SaaS marketing is a unique challenge, as you’re selling a digital product that can’t be held or owned. And, unlike traditional marketing, your work doesn’t end once the product is sold. You must constantly prove the value of your product to retain customers and justify monthly payments.
But don’t worry. By researching and implementing effective SaaS marketing strategies, such as SEO and content marketing, you can generate and convert leads like never before.
To give you an idea of what these strategies look like in action, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite SaaS campaigns that are sure to inspire your own marketing efforts. These campaigns have proven to be successful and can give you a great idea of how to market your SaaS product.
Let’s jump right into it.
Zapier is an online automation software. It connects thousands of web applications to create automated workflows.
Let’s say you want to alert your social media followers whenever you publish a new blog article. Zapier automatically creates a social media post when you publish the article.
Zapier receives over 6 million visitors per month. This is extremely impressive for a non-customer-facing app.
Most people aren’t looking to improve their existing tech stack; they want solutions to specific business problems. Zapier provides that solution through content and its paid tools.
So, how does an ‘invisible’ product generate millions in traffic? Interestingly, Zapier seems to double down on search engine optimization (SEO) and strategic partnerships more than anything else.
Zapier piggybacks off its partnerships. First, they create SEO-optimized landing pages for every available app, integration, and workflow.
For example, a landing page about integrating Slack to HubSpot or Gmail to Asana. That’s thousands of landing pages. If anyone is looking for information on any app, Zapier has a landing page for it.
Above is Zapier’s landing page for project management software, ClickUp.
Second, they outsource link building to partners. For the novice SaaS marketer, link-building is the SEO tactic of acquiring backlinks. They help improve your rank on search engine results pages (SERPs) by increasing brand awareness and establishing domain authority.
As part of their onboarding process, Zapier has partners set up integration pages that link back to its website and write blog posts announcing the integration. Here’s an example.
Finally, Zapier creates SEO content. Zapier’s blog has categories for ‘best apps’ such as ‘the five best video hosting websites for businesses in 2023’ and app comparisons like ‘Asana vs. Jira: which is best.’
These articles generate tons of traffic for Zapier, even from keyword searches unrelated to its product.
Want proof? Just look at where Zapier ranks in the search below.
Zapier ranks among the top five results for the search ‘best invoicing app’ even though it is not an accounting/finance app.
Unless you have an integration tool, you won’t be able to replicate the sheer number of landing pages Zapier has. However, if you have customers from various industries, you can create case studies to generate traffic for high-intent keywords for each industry.
Let’s say you have a requirements management tool, and your customers are in the medical, construction, and industrial manufacturing industries. You can target keywords like requirements management tools for medical devices, requirements management for construction, etc.
Writer is an AI-assisted writing platform that automates content writing workflows. It helps companies scale branded content, reduce editing time, and increase content output. It also offers a bunch of free online tools including a free online grammar tool and a free AI content detector.
Writer’s grammar checker plays an integral role in the brand’s SEO marketing strategy. This exceptional asset generates thousands of backlinks organically.
As you can see above, Writer’s grammar tool page generates 6k backlinks from 941 referring domains.
In addition to offering a free, high-quality digital tool, Writer uses content marketing. Blogging is one of the most popular forms of content marketing.
In addition to maintaining a resourceful blog, Writer creates articles for other companies’ blogs. Guest posting fits perfectly into the link-building strategy as it is a super reliable way of acquiring valuable backlinks.
And yes, we would know because we partnered with Writer for their guest posting campaigns. After helping them secure publications from some of the most reputable blogs, Writer ranked for some of the most competitive keywords in their niche.
For example, they rank second for the keyword “Free grammar checker,” ahead of the likes of Grammarly.
Guest posting takes time and effort, and if you don’t have the capacity, you benefit from outsourcing the process to a SaaS marketing agency like Crunch Marketing. We use tried and tested SEO optimization techniques and have established processes and relationships with bloggers and web publishers.
Check out the results we delivered for Writer.
Here is another example:
Over two years, we increased the number of backlinks to 18k from 4k referring domains and organic traffic to 1.6 million!
One, create valuable tools people will want to use and share. If you can make some of them free, the better. Two, build strategic relationships in your industry through guest posting. It increases your reach and boosts SEO and organic search rankings.
