS companies? Whatever you need, we’re here to help.

At HookLead, we’re experts when it comes to digital marketing strategies for SaaS companies.

We have all the information you need on SEO, accelerating growth, lead generation tips, and more. We also offer services to help your business grow, tripling your leads in as little as six months. To learn more about how we can help you, contact us here.