Let’s face it. The world of SaaS is constantly changing at an exponential rate. Marketing strategies that worked even a few years ago are either completely obsolete or no longer the norm. This is to be expected of an industry that sees an annual growth rate of 18% per year.
So you take to the internet to try and find a solution. Yet all you find are conflicting opinions on different ways to market your SaaS business. Not to mention you barely have the time to even do this research yourself. You’re busy, well, running an entire company. It’s safe to say you’re crunched for time as it is.
How can you keep up? You know without a proper marketing strategy in place, all that hard work you’ve put into your startup will be completely in vain. Surely the answer must be out there somewhere.
It’s time to look into hiring a SaaS marketing agency to pick up the slack.
Whether you’re looking to supplement an already existing marketing team, or even find a full-service SaaS marketing agency to help you start from scratch, there’s a solution out there for you. However, it’s important to note that there are several key considerations to take into account when you’re choosing a SaaS marketing agency. If you go out on a limb and pick the first one you see with no evaluation whatsoever, there’s a good chance you’ll be setting yourself up for failure before you even begin.
SaaS Marketing Agency or New In-House Team Member?
At this point, you’re likely asking yourself whether you want to hire a SaaS marketing agency or hire a new member for your in-house marketing team. There are many factors to consider here. While hiring from within means that your team is all about your company and nothing else, they may not be completely up to speed on the latest in SaaS marketing trends or strategies.
In-House Marketing Team Member
SaaS Marketing Agency
May lack some necessary skill sets
Wide range of skill sets
Latest trends and tools could remain out of reach
Up to date on the latest news, trends and tools
Hiring & training process can be inefficient when time is a factor
Saves time and money, with faster results
As you can see, while a new in-house team member can be effective and means that you have a new hire who lives and dies by your brand, this means that a long and arduous hiring and training process is required. And chances are you don’t have a whole lot of that when you’re running a SaaS company.
Going the SaaS marketing agency route means that you’re bringing on a team that already knows the ins and outs of the SaaS marketing landscape. They’re up to speed on the newest tools and likely already have loads of experience using them.
Not only that but if you’re looking at a full-service SaaS marketing agency, that means you’ve got a team with a wide range of skill sets. From PPC, content marketing, web development, and more, it’s a one-stop-shop for SaaS marketing. No need to find an individual for each specialization. It’s all right there for you.
Of course, the decision between a new in-house hire and a SaaS marketing agency will entirely depend on your needs. However, be aware of how efficient the agency route can be. When time isn’t on your side, it can be a real lifesaver.
Key Considerations When Choosing a SaaS Marketing Agency
Once you’ve chosen to go the SaaS marketing agency route, it’s time to evaluate your options. Depending on your current situation, different agencies can seem appealing. For example, if you already have an in-house marketing team that just needs a little boost in the PPC area, then an agency specializing in PPC ads would be something to look into.
It can be challenging to figure out what points you need to consider when choosing a SaaS marketing agency to suit your needs. Thankfully, we’ve compiled a list of key considerations to take into account when you’re finally ready to take the plunge. No guesswork needed.
What Are Your Specific Goals?
As is the case with many different aspects in life, goal setting is one of the first steps to take when planning out a SaaS marketing strategy.
When it comes to choosing a SaaS marketing agency, you’ll want to partner up with one that has a rock-solid process for setting goals. These should be realistic and attainable and set you on the correct path.
A common framework for goals used by many different agencies and marketers alike is the SMART goal method.
SMART stands for:
You’ll need to make sure your goals fit under this mantra perfectly. For example, a goal of increasing your MRR by 25% in one year. It’s specific, can easily be measured, attainable, relevant to your business and has a time frame attached to it.
Of course, SMART goal setting isn’t the only successful process out there. Just be sure to choose an agency with a proven goal-setting method.
Level of Experience and Proven Results
Obviously, if you’re seeking professional help in any field, you want the experts. The ones who really know their stuff. Hiring a SaaS marketing agency that’s greener than grass isn’t going to get you very far.