Typeform is a forms builder and survey management platform. It helps users design dynamic forms, surveys, and quizzes. You can add images and videos to questions and use various question formats like multiple choice, picture selection, and drop-down menus.
To promote its video platform VideoAsk, Typeform created an interactive film called Locked In. In it, users choose what happens to the character based on a question prompt.
Think Netflix’s Black Mirror: Bandersnatch or romance-themed mobile games like Love Island: The Game.
VideoAsk helps users create short video clips for lead generation, audience engagement, customer feedback, and more. The film shows prospective customers what the final product looks like, giving potential users a first-hand experience of the type of engagement they can expect.
Locked In film is a brilliant piece of SaaS product marketing you can copy. The format you use will depend on the product. However, the goal is to showcase product features to drive demand.
Canva is a graphic design platform that simplifies digital design. Before Canva, only graphic designers could create professional-looking designs. With a simple drag-and-drop interface and thousands of templates, Canva enables anyone to create and edit stunning designs for posters, book covers, reports, and more.
As a visual content creation tool, Canva capitalizes on a visually oriented medium to sell and promote its product – social media.
SaaS influencer marketing is a subset of social media marketing that capitalizes on the established relationship between affiliates and their followers. When an affiliate endorses or promotes your product, you get immediate access to targeted customers and raise brand awareness.
Prospects will likely trust you when you associate your brand with someone they trust. Other benefits include low marketing costs and user-generated content.
In this Canva tutorial, content marketer and creator Natalia Kalinska shares her tips and tricks for creating content using Canva.
It would be an incomplete Canva review if we didn’t mention their most famous affiliate – Guy Kawasaki. He became the brand’s chief evangelist after Canva learned that he created his social media graphics with their tool.
Affiliate marketing isn’t just for physical products like health foods, makeup, or apparel. SaaS brands can benefit from this $16.4 billion industry by collaborating with involved affiliates in their niche.
The easiest way to find the right influencer is through SaaS-specialized affiliate networks like Avangate Affiliate Network and PartnerStack.
Wistia is an all-in-one video marketing platform that enables users to create, host, and track the impact of videos. With features like live streaming, video player customization, and marketing technology integration, marketers use Wistia to grow their business through SaaS video marketing.
Naturally, Wistia uses video content marketing to showcase its products. Their most successful campaign is One, Ten, One Hundred, an award-winning documentary exploring the relationship between money and creativity.
In the series, Wistia tasks the Los Angeles production company Sandwich Video to create three marketing videos for their webcam and screen recording product using different budgets: $1,000, $10,000, and $100,000.
Following the success of the series, Wistia launched other content series – ‘Show Business’ which teaches users video creation skills, and ‘Gear Squad vs. Dr. Boring’ which is an animated series following the marketing adventures of video equipment.
Video marketing is highly effective, converting 88% of customers. Campaigns like One, Ten, and Hundred increase product awareness, providing customers with the information they need in a fun, easy-to-consume format.
You may not be able to develop a documentary series, but you can create a content series around company culture, for example, with the video capabilities of your smartphone.
Monday.com started as a workplace collaboration software and has become a complete work management platform. It offers workflow and process management for businesses of different sizes and industries, including sales, human resources, customer support, and software development.
Although Monday.com is a B2B SaaS, they use a B2C marketing approach. Instead of targeting decision-makers like CEOs, they appeal to individual users by creating direct ads.
Consequently, Monday.com spends its SaaS marketing budget on channels such as Adwords and social ads on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. They even have billboards and subway ads.
The image above is from the brand’s San Francisco campaign.
For direct response marketing to be effective, your price points should be as attractive as your marketing. Monday.com designed its pricing model to ensure a one-person purchase decision with a forever-free individual plan.
Furthermore, the paid versions come with a 14-day free trial period and prorated refunds for annual plans.
The direct response marketing approach works best for B2C SaaS, but this doesn’t mean B2B companies can’t use it. Sometimes individual employees drive software adoption by requesting tools that improve work processes. If B2B marketing tactics aren’t effective enough, try a B2C approach.
HubSpot is a software giant that needs no introduction. If you’ve ever searched for anything related to inbound marketing, I can bet you’ve come across this brand somewhere among the top results.
This customer relationship management (CRM) platform has evolved to provide all the essential tools marketing and sales teams need to deliver first-class customer experiences at all stages of the sales process. Its services include marketing, sales, customer services, content management, and operational tools.
