Marketing a SaaS business in 2023 means building meaningful, lasting relationships with your audience. It’s not enough to simply inform the marketplace that you exist and fulfill a function. Potential customers need to know why your company matters and how it helps them. They want to know who’s behind your mission and vision. Their interest lies in your story.
By giving your brand life with content, SaaS marketing teams connect with decision-makers, influencers, and thought leaders. Creating long-term connections with your market and telling your brand's story will help you establish brand affinity.
Find stories wherever they are. Customers, team members, and industry partners all have valuable perspectives on your company. Identify their insights and craft them into a coherent, overarching narrative about your brand identity. Use their stories as building blocks for your brand narrative — an authentic expression of your company’s identity and values and the real-world benefits of your service.
These authentic personal narratives will be essential elements in your brand identity, which is critical for brand affinity. They provide the material for your content across all platforms and will ultimately serve as the spark for audience engagement.
Collaborate with your founders and leaders. Ask them to identify the “a-ha” moment that inspired them. Use that to sell your mission and values.
And search for engaging, enthusiastic personalities behind the great stories who can act as the face of your brand. When an audience recognizes the people telling your brand story, they’ll start to build deep positive associations between the message and the personality.
The SaaS market is complicated. Technical detail and nuance can cloud your message and confuse the relationship between you and your audience. High-level decision-makers aren’t interested in how your service works; they’re concerned with how it will help their company. Their employees are looking for solutions to the challenges they face every day, not an in-depth, jargon-loaded analysis of the technical feature you offer. Tell them why your product is different and how it helps them.
Keep your story simple. Show your service solving problems and changing lives. That’s the main narrative that supports everything else.
Different audiences expect and deserve messaging suited to their needs. But don’t tell different stories to different audiences. Make sure that you’re telling the same story in different ways. The audience will know.
Brand affinity isn’t the result of a single item of content. No article or case study will be the tipping point for establishing trust and loyalty. A true connection depends on consistently demonstrating your benefits and values over time. Effectively engaging your audience long-term requires a coherent message delivered through a variety of formats and styles.
Resist the temptation to include a sales pitch in every content piece. Some content, such as e-blasts, lends itself to calls to action. Other content should be seen as an avenue for interaction. Your social media feeds are one of the foundations of your brand’s public identity and facilitate unique opportunities for interaction. But social media users are skeptical of sales-oriented content; many will simply scroll right past any one-sided, transactional posts. Don’t ask them to do something. Offer them a chance to engage.
Similarly, commit to keeping thought leadership content elevated and non-promotional. Spiking speaking engagements and media placements with sales language devalues the credibility such opportunities offer. Trust that your leadership team and subject matter experts can positively represent the brand through their ideas and aligned messaging.
Tell your story. Over and over. Consistency is key to building the comprehensive, authentic narrative audiences believe in and trust. Each piece of content builds on the ones that came before to refine or reinforce your brand identity and story. Strategically and methodically creating and distributing high-quality, compelling content has a powerful multiplying effect — and it can shift your relationship with your audience from awareness to affinity.
Stacey Bright is chief marketing officer for XOi, the leading provider of technician-first smart technology for commercial and residential field service companies. As CMO, she drives demand generation, brand awareness in vertical and adjacent markets, and XOi’s future-focused digital strategy.