But how exactly can you tell who’s the best fit for you? Surely anyone can talk themselves up and fake it until they make it.
When searching for the perfect agency for you, it’s important to do effective research to learn about a company’s history and their past proven results. Some important factors to look at are:
- Reviews on authoritative sites
- Previous companies they’ve worked with
- Case studies
A simple level of research will be required here, but will certainly pay off in the long run. Ultimately, you want to work with a SaaS marketing agency that can walk the talk. Who better to provide that information than their past clients?
Don’t hesitate to dig into an agency’s past work. It can mean the difference between working with a dud and working with an agency that regularly produces results.
What Specific Services Are You Looking For?
Obviously there isn’t a one-size-fits-all option for marketing. Especially when it comes to SaaS marketing. There are many different approaches that a SaaS marketing agency can take when it comes to helping you achieve your goals.
Whether you’re looking for an expert in one area or a full-service agency to tackle all avenues of SaaS marketing, it’s important to know the different services that agencies can offer. Services such as:
- Content marketing
- Web design (websites, landing pages, etc.)
For most SaaS companies out there, content marketing should be a significant portion of their marketing efforts. Whether you’re hiring an agency solely for content marketing or using content marketing as part of the bigger picture, you’re going to want an agency with a proven track record in content planning and strategizing. Especially considering over 90% of B2B marketers are using content marketing to bring in customers.
That being said, when you’re looking to evaluate your options, you’ll want to go with an agency that practices what they preach.
Do they have an authoritative blog? Are they using their content strategies for their own website?
Chances are, any SaaS marketing agency who claims to be an expert in content marketing will be using the same strategies to help market themselves. If you came across this agency through one of their own blog posts, that’s a good sign that their processes work.
Because what business wouldn’t want an incredible looking website?
Vanity aside, web design goes far deeper than just looks. There are several key factors involved in how a website or landing page performs, such as:
- A clear USP
- A strong CTA
- Powerful use of imagery or video
- Optimized for mobile use
- Easy to find contact info
When you’re looking for a SaaS marketing agency for web design, you’ll want to make sure they have a clear understanding of these key concepts. Check out their past designs. Are all of these elements present? If not, then maybe it’s time to cast your line back into the sea of marketing agencies.
The process is important here as well. A good SaaS marketing agency will have an effective and proven method for creating websites that generate leads and provide a great user experience.
While it’s important to have an aesthetically pleasing and professional looking website, remember that there are many other factors at play here as well. If you’re looking to hire an agency to handle this for you, it’s best to ensure that they have these factors at the front of their mind at all times.
It’s likely every SaaS company’s dream to show up on that first page of Google results for any relevant keyword. However, that level of visibility is reserved for only a few.
Simply banging out content left and right with no regard for search results isn’t going to get you very far. After all, what good is content if it’s delegated to the back of Google results, never to be seen by the general public? (Well, except for the patient few who actually take the time to venture past the first page of Google results…)
It’s important to note that even the most experienced SaaS marketing agency can’t get you mindblowing results in record time. SEO is a long-term strategy that takes dedication and patience.
However, a certain level of transparency from the agency is essential here. You’ll definitely want to know the ins and outs of their SEO strategy. Things like monthly reporting and reviews are essential here.
Another great indicator of a SaaS marketing agency that knows SEO inside and out is where they are in the Google search results. If the agency appeared on the first page of your search, they’re likely going to shoot up your list of potential candidates.
Remember when you’re investing in SEO, you’re playing the long game. Choosing the correct agency to handle your SEO needs will pay off, but you will require a level of patience.
Looking for results a little quicker than SEO? Google Ads is here to the rescue.
A little quicker would actually be an understatement. Google Ads campaigns can actually provide near-instant results if they’re done correctly. That’s why it’s as important as ever to make sure the SaaS marketing agency handling your Google Ads campaign knows their stuff.