You can create web pages, blogs, and email marketing campaigns, manage interactions with leads and customers, track user behavior, and analyze marketing campaigns.
HubSpot is well known for its comprehensive content marketing and is the go-to source for SaaS marketers. Its content dominates SERPs for marketing-related searches.
From the beginning, HubSpot has focused on attracting and educating potential customers with consistent, high-quality content that solves their problems. As a result, the software company can leverage SEO strategy as a moat.
According to this SE Ranking report, HubSpot ranks for 3.7 million keywords.
Hubspot’s content strategy isn’t limited to blogs. They also create valuable tools and resources like templates, certification courses, and podcasts.
Successful content marketing takes time and intentional effort. HubSpot’s example shows you what happens when you keep creating client-driven, relevant content year in and year out – you become the go-to source for trusted information.
Square is a mobile payment software that allows businesses of every size to accept credit card payments. Its free point-of-sale (POS) systems are especially beneficial to small businesses.
In addition to commerce solutions, Square offers banking, customer, and staff management services like loyalty programs (customer management) and scheduling (team management).
Square cultivates an approachable, customer-centric brand identity, which shows up in its marketing. Take, for example, the campaign ‘For Every Dream,’ a series of moving stories about their customers.
The series features real customers and their small business dreams. From a historic small town in Iowa to the businesswomen of Rockaway Beach, New York, the stories focus on the customers and hardly mention the brand by name.
The brand also features its customers’ stories on its social media platforms.
This Instagram post shares how business owner and customer Jenn Lee Segale manages staffing and scheduling.
People like stories, and brand storytelling is an effective way to create meaningful connections with target audiences. If you can’t create customer videos like Square, featuring customers and user-generated content on your social pages works well to create a shared brand experience.
Slack is a workplace communication and collaboration tool. It combines the user interface of the group and person-to-person messaging and allows companies to control who uses it with the invitation system. Equipped with instant messaging, group chat, video calling, and file sharing, it lets teams share information across multiple devices and web applications efficiently.
In 2014, Slack launched with 8,000 active users. Today Slack’s user stats stand at over 10 million daily users and 3 million paid subscribers, including 43% of the top businesses. Even more impressive is that most of its growth is through word-of-mouth marketing.
The above tweet by Slack investor Marc Andreessen shows the app’s initial growth caused by word of mouth.
Word-of-mouth marketing uses the positive feedback of enthusiastic and satisfied customers to promote a brand. It is a cost-effective form of marketing, leveraging social proof to generate qualified leads and sales.
This graph shows that 95% of Slack’s traffic comes from direct links. Direct traffic comes from visitors typing your URL or unidentified referring sources like messaging apps or non-web files like PDF or word documents.
For word-of-mouth marketing to be effective, you must provide a top-quality product that’s easy to use and excellent customer service. These two factors have made Slack so popular that even Atlassian sold its chat apps to Slack.
Don’t underestimate the impact of word-of-mouth. According to Marketing Charts, 93% of people trust the recommendations of friends and family over other forms of advertising.
You may not be able to replicate the phenomenal growth of Slack – founder Stewart Butterfield (also co-founder of Flickr) leveraged his contacts in the tech industry to drive initial growth. But there are several other elements from Slack’s strategy you can copy.
First, provide a top-quality product that customers love. Second, offer a freemium model or free trial of your product, which allows prospective customers to experience your product.
Third, deliver best-in-class customer service. It doesn’t matter how good your product is; you will lose current customers if you provide poor customer service. Finally, harness the power of social media to show social proof with an official hashtag.
Adobe is a creative design company offering a suite of digital applications to professional designers and editors. One of Adobe’s popular software is Adobe Creative Cloud which includes Adobe Photoshop, one of the world’s most recognized image editing tools. Other tools include Adobe Animate, Lightroom, Illustrator, and InDesign.
Adobe is one of the godfathers of the tech industry. Founded in 1982, the computer company’s business model was selling physical software disks under a perpetual license. For decades, Adobe was a competitive player, building a strong identity as the creator of professional design tools.
But things started to change with companies migrating en masse to the cloud. To remain competitive, Adobe transitioned to the SaaS business model in 2013, opening up the brand to new users who couldn’t afford the upfront costs of software disks.
