If you are reading this blog, then you are living in the noisy world known as Marketing Software as a Service (SaaS). Your world is either a slog, fighting entrenched platforms like SalesForce, or you’re in the murky realm of educating a skeptical vertical market that may not have embraced SaaS as a solution for their business workflow. It turns out that there is a way to amplify your message and turn down the noise, and it starts with embracing influencer marketing for SaaS.
What is influencer marketing for SaaS?
Because of the noise, the SaaS customer community can be unaware of marketing, even resistant to marketing. So companies relying on the “float to the top” method are, well—bankrupt.
Enter influencer marketing. In influencer marketing, your goal is to attract and inspire the influencers in your market segment to create and communicate content that is persuasive to your market. Resistance is futile if you have picked the right influencers to woo. Unlike advocate or advocacy marketing, which relies on finding and rewarding existing customers for testimonials, references, and referrals, influencer marketing is about developing relationships with a wide range of thought leaders in the market who will give your product credence by using their personal brand. Word-of-mouth marketing may be an outcome of influencer marketing as influencers generate interest in your product among your customers.
You may feel like your market is deaf, but SaaS professionals buy based on need and emotion just like everyone else. Like other consumers, SaaS customers want to trust who they buy from and what they buy. Because the products they need are tools that may overlap with their expertise, they often feel that they can evaluate the worthiness of a product themselves, and therefore ignore marketing material. Or, they may feel like the self-education needed to test the product takes more time than they have.
They can’t evaluate every product that might help them do their work. So they rely on industry peers to try the product and explain its performance at a satisfying level of detail based on case studies that are relevant to them. An industry guru with a trusted brand has the same level of influence in this market as Beyoncé does in consumer market segments.
Within their own companies, SaaS adopters want to be seen at the pinnacle of cost-efficient productivity. Part of this means knowing about the latest productivity tools in their field first. Fear of missing out (FOMO) on the latest and greatest, and the fear of being the last to adopt (FOBTLTA*), are two powerful fears that can be exploited in your marketing campaigns. But they require credibility that the latest product is the greatest product, and worthy of FOMO and FOBTLTA*. (* Just kidding)
What’s a marketer to do? Your company probably values two things most highly—lead or demand generation (lead gen or demand gen), and sales enablement. Lead gen and demand gen lead to numbers from clicks, but not sales. It’s also not in the hands of marketing.
Sales enablement materials are very product-focused, with details about features that should be convincing and reusable in other marketing campaigns, but in the SaaS market, they aren’t. Why? Because of the noise or the lack of education of the customer, all of the emotional hooks required to engage your customers go unnoticed.
Content marketing campaigns have been touted as the be-all and end-all in marketing. Content marketing is an inbound marketing strategy that focuses on providing leadership, education, and product-specific information to customers who are reaching out for your content based on keyword searches, referrals, and other breadcrumbs. It allows your company to position itself as an authority. It can connect customers populating each phase of the sales cycle to the right information at the right time. However, in a crowded and noisy market, a market segment like SaaS will ignore all that beautiful, expensive, time-consuming content, and your strategy is blown into little, tiny, useless pieces.
Influencer marketing is not just a marketing keyword. It requires tactics and tools that are integrated into your overall marketing strategy. They include:
- Persona Development for SaaS
- Content Topic Selection and Curation
- Influencer Content Marketing Operations and Analytics (like Share of Voice)
- Content Marketing Distribution for Influencer Marketing
Influencers can be tech evangelists who are people in your own company, are subject matter experts, and maintain their own brand and following. However, most companies struggle with how to manage employees who are mouthpieces for company products, and balance that with their own opinions. Influencers have the advantage of increased credibility because they come from outside your company.
Download our ebook and get the entire influencer marketing story all at once.
One approach to generating influencer marketing content is getting outside help to recruit, motivate, coach, and deliver targeted and timely content. Fixate.io is a content marketing powerhouse focused on influencer marketing strategy and execution for the SaaS marketplace. Fixate IO works with companies to optimize their go-to-market, content, and growth hacking strategies.