There are some factors to take into consideration here, though. Google Ads can put a serious dent into a marketing budget. If you’re working with an agency lacking experience in the Google Ads department, a large amount of money can be spent with little to no results
So how do you know if the SaaS marketing agency you’re evaluating is the right fit for your Google Ads campaigns?
Well, a Google AdWords Certified Partner certificate would be a great start. These badges are only awarded to agencies with proven AdWords and search expertise. This is exactly what you want to see.
Many SaaS marketing agencies will have specific case studies relating to previous AdWords clients. If you aren’t sold on the Google certification, an agency’s previous work could be the next logical step to getting you on board.
While it may take a larger initial investment, the ROI on Google AdWords campaigns can be huge. The trick is to make sure you’re going with a SaaS marketing agency with heaps of experience in this field. This is an area you won’t want to skimp out on. Trust us.
With all the different services offered by SaaS marketing agencies, it can be difficult to decide which agency is for you. As mentioned previously, it will entirely depend on your specific needs and goals. These are just a few common services you’ll want to know about moving forward.
Metrics and KPI’s
If goals are there to help you get started, then metrics are what you need to make sure you’re achieving these goals. This means you’ll want to bring on an agency who understands which metrics are crucial for SaaS businesses to track, and which are nothing more than vanity metrics.
So out with it. Which metrics are going to be the most important for you as a SaaS business owner?
Here are a few:
- Unique visitors
- Leads-by-lifecycle stage
- Monthly recurring revenue (MRR)
- Customer lifetime value
There are certainly other important metrics, which we’ve previously discussed at length. However, when it comes to SaaS marketing agencies, knowing the important metrics to track is only half the battle. You’ll want to ensure that realistic KPI’s have been set. Too low and the victories won’t be anything to write home about. Too high and the KPI’s will never be hit.
Any SaaS marketing agency worth a damn should be well versed in which metrics are the most crucial and which are nothing but white noise. You don’t want to be wasting your time tracking vanity metrics or chasing unattainable KPI’s. Hiring an effective agency can certainly lower the guesswork.
It should go without saying that a great SaaS marketing agency with proven results is going to command a higher rate than one just starting out with little experience or social proof. However, it’s still an important point to address.
Aside from the agency itself commanding a fee, certain services such as AdWords will also cost a little extra due to the cost of purchasing ad space.
The key takeaway here is that, while a SaaS marketing agency with loads of experience may cost more, the ROI will often dwarf that of their inexperienced counterparts. Short-term thinking may compel you to go with the budget option, but remember that you’re paying for results. If you go cheaper, you’re taking a gamble on whether or not those results will ever show themselves.
Determining what you’re willing to spend on a SaaS marketing agency can often come down to what your goals are. For example, if you’re looking to increase total revenue by a certain amount over the next 2 years, the cost of hiring the agency itself should be factored in here. This will help you paint a clear picture of the ROI you’ll be getting and help you determine how much to splurge on an agency.
Patience is key here as well. Remember that your initial investment won’t be repaid overnight. It takes time to see results.
Summary – Choosing the Correct SaaS Marketing Agency For You
Decisions like this one are often difficult and can often leave you wondering if you’ve made the right choice. Especially with all the different SaaS marketing agencies out there ripe for the picking. With an industry growth of over 13% in the past 5 years in the US alone, it’s safe to say the market for digital marketing agencies is flooded. The truth is, all you can do is use these key considerations to help you make the most informed choice you can make.
At the end of the day, it’s on you to decide what’s right for your business and your specific needs. Decide if you’re looking to supplement an already existing marketing team or have an agency handle all your marketing needs for you. Then decide what your goals are. From there, you’ll want to gather as much research as possible. Make sure you go with an agency who’s expertise lines up with what you want to achieve. And remember: You get what you pay for. Don’t be afraid to spend a little more to get your desired results.
With a little patience and due diligence, the process of choosing the right SaaS marketing agency can be made a little easier. And in the complex world of SaaS marketing, that can make a world of difference.