This chart shows Adobe’s SaaS growth following the transition to cloud-based delivery. In two and half years, they had four million Creative Cloud subscribers.
The switch made sense: lower price points, predictable revenue, lower risk, shorter update release cycles, and sustainable growth. But shareholders and long-term customers were skeptical.
Instead of spending marketing dollars trying to convince people that the future is SaaS, Adobe took a product-led approach that allowed users to experience the product themselves.
Through a series of press releases, Adobe made sure the transition was transparent, starting with Photoshop Express (the online version of Photoshop) in 2008 and ending with Creative Cloud, the cloud version of Creative Suite, in 2013.
Adobe is now the textbook example of how to manage brand transitions. The key lessons include creating value in new products that don’t exist in the old versions, constantly communicating with customers, and not rushing the process.
Adobe continued to support Creative Suite four years after the launch of Creative Cloud.
Buffer is a simple yet powerful social media management app that automatically schedules posts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and TikTok.
Integrating your social pages with Buffer allows you to create and schedule multiple posts by adding them to a queue. Time settings let you optimize engagement by posting when your customers interact most with your social pages.
Buffer grew to 169k monthly active users using a unique approach to a conventional content marketing strategy.
Its primary marketing channel is blogging, but writing posts about social media tips limits your audience to newbies. To expand its content scope, Buffer creates content users would want to share, allowing the brand to cover a wide range of topics.
Take, for example, this post about business and authenticity.
Now, check out Buffer’s blog growth below:
Changing its content angle helped Buffer grow from zero hits in 2011 to more than 1.5 million monthly visits seven years later.
Today Buffer has two active blogs. Open is a culture blog where they share stories about workplace culture, finances, and business strategy. Flow is a marketing blog dedicated to real-life marketing stories and trends.
Conventional content marketing practice says you should write blog articles relevant to your product. Buffer teaches us that content relevance also applies to your target audience and what they want to read.
And don’t assume that what works for your competitors will work for you. Try different content ideas to stand out from the crowd.
Zendesk is an online customer support solution. It helps businesses manage customer interactions (phone, chat, email, social media) in one platform. The software’s top features include a ticketing system that collects and tracks customer requests from different sources, a knowledge base that houses customer support content, and a SaaS community forum to build relationships.
Like other SaaS brands, Zendesk uses SEO to drive traffic and conversion rates. However, their approach gets interestingly unorthodox at some points.
While analyzing their competitors’ traffic, the marketing team noticed that people would use the search term ‘Zendesk alternatives.’ So, in 2013, they invented an alternative rock band they named – you guessed it, Zendesk Alternative. They created a website for the band, complete with a music video, keyword-rich content (lyrics page), text, and title tags. All that stuff.
A congratulatory tweet from one of their biggest competitors when Zendesk took the number one spot for their rival’s keyword a few days after the website launch.
Research your competitors. Learn what keywords drive their highest traffic and find a way to use them to your advantage so that when people search for your competitors, your brand manages to appear somewhere in the SERPs.
SaaS Marketing Campaign Examples FAQ
The best SaaS marketing campaign examples provide insights for future marketing campaigns. You can utilize those insights to increase your brand presence on a marketing channel, boost sign-ups, and ultimately increase your company’s bottom line.
There are many good examples of SaaS marketing campaigns. They range from Wistia’s video marketing strategy to Writer’s content marketing campaign. Read this guide for inspiration for your next campaign.
SaaS digital marketing is tricky. You’re not selling a product per se but the promise that your software will help potential customers save time and money and grow their business. And you have to keep selling the same product to the same customers over and over because SaaS products are subscription-based. The moment users stop seeing the value of your software, your business is done.
We shared 12 brilliant SaaS marketing campaigns and the tried-and-true strategies behind them. You must have noticed that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Some companies focus on one type of campaign, while others use a combination. Your target audience and your product will dictate the marketing plan you will end up using.
The common thread in these brands is a focus on relationship building that carries them through renewal periods or price increases. If there is anything you must copy and apply to your campaign, it is that.
Nico is the founder of Crunch Marketing, a SaaS marketing agency. He works with enterprise SaaS clients like Writer, Right Inbox, and Surfer SEO, helping them scale lead generation globally across EMEA, APAC, and other regions.